Exploring themes such as religious intensity, moral disorder, ancestral homes in resplendent decay, systemic racism, endemic poverty, and the encroachment of the supernatural on everyday life, William Faulkner, Flannery O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston, Tennessee Williams, and Carson McCullers pioneered this often romanticized and occasionally parodied genre into the American consciousness in the early 20th-century. Now, in the 21st, writers like Jesmyn Ward, Karen Russell, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Toni Morrison have dynamically furthered those first explorations, in many instances reinventing them entirely. This mixed-genre panel of fiction writers, essayists, and poets will seek to unearth Southern Gothic then and now, posing such questions as: Where do we find ourselves on the so-called pantheon of early-to-mid 20th-century Southern Gothic writers? What does it mean to write Southern Gothic in the most Gothic city in America? At what point does Southern Gothic go from being an exploration of a society in decay to a fetishization of that same decay? How do we expand our definitions of Southern Gothic to take in the “Global South,” to include Latin American and Caribbean works of Southern Gothic, as well? How have the objects of social critique in Southern Gothic literature (racism, classism, evangelicalism, feudalism, criminality) shifted over time, illuminating new corners of a region in freefall? Come get a little creepy—but a little thoughtful, too—with panelists Anya Groner, Carolyn Hembree, Alex Jennings, and Adrian Van Young, moderated by Brad Richard. 




03/23/2024 1:00pm-2:15pm , Hotel Monteleone, Queen Anne Ballroom, $10 or LitPass or VIP Pass.


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