Folklore 560: Southern Literature and the Oral Tradition

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Folklore 560: Southern Literature and the Oral Tradition

Tuesday/Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. (Graduate Session Tuesday 9:30-10:30 a.m.)

Love House & Hutchins Forum, 410 E. Franklin Street

Professor William Ferris

Office Hours: By appointment

Love House & Hutchins Forum


TA: Sara Camp Arnold

Office Hours: By Appointment, 412 Hamilton Hall

919-345-3171; or

Long before I wrote stories, I listened for stories. Listening for them is something more acute than listening to them. I suppose it’s an early form of participation in what goes on. Listening, children know stories are there. When their elders sit and begin, children are just waiting and hoping for one to come out, like a mouse from its hole.

Eudora Welty


One Writer’s Beginnings
Negro American folk tradition became precious as a result of an act of literary discovery. Taken as a whole, its spirituals along with its blues, jazz and folk tales, it has…much to tell us of the faith, humor and adaptability to reality necessary to live in a world which has taken on much of the insecurity and blues-like absurdity known to those who brought it into being.
Ralph Ellison

“Change the Joke and Slip theYoke”

Shadow and Act
The art of telling a humorous story—understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print—was created in America, and has remained at home.
Mark Twain

“How to Tell a Story”

I have often been awakened at the dawn of day by the most heart-rending shrieks of an own aunt of mine, whom he used to tie up to a joist, and whip upon her naked back till she was literally covered with blood….The louder she screamed, the harder he whipped;…He would whip her to make her scream, and whip her to make her hush;…It was a most terrible spectacle. I wish I could commit to paper the feelings with which I beheld it.
Frederick Douglass

The Life of Frederick Douglass
I just get in the crowd with the people and if they sing it I listen as best I can and then I start to joinin’ in with a phrase or two and then finally I get so I can sing a verse. And then I keep on until I learn all the verses and then I sing ‘em back to the people until they tell me that I can sing ‘em just like them. And then I take part and I try it out on different people who already know the song until they are quite satisfied that I know it. Then I carry it in my memory….I learn the song myself and then I can take it with me wherever I go.
Zora Neale Hurston

Interview with Alan Lomax

Course Description:
This course focuses on Southern writers and explores how they use oral traditions in their work. We will discuss the nature of oral tradition and how its study can provide a methodology for understanding Southern literature. We will consider how specific folklore genres such as folktales, sermons, and music are used by Southern writers, and we will discuss how such genres provide structure for literary forms such as the novel and the short story.
The seminar begins by exploring the nature of folklore and how its study has been applied to both oral and written literature. We will then consider examples of oral history and how they capture the southern voice. We will discuss how nineteenth century slave narratives by Harriet Ann Jacobs and Frederick Douglass and works by Tennessee Williams and Mark Twain deal with local color and black and white southern voices. After these readings, we will consider a rich selection of twentieth century Southern writers and discuss how they use folklore in their work.

Texts: The following texts for the class are available at Student Stores:
Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man

Walker Evans and James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men

William Faulkner, The Hamlet

William Ferris, Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men

Ernest Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman

Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men

Randall Kenan, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead

Lee Smith, Oral History

Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza and other Italian Tales

Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Alice Walker, The Color Purple

Daniel Wallace, Big Fish

Eudora Welty, Selected Stories
Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Richard Wright, Black Boy

Course Requirements:
Each student will choose a writer and will present a 15-minute oral report that will include a dramatic reading of the writer’s work. Students will also write a research paper that discusses how oral tradition is developed in the work of a Southern writer. The length of the paper should be 12 pages for undergraduate students and 24 pages for graduate students and is due before the end of exams. Final grades will be based on: topic assignment (10%), working bibliography assignment (5%), the term paper (60%), class presentation (10%), and class participation (15%).


A one-paragraph description of your topic and reason for choosing this topic (hard copy) are due in class on Thursday, February 17th. This portion of your project is worth 10% of your final grade.

