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From the archives:

The 1996 Faulkner and
Yoknapatawpha Conference

"Faulkner and the Natural World"
July 28-August 2, 1996

The 1996 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference will examine the topic Faulkner and the Natural World through six days of lectures and discussions by literary scholars and critics. Among other program events will be dramatic readings from Faulkner’s works, discussions by his friends and family, a slide presentation by J. M. Faulkner, sessions on Teaching Faulkner conducted by James B. Carothers (University of Kansas), Robert W. Hamblin (Southeast Missouri State University), Arlie Herron (University of Tennessee at Chattanooga), and Charles A. Peek (University of Nebraska at Kearney). Exhibitions and films relating to the author's life and work will be available for viewing during the week. Also, the University Press of Mississippi will exhibit Faulkner books published by university presses throughout the United States.

The conference will begin on Sunday, July 28, with a reception at the University Museums for the opening of the exhibition Sacred Space, a collection of Tom Rankin's photographs of the Mississippi Delta. Dramatic readings from Faulkner’s work will follow in the Education Auditorium. Later in the afternoon, at Faulkner’s home, Rowan Oak, winners of the seventh Faux Faulkner Contest will be announced. The contest, coordinated by the author's niece, Dean Faulkner Wells, is sponsored by Jack Daniels Distillery, Yoknapatawpha Press and its Faulkner Newsletter, and the University of Mississippi. Other events on Sunday will include a buffet supper served at the home of Dr. and Mrs. M. B. Howorth Jr. and the opening lecture of the conference. Tours of North Mississippi are scheduled for Tuesday, and a picnic will be served at Faulkner’s home on Wednesday. On Thursday evening there will be a reading by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist William Kennedy. The conference will end with a reception on Friday evening.

The conference is sponsored by the University of Mississippi Department of English and the Center for the Study of Southern Culture (CSSC) and is coordinated by the Office for Continuing Education. Using a credit card you can register online for the conference at the CSSC's Faulkner conference web page.


Papers and presentations during the conference include the following:
  • "Faulkner’s Fiction and the Claims of the Natural World," by Lawrence Buell
  • "The Representation of Blood in Light in August," by Jay Watson
  • "Getting Around the Body: The Matter of Race and Gender in Faulkner’s Light in August," by Mary Joanne Dondlinger
  • "The Body of the Land and the Africans in Absalom, Absalom!," by Louise Westling
  • "Faulkner and the Unnatural," by Myra Jehlen
  • "Eula, Linda, and the Death of Nature in the Snopes Trilogy," by Diane Roberts
  • "Oversexing the Natural World: Mosquitoes and The Wild Palms," by Thomas L. McHaney
  • "Faulkner: The 'Local,' the Regional, the Internation" (tentative), by A. Walton Litz
  • "Unsurprised Flesh: Color, Race, and Identity in Faulkner’s Fiction," by Theresa M. Towner
  • "Taking the Place of Nature: 'The Bear' and the Incarnation of America," by David Evans
  • "Return of the Big Woods: Hunting and Habitat in Yoknapatawpha," by Wiley Charles Prewitt, Jr.


Lawrence Buell is professor of English at Harvard University and has recently completed a four-year term as Dean for Undergraduate Education. He is the author of Literary Transcendentalism: Style and Vision in the American Renaissance and The Environmental Imagination: Thoreau, Nature Writing, and the Formation of American Culture. He has been awarded fellowships and grants from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Mary Jo Dondlinger recently completed her M.A. at Arizona State University and is the author of forthcoming essays on Emily Dickinson and William Faulkner.

David Evans recently completed his Ph.D. at Rutgers University, with a dissertation entitled "Communities of Confidence: William Faulkner, William James, and the American Pragmatic Tradition."

Myra Jehlen is the Board of Governors Professor at Rutgers University. She is the author of Class and Character in Faulkner’s South, American Incarnation: The Individual, the Nation and the Continent, The Literature of Colonization: 1590-1800 in the Cambridge Literary History of the United States, and a forthcoming volume, The Literature of Colonization in English. She has received fellowships and grants from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Donald M. Kartiganer is the William Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies at the University of Mississippi and director of the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference. He is the author of The Fragile Thread: The Meaning of Form in Faulkner’s Novels and co-editor (with Malcolm Griffith) of Theories of American Literature and (with Ann Abadie) of four volumes of proceedings of the Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference.

William Kennedy is the author of the critically acclaimed "Albany Cycle" of novels, including Legs, Billy Phelan's Greatest Game, Ironweed (winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Award), Quinn's Book, Very Old Bones, and the recently released The Flaming Corsage. A playwright and screenwriter, he wrote the motion picture adaptation of Ironweed. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and a Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters in France, and is the founder and director of the New York State Writers Institute.

A. Walton Litz is Holmes Professor of Literature at Princeton University. He has written or edited more than twenty volumes, including The Art of James Joyce, Jane Austen: A Study of Her Artistic Development, Introspective Voyager: The Poetic Development of Wallace Stevens, Modern Literary Criticism, 1900-1970, The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, and the Prentice-Hall Anthology of American Literature. He has received grants and awards from the American Council of Learned Societies, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society.

Thomas L. McHaney is Kenneth M. England Proessor Southern Literature at Georgia State University. He is the author of William Faulkner’s 'The Wild Palms': A Study and numerous essays on Faulkner and other Southern writers, and is co-editor of the 44-volume edition of facsimiles of Faulkner’s literary manuscripts. He has also published several short stories and has had four plays produced by Atlanta theater companies.

Wiley C. Prewitt, Jr. received an M.A. in history from the University of Mississippi in 1991. He is an environmental historian, who recently completed an exhibition, "For the Sake of Future Generations," on the history of organized wildlife conservation in Missippi at the Museum of Natural Science in Jackson, Mississippi.

Diane Roberts is associate professor of English at the University of Alabama. She is the author of Faulkner and Southern Womanhood and The Myth of Aunt Jemima: Representations of Race and Region. She has been a consultant for BBC Radio and a frequent commentator for National Public Radio's All Things Considered and Weekend Edition.

Theresa M. Towner is a lecturer in English at the University of Texas in Dallas. She is the author of essays on Faulkner, Toni Morrison, and T.S. Eliot, and is the secretary-treasurer of the Faulkner Society.

Jay Watson is associate professor of English at the University of Mississippi. He is the author of Forensic Fictions: The Lawyer Figure in Faulkner and several essays in Southern literature, psychoanalytic theory, and law in the humanities. He is co-editor of Journal x: A Journal in Culture and Criticism, whose inaugural issue will appear in Autumn 1996.

Louise Westling is professor and department head of English at the University of Oregon. She is the author of The Evolution of Michael Drayton's "Idea," Eudora Welty, Sacred Groves and Ravaged Gardens: The Fiction of Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, and Flannery O'Connor, and The Green Breast of the New World: Landscape, Gender, and American Fiction (forthcoming). She has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Tubingen and Stuttgart, and a Fulbright lecturer at the University of Heidelberg.


For more information about past Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conferences and the published proceedings, check out the general Faulkner conference page at this site.

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