University of Mississippi

The Frances Bell McCool Lecture in Faulkner Studies Presents: “The Man from Mottstown” on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Phillip “Pip” Gordon  will deliver his lecture, “The Man from Mottstown: Hubert Creekmore’s Debt to and Influence on William Faulkner” on Monday, November 12 at 7:30 P.M.  in Peabody 206.

Phillip is a Ph.D. candidate in the English department.  His lecute is based on a chapter from his in-progress dissertation, “Gay Faulkner: Uncovering a Homosexual Presence in Yoknapatawpha and Beyond.”

The Frances Bell McCool lecture is sponsored by the Department of English.  The Frances Bell McCool Dissertation Fellowship in Faulkner studies is funded by a generous endowment from the McCool Family.

This event is free and open to the public.

Special Screening of HBO’s TREME, episode 6, hosted by the author of the screenplay, Chris Offutt on October 30 at 7p.m. in Bishop 209

Please join author Chris Offutt and the Ole Miss community for a screening of the episode of Treme that Offutt scripted for HBO.  Treme, the award-winning HBO series, is set in a post-Katrina New Orleans and features musicians, chefs, and artists as compelling characters.  The series has been celebrated for its lively, authentic writing and Offutt, a Guggenheim recipient, was invited to write the sixth episode of the season.

Before screenwriting, Offutt was an award-winning author of five books that received awards from the Guggenheim Foundation and American Academy of Arts and Letters.  He has also written and produced for True Blood, Weeds, and wrote two commissioned pilots for Lions Gate and CBS.  His short film “The Trapper” was produced in 2010.  He is currently working on a novel and a screenplay.

The viewing will be followed by a Q and A with Offutt in which he will discuss writing for TV in general and HBO in particular.  What are the challenges of writing a script for a series, and how is this kind of writing diffferent than writing novels or short stories?  How can one learn more about writing for TV?

Click Here to check out a recent story about Offutt and Treme in the Washington Post.

Internationally Acclaimed Poet and Classicist, Anne Carson to Perform at the Ford Center on October 23, at 7p.m.

The internationally acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson and her partner Robert Currie will come to the University of Mississippi soon. On Tuesday, October 23, at 7 p.m., they will perform two experimental, collaborative pieces that involve Carson’s poetry along with dance and film. The titles of the pieces are “Cassandra Float Can” and “Possessive Used as a Drink (Me): A Lecture on Pronouns in the Form of 15 Sonnets.” These pieces will also feature several students from the English and Theatre Departments at the University of Mississippi. The performance will be held at the Rehearsal Hall Space (the small theatre) at the Ford Center. It is free and open to the public but as seating is limited it would be a good idea to come early.

This performance is made possible by the generosity of the John and Renee Grisham Visiting Writers Series, the English Department, the Theatre Department, and the Ford Center.

Toril Moi to deliver the 52nd annual Christopher Longest Lecture September 27 at 6 p.m.

Duke University professor, Toril Moi, will deliver the 2012 Christopher Longest Lecture.  For more information, click Here.


Recent Honors College Grad, Andrew Paul, Named Prestigious National Portz Scholar

Recent Honors College Graduate, Andrew Paul, named National Portz Scholar.  For more information, click here.

A Recent Interview with Derrick Harriell in Prairie Schooner

Click here to read an interview with Derrick Harriell in Prairie Schooner!

Jay Watson will discuss his new book, “Reading for the Body: The Recalcitrant Materiality of Southern Fiction, 1893-1985,” at Off-Square Books on August 27.

Jay Watson signs READING FOR THE BODY on August 27, at 5:00p.m. at Off-Square Books.  For more information, click here.

Southern Writers/Southern Writing Conference July 12-14, 2012

The English department at the University of Mississippi is proud to host its 18th annual Southern Writers/Southern Writing Graduate Conference this July 12-14. The conference will run immediately after the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference, and will feature graduate panelists from across the United States speaking on Southern literature and film.