Your paper topic should take a piece of literature we have studied or will study in this class and link it to a Southern oral tradition or an element of an oral tradition. Be creative with your topic and feel free to bring in your Southern, literary, and/or storytelling experience. The optional readings included for each unit in the syllabus provide an excellent source for paper ideas. A document detailing grading criteria for the final project will be provided early in the semester.
Some simple examples include:

Huckleberry Finn and the Element of Travel in Country Music Lyrics

Hurston’s Mules and Men and African American Folk Humor

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and the Southern Art of Conversation

Ray Lum, Mule Trader and the Memorate as Folkloric Form

Let Us Now Praise Famous Men and My Grandfather’s Sharecropping Memories

The Color Purple and the Role of Women in Shaping Southern Folklore


Bring a hard-copy list of potential and explored sources to class on Tuesday, March 1st. This should be a working list of at least 5 sources you will reference for your final paper. This portion of your project is worth 5% of your final grade. Office Hour meetings will be scheduled around this time to discuss working paper outlines, as well.


If you would like Sara Camp to carefully review your first draft, bring a hard copy of this final paper draft to class on Thursday, April 7th. It will be returned to you on Tuesday, April 14th with comments. No draft reading will occur after this time. This exercise is recommended, but not required.


You will sign up to share your research in an eight-minute presentation on April 21st and April 26th. Power Point presentations and the use of outside materials are encouraged. (Power Point presentations should be saved to a CD-R to avoid technical problems). This portion of your project is worth 10% of your final grade.


Your final papers (hard copy) are due on the last day of class, April 26th, by 5pm in the Love House & Hutchins Forum. There will be no extensions granted for the final paper. The final paper will be worth 60% of your grade.


Class participation will be measured by: participation in class discussion and lecture, attendance, and submission of weekly reading questions on Blackboard (this process will be explained in class), and will represent 15% of your grade.


The Nature of Oral Literature (January 11, 2011)

Visit from Jacqueline Solis, librarian for the course

Required Readings:

Gene Bluestein, “Folklore and the American Character” in the Voice of the Folk, pp. 65-90.

T.S. Eliot, “Tradition and the Individual Talent”

William Ferris, “Folklife,” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, pp. 451-457.

Charles Reagan Wilson and William Ferris, “Introduction,” Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, pp. xv-xx.

Francis Lee Utley, “Folk Literature: An Operational Definition” in Alan Dundes, The Story of Folklore, pp. 7-24.

Optional Readings:

Antti Aarene and Stith Thompson, The Types of the Folktale.

Jan Harold Brunvand, The Study of American Folklore.

Alan Dundes, “The Study of Folklore.”

William Ferris, Local Color.

------------------“The Collection of Racial Lore: Approaches and Problems” in New York Folklore Quarterly, Sept. 1971, pp. 261-279.

Melville and Frances Herskovits, Dahomean Narrative, pp. 1-80.

Daniel Hoffman, Form & Fable in American Fiction, pp. 1-98.

Melville Jacobs, The Content & Style of An Oral Literature, pp. 1-70.

Lord, Singer of Tales

Stith Thompson, The Folktale.

Stith Thompson, “Myth and Folktales,” in Myth: A Symposium.

Butler Waugh, “Structural Analysis in Literature and Folklore,” Western Folklore, 1966.

Rene Wellek & Austin Warren, Theory of Literature, pp. 46-47.

Sol Worth, Through Navajo Eyes.

“The Writer’s Sense of Place,” South Dakota Review, Autumn 1975, vol. 13, no. 3.

Don Yoder, “Folklife Studies in American Scholarship,” in American Folklife, ed. Don Yoder.

Folklore and the Writer (January 13, 2011)

Required Readings:

David W. Blight, “Southerners Don’t Lie; They Just Remember Big,” in Where These Memories Grow, W. Fitzhugh Brundage, editor (Chapel Hill, 2000), pp. 347-354.

Sterling Brown, “Background of Folklore in Negro Literature,” in Motherwit, Alan Dundes, ed., pp. 39-44.

W. Fitzhugh Brundage, “Introduction: No Deed but Memory,” Where These Memories Grow (Chapel Hill, 2000), pp. 1-28.

William Ferris, “Folklore and the African Novelist: Achebe and Tutola,” Journal of American Folklore, vol. 86, no. 339, January-March 1973, pp. 25-36.

-----------, “Folklore and Folklife in the Works of John M. Synge,” New York Folklore Quarterly, vol. XXVII, no. 4, pp. 339-356.

Pierce Lewis, “Defining a Sense of Place,” Sense of Place: Mississippi, Peggy W. Prenshaw and Jesse O. McKee, editors, pp. 24-46.

Jerry W. Ward, “Folklore and the Study of Black Literature,” Mississippi Folklore Register, Fall 1972, Vol. VI, No. 3, pp. 83-90.

