2019 “The Continuous Thread of Revelation”: Eudora Welty Reconsidered, An International Welty Conference, Charleston, Feb. 21-23

“The Continuous Thread of Revelation” Eudora Welty Reconsidered

An International Welty Conference College of Charleston February 21 to 23, 2019


Thursday, February 21

Registration and sessions on 2/21 will be in the Stern Student Center Ballroom, 71 George Street. “Moon Lake” rehearsal, 10-11, will be in the EHHP Alumni Center, 86 Wentworth Street, corner of Wentworth and St. Philip Streets, entrance on St. Philip Street, through Gangi Courtyard.

11:00 and then ongoing: Registration

12:00 Opening remarks


12:15-1:30 Memory, Time, Confluence, Crossroads Chair: Harriet Pollack, College of Charleston

  • Burning the Breadboard: A New Approach to The Optimist’s Daughter. Peter Schmidt, Swarthmore College
  • Welty’s “Circe” and the Original Time’s Up. Dawn Trouard, University of Central Florida
  • “The Burning”: Memory, Myopia, and Mirrors. Alex Werrell, Yale University
  • Confluence and/or Crossroads. David McWhirter, Texas A&M University


1:45- 3:00 Welty, Her Contemporaries, and Later Artists Chair: Julia Eichelberger, College of Charleston

  • Welty and Tennessee Williams. Gary Richards, University of Mary Washington
  • “The Pulse of Today”: Berenice Abbott and Eudora Welty. Annette Trefzer, University of Mississippi
  • Confluences of Isak Dinesen and Eudora Welty. Pearl McHaney, Georgia State University
  • Literary Friendships: Katherine Anne Porter and Eudora Welty. Mae Miller Claxton, Western Carolina University


3:15-4:00 Welty and Later Artists Chair: Tom McHaney, Georgia State University

  • Mississippi Sounds: Welty and Jesmyn Ward in Harmony. Maria Mackas, Georgia State University
  • Reading Welty’s Photographs in the Dark Room of Race: Spectographia and the ‘Series of Exchange’ in Welty and the Art of Glenn Ligon. Randall Wilhelm, Anderson University


4:10-5:10 Reconsidering Welty’s Humor Chair: Jo Ellyn Clarey, Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council

  • The Beauty Parlor as Comic Cauldron in “Petrified Man” and Steel Magnolias. John Lowe, University of Georgia
  • Leota’s Worry. Sharon Deykin Baris, Bar Ilan University
  • Welty’s Comedy: The Continuous Process of Revelation. Lois M. Welch, University of Montana


5:30-6:30 Charleston Writers Discuss Their Beginnings Moderator: Julia Eichelberger, College of Charleston

  • Josephine Humphreys, Harlan Greene, Michele Moore, Marcus Amaker

6:30-7:30 Charleston Writers Book Signing and Reception


Friday, February 22

Registration and sessions on 2/22 will be in the EHHP Alumni Center, 86 Wentworth Street, corner of Wentworth and St. Philip Streets, entrance on St. Philip Street, through Gangi Courtyard. “Moon Lake” rehearsal, 8:45-9:45, will be in the EHHP Alumni Center.

9:45 Continuing registration (EHHP Alumni Center anteroom)


10:00 Coffee, remarks, and announcements EWS Phoenix and Service Awards Presented


10:15-11:30 Using the Eudora Welty Collection at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History: A Roundtable Chair: Julia Eichelberger, College of Charleston

  • Forrest Galey and Betty Uzman, Mississippi Department of Archives and History
  • Julia Eichelberger, Mary Scott Gilbert, Stella Rounsefell, College of Charleston


11:45 -12:30 Welty and Mystery Chair: Jacob Agner, University of Mississippi

  • Eudora Welty’s Career in Mystery Fiction. Harriet Pollack, College of Charleston
  • Chester Himes, Harper Lee, Eudora Welty: The Civil Rights Movement on a Crime Fiction Continuum. Jacob Agner, University of Mississippi


12:30-2:00 LUNCH BREAK


2:00-3:00 Welty and Mystery (Continued)

