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Department of English

University of Mississippi

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