Friday, June 9, 2023

Faulkner Conference Set for July 21-25

In honor of this year’s Faulkner Conference, we go back to the very first held in 1974. At the time, two young cameramen captured rare footage of Dr. Jim Webb, former chairman of the Department of English at Ole Miss, and Dr. Joseph Blotner, who later became a Faulkner biographer.

As a piece of world history from our very own Oxford, Miss., Claude Locke (seen on camera) and Mike Ford (behind the camera) recorded the first Faulkner Conference as a part of The University’s Public Relations department. Seen around the world, this 16mm film was sent to every TV station they could find, helping make the Faulkner Conference what it is today.

Now, Ford, a film producer for networks National Geographic and The History Channel, and Locke, a producer of television commercials, are collaborating again, only this time with the United States Library of Congress.

In an effort to record a 1974 to present Oxford-North Mississippi television series, Ford and his team revisited the area this spring to record more than 64 hours of film footage and audio recordings.’s Associate Editor, Hillary Houston was lucky enough to work with documentary team for a couple of weeks. The picture attached is of Ford, student intern Norman French and Houston.

Michael Ford, student intern Norman French and Houston
Michael Ford, student intern Norman French and Houston

For more information about the 2013 Faulkner Conference July 21-25 reference’s article at or the University of Mississippi’s Outreach Program host the events at

View the first Faulkner Conference in 1974:


Story by Hillary Houston, Associate Editor