The Fifth Faulkner Studies in the UK Colloquium: The Dark Cosmos of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy

deadline for submissions: 
July 22, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
The Faulkner Studies in the UK Research Network

The Fifth Faulkner Studies in the UK Colloquium:

The Dark Cosmos of William Faulkner and Cormac McCarthy


September 25th and 26th, online via Zoom 


With keynote addresses by: 

Dr Randall Wilhelm (editor of The Ron Rash Reader [University of South Carolina Press, 2014])


Dr Peter Lurie (author of Vision's Immanence: Faulkner, Film, and the Popular Imagination [Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004])


William Faulkner’s influence upon modern and contemporary literature is incalculable. Echoes of his Yoknapatawpha County chronicles can be found in the works of Flannery O’Connor, Toni Morrison, Gabriel García Márquez, Jesmyn Ward, and Cormac McCarthy, to name only a few. In celebration of the 124th anniversary of his birth, this conference explores Faulkner’s work in conjunction with McCarthy, a writer who, much like Faulkner, offers readers a jet-black vision of humanity. Faulkner’s impact upon McCarthy’s work has long been recognised. In his review of McCarthy’s debut novel, The Orchard Keeper (1965), Orville Prescott disparagingly described McCarthy as merely ‘another disciple’ of Faulkner’s. In the years since Prescott’s review, however, the brilliance of McCarthy’s work, along with the fruitful effect of his indebtedness to Faulkner, has rightly been acknowledged. The Houston Chronicle aptly describes McCarthy as ‘nothing less than our greatest living writer’, while literary critic Jay Watson writes that the ‘connection’ between Faulkner and McCarthy has resulted in ‘two of the most distinguished bodies of work in American fiction.’ This conference builds upon these insights, highlighting the interplay between Faulkner and McCarthy and their shared representations of sexuality, racial identity, violence, and much more. 

We invite 15-to-20-minute papers on any topic related to the life and work of William Faulkner and/or Cormac McCarthy, including but not limited to:

  • Murder, lynching, and (serial) violence
  • Outlaws, criminality, and incarceration 
  • Incest, necrophilia, and sexual deviancy 
  • Death, suicide, and necropolitics 
  • Race, racism, and indigenous cultures
  • Mental illness and the asylum
  • Religion, spirituality, and the afterlife 
  • Spatial and cultural geographies including visions of the “West”, Appalachia, and Mexico
  • Faulkner and McCarthy as dramatists and/or Hollywood screenwriters 
  • Faulkner, McCarthy, and the Coen Brothers (Blood Simple.Raising ArizonaBarton FinkFargoNo Country for Old Men, and so on)
  • Faulkner, McCarthy, and the history of Random House
  • New readings of Soldiers’ PayMosquitoesFlags in the DustThe Orchard KeeperOuter Dark, and Child of God
  • Faulkner, McCarthy, and the rise of literary theory (Foucault, Lacan, Derrida, and so on)

The Faulkner Studies in the UK Research Network is dedicated to soliciting papers from scholars who reflect the diversity of Faulkner Studies in terms of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, institutional affiliation, and locality. We aim to include a mix of participants from across the career spectrum (from under- and post-graduate students to full professors). All are welcome to apply.

Please submit a c. 250 word proposal to the event organiser, Dr Ahmed Honeini, at by Friday July 22nd, 2021. Successful applicants will be informed of their acceptance by Friday July 29th, 2021. 

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