“Flannery O’Connor: The Legacy of a Southern Catholic Writer” Symposium
“The Catholic novelist in the South is forced to follow the spirit into strange places.” – Flannery O’Connor in a 1962 talk on “The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South” at UL Lafayette’s Jeanmard Hall.
“Flannery O’Connor: The Legacy of a Southern Catholic Writer” will be held in Lafayette, La., the weekend of Nov. 9, 2012. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of O’Connor speaking at UL Lafayette and the recent discovery of a recording of her talk, the university, along with Our Lady of Wisdom Catholic Church & Student Center, Friends of the Humanities and Deep South Magazine, present a symposium of speakers and activities based on the Southern Gothic writer. The weekend will kick off with an evening reception at the UL Alumni Center on Nov. 9. Symposium speakers in Jeanmard Hall on Nov. 10 include William Sessions, an O’Connor scholar who knew the author and is finishing up an authorized biography of her this spring; Christina Bieber Lake, English professor at Wheaton College and author of The Incarnational Art of Flannery O’Connor; and Farrell O’Gorman from Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina, author of Peculiar Crossroads: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction. Other activities will include a panel discussion, themed dinner with a screening of “The Displaced Person,” based on O’Connor’s short story, and a Catholic Mass. For driving directions to Our Lady of Wisdom, click here. For a full-color .pdf of the poster for the symposium, click here.
Christina Bieber Lake, Associate Professor, Wheaton College
Session: Faith is Blindness and Now You Can See: Flannery O’Connor’s Catholic Imagination
Christina Bieber Lake is associate professor of English at Wheaton College in Illinois where she teaches classes in contemporary American literature and literary theory. She is author of The Incarnational Art of Flannery O’Connor (Mercer University Press, 2005), as well as many other essays on O’Connor’s work. Dr. Lake is also author of the forthcoming book Prophets of the Posthuman: American Fiction, Biotechnology, and the Ethics of Personhood (University of Notre Dame press), a project that explores, through contemporary fiction, theological and ethical implications of the biotechnological quest for human enhancement.
William Sessions, Regents Professor Emeritus, Georgia State University
Session: Flannery O’Connor’s Recently Discovered Journal of Prayers
W. A. (Bill) Sessions, Regents’ Professor of English Emeritus at Georgia State University, is the author of the forthcoming authorized biography of Flannery O’Connor, scheduled for 2012. His articles on Flannery O’Connor have appeared in Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review, The National Catholic Reporter and Studies in Short Fiction. He has presented papers on Flannery O’Connor at the International Flannery O’Connor Conference at Brigham Young University in 1995, at the American Literature national convention, at the South Central Modern Language Association Conference, and at other conferences and universities. Sessions also has authored several books on famous writers, including Henry Howard, the Poet Earl of Surrey, and Sir Francis Bacon and a myriad articles on famous writers and their works. The Founding Editor of The Carolina Quarterly (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and Studies in the Literary Imagination (Georgia State University), he has won numerous awards, including the Nikos Kazantzakis Medal from Greece, the Outstanding Teacher Award for the South Atlantic Association of Departments of English and an honorary degree from Coastal Carolina University. His poetry has been published in The Southern Review, The Georgia Review, and The Chattahoochee Review, among others. He has written several plays, including “A Shattering of Glass”, a winner in the Southern Theatre Playwrights Competition and produced at the University of Mississippi for the Festival of Southern Theatre.
Farrell O’Gorman, Professor of English, Belmont Abbey College
Session: Pilgrimage and Eucharist in A Good Man Is Hard to Find
Farrell O’Gorman is Professor of English at Belmont Abbey College. He is the author of Peculiar Crossroads: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, and Catholic Vision in Postwar Southern Fiction (LSU Press, 2004) and of a number of scholarly articles on American and contemporary literature. He has previously lectured on O’Connor’s work in France, Italy, and at a summer institute in O’Connor’s Georgia hometown sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Dr. O’Gorman’s own creative publications include a novel, short stories, and personal essays including “How to Be an American In Spite of Being Southern and Catholic,” which was selected for the collection Best Catholic Writing 2007 (Loyola Press).
Schedule of Events
|Friday, November 9 – UL Alumni House|
|5:30 PM – 7:30 PM||Opening cocktail party|
|Saturday, November 10 – Jeanmard Hall at Our Lady of Wisdom|
|8:00 AM – 9:00 AM||Breakfast & Introduction from Father Sibley|
|9:00 AM – 10:00 AM||First Speaker|
|10:00 AM – 10:30 AM||Break|
|10:30 AM – 11:30 AM||Second Speaker|
|11:30 AM – 1:00 PM||Lunch|
|1:00 PM – 2:00 PM||Third speaker|
|2:00 PM – 2:30 PM||Break|
|2:30 PM – 3:30 PM||Panel Discussion|
|4:00 PM – 5:00 PM||Mass at Our Lady of Wisdom|
|Saturday Evening Drinks, Dinner, and Movie – UL Alumni House|
|5:00 PM – 6:00 PM||Drinks and Social Hour|
|6:00 PM – 7:30 PM||Dinner|
|7:30 PM – 9:00 PM||Displaced Person film & discussion|
For lodging options, a block of rooms is booked at the Hilton Garden Inn, near the Cajundome, for both Friday and Saturday nights. The rate is $109.00 per night. The Group Code ULENG12 must be used to get that rate, and the event name is Flannery O’Connor Literary Symposium. Click here to visit the hotel’s website, or call (337) 291-1977.
The Hilton Garden Inn Lafayette Cajundome hotel offers luxurious accommodations with one king-size adjustable Garden Sleep System™ bed, two queen-size, or two double beds. Guest rooms include free Internet access, a spacious desk, Herman Miller Mirra® ergonomic chair, a 32″ flat-screen HD TV with premium cable, microwave, refrigerator, coffeemaker, and a clock radio with an MP3 connection.
You can buy tickets online using the form below, or use this mail in form to register and pay with a check or money order.
Buy your tickets before October 15th and get a $25 discount. The following discounts are available:
- Current students of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette get a $50 discount on the Saturday Seminar and the Full Event tickets.
- Member of Friends of the Humanities get a $25 discount on the Saturday Seminar and the Full Event tickets.
- Catholic clergy and religious get a $25 discount on the Saturday Seminar and the Full Event tickets.