[Msa-discuss] CFP: Sutpen's Hundred panel at 2014 Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference

Jennifer Gilchrist jengilchrist at gmail.com
Sat Sep 14 11:11:03 EDT 2013

Call for Papers

Deciphering Sutpen’s Hundred: Ideology, Representation, and the Politics of
Aesthetics in *Absalom, Absalom!*

Faulkner and History, Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, July 20-24,
2014, University of Mississippi

In his 1936 *magnum opus*, *Absalom, Absalom!,* William Faulkner carefully
lays out--via multiple unreliable narrators--the genesis, construction,
staffing, inhabitance, management, and ultimate destruction of Sutpen’s
Hundred, the manor, the legacy, and the social vision. Seventy-seven years
of scholarship have produced radically diverse interpretations of the
political, ideological, historical, and theoretical significance of
Sutpen’s, and of Faulkner’s, project--from Cleanth Brooks’ influential 1951
assessment that Faulkner dooms Sutpen’s design by making him a secular,
Machiavellian “modern man,” to Chris Bongie’s chapter in his
post-colonial *Islands
and Exiles* (1998) on Sutpen’s embeddedness in a Caribbean colonial history
he continually misreads and Daniel Spoth’s 2011 reader-response analysis in
*ELH* of how Sutpen’s violent transpositioning of cultural and racial
anxieties onto land was, and lent itself to be, embraced by Nazis.
Throughout Faulkner’s self-reflexive myth-making, genre appropriations, and
dazzling modernist prose, we might ask, what is the precise nature of the
tragedy of *Absalom, Absalom!*? Armed with fresh interdisciplinary tools,
how do we read Sutpen’s Hundred?

This panel seeks to examine the roles of ideology, agency, and historical
change in Sutpen’s design and their relationship to Faulkner’s larger
aesthetic project in *Absalom, Absalom!*. Possible topics include but are
not limited to:

·      Sutpen’s Hundred as political allegory
·      *Absalom, Absalom!* and plantation modernism
·      Social revolution and the making of tradition
·      Architecture, design, and literary and social structure
·      Physical place and psychic space
·      Constructions of race
·      Roles of gender and sexuality
·      Ideology and class consciousness
·      Roles of violence
·      Invocation of Southern and/or Haitian history
·      Intellectual contexts
·      Slavery in *Absalom, Absalom!*

 Please send abstracts of two pages and a brief biographical statement to
Jennifer Gilchrist (jgilchr at hunter.cuny.edu) or Josh Jones (
jdavidjones at gmail.com) by November 1, 2013

Jennifer Gilchrist, PhD
Hunter College
English Department
695 Park Ave.
NY, NY 10065
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