Faulkner's Families: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 2019

deadline for submissions: 
January 31, 2019
full name / name of organization: 
University of Mississippi
contact email: 

Faulkner & Yoknapatawpha 2019

“Faulkner’s Families”

July 21-25, 2019

Announcement and Call For Papers


It seems almost outrageous to suggest that one of the twentieth-century’s most important literary cartographers of the private recesses of consciousness is also among its great novelists of family, but William Faulkner fits the bill on both counts.  Family played an outsized role in both his life and his writings, often in deeply problematic ways.  A key organizational and scalar unit of his creative work, family surfaces across his oeuvre in a dazzling range of distorted, distended, defamiliarized, demystified, and transgressive forms, while on other occasions it is a crucible for crushing forces of conformity, convention, tradition.  The forty-sixth annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha conference will examine Faulkner’s many families—actual and imagined—as especially revealing windows onto his work and his world.  Topics could include, but are by no means limited to:

--original biographical scholarship on the Faulkner, Falkner, Butler, Oldham, Stone, Thompson, Summers, or other families that figure significantly in William Faulkner’s life and work

--the family as a crucible for heteronormative power relations and identity formations; or as a site for resistant performances of gender and sexuality

--queer(ed) family arrangements, kinship networks, lines of affiliation or intersectionality, alternate “bloodlines”

--new insights into or models for Faulkner’s genealogical imagination

--the visual or material culture of family in Faulkner

--the poetics and politics of family space(s); family and/in its built environments

--the sociology of family structures and relations as they vary by race, class, nationality, religion, etc.

--new approaches to the interracial or multiracial family in Faulkner’s writings and life

--the family under slavery, postslavery, colonialism, or empire in Faulkner’s work

--anthropological approaches to family:  kinship patterns, folkways, foodways, deathways, other  domestic customs, rituals, prohibitions

--family-systems or other psychologically informed approaches to family difficulties or difficult families in Faulkner; intergenerational transmission of trauma, affect, memory

--experiences or representations of illness, aging, disability within the family ecology

--representations of childhood in Faulkner’s writings or the social construction of childhood in his life and world:  childhood as psychologically formative; as sexualized; childhood phenomenology, emotion, language use; orphaned children

--family and the workings of affect:  its genesis, circulation, transmission, intensity, management

--the family as an economic formation:  unit of production, division of labor, site of  consumption; family and/in/as the transmission of property

--the family and the state; family as site and vehicle of modern biopower; the politicization of reproduction by eugenics, blood quanta, and other social discourses

--other examples of the impact of modernization on family arrangements, identities, affairs

--war and the family

--approaches to Faulkner through family law

--interspecies families; posthuman kinship and affiliation

--comparative readings of family in Faulkner and other writers, artists, or intellectuals; Faulkner in the literary history of family

            The program committee especially encourages full panel proposals for 75-minute conference sessions. Such proposals should include a one-page overview of the session topic or theme, followed by 400-500-word abstracts for each of the panel papers to be included. We also welcome individually submitted 400-500-word abstracts for 15-20-minute panel papers. Panel papers consist of approximately 2,500 words and will be considered by the conference program committee for possible expansion and inclusion in the conference volume published by the University Press of Mississippi.

            Session proposals and panel paper abstracts must be submitted by January 31, 2019, preferably through e-mail attachment. All manuscripts, proposals, abstracts, and inquiries should be addressed to Jay Watson, Department of English, 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, 2019.