The Eudora Welty Society, founded in 1991, holds its annual meeting in May of each year at the American Literature Association Conference, this year in Boston. Current officers are President David McWhirter (Texas A&M University), Vice President Sarah Ford (Baylor University), and Secretary-Treasurer Michael Kreyling (Vanderbilt University). The Society regularly sponsors sessions showcasing Welty scholarship at the ALA, SSSL, SAMLA, and SCMLA meetings. In addition, the International Conference of the Welty Society—“‘Everybody to their own visioning’: Eudora Welty in the 21st Century”—was held April 4–7, 2013, at Texas A&M. The conference featured some forty scholarly presentations, a reading by and conversation with acclaimed fiction writer Jill McCorkle, a keynote address by Suzanne Marrs focused on Welty’s long relationship with fellow fiction writer and New Yorker editor William Maxwell, and a special performance of A Fire Was in My Head, adapted from Welty’s story “Music from Spain,” directed by David Kaplan, and featuring Brenda Currin and Philip Fortenberry. Other conference highlights included “Welty at Home,” a presentation by Alanna Patrick (in absentia) and Betty Uzman drawing on the rich Welty archive located at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Society’s recognition of Forrest Galey, also of MDAH, for her many contributions to Welty scholarship. A complete program for the conference, as well as other announcements and calls for papers for upcoming conference panels, can be found on the Society’s website eudoraweltysociety.org.
Society members receive newsletters and other information through the Eudora Welty Society listserv and are eligible for several prizes and awards. The Phoenix Award is a biennial award presented for distinguished achievement in Eudora Welty Scholarship, most recently presented to Suzan Harrison, author of Eudora Welty and Virginia Woolf: Gender, Genre, and Influence and a former Society President, for 2012. The Society also sponsors a Graduate Student Award for travel to the ALA conference to present a paper on Welty and co-sponsors the Ruth Vande Kieft Prize for the best essay on Welty by a beginning scholar. The Vande Kieft Prize carries with it an award of $150 and publication in the Eudora Welty Review; it was awarded in 2013 to Jacob Agner, a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi, for his essay “A Collision of Visions: Montage and the [End Page 186] Concept of Collision in Eudora Welty’s ‘June Recital,’” included in this issue of the EWR. For submission guidelines for the Vande Kieft Prize, see the announcement at the back of this issue.
American Literature Association, Boston, MA, May 23–26, 2013.
Eudora Welty Open Topic, First Session
Chair: David McWhirter, Texas A&M University
1. “‘Not Legally, But Really’: Negotiating Property and Power in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding,” Emily Daniell Magruder, California State University
2. “The Novelist Crusades: Narrative Agency of African-Americans in Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding,” David Smith, Baylor University
3. “Deviance, Criminality, and the Imagination in Eudora Welty,” Barbara Ladd, Emory University
Eudora Welty Open Topic, Second Session
Chair: Sarah Ford, Baylor University
1. “Mother Tongue: Eudora Welty, Warren County, and Some Early Fiction by Reynolds Price,” Bruce W. Jorgensen, Brigham Young University
2. “‘The Whole Solid Past’: The Object World of Eudora Welty’s The Optimist’s Daughter,” Travis Rozier, University of Mississippi
3. “Ecstasy and Agency in Welty’s Letters and The Bride of the Innisfallen,” Julia Eichelberger, College of Charleston
Eudora Welty Society Business Meeting
Eudora Welty scholars and readers are invited to join the Society for just $10 for two years (eudoraweltysociety.org/membership.html) and to support its work of promoting Welty studies scholarship and continuing her legacy as one of America’s greatest twentieth-century writers. [End Page 187]