We are especially excited to host our plenary speaker Dr. Suzanne Marrs of Millsaps College. Dr. Marrs is Eudora Welty’s close friend and official biographer and will be speaking on the relationship between Eudora Welty and William Maxwell. Her address is entitled “Eudora Welty and William Maxwell:  Writers’ Notes on Writing Fiction.”


All panels will be held in the Barnard Observatory and will be free and open to the public. Anyone who wants to attend the awards breakfast or the wine and cheese reception, though, will need to pay a small fee. Those interested should contact Victoria Bryan at


Help us spread the word about this exciting event, and consider dropping by for some interesting discussion!



Schedule of Presentations:


Thursday 12 July 2012


2:00-5:00      Registration—Barnard Observatory Lobby


7:00-9:30      Reception at The Blind Pig


Featuring a Creative Panel with Readings By:

Jimmy Cajoleas, University of Mississippi

Gary Sheppard, University of Mississippi

Dotty Knight, University of Mississippi

Michael Shea, University of Mississippi


Friday 13July 2012


8:00-8:30      Coffee & Breakfast—Barnard Observatory Lobby


8:45-9:15      Welcome—Barnard Observatory—Tupelo Room

Dr. Annette Trefzer, Director of Graduate Studies, Department of English,

University of Mississippi

Dr. Ted Ownby, Director, Center for the Study of Southern Culture


9:30-11:00    Simultaneous Sessions


Panel 1A – Performing Race/Sexuality

Barnard Observatory, Tupelo Room

Chair: Elizabeth Fielder


“The Scenery, Spectacle, and Performance of Blackness in Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer and Richard Ford’s A Piece of My Heart” 

Ebony McNeal, University of Mississippi


“The Eves of Destruction: Modes of Travel as Embodiments of Female Sexuality in Jonah’s Gourd Vine

Amy Glaves, Northern Illinois University


“Performing Sexuality in Ossie Davis’s Purlie Victorious

Elizabeth Fielder, University of Mississippi


Panel 1B – God, Religion, and Meaning-Making

Barnard Observatory, Room 108

Chair: Ben Lowery


“‘Stairwell to Nowhere’:  Apophatic Theology in McCarthy’s Suttree

Jay Beavers, Baylor University


“God’s Grace is Hard to Find: The Misfit as Existential Doorkeeper”

Danielle S. Ely, The College of Saint Rose


“Yoknapatawphan Scripture: Approaching Absalom, Absalom! through Wellhausen’s Documentary Hypothesis”

Justin Ness, Northern Illinois University


11:00-1:00    Lunch on your own


1:00-2:30      Simultaneous Sessions


Panel 2A –Gender, Desire, Control

Barnard Observatory, Room 108

Chair: Alexandra Blair


“The Presence of ‘All Bodies and Nobodies’ in Jean Toomer’s Cane

Jill Goad, Georgia State University


“Disciplining Gender in Carson McCullers’ Short Stories”

Amanda Walsh, Northern Illinois University


“‘Hongry for what you denied it’: Queer Hunger, Feeding, and Eating in Song of Solomon

Carrie Tippen, Texas Christian University


Panel 2B – Creating Culture

Barnard Observatory, Room 109

Chair: Meredith Harper


“‘Thar’s a Sight of Things I Hate to Leave Here’: The Fading Teleology of Material Culture in James Still’s River of Earth

Jason Hardy, University of Tennessee


“Political Discourse and Folk Music of the Confederacy”

Andrew Pearcy, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga


“Cormac McCarthy’s Suttree: A Deflation of the Myth of Societal Escape”

Brandon Haynes, University of Tennessee


2:45-4:15     Simultaneous Sessions


Panel 3A – Trauma

Barnard Observatory, Tupelo Room

Chair: Bill Phillips


“Good Mourning, Deuil bonne: On Grieving, Performance and the Liminal Self”

Daniel Irving, Stony Brook University


“‘Cooked and Et’: Abjection and the Corpse in William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying.”

