Startling Figures
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Startling Figures Program (tentative schedule)

Startling Figures: A Celebration of the Legacy of Flannery O’Connor
Georgia College & State University

NOTE:  This is a tentative program. Updates will posted here as soon as they are available.

Abbreviations for Venues

ASA = Arts & Sciences Auditorium

Black Box = Black Box Theatre in Campus Theatre, Hancock St.

Chappell = Chappell Hall, Clarke St.

Magnolia = Magnolia Ballroom in Student Activities Center

MER = Museum Education Room in Georgia College Museum

Peabody = Peabody Auditorium in Kilpatrick Hall

Wednesday, 4/13

Art Exhibit Taulkinham in Georgia College Museum

Registration, Chappell Hall Lobby

Conference Bookstore, 105 Chappell

Session W 1:

10-10:50, MER: Barbara Zimmermann Bogue, Ball State University: “The Darkness of the Familiar: The Sacred and Sometimes Profane Passages in Flannery O’Connor’s "Revelation”

Chair, Bruce Gentry, Georgia College

Session W2:

11-11:50, MER: Elissa Auerbach, Georgia College: "Flannery O'Connor's King of the Birds: Beauty, Immortality, and the Peacock in Art Since Antiquity”

Chair, Bill Fisher, Georgia College

Session W3:

12-12:50, MER: Reception for artists Chris Lawson and Joe DeCamillis, during which Lawson and DeCamillis will offer remarks about their art exhibit Taulkinham

Chair, Shannon Morris, Georgia College

Session W4:

1-1:50, MER: William Walsh, Georgia State University: “In Search of Taulkinham: Flannery O’Connor, John Huston, and Wise Blood

Chair, Bruce Gentry, Georgia College

Session W5:

2-2:50, MER: Jon Lance Bacon, independent scholar and filmmaker, Dagtype Films
“Jesus Hits Like an Atom Bomb: Flannery O’Connor and the End-Time Scenario”

Chair, Elaine Whitaker, Georgia College

4-6:30 Reception at Andalusia Farm

Session W6:

4:30-6:30, Andalusia:
Joy Farmer, Reinhardt University, and Catherine B. Emanuel, Reinhardt University: "Reviving Andalusia: A Plea for Funds to Preserve Flannery O'Connor's Home"

Katy L. Leedy, Marquette University: “‘Who will remain whole? Who?’: The Pursuit of Power and Place in ‘The Displaced Person’”

Screening of The Displaced Person

Chair, Craig Amason, Flannery O’Connor—Andalusia Foundation, Inc.

8-9, ASA: Poetry Reading by Kathryn Stripling Byer

Chair, Stephen Corey, The Georgia Review

Thursday, 4/14

Art Exhibit Taulkinham in Georgia College Museum

Session R1:

8:15-8:45, MER:
Scholars Council Info Session, conducted by Bruce Gentry, Georgia College

Session R2:

9-10:40, MER:
Michael S. Odom, University of South Carolina: “Onnie Jay Holy and the Saccharine Sales Culture of American Evangelicalism”

Jo King, Georgia College: “Small and Unsettling Figures: Cartooning After O’Connor”

Susan Srigley, Nipissing University (Can.): “Where Is the Blindness? What Startles Us Now?: Flannery O’Connor and the Prophetic Voice”

Elaine Whitaker, Georgia College: “Her Unique Aesthetic: M. F. O’Connor’s Cartoon Legacy”

Chair, Mary Helen Stefaniak, Creighton University

Session R3:

10:50-12:30, MER:

Ashleigh Eisinger, University of Houston, “Southern Femininity and the Mind/Body Split in Flannery O’Connor’s ‘The Life You Save May Be Your Own’”

Jolly Kay Sharp, University of the Cumberlands: “Flannery and Hulga: Masked Disposition”

Susanna Branyon Klingenberg, North Carolina State University: “‘Who do you think you are?’: Models of Vocation in O’Connor’s Literature”

Jacqueline Zubeck, College of Mount Saint Vincent: “‘The Freak in Modern Fiction’: O’Connor’s Villains and the Iconographic Savior”

Chair, Tom Frazier, University of the Cumberlands


Session R4:

