CFP: Flannery O'Connor in the Age of Terrorism (5/1/06; O'Connor Conference, 10/5/06-10/7/06)

full name / name of organization: 
Avis Hewitt
contact email: 

Flannery O'Connor in the Age of Terrorism: An Academic Conference on
Violence and Grace will be held October 5-7, 2006, at Grand Valley State
University's downtown Grand Rapids (MI) campus. We solicit readings of
O'Connor's works that take into account her own strangely benign view of
violence. She sees it as "capable of returning [her] characters to reality
and preparing them to accept their moment of grace." Regarding "A Good Man
Is Hard to Find" she cautioned, "You should be on the lookout for such
things as the action of grace in the Grandmother's soul, and not for the
dead bodies." Lately, however, critics have begun to disallow O'Connor's
long-term, efficacious control of her reception by refusing to ignore the
dead bodies. This conference proposes to examine the intersection of
violence and grace in a world wracked by terrorist attacks, school
shootings, war, and relentless natural catastrophes. We also invite,
however, all fruitful and innovative explorations of O'Connor's texts and
contexts. Besides her canonical works, submitters might consider her
earliest stories, her unfinished late one, her nonfiction-especially the
persona she assumes in The Habit of Being, her reception control,
comparisons of her works to other classics of the day, the influence of Poe
on her work, her inscriptions of embodiment, her prophetic voice and her
preachers, and her critique of American Cold War and pre-Vatican II culture.
Please email proposals to or mail them to Avis Hewitt,
Department of English, Grand Valley State University, 1 Campus Drive,
Allendale, MI 49401, by May 1, 2006.

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Received on Fri Feb 24 2006 - 12:12:52 EST