This Thursday through Saturday (Feb. 21-23, 2019), the College of Charleston will be the site of an important event for Southern literature – an international conference titled “The Continuous Thread of Revelation: Eudora Welty Reconsidered.” The conference is sponsored collectively by the Department of English, the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Women’s and Gender Studies Program, the Southern Studies Program, political science professor Mark Long and the Halsey Institute for Contemporary Art as well as the Eudora Welty Society.
According to English professor Julia Eichelberger, who also directs the College’s Southern Studies Program, among the conference’s highlights will be two unique events. One is a panel discussion entitled “Charleston Writers Discuss Their Beginnings,” which will take place on Thursday, Feb. 21 at 4:30 p.m. in the Stern Center Ballroom. The panel includes Charleston’s poet laureate Marcus Amaker, novelist and historian Harlan Greene ‘74 (an alumnus as well as the College’s archivist), novelist Josephine Humphries and novelist Michele Moore.
“This event is inspired by Welty’s 1984 memoir, One Writer’s Beginnings,” Eichelberger explains. “In that work, Welty reflects on experiences in childhood and youth that influenced the writer she would become, and that’s what our invited guests will do as well.” A book signing and reception will follow.
The second highlight will be a dramatic reading of the Welty story Moon Lake, with 18 different scholars reading the various roles. (Actor-director Brenda Currin has written and will direct this adaptation.) The reading is scheduled to take place on Friday, Feb. 22 at 6:15 p.m. in the Alumni Center at the School of Education, Health and Human Performance (86 Wentworth St.).
Conference co-organizer Harriet Pollack, an affiliate faculty member of the English department who has published extensively on Welty, adds that the three-day event will be filled with engaging talks, panel discussions and presentations. Among the latter will be a roundtable discussion chaired by Eichelberger that will feature two of her students: Mary Scott Gilbert and Stella Rounsefell, both of whom received grants from the College last summer to conduct research on Welty with Eichelberger in Mississippi. The roundtable discussion will focus on Welty’s correspondence.