11-12, ASA:
Kathryn Stripling Byer: “Writing Poetry with Startling Figures”

Chair: Martin Lammon, Georgia College

Session R 5:

1:30-3:10, Peabody:

Sue Brannon Walker, University of South Alabama: “Ruby Jean, Divination, and Flannery O’Connor”

Mary Helen Stefaniak, Creighton University: “Now? Or at the Hour of Our Death: An Argument with Flannery O’Connor”

Rachel Watson,University of Chicago: “‘I would like to know who this is who understands my stories’ (From the Diary of Betty Hester)”

Chair, Michael Schroeder, Savannah State University

Session R6:

1:30-3:10, MER:

Amanda Mixon, Texas State University: “Double Vision: Dual Animal Symbolism in O’Connor’s "Revelation" and ‘Greenleaf’"

Virginia Grant, Auburn University: “‘Everything is against you’: Flannery O’Connor and the Single Mother”

Pamela Henney, University of Akron / North Central State College: “Ecstasy of Grace”

Chris Webb, University of Houston: “The Violent Are Gored: O’Connor’s Theory of Violence in ‘Greenleaf’”

Chair, Jolly Kay Sharp, University of the Cumberlands

Session R7:

3:20-5, MER:

Damian J. Ference, Borromeo Seminary: “Naming Sin: Flannery O’Connor’s Mark on Bruce Springsteen”

Irwin H. Streight, Royal Military College of Canada: “Flannery at the Grammys”

David Ashley King, Kennesaw State University: "Hitched: The Similar Legacies of Flannery O'Connor and Alfred Hitchcock"

Doug Davis, Gordon College: “Reading Flannery in the Future: Eight Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories by or about Flannery O'Connor”

Chair, Jon Lance Bacon, independent scholar and filmmaker, Dagtype Films

Session R8:

3:20-5, Peabody:

Abby Hogelin, Georgia College: “Reader Identification with Mrs. Turpin through Free Indirect Style in O’Connor’s ‘Revelation’”

Michael Schroeder, Savannah State University: "Desegregation and the Silent Character in 'Everything That Rises Must Converge'"

Beauty Bragg, Georgia College: “Raced Bodies in Time and Space:  Short Stories by Flannery O’Connor, Randall Kenan, and Percival Everett”

Carole K. Harris, New York City College of Technology, City University of New York: “Revelations of the Civil Rights Era: Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, and Alvin Ailey at New York City College of Technology”

Chair, Ted Hendricks, University of Maryland University College

Session R9

4-5:15, ASA:

Marita Nadal, University of Zaragoza (Spain): “The Shadows of Time: Chronotopic Diversity and Ethical Unreadability in Flannery O’Connor’s Tales”

Amy Bricker Luskin, The Catholic University of America: “A Not-So-Startling Legacy: Ireland and Flannery O’Connor”

M. K. Shaddix, Trinity College, University of Dublin (Ire.): “The Church without the Church: Desert Orthodoxy in ‘Parker’s Back’”

Chair, Mary Magoulick, Georgia College

5:30-6:30, ASA:

2011 Flannery O’Connor Memorial Lecture by Gary M. Ciuba: “‘To the Hard of Hearing You Shout’: Flannery O’Connor and the Imagination of Deafness”

Chair, Margaret Earley Whitt, University of Denver

8-9, ASA: Poetry Reading by Marianne Boruch

Chair, Alice Friman, Georgia College


Friday, 4/15

Art Exhibit Taulkinham in Georgia College Museum

Session F1:

8:15-8:45, MER: Special Collections Info Session, run by Joshua Kitchens, Georgia College

Session F2:

9-10:15, ASA:

Tim Basselin, Fuller Theological Seminary: “Sheppard and Rayber as Startling Figures: A Disability Studies Perspective”

Dana L. Walker, Grand Valley State University: “The Violent Bear It Away: A Palimpsest of Parables”

Douglas Robillard, Jr., University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff: “‘Precious in the Sight of the Lord Even an Idiot’: O’Connor’s Holy Children”

Chair, Robert Donahoo, Sam Houston State University

Session F3:

9:15-10:15, MER:

Franz S. Klein, University of Dallas: “Crooked Paths Left Crooked: Thomistic Reditus in Flannery O’Connor’s Two Novels”

