Faulkner and Jesmyn Ward

deadline for submissions: 
June 3, 2022
full name / name of organization: 
Center for Faulkner Studies/Southeast Missouri State Univ
contact email: 

Call for Papers
Faulkner and Ward
A Conference Sponsored by the Center for Faulkner Studies
Southeast Missouri State University
Cape Girardeau, Missouri
October 20-22, 2022

This “Faulkner and Ward” conference invites proposals for 15-20 minute papers on any topic related to William Faulkner and/or Jesmyn Ward.  All critical approaches, including pedagogical, are welcomed.  We are particularly interested in inter-textual approaches that treat both authors. Proposals for organized panels are also encouraged.

Nobel Prize winner William Faulkner and two-time National Book Award winner Jesmyn Ward both come from small Mississippi towns, gaining international acclaim for their use of poor, rural Southern spaces and people to portray “the human heart in conflict with itself.” This conference seeks to put the authors’ different perspectives, techniques, and backgrounds into conversation with one another. Possible topics could include: race/racism, gender, class, sexuality, psychology, biography, history, violence, economics, poverty, the Global South, religion, urban/rural divides, regional/national divides, nature, environmental justice, trauma, family, myth, incarceration, language, narrative technique, and genre.

In addition to the paper sessions, the conference will include a keynote address by Dr. Aliyyah Abdur-Rahman (Associate Professor of American Studies and English at Brown University), an opening banquet, a tour of the University’s renowned L. D. Brodsky Collection of William Faulkner Materials, and a Faulkner and Ward-themed art exhibition and reception.

Expanded versions of papers will be considered for possible publication in a collection of essays to be published by Southeast Missouri State University Press as part of their Faulkner Conference Series.

E-mail a 200-300-word abstract by June 3, 2022 (extended deadline), to: cfs@semo.edu  Inquiries about the conference (or the juried art show) can be directed to Christopher Rieger at crieger@semo.edu or (573) 651-2620. Limited participation/presentation via Zoom may be available.

Faulkner and Ward Undergraduate Writing Contest

Undergraduate students from any institution are encouraged to submit papers for this conference.  These papers (approx. 7-10 pages) may be on William Faulkner, Jesmyn Ward, or both.  The authors of the top two undergraduate submissions will receive cash prizes respectively of $300 and $200; a waiver of the conference registration and banquet fees; and an invitation to present the winning entries at the conference (winners must participate in the conference to qualify for the cash award). Contest submissions may be submitted by e-mail attachment to cfs@semo.edu and must be received by May 15, 2022.  Undergraduate submissions not awarded cash prizes will be considered for inclusion among the presentations at the conference.  

NOTE: To be eligible for this contest, a student must be enrolled as an undergraduate during all or part of the 2022 calendar year.