The Tennessee Williams Annual Review

2016 Tennessee Williams Scholars Conference

Friday, April 1, 2016
Schedule of Events

The Historic New Orleans Collection
Williams Research Center
410 Chartres Street, New Orleans, LA
Dr. Robert Bray, Conference Director

9:00-9:15 Opening remarks, Dr. Robert Bray
9:15-10:30 Williams and Camp
In her famous 1964 essay, “Notes on Camp,” Susan Sontag wrote, “Camp asserts that good taste is not simply good taste; but there exists, indeed, a good taste of bad taste. The discovery of the good taste of bad taste can be very liberating.” Drama scholars discuss the idea of Camp in Williams’s drama and how, according to Sontag, “Camp taste is, above all, a mode of enjoyment, of appreciation—not judgment.”
Moderator: Dr. Annette Saddik, City University of New York Panelists: Dr. Tison Pugh, University of Central Florida Dr. Davis Robinson, Bowdoin College Bess Rowen, Ph.D. Candidate, City University of New York
10:45-12:00 Williams and the Idea of Home
For Williams, the idea of home seemed to change substantially as he got older, and many of his plays often reflect a shift from specific locales (mostly southern) to more indeterminate geographical settings. As nursing homes and hotel rooms become fixtures in the aging author’s imagination, does a southern home seem less stable and less sentimental for Williams?
Moderator: Dr. George Crandell, Auburn University Panelists: Dr. Michael Hooper, St. Margaret’s School (UK) Karen Kohlhaas, documentary filmmaker, Tennessee Williams in the Mississippi Delta John Lahr, New Yorker drama critic and author of Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh
12:00-1:30 Lunch
1:30-2:45 Educating Tom
Williams began his informal education by devouring most of his grandfather’s library, but the record of his formal education illustrates his indifference and rebellion as well as his precociousness and diligence. His university experiences included studies at the University of Missouri, Washington University, and the University of Iowa, where he received his degree in 1938. Williams scholars examine the writer’s educational background from elementary school through university graduation and discuss how his studies helped shape his life and art.
Moderator: Dr. Jessica Dorman, The Historic New Orleans Collection Panelists: Dr. John Bak, Université de Lorraine (France) Professor Tom Mitchell, University of Illinois Dr. Henry Schvey, Washington University
2:45-3:45 Exploring the MultiSouths
How do we define the South? Geographically, politically, culturally, or by all these factors and more? There is no fixed, monolithic South; instead, it is a richly variegated region with multiple identities and cultural complexities. Scholars gather to consider community, heritage, art, and other aspects of the fascinating region known as “The South.”
Moderator: Dr. Robert Bray, Middle Tennessee State University Panelists: Dr. Matt Dischinger, Louisiana State University Dr. Meredith McCarroll, Bowdoin College Dr. Trimiko Melancon, Loyola University New Orleans

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