Optional Readings:
Henning Cohen, “American Literature & American Folklore” in Tristam Potter Coffin, ed., Our Living Traditions, pp. 238-250.

Stanley Edgar Hyman, “The Folk Tradition,” in Motherwit, pp. 46-55.

Gershon Legman, “Folk Literature and Folklore,” in The Horn Book, pp. 289-335.

Gershon Legman, “The Merry Muses as Folklore,” in The Horn Book, pp. 170-238.

Constance Rourke, American Humor.

Paul C. Sherr, The Short Story and Oral Tradition.

Walker Evans and James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (January 18, 2011)

Optional readings:
Walker Evans (New York Graphic Society, Greenwich, CT).

William Ferris, “The Dogtrot: A Mythic Image in Southern Culture.”

William Ferris, “Interview with William Christenberry.”

William Ferris, “Interview with Walker Evans.”

Henry Glassie, Pattern in the Material Folk Culture of the Eastern United States.

Interview with Walker Evans, in Yale Alumni Magazine, February 1974, pp. 12-16.

Michael Lesy, Wisconsin Death Trip.

Tom Rankin, Sacred Space: Photographs from the Mississippi Delta.

Thomas J. Schlereth, Material Culture Studies in America.

William Scott, Documentary Expression and Thirties America

John Michael Vlach, Back of the Big House: The Architecture of Plantation Slavery.


Walker Evans: America

Folk Autobiography (January 20, 2011)

William Ferris, Mule Trader: Ray Lum's Tales of Horses, Mules and Men
Required Reading:

William Ferris, “Southern Literature and Folk Humor,” Southern Cultures, vol. 1, no. 4, Summer 1995.

Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (January 25 & 27, 2011)

Optional readings:
James Axtell, “Scholastic Philosophy of the Wilderness,” William and Mary Quarterly, July 1972.

Julie Bosman. “Publisher Tinkers With Twain.” (New York Times, 1/5/11)

Jocelyn Chadwick-Joshua, The Jim Dilemma: Reading Race in Huckleberry Finn.

Leslie Fiedler, “Come Back to the Raft, Huck Honey.”

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Lighting Out for the Territory: Reflections on Mark Twain and American Culture.

Shelley Fisher Fishkin, Was Huck Black? Mark Twain and African-American Voices.

Daniel Hoffman, “Mark Twain” in Form and Fable in American Fiction, pp. 317-352.

Michiko Kakutani. “Light Out, Huck, They Still Want to Sivilize You.” (New York Times, 1/6/11)

Harriet E. Smith et al, editors. The Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 1. (University of California Press, published in November 2010.)

Jon Swaine. “Censored Huckleberry Finn prompts political correctness debate.” (The Telegraph (UK), 1/5/2011)

Mark Twain, “How to Tell a Story and Other Essays,” Oxford Mark Twain. Edited by Shelley Fisher Fishkin.

Victor R. West, Folklore in the Works of Mark Twain.


Return to the River, by William Ferris. Mississippi Authority for Educational Television.

Zora Neale Hurston, Mules and Men (February 1 & 3, 2011)
Optional readings:
Valerie Boyd, Wrapped in Rainbows: The Life of Zora Neale Hurston.

Henry Louis Gates, et al., eds. Zora Neale Hurston: Critical Perspectives Past and Present (Amistad Library).

Robert E. Hemenway, Zora Neale Hurston: A Literary Biography.

Zora Neale Hurston, “Hoodoo in America,” Journal of American Folklore, vol. 44, October-December 1931, no. 174, pp. 317-417.

Carla Kaplan, Zora Neale Hurston: A Life in Letters.

Slave Narratives (February 8, 2011)
Required Readings:

William L. Andrews, General Editor, Minrose C. Gwin, Trudier Harris, and Fred Hobson, editors, The Literature of the American South: Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself, pp. 169-219, and Harriet Ann Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, pp. 125-152.

Optional readings:
Ira Berlin, Mark Favreau, et al., eds. Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Freedom.

William H. Chafe, Raymond Gavins, Robert Korstad, eds. Remembering Jim Crow: African Americans Tell About Life in the Segregated South.

Jennifer Lynn Ritterhouse and Robert Gavins, eds. Behind the Veil Project.

