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The Department of Government and Sociology Co-Sponsors International Conference on Flannery O’Connor

Updated: 10-24-13

The Department of Government and Sociology and the Center for Transatlantic Studies, represented by Henry T. Edmondson III PhD., Professor of Political Science and Public Administration, will co-sponsor an international conference entitled, “Flannery O’Connor & the Mystery of Place.”  The conference will be held at All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland, July 24-26, 2014 and marks the 50th anniversary of Ms. O’Connor’s death.  

The other sponsors of the conference include The Joan and Bill Hank Center for the Catholic Intellectual Heritage, Loyola University Chicago; the Faculty of Arts and Science at Nipissing University, Canada; The Mary Flannery O’Connor Charitable Trust; Universidad Complutense, Madrid (The University of Madrid), Spain; Georgia College; and, Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. 

Professor Edmondson, who has initiated and spearheaded this event, and serves as a member of the Conference Committee, explains, 

“This conference has been four years in the making and we are delighted it has finally come together.  Initiating and directing a conference from the U.S. with a small consortium of international universities with a venue in Europe has been tricky to say the least, but we seem to have pulled it off.  We have received generous support from various sources and I’m lucky to have the assistance of Georgia College’s web services and the Department of Continuing Education with the web site and registration. We expect participation from the U.S., Europe, South America and perhaps Asia as well.” 

Edmondson further explained that this conference builds upon the success of another international conference that he co-directed in Rome, Italy at Santa Croce University, April 20-22, 2009, entitled “Reason, Faith & Fiction: An International Flannery O’Connor Conference,” which enjoyed participation from four continents. 

Edmondson’s interest in O’Connor grows out of his general teaching and research interest in politics and literature. Among other scholarship, he is currently editing A Political Companion to Flannery O’Connor, which will be one of the volumes in the University Press of Kentucky’s series “Political Companions to Great American Authors.” The series already offers books on Emerson, Steinbeck, Bellow, and Percy, with more to come, including the O’Connor volume. The Director of the UPK, Steve Wrinn, calls this his “signature series” that will “live on long after we are gone.” 

Costas Spirou, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Government and Sociology noted that “This is a timely and very relevant event.  Flannery O’Connor is Georgia College’s most famous graduate. She completed her BA degree in Social Science in 1945 and her global prestige continues to grow—her works have now been translated into over 40 languages.”  

Located in Flannery O’Connor’s ancestral homeland and scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of her untimely death, this international conference welcomes an array of interdisciplinary paper proposals designed to illuminate and deepen the understanding and appreciation of O’Connor’s fiction, prose and correspondence. The event will feature speakers Gina Ochsner, American author and winner of the 2001 Flannery O’Connor Award and John F. Deane, critically acclaimed Irish poet and writer.  There will be a roundtable discussion with Ralph Wood, Professor of Theology and Literature, Baylor University, and a special conference panel titled “O’Connor as Seen from Ireland” will feature Emer Nolan, National University of Ireland, Maynooth; Stephen Matterson, Trinity College, Dublin; and Jarlath Killeen, Trinity College, Dublin. 

For more information on the Conference, please check the conference site at

Please contact Professor Hank Edmondson at for additional information.

Hank Edmondson Ph.D.
Hank Edmondson Ph.D.
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