2022 Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference

Friday, March 25, 2022

Williams Research Center at The Historic New Orleans Collection, 410 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA 70130

Sessions included in Scholars Conference Pass ($30), Literary Discussion Pass ($100), or VIP Pass ($600).

Or purchase each one separately for $10 each.


Welcome: Margit Longbrake, The Historic New Orleans Collection



Opening remarks: Bess Rowen, Villanova University



The World Lit by Lightning: Scholars Unveil Their Favorite Williams-Related Images

In this lively, visually oriented lightning-round session, scholars show off their favorite Williams-related images and interpret them conversationally: enjoy seeing and learning about Streetcar in China, groundbreaking disability representation, Blanche’s exit with her doctor, and Williams’s Key West house. Will Brantley, Middle Tennessee State University (moderator); Jeniffer Cruz, St. Thomas University; Xingyue Wang, Shangxi Normal University; Eric Solomon, Emory University; Anwesha Mukherjee, University of Calcutta.



And Tell Glad Stories of the Lives of Queens: Williams and the Queer Community

Williams’s transgressive characters are so much more than the tragedy that often gets top billing: join us for a joy-filled conversation about everything from a gender-fluid Streetcar production and double-edged camp to sailors, Norman Rockwell, and Tom of Finland. Bess Rowen, Villanova University (moderator); Stephen Cedars, City University of New York, Graduate Center; Benjamin Gillespie, New York University; Michael Hooper, Independent Scholar.


12:00–1:15      Lunch



Masks Outrageous and Austere: Unconventional Stagings of Tennessee Williams

Distinguished theater directors share their experiences pushing traditional performance boundaries: come hear firsthand the reasoning behind—and results of—choices that surprised audiences and reimagined Williams’ works. Bess Rowen, Villanova University (moderator); Anthoullis Demosthenous, Independent Scholar; Jef Hall-Flavin, Provincetown Tennessee Williams Theater Festival; Tom Mitchell, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.



German Perspectives on Tennessee Williams

It’s no secret that Tennessee Williams has been perennially popular in Europe. Scholars from home and abroad examine the playwright’s status on the Continent, with a particular focus on German-language productions. Annette J. Saddik, City University of New York, Graduate Center (moderator); Kerstin Schmidt, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt; Basil Wiesse, Katholische Universität Eichstätt-Ingolstadt;



Amor Perdido / Lost Love

Amor Perdido / Lost Love is a presentation of four magical stories by Tennessee Williams: a sailor’s brief encounter in port (“The Lost Girl”), a writer and his soulmate in the French Quarter (“Dear Irene”), a vagabond artist at the end of his rope in a Mexican plaza (“Amor Perdido”), and a solitary young woman who finds a lover aboard a mysterious ship (“Blue Roses and the Polar Star”). A company of actors is accompanied by the songs of a street troubadour in this production from the University of Illinois and the Celebration Company of Urbana, Illinois. Performers include Jordan Coughtry, Nisi Sturgis, Joi Hoffsommer, Gary Ambler, Amy Toruno, and Scott Knier.