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The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference to Be Held in July

Photographs by Ed Meek
Photograph by Ed Meek

The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference has been a part of Oxford’s history since 1974. Annually, professors, speakers, authors and students alike come together for the Faulkner and Yoknapatawhpa conference, during which they honor, study and discuss William Faulkner and his works.

The 2016 conference “Faulkner and the Native South” will consist of discussions pertaining to the influence of Native Americans on Faulkner’s works.

Professor Jay Watson, the Howry Professor of Faulkner Studies at the University of Mississippi and an author of a myriad of southern and Faulkner based literature, will be directing the conference for his sixth year.

Oxford, MS: William Faulkner's Typewriter“The idea of the conference is to bring people together, scholars and interested readers, to discuss Faulkner’s works, and think about Faulkner in the place where he created most of those works,” Watson said. “When the conference began, the feeling was that people would better understand his work if they studied it in the place where it was created.”

According to Watson, Faulkner based his fictional county of Yoknapatawpha largely on Lafayette County, and when it started in 1974, the response has been very enthusiastic. The conference has brought in anywhere from 200 to 300 people annually, according to Watson.

This year, the Chickasaw Native American histories play a large role in the conference. Among the keynote speakers is Robbie Ethridge, professor of Anthropology at the University of Mississippi.

Ethridge has devoted a large portion of her studies and teachings to the history of the Native American culture, and this will be Ethridge’s first year speaking at the conference.

William Faulkner, picture by Jack Cofield
William Faulkner, picture by Jack Cofield

“When they decided to do this year’s conference on Faulkner and the Native American south, obviously my ears perked up,” Ethridge said. “I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m really excited they decided to focus on the use of Native Americans in Faulkner’s work.”

The Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference will be taking place from July 17 through 21, and will be held in various locations around the University of Mississippi and Oxford.


More information can be found at http://www.outreach.olemiss.edu/events/faulkner/.

Taylor Lust is an intern at hottytoddy.com, and is a student at the Meek School of Journalism and New Media. Taylor can be reached attlust893@gmail.com. 

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