Randall Kenan, Let the Dead Bury Their Dead (February 10, 2011)

Visit from Professor Kenan Thursday, February 10

Optional readings:
W.E.B. DuBois, The Souls of Black Folk. With a New Introduction by Randall Kenan.

Randall Kenan, “James Baldwin: American Writer.” Lives of Notable Gay Men and Lesbians, ed. Martin B. Duberman.

----------, A Visitation of Spirits: A Novel.

----------, Walking on Water: Black American Lives at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century.

Norman Mauskopf and Randall Kenan, A Time Not Here: The Mississippi Delta.

Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man (February 15 & 17, 2011)
Optional readings:
Kimberly W. Benston, ed. Speaking for You: The Vision of Ralph Ellison.

Robert A. Bone, The Negro Novel in America, pp. 197-212.

Harold Bloom, ed. Ralph Ellison (Modern Critical Views).

Gene Bluestein, “The Blues as a Literary Theme,” The Voice of the Folk, pp. 117-140.

Robert Butler, ed. The Critical Response to Ralph Ellison: Critical Responses in Arts and Letters.

John Callahan, et al., eds. The Collected Essays of Ralph Ellison. (Modern Library)

John F. Callahan, Ellison's Invisible Man (Bradley Lecture Series Publication).

Jacqueline Covo, The Blinking Eye: Ralph Waldo Ellison and His American, French, German, and Italian Critics, 1952-1971; Bibliographic Essays and a Checklist.

Charles Davis, “The Heavenly Voice of the Black American,” in Anagogic Qualities of Literature, ed. Strelka.

Julia Eichelberger, Prophets of Recognition: Ideology and the Individual in Novels by Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, Saul Bellow, and Eudora Welty.

Ralph Ellison, “Change the Yoke and Slip the Joke” in Motherwit, pp. 56-66.

----------, Conversations With Ralph Ellison.

----------, Shadow & Act.

----------, “A Very Stern Discipline,” Harper’s Magazine, March 1967, pp. 76-95.

“Ralph Ellison: His Literary Works and States” (Special Issue) Black World, December 1970.

William R. Ferris, “Black Prose Narrative in the Mississippi Delta: An Overview” in Journal of American Folklore, vol. 85, no. 336, April-June 1972.

Henry L. Gates and Kwame Anthony Appiah, eds. Ralph Ellison: Critical Perspectives Past and Present (Amistad Literary Series).

John Richard Hersey, Ralph Ellison: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, Folklore and Myth in Ralph Ellison's Early Works.

R. Jothiprakash, Commitment As a Theme in African American Literature: A Study of James Baldwin and Ralph Ellison (American Black Studies).

Kerry McSweeney, Invisible Man: Race and Identity (Twayne's Masterwork Studies, No 17).

Albert Murray, ed. Trading Twelves: The Selected Letters of Ralph Ellison and Albert Murray.

Larry Neal, “Politics as Ritual: Ellison’s Zoot Suit” Black World, December 1970, pp. 31-52.

John O’Brien, “Ralph Ellison,” Interviews With Black Writers, pp. 63-78.

Robert G., O'Meally, The Craft of Ralph Ellison.

Robert G. O'Meally, ed. Living With Music: Ralph Ellison’s Jazz Writings. (Modern Library.)

Robert G. O'Meally, ed. New Essays on Invisible Man.

Constance Rourke, American Humor, pp. 70-90.

Edith Schor, Visible Ellison: A Study of Ralph Ellison’s Fiction.

Eric J. Sundquist, ed. Cultural Contexts for Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man: A Bedford Documentary Companion (Bedford Documentary Companion).

Joseph F. Trimmer, A Casebook on Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man.

Jerry Gafio Watts, Heroism and the Black Intellectual: Ralph Ellison, Politics, and Afro-American Intellectual Life.

Richard Wright, Black Boy (February 22 & 24, 2011)
Optional readings:
William L. Andrews, et al., eds. Richard Wright's Black Boy American Hunger: A Casebook (Casebooks in Criticism).

Houston A. Baker, Twentieth Century Interpretations of Native Son; A Collection of Critical Essays.

Harold Bloom, ed. Richard Wright (Modern Critical Views).

Robert A. Bone, The Negro Novel in America, pp. 140-159.

----------, Richard Wright.

R. Corrigan & Charles Davis, Richard Wright: His Work, His World, and His Influences (4 vol.).

Michael Fabre, The Unfinished Quest of Richard Wright.

