University of Mississippi

Visiting Writers

Visiting Writers 2017-2018

November 15: Adrian Matejka at the Depot – 6p.m.  Click HERE for more information. 

February 13: Jonathan Lethem – time and location TBA

April 4: Ross Gay – time and location TBA

April 22: Camille Dungy – time and location TBA

2017 Baine Lecturer Adrian Matejka with MFA students, Joshua Nguyen, Roseanne Arii, Helene Achanzar, and Julian Randall

The Edith Baine Lecture Series presents: “Sounds of Earth: 40 Years of Voyager’s Golden LP and the Poetry That Spun From It” by Adrian Matejka. Nov. 15th at 6 p.m. The Depot

Adrian Matejka was born in Nuremberg, Germany and grew up in California and Indiana. He is a graduate of Indiana University and the MFA program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He is the author of The Devil’s Garden (Alice James Books, 2003) which won the New York / New England Award and Mixology (Penguin, 2009), a winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series. Mixology was also a finalist for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. His most recent collection of poems, The Big Smoke (Penguin, 2013), was awarded the 2014 Anisfield-Wolf Book Award. The Big Smoke was also a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award, 2014 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and 2014 Pulitzer Prize in poetry. His new book, Map to the Stars, was released from Penguin in March 2017. Among Matejka’s other honors are the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana Authors Award, two grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Julia Peterkin Award, a Pushcart Prize, and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, and a Simon Fellowship from United States Artists. He teaches in the MFA program at Indiana University in Bloomington and is currently working on a new collection of poems, Hearing Damage, and a graphic novel.

The Lecture will take place on November 15th at 6 p.m. at The Depot.  This event is free and open to the public.

Mission Statement
The Edith T. Baine Lecture Series for Scholars and Writers invites the best and brightest scholars and writers to our campus. The Baine lecturers and writers are chosen on the basis of energetic and engaged scholarship and creative work, innovative approaches, and dynamic presentation styles. The lectures showcase paradigm-shifting research and groundbreaking writing. The visiting scholars and writers are intended to expose undergraduates to the fullness of a life deeply engaged in literature while inspiring graduate students to pursue ambitious work.

Edith T. Baine
Mrs. Edith Turley Baine of El Dorado was born November 29, 1945 in Greenville, Mississippi, the daughter of Edith Waits Turley and George Turley. She graduated from Leland High School and the University of Mississippi, where she received B.A.E. and M.A.E. degrees. Mrs. Baine was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of El Dorado, El Dorado Service League, Phi Mu Sorority and Delta Theta Phi Law Fraternity International. She was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Union County Humane Society. She was an El Dorado Jaycettes and later became an El Dorado Jaycee. She was a tree farmer and retired English teacher who taught in Mississippi and at El Dorado High School. On April 13, 2012, Mrs. Baine passed away at Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Her generous gift to the English Department at the University of Mississippi supports this lecture series and promotes academic and creative exchange.

Writing the Welsh Borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England

This is the first study of the Anglo-Welsh border region in the period before the Norman arrival in England, from the fifth to the twelfth centuries. Its conclusions significantly alter our current picture of Anglo/Welsh relations before the Norman Conquest by overturning the longstanding critical belief that relations between these two peoples during this period were predominately contentious. Writing the Welsh borderlands in Anglo-Saxon England demonstrates that the region which would later become the March of Wales was not a military frontier in Anglo-Saxon England, but a distinctively mixed Anglo-Welsh cultural zone which was depicted as a singular place in contemporary Welsh and Anglo-Saxon texts. This study reveals that the region of the Welsh borderlands was much more culturally coherent, and the impact of the Norman Conquest on it much greater, than has been previously realized.

In the Neighborhood

In this compelling and original book, Caroline Wigginton reshapes our understanding of early American literary history. Overturning long-standing connections between the male-dominated print culture of pamphlets, broadsides, and newspapers and the transformative ideas that instigated the American Revolution, Wigginton explores how women’s “relational publications”―circulated texts, objects, and performances―transformed their public and intimate worlds. She argues that Native, black, and white women’s interpersonal “publications” revolutionized the dynamics of power and connection in public and private spaces, whether those spaces were Quaker meeting houses, Creek talwas, trading posts, burial grounds, or the women’s own “neighborhoods.”

