Faulkner and History (Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, July 20-24, 2014, University of Mississippi)

full name / name of organization: 
Jay Watson, Director, Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha
contact email: 

The 41st annual Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha conference will be devoted to an interdisciplinary conversation between literary scholars and historians exploring the rich relationship between history and the life and art of William Faulkner. How do specific histories—of Mississippi, of the U.S. South, of the nation, of the Americas, of the Atlantic or Pacific regions, of modernity, of technology, of private or everyday life, of the environment, of ideas and intellectual work, of the senses or affects, of underrepresented populations, groups, or societies, of colonialism and empire, of global movements, migrations, and exchanges, and so on—illuminate, challenge, complicate, or otherwise situate Faulkner's imaginative writings and public performances? What in turn can Faulkner's life and work contribute to a deeper understanding of such historical moments, problems, or domains? How should we understand and assess the historiographic imagination we so frequently encounter in Faulkner and his characters, the historical enterprise as practiced by such characters, the historical archives they consult or construct in pursuit of this enterprise, and the historical remains they encounter or leave behind? What can we learn from Faulkner's experiences as a historical figure in his own right—his own participation in specific historical moments, crises, events—or from his impact on historians? What can Faulkner teach us about the links between memory, trauma, and the practices of material history, and what can that nexus of problems teach us about his work? How should we assess Faulkner's legacy as an artistic chronicler of the Civil War and World War One, historical crises (themselves observing milestone anniversaries in 2014) that were imaginatively formative for him? What might contemporary theoretical reconceptualizations of temporality and the past contribute to the ongoing reconceptualization of Faulkner's work, or vice versa? How and where do Faulkner and/or Faulkner scholarship shed light on the challenges and rewards of using archival materials to understand history or reframe key historical questions, especially as historical and literary archives are themselves undergoing significant transformation in the digital era? How and where else might historians and literary critics meet over Faulkner to interrogate the questions that guide and shape their disciplines today?

We especially encourage full panel proposals for 75-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by two-page abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted two-page abstracts for 20-minute panel papers and individually submitted manuscripts for 40-minute plenary papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi. Plenary papers, which should be prepared using the 16th edition of the University of Chicago Manual of Style as a guide, consist of approximately 5,000-6,000 words and will appear in the published volume.

Session proposals and panel paper abstracts must be submitted by January 31, 2014, preferably through e-mail attachment. For plenary papers, three print copies of the manuscript must be submitted by January 31, 2014. Authors whose plenary papers are selected for presentation at the conference will receive a conference registration waiver. All manuscripts, proposals, abstracts, and inquiries should be addressed to Jay Watson, Department of English, The University of Mississippi, P.O. Box 1848, University, MS 38677-1848. E-mail: jwatson@olemiss.edu. Decisions for all submissions will be made by March 15, 2014.