Mary Hood and the Southern Canon

full name / name of organization: 
Gainesville State College / Oakwood
contact email: 

Call for Papers:

Mary Hood and the Southern Canon: A Conference

Gainesville State College*
Oakwood, Georgia
April 27th, 2013

This conference is dedicated to the fiction of Mary Hood. While papers on all topics are welcome, we are interested in the ways that Hood's fiction extends and redefines the concerns of Southern literature. Suggested topics:

• Hood and Her Contemporaries: Does Hood's writing (compared or contrasted with her contemporaries) recast ongoing issues in Southern literature?
• Hood and the Postmodern Condition: How does the tension between a narrative continuum and consumer culture inform Hood's work?
• Hood and Suburbia: Are planned communities an affront to a culture that Hood privileges?
• Hood and Making: Many of Hood's characters are involved in occupations or pastimes eroded by consumerism. How is creating, in Hood's work, a "momentary stay against confusion." More specifically, against what confusion do Hood's characters work?
• Hood, the Young, and the Stupid: It's difficult to find a younger person in Hood's work who is not complicit in the general damnation seeping from the ground. Does her indictment of the young imply a pessimism for the future of Southern letters and culture?
• Continuations and Departures: Hood's fiction makes full use of Appalachian folkways, but emphasizes the increasing strangeness of those customs, beliefs, and rituals. Beyond the strictly archival function, what does Hood's examination of Southern folkways contribute to her work?
• Adapting Hood's fiction for the screen: Paul Newman bought an option to make Familiar Heat into a movie. What are the challenges and assets of screen adaptations of Hood's work?
• Hood, Atlanta, and the Suburbs: Much of Hood's fiction takes place in communities that are being subsumed into a greater metropolitan area. Small businesses are being replaced by large chains, and the idea of the community is diminishing. Certainly, much of Hood's fiction decries this absorption, but does she offer an alternative to overwhelming urbanity.
• Hood and the Vatic: "Where there is no vision, the people perish" (Proverbs 29:18). Many of Hood's characters have no vision and, arguably, no capacity for vision. To what extent is their damnation correlative with their sightlessness? What vision seems central to Hood's notion of the redemptive? How does this reflect or modify the canon?

Proposals for single papers are welcomed. Panels and roundtable discussions are encouraged. Proposals should include the title of the presentation or panel, vita for each participant, and email addresses for all participants. The proposal should be sent as a double-spaced attachment in Rich Text Format (.rtf). Audiovisual equipment will be available for the symposium assuming adequate notification.

This is a one-day conference and will be divided between topic-specific sessions and a general session that will feature key note speaker Stephen Corey, Editor of The Georgia Review and a special appearance and reading by Mary Hood.

Please email all proposals to Samuel Prestridge at by December 15th.

Creative work appropriate to the conference's focus may be submitted. All submissions should include a cover letter and should be emailed no later than December 15, 2012. Send submissions to Gloria Bennett ( via email as an attachment in MS Word format. Prizes will be awarded to winners in fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. For competition details, contact Gloria Bennett.

* Gainesville State College, soon to be the University of North Georgia. Based on action by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia and pending approval by the Southern Association of College and Schools Commission on Colleges, Gainesville State College will consolidate with North Georgia College & State University in January 2013 to become the University of North Georgia. For details and updates, please visit