Steven R. Watkins, University of Phoenix:  “Thomists Do Not Own All the Answers about Flannery O’Connor”

Chair, Jacqueline Zubeck, College of Mount Saint Vincent

9:30-12:30, Black Box: short films relating to O’Connor:

Galley Proof at 9:30, introduction by Joshua Kitchens, Georgia College

The Life You Save at 10:30, introduction by Joshua Kitchens, Georgia College

The River at 11:35, introduction by Avis Hewitt, Grand Valley State University

Session F4:

10:30-11:30, ASA: An Interview with E. L. Doctorow

Chair, Bruce Gentry, Georgia College

11:40-12:20, Box Office Books, Campus Theatre:
Book Signing by conference poets: Kathryn Stripling Byer, Marianne Boruch, Sarah Gordon, Alice Friman, Laura Newbern, Martin Lammon

Session F5:

12:30-2:35, Black Box:

Ed Scutt, Greater Rochester Repertory Companies / OSHER LIfelong Learning Institute at Rochester Institute of Technology: “I Write to Discover: Creating a Flannery O'Connor Monologue”

Karen Robinson, Kennesaw State University: “O’Connor Onstage: Embodiment and Polyphonic Narration”

Jeff Jackson, Independent Filmmaker:  "’I Been Believing in Nothing Ever Since I Was Born’: The Film-Making of Good Country People”

Screening of Good Country People

Chair, David Muschell, Georgia College

Session F6:

12:30-1:45, MER:

Matt McCullough, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College: “‘I’ve got a leg to support’: Flannery O’Connor and David Foster Wallace”

Scott Daniel, Georgia College: “Medievalism as Terrorism: ‘Good Country People’ and A Confederacy of Dunces: Flannery O’Connor as John Kennedy Toole’s Spiritual Mother”

Robert Donahoo, Sam Houston State University: “Broken Monuments:  Flannery O’Connor and the Histories of the South”

Chair, Jordan Cofer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College

Session F7:

2-3:15, MER:

Garrard Conley, Auburn University: "Finding O'Connor's Father"

Kathleen Lipovski-Helal, St. Edward’s University: “A Small and Startling Figure: Mary Ann and the Modes of Good”

Jenny Bangsund, University of Sioux Falls: “Startling Absences: The Missing Institution in O’Connor’s Fiction”

Chair, Esther Lopez, Georgia College

Session F8:

2-3:45, ASA:

Wendy Piper, Dartmouth College: “Reading Kingsolver through O’Connor: Nathan Price as Gnostic”

Tom Frazier, University of the Cumberlands: “Flannery O’Connor, Lee Smith, and God”

Eric Howerton, University of Houston: “A Late Encounter with William Faulkner: Flannery O’Connor, General Sash, and the Anxiety of Influence”

Henry T. Edmondson III, Georgia College: “Why O’Connor Read Kafka, and Why She Couldn’t Finish Him”

Chair, Jean W. Cash, James Madison University

2:15-3:45, Starting at Antebellum Inn, 200 N. Columbia St.

Walking Tour, led by Robert J. (Bob) Wilson, III, Georgia College—available to the first twelve registrants who sign up in person at Registration to take this tour

2:40-3:50, Black Box: short films relating to O’Connor:  A Circle in the Fire 

Introduction by Kate Pope, Georgia College

4-5, ASA:
Fiction Reading by Tom Franklin

Chair, Phillip Walker, Georgia College


5:15-6:15, ASA:
Keynote Address by Carol Shloss: “S/kin: Writing across Relatives”

Chair, Katie Simon, Georgia College


8-10, ASA :
Fiction Reading by E. L. Doctorow with reception following (possibly a ticketed event)
He will be pleased to sign up to three books per registrant following his reading.

Chair, Bruce Gentry, Georgia College


Saturday, 4/16

Art Exhibit Taulkinham in Georgia College Museum


Session S1:

9:25-10:40, MER:

Michael Bruner, Azusa Pacific University / Fuller Theological Seminary: “The Startling Figure of God in The Violent Bear It Away

Patrick Prominski, Michigan State University: “‘This Here Thing Will Open Anything’: The Talisman in The Violent Bear It Away

Lizzie Finnegan, D’Youville College: “Beyond Reason: Unstable Knowledge and Radical Certainty in The Violent Bear It Away

Chair, Susan Srigley, Nipissing University (Can.)