----------, The World of Richard Wright (Center for the Study of Southern Culture Series).

Michel Fabre and Ellen Wright, eds. Richard Wright Reader.

Henry Louis Gates, ed. Richard Wright: Critical Perspectives Past and Present (Amistad Literary Series)

Ellen Ann Fentress, “Intimate Strangers.” The Oxford American magazine.

Addison Gayle, Richard Wright: A Biography.

Joyce Hart, Richard Wright: Author of Native Son (World Writers).

Keneth. Kinnamon, The Emergence of Richard Wright: A Study in Literature and Society.

Keneth Kinnamon, ed. Conversations With Richard Wright (Literary Conversations Series (Paper).

Keneth Kinnamon, ed. Critical Essays on Richard Wright's Native Son (Critical Essays on American Literature).

Keneth Kinnamon, ed. New Essays on Native Son.

Richard MacKesey, ed. Richard Wright: A Collection of Critical Essays.

Edward Margolies, The Art of Richard Wright

James A. Miller, ed. Approaches to Teaching Wright's Native Son (Approaches to Teaching World Literature (Paper), No 58).

Hayley R. Mitchell, ed. Readings on Native Son (The Greenhaven Press Literary Companion to American Literature)

Arnold Rampersad, ed. Richard Wright: A Collection of Critical Essays (New Century Views).

John M. Reilly, ed. Richard Wright: The Critical Reception.

Hazel Rowley, Richard Wright: The Life and Times.

Margaret Walker, An Interview with Margaret Walker.

Margaret Walker, Richard Wright: Daemonic Genius: A Portrait of the Man a Critical Look at His Work

Constance Webb, Richard Wright: A Biography.
Robin Westen, Richard Wright: Author of Native Son and Black Boy.

John A. Williams, The Most Native of Sons.

Richard Wright, Bigger Thomas (Major Literary Characters). Designed by Harold Bloom.

----------, Black Boy.

----------, The Long Dream.

----------, Uncle Tom’s Children.

----------, White Man Listen.

Richard Wright: Black Boy

For My People: The Life and Writing of Margaret Walker

Lee Smith, Oral History (March 1 & 3, 2011)

Visit from Ms. Smith Tuesday, March 1

Optional readings:

Dannye Romine Powell, “Lee Smith,” Parting the Curtains: Voices of the Great Southern Writers, pp. 395-414.

Lee Smith, The Last Girls.

----------, Fair and Tender Ladies.

----------, The Christmas Letters.

----------, The Day the Dogbushes Bloomed.

----------, The Devil’s Dream.

----------, Cakewalk.

----------, Fancy Strut.

----------, Family Linen.

----------, Me and My Baby View the Eclipse.

----------, Black Mountain Breakdown.

----------, Something in the Wind.

SPRING BREAK: week of March 7, 2011.
Daniel Wallace, Big Fish (March 15, 2011)

Visit from Professor Wallace Tuesday, March 15

Date of Big Fish film screening TBA
Optional readings:
Daniel Cross Turner, “The Magical Work of Fiction: An Interview with Daniel Wallace.” storySouth (Spring 2009).

Daniel Wallace, Elynora.

------------, Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician.

------------, O Great Rosenfeld!

------------, Ray in Reverse.

------------, The Watermelon King.

Barrie Wilson, “Big Fish: Understanding Historical Narrative”. Journal of Religion and Popular Culture.


Ernest Gaines, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (March 17, 2011)

Optional readings:
B.A. Botkin, Lay My Burden Down.

Mary Ellen Doyle, Voices from the Quarters: The Fiction of Ernest J. Gaines (Southern Literary Studies).

David C. Estes, ed. Critical Reflections on the Fiction of Ernest J. Gaines.

William Ferris, Interview with Ernest Gaines.

Ernest J. Gaines and John Lowe, eds. Conversations With Ernest Gaines. (Literary Conversations Series.)

Ernest Gaines, Of Love and Dust, Bloodline.

Ernest Gaines, “Yale Talk.”

Marcia G. Gaudet, et al., eds. Porch Talk With Ernest Gaines: Conversations on the Writer’s Craft.

Clifton H. Johnson, Paul Radin, and Charles S. Johnson, eds. God Struck Me Dead.

John O’Brien, “Ernest Gaines,” Interviews with Black Writers, pp. 79-94.