Bill Phillips, University of Mississippi


Panel 3B – Teaching as a Graduate Student: Approaches and Advice

Barnard Observatory, Room 108

Chair: Ebony McNeal


Roundtable Panelists from the University of Mississippi:

Elizabeth Fielder

Ebony McNeal

Dave Miller

LaToya Jefferson

Anne Babson

Meredith Harper

Chris O’Brien


Panel 3C – New Places, Old Spaces: Examining Themes of Place as Space and Time in the Fiction of Eudora Welty

Barnard Observatory, Room 109

Chair: Ramona Wanlass


“‘A Seething Lush Hell’: The Gendered Landscape in Delta Wedding

Susie Penman, University of Mississippi


“Unpacking History and Uncovering Homodesire: How Welty’s Use of Historical Characters Shrouds the Appearance of Male Homosexuality in ‘The Wide Net’”

Ramona Wanlass, University of Mississippi


“No Time for You My Love: Eudora Welty and the Dissonance of Modern Temporality”

Josh Lundy, University of Mississippi


4:30-5:30      Plenary Lecture

Barnard Observatory—Tupelo Room

Introduction: Dr. Annette Trefzer, University of Mississippi


“Eudora Welty and William Maxwell:  Writers’ Notes on Writing Fiction”

Dr. Suzanne Marrs, Millsaps College


6:30-8:30      Creative Panel/Wine & Cheese Reception

Off-Square Books on the Oxford Square

Readings from the prose of:

Andy Johnson, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL

Nicole Mayeux, University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA

J.D. Hibbits, McNeese State, Lake Charles, LA

Allie Mariano, McNeese State, Lake Chalres, LA


Saturday 14 July 2012


8:30-10:30    Awards Breakfast at Big Bad Breakfast

Featuring a Creative Panel With Poetry Readings by:

Caroline Young, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

April Christiansen, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR

Rhonda Lott, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Nate Friedman, McNeese State University, Lake Charles, LA


11:00-12:30             Simultaneous Sessions


Panel 4A – Film

Barnard Observatory, Tupelo Room

Chair: Sheena Boran


“Reinventing Horrors in 20th Century Film”

J.H. Otterstrom, Northeastern State University of Oklahoma


“Whistlin’ Dixie: The Hunger Games Phenomenon as a Simplification of Southern Ethics”

Matt Spencer, Eastern Kentucky University


Deliverance and Narrating the Place of Southern Appalachia”

Charles Knight, University of Nottingham


Panel 4B – Performing Culture/Community in Faulkner

Barnard Observatory, Room 108

Chair: Dave Miller


“A ‘rapport with the fluid cradle of events (time)’: The Role of Rosa Coldfield and ‘Women’s Time’ in Absalom, Absalom!

Melanie Masterton, University of California Riverside


“‘What I’m interested in is the husband he seems to have had’: Queering the Community in Light in August

Jason Zerbe, University of Mississippi


“‘The lowest thing’?: Faulkner and the New Southern Jew”

Matthew Dischinger, Louisiana State University


Panel 4C – Uncertain Narration

Barnard Observatory, Room 109

Chair: Amy K. King


“Unreliable Narration and Self-Conscious Fiction: Lee Smith’s Oral History in a New Light”

Caleb Dempsey-Richardson, Eastern Kentucky University


“Between the Gaps: Miscegenation within the Sites of Silences of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury

Ren Denton, University of Memphis


“The Revised Belle of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Tarleton Trilogy: Identity in Revision”

Heather Fox, Virginia Commonwealth University


William Faulkner Remembrance Day Program Planned for July 6, 2012

“A William Faulkner Remembrance”

July 6, 2012

Friday, July 6, 2012 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of William Faulkner, perhaps the most distinguished figure in the rich cultural heritage of the Lafayette-Oxford-University (LOU) community.  To commemorate this milestone, promote reading and literacy in the community, and celebrate the role of the arts in our collective life, “A William Faulkner Remembrance” will bring together the LOU community and interested visitors to our area to remember and honor Faulkner’s legacy, a half-century after his passing.  Thanks to the assistance and generous sponsorship of the University of Mississippi departments of English and Southern Studies, the Center for Writing and Rhetoric, the Mississippi Humanities Council, the Lafayette-Oxford Foundation for Tomorrow, the Oxford Convention and Visitors Bureau, Vintage Books, the First National Bank of Oxford, the Lyric Theater, and the City of Oxford, all Remembrance events will be free and open to the general public.

