Faulkner conference focuses on late author’s modernism

July 15, 2022 GMT

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Scholars of the late William Faulkner will gather in person and online to discuss the work of Nobel Prize-winning author.

The University of Mississippi’s 48th annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference takes place Sunday through Thursday. A university news release said the theme of the conference is “Faulkner’s Modernisms.”

All keynote presentations, panels, film screenings and teaching sessions will have an online option for international scholars who are unable to travel to the United States.

“Few literary scholars would dispute the fact that William Faulkner deserves a place in the front ranks of modernist writers,” Jay Watson, Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies and conference coordinator, said in the news release. “Yet there is far less consensus on what his modernism — or what literary modernism in general — actually entails or how to characterize its defining elements.

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“This year’s conference will take up these questions with fresh eyes and an open mind, in the spirit of what literary critics have come to call the ‘new modernist studies’ scholarship.”

Watson said he hopes to deepen understanding of Faulkner’s work by placing it in the context of modernism.

“We seek new insights into the diverse ways in which Faulkner encountered, and responded to, the modernity of his 20th century Mississippi world,” he said.