George P. Rawick, Unwritten History of Slavery.

Anne K. Simpson, A Gathering of Gaines: The Man and the Writer.

Alice Walker, The Color Purple (March 22, 2011)
Optional readings:
Erma Davis Banks and Keith Byerman, Alice Walker: An Annotated Bibliography 1968-1986. Garland Reference Library of the Humanities, vol. 889.

Harold Bloom, ed. Alice Walker.

Harold Bloom, ed. Alice Walker's The Color Purple (Modern Critical Interpretations).
Rudolph P. Byrd. The World Has Changed: Conversations With Alice Walker.

Robert Coles, “To Try Men’ Souls,” in Farewell to the South, pp. 137-141.

----------, “The Revenge of Hannah XXXX.”

Ikenna Dieke, ed. Critical Essays on Alice Walker: (Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies).

William Ferris, Interview with Alice Walker.

Henry Louis Gates, ed. Alice Walker: Critical Perspectives Past and Present (Amistad Literary Series).

Lillie P. Howard, ed. Alice Walker and Zora Neale Hurston: The Common Bond (Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies)

Carol Jago, Alice Walker in the Classroom: ‘Living by the Word.’

Janet J. Montelaro, Producing a Womanist Text: The Maternal As Signifier in Alice Walker's the Color Purple (Els Monograph Series, No 70).

John O’Brien, “Alice Walker,” Interviews With Black Writers, pp. 185-212.

John O’Brien, Interviewing Black Writers.

Louis H. Pratt and Darnell D. Pratt, Alice Malsenior Walker: An Annotated Bibliography, 1968-1986.

Alice Walker, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens.
Alice Walker, Once & Revolutionary Petunias.

Alice Walker, “To Hell with Dying,” Black & White: Stories of American Life, edited by Carol Anselment and Donald B. Gibson, pp. 190-198.

Eudora Welty, Selected Stories (March 24 & 29, 2011)
Optional readings:
Alfred Appel, Jr. A Season of Dreams: The Fiction of Eudora Welty.

Rene Paul Barilleaux, ed. Passionate Observer: Eudora Welty Among Artists of the Thirties.

Louise Blackwell, “Eudora Welty: Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases in The Golden Apple,” Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 30, 1966, pp. 332-337.

Harold Bloom, ed. Eudora Welty (Modern Critical Views: Contemporary Americans).

Barbara H. Carson, Eudora Welty: Two Pictures at Once in Her Frame.

Laurie Champion, ed. The Critical Response to Eudora Welty's Fiction: (Critical Responses in Arts and Letters).

Albert J. Devlin, Eudora Welty's Chronicle: A Story of Mississippi Life.

----------, Welty: A Life in Literature.

Louis D. Dollarhide and Ann J. Abadie, eds. Eudora Welty a Form of Thanks.

Ellen Ann Fentress, “Intimate Strangers.” The Oxford American magazine.

Jan Nordby Gretlund, Eudora Welty's Aesthetics of Place.

Jan Nordby Gretlund and Karl-Heinz Westarp, eds. The Late Novels of Eudora Welty.

Franziska Gygax, Serious Daring from Within: Female Narrative Strategies in Eudora Welty's Novels. Contributions in Women's Studies, no. 114.

Carol Ann Johnston, Eudora Welty: A Study of the Short Fiction (Twayne's Studies in Short Fiction, No 67).

William M. Jones, “Eudora Welty’s Use of Myth in ‘Death of a Traveling Salesman,’” Journal of American Folklore, vol. 73, 1960, pp. 18-23.

----------, “Name and Symbol in the Prose of Eudora Welty,” Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 22, 1958, pp. 173-185.

Michael Kreyling, Author and Agent: Eudora Welty and Diarmuid Russell.

----------, Eudora Welty's Achievement of Order.

----------, Understanding Eudora Welty.

Robert MacNeil, Eudora Welty: Seeing Black and White.

Carol S. Manning, With Ears Opening Like Morning Glories: Eudora Welty and the Love of Storytelling. Contributions in Women's Studies, no. 58.)

Suzanne Marrs, One Writer's Imagination: The Fiction of Eudora Welty.

----------, The Welty Collection: A Guide to the Eudora Welty Manuscripts at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Pearl Amelia McHaney, ed. Eudora Welty: Writers' Reflections upon First Reading Welty.

