Conference Honoring the Fiction of Mary Hood To Be Held
at the University of North Georgia / Oakwood
A literary conference honoring the fiction and achievement of Mary Hood will be held on the Oakwood campus of the University of North Georgia on October 5th, 2013. This will be the first conference dedicated exclusively to the fiction of one of Georgia’s most prestigious authors.
The conference will begin at 9:30 a.m. Individual sessions devoted to particular aspects of Hood’s work will be conducted until 12:30. Lunch will be provided.
The afternoon session will feature keynote speaker Dr. Stephen Corey, poet, essayist, and editor of The Georgia Review. Dr. Corey will discuss Hood’s longstanding relationship with The Georgia Review and the evolution of her writing. Additionally, Dr. Hugh Ruppersburg, Senior Associate Director of UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and editor of After O’Connor: Stories from Contemporary Georgia and the three-volume set Georgia Voices, will discuss Hood’s place in the Southern canon and, in particular, Georgia’s fiction writers.
The conference will also offer opportunities for undergraduate researchers and creative writers. Undergraduates are particularly encouraged to submit papers on Hood’s fiction. Additionally, sessions will offer writers of poetry and fiction the opportunity to present their work to their peers. For more information on the creative writing component, contact Gloria Bennett (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The afternoon session will also include a reading by Mary Hood. She will be available afterward for questions.
Hood’s body of work has garnered numerous awards and critical attention. Her first volume, How Far She Went (1984), won the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction and The Southern Review / Louisiana State University Short Fiction Award. And Venus is Blue, Hood's second collection, won the Lillian Smith Award, the Dixie Council of Authors and Journalists Author-of-the-Year Award, and the Townsend Prize for Fiction. Additionally, Hood’s fiction has received the Whiting Writers’ Award and the Robert Penn Warren Award. Her 1996 novel Familiar Heat has been turned into a screenplay.
Copies of Hood’s three volumes will be available for purchase, as will copies of the April 2013 edition of The Georgia Review, which focuses specifically on Hood’s fiction.
The cost for the conference will be $25 for faculty and $15 for graduate students. Undergraduates will be charged only $10 for the conference.
The conference’s call for papers follows. For more information, contact Dr. Samuel Prestridge (email@example.com).
Call for Papers:
Mary Hood and the Southern Canon: A Conference
University of North Georgia / Oakwood
October 5th, 2013
This conference is dedicated to the fiction of Mary Hood. While papers on all topics are welcome, we are interested in the ways that Hood’s fiction extends and redefines the concerns of Southern literature. Suggested topics include:
• Hood and Her Contemporaries: Does Hood’s writing (compared or contrasted with her contemporaries) recast ongoing issues in Southern literature?
• Hood and the Postmodern Condition: How does the tension between a narrative continuum and consumer culture inform Hood’s work?
• Hood and Suburbia: Are planned communities, suburban sprawl an affront to a culture that Hood privileges? Does Hood suggest that rural cultures will be subsumed or will (to echo Faulkner) prevail?
• Hood and Making: Many of Hood’s characters are involved in occupations or pastimes eroded by consumerism. How is creating, in Hood’s work, a “momentary stay against confusion.” More specifically, against what confusion do Hood’s characters work?
• Hood, the Young, and the Stupid: It’s difficult to find a younger person in Hood’s work who is not complicit in a cultural erosion Hood sees as old and established gives way to new & improved. Does her indictment of the young imply a pessimism for the future of Southern letters and culture?
• Continuations and Departures: Hood’s fiction makes full use of Appalachian folkways, but emphasizes the increasing strangeness of those customs, beliefs, and rituals. Beyond the strictly archival function, what does Hood’s examination of Southern folkways contribute to her work?
• Adapting Hood’s fiction for the screen: Paul Newman bought an option to make Familiar Heat into a movie. What are the challenges and assets of screen adaptations of Hood’s work?
• Hood, Atlanta, and the Suburbs: Much of Hood’s fiction takes place in communities that are being subsumed into a greater metropolitan area. Small businesses are being replaced by large chains, and the idea of the community is diminishing. Certainly, much of Hood’s fiction decries this absorption, but does she offer an alternative to overwhelming urbanity.
• Hood and the Vatic: “Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Proverbs 29:18). Many of Hood’s characters have no vision and, arguably, no capacity for vision. To what extent is their damnation correlative with their sightlessness? What vision seems central to Hood’s notion of the redemptive? How does this reflect or modify the canon?
Proposals for single papers are welcomed. Panels and roundtable discussions are encouraged. Undergraduates are especially encouraged to submit well-researched papers. Proposals should include the presentation’s or panel’s title, participants’ vitae, and participants’ email addresses. The proposal should be double-spaced attachments in Rich Text Format (.rtf). Audiovisual equipment will be available assuming adequate notification.
This is a one-day conference and will be divided between topic-specific sessions and a general session that will feature key note speaker Stephen Corey, Editor of The Georgia Review and a special appearance and reading by Mary Hood. Dr. Hugh Ruppersburg, Senior Associate Dean of the UGA Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and editor of five major anthologies of Georgia writing, will also appear and will address Hood’s place in the Georgia literature.
Please email all proposals to Samuel Prestridge at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 1, 2013.
Creative work appropriate to the conference’s focus may be submitted. All submissions should include a cover letter and should be emailed no later than August 1, 2013. Send queries and submissions to Gloria Bennett (email@example.com) via email as an attachment in MS Word format.
Samuel Prestridge, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
Department of English
University of North Georgia / Oconee
1201 Bishop Farms Pkwy.
Watkinsville, GA 30677 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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