The day’s itinerary will link the sites of town, county, and campus, along with other significant spaces from Faulkner’s personal history.  The program of events will get underway  with a marathon reading of Faulkner’s final novel, The Reivers, on the grounds of Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak.  Like the marathon readings of Absalom, Absalom! in 1997 (for the 100th anniversary celebration of Faulkner’s birth) and Go Down, Moses in 2005 (for the Mississippi Reads initiative), the reading will draw on volunteer participants who will each read aloud a short section of the novel.  Beginning at 6:30 a.m., it will unfold over several hours.  Refreshments will be served on the grounds of Rowan Oak, and tents and fans will be set up to help keep everyone comfortable in the July heat.

Following the marathon reading, we will adjourn to the second-floor courtroom of the Lafayette County Courthouse, a building immortalized in Faulkner’s fiction, for a pair of keynote addresses at 4:15 p.m.  Faulkner scholar Philip Weinstein will address the significance of the writer’s life and career.  Weinstein, the Alexander Griswold Cummins Professor of English at Swarthmore College, is the author of Faulkner’s “Subject”:  A Cosmos No One Owns, “What Else But Love”:  The Ordeal of Race in Faulkner and Morrison, Unknowing:  The Work of Modernist Fiction, and the 2010 biographical study, Becoming Faulkner:  The Art and Life of William Faulkner, winner of the 2011 C. Hugh Holman award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature (and reviewed in these pages in the Summer 2011 issue).  Following Weinstein’s address, keynote writer Randall Kenan will comment on Faulkner’s legacy from the literary artist’s point of view.  Kenan, Associate Professor of English at the University of North Carolina and a former John and Renee Grisham Writer-in-Residence at the University of Mississippi, is the author of a novel, A Visitation of Spirits, the story collection, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, a biography of James Baldwin for young readers, and two works of creative nonfiction, Walking on Water:  Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century, and The Fire This Time.  In his fiction he has created a rural North Carolina community he calls Tims Creek, a domain that bears suggestive affinities with Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.

Remembrancers will reconvene at 8:00 p.m. for a “late show” screening of the 1969 film adaptation of The Reivers (directed by Mark Rydell and starring Steve McQueen, Sharon Farrell, Rupert Crosse, and Will Geer) at the Lyric Theater on the Oxford Square.  The Lyric, of course, has its own special place in Faulkner history, as the venue for the local premier of Today We Live (the first film to be adapted from a Faulkner work) in 1933 and the international premier of Intruder in the Dust in 1949.

In all of these ways the organizers and sponsors seek to create an event that will bring together Faulkner lovers, readers young and old, families, educators and students, and other citizens from the town, county, university, state, and beyond, to recognize and celebrate Faulkner’s extraordinary life and work, his ties to the LOU community, and his formative contributions to the cultural life of the area.  Though the Remembrance is a separately conceived, organized, and funded event from this year’s Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference (July 7-11), which will also feature fiftieth-anniverary reflections and observances, the two programs have been scheduled back to back in anticipation that each event will help create interest in the other, to the benefit of both programs and the local community.  As such, registrants for Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha are invited to come to Oxford a day early and join in the Remembrance festivities on July 6.

To inquire about or volunteer for the marathon reading, send an email message to  Volunteers should provide their names and contact information and may, if they wish, indicate a specific time window or part of the day (early morning, mid-morning, midday, afternoon) during which they are available to read.  The schedule of readers will be finalized later in the spring.  Inquiries concerning other Remembrance events should be directed to Jay Watson, Organizer, at



Richard Ford signs CANADA June 11, 5 pm at Off Square Books in Oxford, MS

Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Ford, signs his latest novel, Canada at Off Square Books.