Session S2:

9:25-10:40, ASA:

Craig F. Martell, Spring Hill College: “The Influence of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s Vision on Flannery O’Connor in Everything That Rises Must Converge: Hope, Humor, Insight”

Ted Hendricks, University of Maryland University College: “François Mauriac, Flannery O’Connor, and the Misapprehension of Grace”

Victor A. Kramer, Georgia State University, “O’Connor's Fiction as a Resource for Spiritual Direction”

Chair, Henry T. Edmondson III, Georgia College


Session S3:

10:50-12:05, MER:

Ruth Reiniche, University of Arizona: “The Female Prophet: Catherine in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s ‘The Gentle Boy’ and Sabbath Lily in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood Manuscripts”

Carolyn Kerr, Gordon College (MA)/Salem State University/Montserrat College of Art: “‘You Never Can Tell’: The Bible in Selected Works of Flannery O’Connor”

Avis Hewitt, Grand Valley State University: “‘Dancin’ with My Darlin’’: The Grandmother’s Demon Lovers in ‘A Good Man’”

Chair, Susan F. Presley, Savannah Technical College


Session S4:

11-12, ASA: Tom Franklin: “My Nine Epiphany Moments as a Writer”

Chair, Karen Salyer McElmurray, Georgia College


Session S5:

12:15-12:45, ASA:  Mab Segrest, Connecticut College: “The Milledgeville Hospital and the Georgia Surreal”

Chair, Beauty Bragg, Georgia College


Session S6:

1-2:15, MER:

Melanie L. DeVore, Georgia College: “The Green Evil Between the House and the Chicken Yard: Exotic and Weedy Plants in O’Connor’s Stories”

Sue B. Whatley, Stephen F. Austin State University, and Jill Graper Hernandez, University of Texas at San Antonio:A View of O’Connor’s Woods: Marcel, the Machine, and the Question of Progress”

Chair, Ann M. Pelelo, Clarke University


Session S7:

1:15-2:15, ASA: Marianne Boruch: “Closely, from a Distance”

Chair, Laura Newbern, Georgia College


Session S8:

2:30-4:10, ASA:

Jimmy Dean Smith, Union College: “Trees, Walking: Flannery O’Connor’s Aesthetic and Ron Rash’s Spirit Country”

L. Lamar Nisly, Bluffton University: “Idolizing O’Connor: Tim Gautreaux’s Tribute to Flannery O’Connor”

Farrell O’Gorman, DePaul University: “Fiction, Faith, and Family in Flannery O’Connor and Tobias Wolff: Startling Parents, Blind Siblings”

Jean W. Cash, James Madison University: “Flannery O’Connor and Writers of the ‘Rough South’: Unlikely Connections”

Chair, Roger Stanley, Union University


Session S9:

2:30-4:10, MER:

John J. Han, Missouri Baptist University: “‘Poetry and Therapy’: O’Connor’s View of Protestantism”

Jordan Cofer, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College: “Flannery O’Connor’s Academic: Examining Flannery O’Connor’s Treatment of Academics in Her Work”

Ann M. Pelelo, Clarke University: “No ‘Mystery’ Here: Practical Ways to Use Mystery and Manners in Teaching Critical Reading, Literary Analysis, and Synthesis to Beginning and Advanced Students”  

Joonna Smitherman Trapp, Waynesburg University: “Throwing off the Habits of the Story-Teller: Flannery O’Connor as Public Rhetor”

Chair, Carolyn Kerr, Gordon College (MA)/Salem State University/Montserrat College of Art

4:20-5:20, ASA:
Keynote Address by Sarah Gordon: “Surface Matters in Flannery O’Connor’s Fiction”

Chair, John Sirmans, Georgia College

5:30-6:30, ASA:
Keynote Address by W. A. Sessions: “Flannery O’Connor’s Devil: ‘Myself Am Hell’”

Chair, David R. Evans, Buena Vista University

8-10:30, Magnolia:
Closing Concert

Julie Lee

Dave Perkins and Friends (possibly a ticketed event)


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