Gail L. Mortimer, Daughter of the Swan: Love and Knowledge in Eudora Welty's Fiction.

Cameron Northouse, ed. Eudora Welty: A Bibliography of Research and Criticism, 1970-1986. Literary Bibliographies, no. 4.

Diana R. Pingatore, A Reader's Guide to the Short Stories of Eudora Welty.

Noel Polk, Eudora Welty: A Bibliography of Her Work.

Harriet Pollack, “Words Between Strangers: On Welty, Her Style, and Her Audience,” in Welty: A Life in Literature, by Albert J. Devlin.

Harriet Pollack and Suzanne Marrs, eds. Eudora Welty and Politics: Did the Writer Crusade?

Dannye Romine Powell, “Eudora Welty,” Parting the Curtains: Voices of the Great Southern Writers, pp. 455-477.

Ann Romines, “Reading the Cakes: Delta Wedding and the Texts of Southern Women’s Culture,” Mississippi Quarterly: The Journal of Southern Cultures, (50:4) [Fall 1997], pp. 601-616.

----------, “Welty’s Beginnings: Housekeeping and the Other Way to Live,” in The Home Plot: Womena, Writing, and Domestic Ritual.

----------, “Welty and the Dynamo in the House: “Why Keep It Up, Old Woman?” in The Home Plot: Womena, Writing, and Domestic Ritual.

Peter Schmidt, The Heart of the Story: Eudora Welty's Short Fiction.

Bethany C. Swearingen, Eudora Welty: A Critical Bibliography, 1936-1958.

Victor H. Thompson, Eudora Welty: A Reference Guide. Reference Guides in Literature, no. 11.

Dawn Trouard, ed. Eudora Welty: Eye of the Storyteller.

W. Craig Turner and Lee Emling, eds. Harding Critical Essays on Eudora Welty.

Ann Waldron, Eudora: A Writer's Life.

Louise Hutchings Westling, Eudora Welty.

Ruth D. Weston, Gothic Traditions and Narrative Techniques in the Fiction of Eudora Welty (Southern Literary Studies).

Eudora Welty, Conversations With Eudora Welty.

----------, Eudora Welty Photographs.

----------, The Eye of the Story: Selected Essays and Reviews.

----------, “Interview with William Buckley” (PBS) Firingline.

----------, “Interview by William Ferris.

----------, One Time One Place: Mississippi in the Depression: A Snapshot Album.

----------, One Writer's Beginnings.

----------, On Writing (Modern Library).

----------, “Place in Fiction.”

----------, “Where Is the Voice Coming From?” New Yorker, Fall 1972.

Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, Eudora Welty: Critical Essays.

Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, ed. More Conversations With Eudora Welty.

----------, Eudora Welty: Thirteen Essays.

Eudora Welty

Why I Live At the P.O.

Four Women Artists

William Faulkner, The Hamlet (March 31 & April 5, 2011)
Optional readings:
Andre Bleikasten, The Ink of Melancholy: Faulkner's Novels from the Sound and the Fury to Light in August.

Harold Bloom, ed. William Faulkner. Modern Critical Views.

Gene Bluestein, “The Blues as a Literary Theme,” Voice of the Folk, pp. 117-140.

Cleanth Brooks, William Faulkner: The Yoknapatawpha Country

Cleanth Brooks, William Faulkner: Toward Yoknapatawpha and Beyond.

Gwendolyne Chabrier, Faulkner's Families: A Southern Saga.

Malcolm Cowley, The Faulkner-Cowley File: Letters and Memories, 1944-1962.

Martin J. Dain, Faulkner's World: The Photographs of Martin J. Dain.

Don Harrison Doyle, Faulkner's County: The Historical Roots of Yoknapatawpha (Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies).

John N. Duvall, Faulkner's Marginal Couple: Invisible, Outlaw, and Unspeakable Communities.

A. Nicholas Fargnoli and Michael Golay, William Faulkner A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life and Work.

William Ferris, “William Faulkner and Phil Stone,” The South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. LXVIII, no. 4, Autumn 1969, pp. 536-542.

Edouard Glissant, et al. Faulkner Mississippi.

Richard J. Gray, The Life of William Faulkner: A Critical Biography (Blackwell Critical Biography).

Frederick L. Gwynn, ed. Faulkner in the University.

Robert W. Hamblin and Charles A. Peek, eds. A William Faulkner Encyclopedia.