  • Murder, Mystery, and Motivation: Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter and Agatha Christie’s The Body in the Library. Sarah Ford, Baylor University
  • Wanted Dead or Alive: Last Year’s Dead Branches. Rebecca Mark, Tulane University
  • “The Writer as Detective Hero”: Eudora Welty and Her Late Fiction. Suzanne Marrs, Millsaps College


3:15-4:30 Reconsidering Welty and Place Chair: Stephen Fuller, Middle Georgia University

  • Eudora Welty and the House of Fiction. Michael Pickard, Millsaps College
  • Welty at the University of Cambridge: Beginnings of “Place in Fiction.” Debra Dobkins, Brenau University
  • The Soundscape of The Golden Apples: The Beat of Time and the Melody. Matthew D. Sutton, East Tennessee State University
  • Precarious Memory: The Mississippi Lunatic Asylum. Keri Watson, University of Central Florida


4:45-5:45 Teaching Welty in the High School Classroom: A Student/Teacher Roundtable

Chair: Rebecca Harrison, University of West Georgia

  • Paisley Sloan Burklow, Morgan Murphy, Susie Chestnut Sewell, Abigail Smith, and Arielle Vaughan, University of West Georgia


5:45 Reception


6:15 A Staged Reading of “Moon Lake” by Welty Scholars Adapted and Directed by Brenda Currin


7:00-7:30 Reception continues


Saturday, February 23

Sessions on 2/23 will be in the EHHP Alumni Center, 86 Wentworth Street, corner of Wentworth and St. Philip Streets, entrance on St. Philip Street, through Gangi Courtyard, and later, Randolph Hall, Cistern Yard.


10:00-11:30 Welty on Gender: Femininity, Subversion, and Escape EHHP Alumni Center Chair: Peggy Prenshaw, Millsaps College

  • Women!! Make Husband in Own Home!: Welty’s Use of Sewing as Subversive Practice. Monica Miller, Middle Georgia University
  • “A lady couldn’t expect to travel without a hat”: Disembodied Cultural Capital, Gender, and Sexuality in Welty’s Short Fiction. Laura Patterson, Seton Hill University
  • “All new things in life were meant to come like that”: Women’s Mobility in Welty’s Fiction. Allison Rittmayer, Northwestern Louisiana State University
  • “The birds that flew were caged . . . and could not fly out”: Delta Wedding and the Politics of Travel. Khirsten Doolan, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • The Post Office and the Pedestal: Sexual Tyranny in Welty’s Fiction. Donnie McMahand and Kevin Murphy, Towson University


11:45-12:45 Welty, Gender, and Craft EHHP Alumni Center Chair: Pearl McHaney, Georgia State University

  • The Experimental Welty: Eudora’s Forms Realize the Novel. Candace Waid, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Revisions and Revelation in A Curtain of Green and Other Stories. Caroline Brandon, Mississippi State University
  • The Bride of the Innisfallen and Welty’s Battles with Discourse. Carol Ann Johnston, Dickinson College


12:45-2:45 LUNCH BREAK


2:45-4:15 Reconsidering Welty, Whiteness, and Race EHHP Alumni Center Chair: Rebecca Mark, Tulane University

  • Crusading Is for the Birds. Elizabeth Crews, Blue Mountain College
  • White Loyalty and the Politics of Author Societies. Jean C. Griffith, Wichita State University
  • Losing Battles and the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Adrienne Akins Warfield, Mars Hill University
  • Turning to Stone: Reading “Old Mr. Marblehall” and “Petrified Man” as Meditations on White Anxiety in the Jim Crow South. Katie Berry Frye, Pepperdine University
  • Making Whiteness Visible: Violence, Hate Speech, and Eudora Welty’s Civil Rights Stories. Susan Donaldson, William and Mary College


4:30-6:30 Welty in the 21st Century: A Roundtable Discussion and Closing Reception Randolph Hall, Cistern Yard Chair: Harriet Pollack, College of Charleston Have a glass of wine while speakers discuss where we’ve been and where we are going.

  • David McWhirter on post-southern Welty.
  • Sarah Ford on twenty-first-century intertextuality.
  • Rebecca Mark with commentary on the conference and new directions.
  • Harriet Pollack with news, CFPs, appreciations, and final thoughts.


Sunday, February 24

Guided tour of Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South exhibit, Halsey Museum, 161 Calhoun Street, at 10 am Sunday. Free. Sign up required.