Informed by deep and rich archival research, Wigginton’s case studies explore specific instances of “relational publication.” The book begins with a pairing of examples―the statement a grieving Lenape mother made through a wampum belt and the political affiliations created when a salon hostess shared her poetry. Subsequent chapters trace a history of women’s publication practice, including a Creek woman’s diplomatic and legal procession-spectacles in the colonial Southeast, a black mother’s expression of protest in Newport, Rhode Island, and the resulting evangelical revival, Phillis Wheatley’s elegies that refigured neighborhoods of enslaved and free Bostonians, and a Quaker woman’s pious and political commonplace book in Revolutionary Philadelphia.

Reconstructing Violence

In this bold study of cinematic depictions of violence in the south, Deborah E. Barker explores the ongoing legacy of the “southern rape complex” in American film. Taking as her starting point D. W. Griffith’s infamous The Birth of a Nation, Barker demonstrates how the tropes and imagery of the southern rape complex continue to assert themselves across a multitude of genres, time periods, and stylistic modes.
Drawing from Gilles Deleuze’s work on cinema, Barker examines plot, dialogue, and camera technique as she considers several films: The Story of Temple Drake (1933), Sanctuary (1958), Touch of Evil (1958), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962), and Cape Fear (1962). Placing this body of analysis in the context of the historical periods when these films appeared and the literary sources on which they are based, Barker reveals the protean power of cinematic racialized violence amid the shifting cultural and political landscapes of the South and the nation as a whole.
By focusing on familiar literary and cinematic texts — each produced or set during moments of national crisis such as the Great Depression or the civil rights movement — Barker’s Reconstructing Violence offers fresh insights into the anxiety that has underpinned sexual and racial violence in cinematic representations of the South.

Heating & Cooling

The 52 micro-memoirs in genre-defying Heating & Cooling offer bright glimpses into a richly lived life, combining the compression of poetry with the truth-telling of nonfiction into one heartfelt, celebratory book. Ranging from childhood recollections to quirky cultural observations, these micro-memoirs build on one another to arrive at a portrait of Beth Ann Fennelly as a wife, mother, writer, and deeply original observer of life’s challenges and joys. Some pieces are wistful, some wry, and many reveal the humor buried in our everyday interactions. Heating & Cooling: 52 Micro-Memoirs shapes a life from unexpectedly illuminating moments, and awakens us to these moments as they appear in the margins of our lives.

Lucky Fish

Poetry. Asian American Studies. LUCKY FISH travels along a lush current—a confluence of leaping vocabulary and startling formal variety, with upwelling gratitude at its source: for love, motherhood, “new hope,” and the fluid and rich possibilities of words themselves. With an exuberant appetite for “my morning song, my scurry-step, my dew,” anchored in complicated human situations, this astounding young poet’s third collection of poems is her strongest yet.

Beyond the Crossroads

The devil is the most charismatic and important figure in the blues tradition. He’s not just the music’s namesake (“the devil’s music”), but a shadowy presence who haunts an imagined Mississippi crossroads where, it is claimed, Delta bluesman Robert Johnson traded away his soul in exchange for extraordinary prowess on the guitar. Yet, as scholar and musician Adam Gussow argues, there is much more to the story of the devil and the blues than these cliched understandings.

In this groundbreaking study, Gussow takes the full measure of the devil’s presence. Working from original transcriptions of more than 125 recordings released during the past ninety years, Gussow explores the varied uses to which black southern blues people have put this trouble-sowing, love-wrecking, but also empowering figure. The book culminates with a bold reinterpretation of Johnson’s music and a provocative investigation of the way in which the citizens of Clarksdale, Mississippi, managed to rebrand a commercial hub as “the crossroads” in 1999, claiming Johnson and the devil as their own.

Corporate Romanticism

Corporate Romanticism offers an alternative history of the connections between modernity, individualism, and the novel. In early nineteenth-century England, two developments―the rise of corporate persons and the expanded scale of industrial action―undermined the basic assumption underpinning both liberalism and the law: that individual human persons can be meaningfully correlated with specific actions and particular effects. Reading works by Godwin, Austen, Hogg, Mary Shelley, and Dickens alongside a wide-ranging set of debates in nineteenth-century law and Romantic politics and aesthetics, Daniel Stout argues that the novel, a literary form long understood as a reflection of individualism’s ideological ascent, in fact registered the fragile fictionality of accountable individuals in a period defined by corporate actors and expansively entangled fields of action.

Examining how liberalism, the law, and the novel all wrestled with the moral implications of a highly collectivized and densely packed modernity, Corporate Romanticism reconfigures our sense of the nineteenth century and its novels, arguing that we see in them not simply the apotheosis of laissez-fair individualism but the first chapter of a crucial and distinctly modern problem about how to fit the individualist and humanist terms of justice onto a world in which the most consequential agents are no longer persons.