"Eudora Welty Reconsidered”

deadline for submissions: 
August 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Eudora Welty Society
contact email: 

“The Continuous Thread of Revelation: Eudora Welty Reconsidered”                                         An International Welty Society Conference, Charleston, S.C. February 21 to 23, 2019

 The Eudora Welty Society is excited to host its conference for the first time in Charleston, a city Welty visited and photographed.  We invite colleagues in Southern Studies, American Studies, and all related fields of study to join us in investigations of this renowned Mississippi writer, her legacy, and her national and international reputation.  This conference, held at the College of Charleston, will examine Eudora Welty’s fiction, photography, letters, memoir, archival documents, essays, reviews, interviews, films, and more. Along with presentations of scholarly work, the conference will also offer a Charleston Writers panel, receptions, literary and historical tours, a dramatic reading of a Welty work performed by Welty scholars, plus free time in the evenings to enjoy Charleston on your own.

 We invite individual papers on any aspect of Welty’s work. We expect that most submissions will be individual, but we will also consider proposals for complete panels.  Topic suggestions follow this cfp. We hope for a wide range of panels and presentations, new scholarship, connections and perspectives.  We especially encourage graduate students to submit paper proposals.  Please send a 250-word abstract and, if you are new to the society, a CV to ewsconf@cofc.edu by Aug 1, 2018.

Topics might include explorations of

 -Memory: how memory is constructed, reconstructed, repressed in W’s work; competing subjectivities in her fiction and the differing memories that result, W’s works alongside other texts that explore similar relationships to past histories, times, places, people

-Attention to history and historical trauma:  Jim Crow, the Civil War, the Holocaust, the Great Depression, the Cold War, the 1960s, the effects of American class, gender, and racial hierarchies

-Did the writer crusade? social justice and political issues

-History, public culture, and performance; representations of performers, performances, audiences, and performativity in the fiction and photography

-Welty out of the South: travel and transnational perspectives, especially Welty & black literatures (African American, diaspora, global South) 

-Welty’s immigrants (German, Irish, Italian, Spanish) and the topic of immigration

-The MDAH: archival work, editing Welty and her archive

-Welty’s relationship to detective, crime, mystery, horror fiction (see related cpf announcing a future volume on this topic)

-Welty’s bookshelf: her reading habits, who she read, how they influenced her work, relationships with contemporary authors, books in her texts, etc.

-Bodies in her work: ugly, beautiful, othered, disabled, alive, dead, and undead

-Welty, gender, and sexuality

-Artistic, historical, and social movements / modernisms: gothic, grotesque, surreal / Welty and genre

-Multi-media interactions: music, theater, radio, art, film, photography, pulp fiction

-Welty characters: especially her supporting, forgotten, elusive, controversial, different, or queer characters. Are there Welty character prototypes?

-Teaching Welty, especially by and for high school teachers

-Eco-Welty: political ecologies and economies / Welty, weather, and water

-Speculative Weltys: gritty Welty, satiric Welty, sassy Welty and other alternatives to “Miss Welty”

-Welty’s personal and professional networks / friendship

-Welty’s literary legacy: her influence on and after-life in later writers

-Issues of print culture: publishing, translating, serializing, editing, anthologizing Welty

-Canonizing, de-canonizing, re-canonizing Welty

-Culinary culture in Welty’s work

… and more.

“The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time, but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order, a timetable not necessarily — perhaps not possibly — chronological. The time as we know it subjectively is often the chronology that stories and novels follow: it is the continuous thread of revelation.”   Eudora Welty, One Writer’s Beginnings