Eudora Welty: One Writer's Beginnings Reconsidered

deadline for submissions: 
December 1, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
American Literature Association Meeting
contact email: 

One Writer’s Beginnings Reconsidered

2019 marks the 35th anniversary of Eudora Welty’s memoir One Writer’s Beginnings (Harvard UP, 1984). Loved and admired by a diverse readership, this book centers on the circumstances that sparked Welty's passion to become a writer. Originating from her presentations as inaugural speaker in Harvard’s Massey Lectures in American Studies (then the "Lectures in the History of American Civilization” ), the book chapters are based on her three lectures --“Listening,” “Learning to See,” and “Finding a Voice” --and they focus on Welty’s childhood and family life in Jackson, Mississippi. 

We hope to reopen the discussion of this text by addressing such questions as the intersections between memoir and fiction, self-fashioning and the genre of autobiography, choices of inclusion and exclusion, representations of childhood, the topics of memory, nostalgia, and grief. Topics might also include family relationships, the Welty library and early reading, Jackson then and now, travel, mobility, and adventure, or issues of gender, power, and voice. 

Please send titled proposals  (~300 words) for this session to Annette Trefzer at by Dec 1. Immediate expressions of interest are very much welcome.