Faulkner, Love, and Sex

deadline for submissions: 
March 25, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
The Faulkner Studies in the UK Research Network

The Sixth Faulkner Studies in the UK Colloquium

Faulkner, Love, and Sex


May 28th and 29th, 2022, online via Zoom 

With keynote addresses by:

Professor Jaime Harker (author of The Lesbian South: Southern Feminists, the Women in Print Movement, and the Queer Literary Canon [University of North Carolina Press, 2018] and co-editor of Faulkner and Print Culture [University Press of Mississippi, 2019]) and

Dr Joanna Davis-McElligatt (co-editor of Narrating History, Home, and Diaspora: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat [University Press of Mississippi, forthcoming 2022]) 

Special guest: 

Astrid Maes (doctoral candidate, University of Picardy-Jules Verne)


The parallel issues of love and sex underpin so much of William Faulkner’s writing. His novels, short stories, and early poetry frequently explore the ways in which love and sex are expressed in countless forms, from Margaret Powers’s devotion to the mortally wounded Donald Mahon in Soldiers’ Pay (1925), through to Boon Hoggenbeck’s comic obsession with Everbe Corintha in The Reivers (1962). Indeed, throughout the fruitful history of Faulkner scholarship, ground-breaking studies by critics such as Diane Roberts, Judith L. Sensibar, Gary Richards, Jaime Harker, Kristin Fujie, Phillip Gordon, and more, have contributed to our understanding of how Faulkner’s works often challenge well-entrenched societal notions of heteronormativity, along with raising important questions about traditional gender relations and binaries. 

This conference invites 15-minute papers on any topic related to love and sex in the life and work of William Faulkner, including but not limited to:

-       Biographical accounts of the significance of love and sex in Faulkner's life

-       LGBTQ+ representations of love, sex, and gender in Faulkner's life and work 

-       Intersections between love and sex with language, words, speech, voice

-       Familial, filial, and sibling love

-       Incest, necrophilia, and sexual deviancy

-       “Star-crossed lovers”

-       Grief, bereavement, the afterlife, and spirituality 

-       New readings of Soldiers’ Pay, Mosquitoes, If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem, and The Reivers

-       Faulkner and the history of sexuality: Sigmund Freud, Havelock Ellis, Alfred Kinsey, Michel Foucault, Hélène Cixous, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Judith Butler, bell hooks, etc.

-       Faulkner and the literary history of love and sex: Sappho, Ovid, the Old Testament, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Lord Rochester, Casanova, Lord Byron, the Brontës, Henry James, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Djuna Barnes, Ernest Hemingway, Vladimir Nabokov, Tennessee Williams, William S. Burroughs, and countless more.

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 postgraduate students to full professors). All are welcome to apply. 

Please submit a c. 250-word proposal to the event organiser, Dr Ahmed Honeini, at ahmed.honeini.2015@live.rhul.ac.uk by Friday March 25th, 2022. Successful applicants will be informed of their acceptance by Friday April 1st, 2022. 

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