Faulkner and Chopin Conference Set for Southeast

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 19, 2008 — Southeast Missouri State University’s Center for Faulkner Studies will host a conference on the literary works of William Faulkner and Kate Chopin Oct. 2-4 in the University Center.

The conference, which is supported by a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council, will open at 7 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 2, in the University Center Ballroom with a keynote address by Barbara Ewell, professor of English at Loyola University, New Orleans.  Ewell will speak on “Storm Stories: Chopin and Faulkner in New Orleans.”

The conference also will feature 37 scholars from five countries and 16 American states presenting papers on various aspects of Faulkner’s and Chopin’s works.  These presentations will begin at 8:30 a.m. Friday and continue until noon on Saturday in the Indian and Missouriana Rooms of the University Center.  A complete listing of the papers can be found on the Faulkner Center’s Web site, http://www.semo.edu/cfs.

Scheduled for Friday evening, Oct. 3, at 7:30 in the University Center Ballroom, is the premiere performance of “A Salon with Kate Chopin and William Faulkner,” a dramatic presentation scripted and directed by Roseanna Whitlow, a local playwright who is a member of the Department of Communication at Southeast.

“This conference is designed to allow participants to learn more about two famous American authors with Missouri connections,” said Dr. Robert Hamblin, director of the Center for Faulkner Studies.”

Faulkner’s ancestors lived for a time in Ste. Genevieve, Mo., and Southeast Missouri State University owns the Louis Daniel Brodsky Collection of Faulkner materials, a world-renowned collection of Faulkner books, manuscripts, and memorabilia.

Kate Chopin was born in St. Louis and spent much of her life there.  Her most famous novel, The Awakening, is considered a primary text in the literature of women’s liberation. 

All activities of the conference are open to the general public, and admission is free.  For more information, contact the Center for Faulkner Studies at (573) 986-6155 or cfs@semo.edu.