Thomas S. Hines, William Faulkner and the Tangible Past: The Architecture of Yoknapatawpha.

Daniel Hoffman, Faulkner's Country Matters: Folklore and Fable in Yoknapatawpha.

Catherine D. Holmes, Annotations to William Faulkner's the Hamlet.

Irving Howe, William Faulkner: A Critical Study.

Elmo Howell, “Faulkner’s Sartoris and the Mississippi Country People,” Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 25, 1961, pp. 136-146.

M. Thomas Inge, ed. Conversations with William Faulkner.

----------, William Faulkner : The Contemporary Reviews.

Frederick Karl, William Faulkner.

Donald M. Kartiganer, ed. Faulkner and Psychology: Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha, 1991.

Arthur F. Kinney, ed. Critical Essays on William Faulkner: The Sutpen Family (Critical Essays on American Literature).

Judith Lockyer, Ordered by Words: Language and Narration in the Novels of William Faulkner.

John Miller Maclachlan, “William Faulkner and the Southern Folk,” Southern Folklore Quarterly, vol. 9, 1945, pp. 153-167.

James B. Meriwether, ed. Lion in the Garden: Interviews With William Faulkner, 1926-1962.

Michael Millgate, The Achievement of William Faulkner.

----------, Faulkner's Place.

David L. Minter, Faulkner's Questioning Narratives: Fiction of His Major Phase, 1929-42.

----------, William Faulkner: His Life and Work

Wesley Morris, et al. Reading Faulkner (Wisconsin Project on American Writers).

Stephen B. Oates, William Faulkner: The Man and the Artist: A Biography.

Charles R. Peavy, “Faulkner’s Use of Folklore in The Sound and the Fury,” Journal of American Folklore, vol. 79, 1966, pp. 437-447.

John Pilkington, The Heart of Yoknapatawpha.

Noel Polk and John Hart, The Hamlet: A Concordance to the Novel. The Faulkner Concordances, no. 14.

Stephen M. Ross, Fiction's Inexhaustible Voice: Speech and Writing in Faulkner.

Daniel Joseph Singal, William Faulkner: The Making of a Modernist (Fred W. Morrison Series in Southern Studies).

Kiyoko M. Toyama, Faulkner and the Modern Fable.

Olga W. Vickery, The Novels of William Faulkner: A Critical Interpretation.

Edmond Loris Volpe, A Reader's Guide to William Faulkner: The Novels.
Linda Wagner-Martin, ed. William Faulkner: Six Decades of Criticism.


Faulkner Country

Martin Dain, Faulkner’s Country

Faulkner at West Point

William Faulkner: A Life On Paper
*April 6-April 24, 2011: Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn will be at Playmakers Theater. Professor Ferris will be giving a talk at one of these performances, date TBA. We will look into getting tickets to the show for interested students in our class.
Elizabeth Spencer, The Light in the Piazza and Other Italian Tales (April 7 & 12, 2011)

Visit from Mrs. Spencer Thursday, April 7

Optional readings:
Barbara Miles, ed. Elizabeth Spencer: A Writer Born, a Collection of Critical and Personal Perspectives. Introduction by Robert Phillips.

Elizabeth Spencer, Jack of Diamonds: And Other Stories.

----------, Landscapes of the Heart: A Memoir.

----------, The Light in the Piazza and Other Italian Tales (Banner Books). Illustrated by Robert Phillips.

----------, This Crooked Way (Voices of the South).

----------, The Night Travellers (Voices of the South).

----------, On the Gulf (Author and Artist Series). Illustrated by Walter Anderson.

----------, The Salt Line (Voices of the South).

----------, The Snare: A Novel. Illustrated by Peggy Whitman Prenshaw.

----------, The Stories of Elizabeth Spencer.

----------, The Voice at the Back Door (Voices of the South)

Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, ed. Conversations With Elizabeth Spencer.

--------------------------------, Elizabeth Spencer. Twayne's United States Authors Series, no. 488.

Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (April 14 & 19, 2011)
Optional Readings:

Catherine M. Arnott, File on Tennessee Williams (Writers on File)

Emmanuel B Asibong, Tennessee Williams: The tragic tension : a study of the plays of Tennessee Williams from "The glass menagerie" (1944) to "The milk train doesn't stop here anymore" (1966)

Roger Boxill, Tennessee Williams (Macmillan modern dramatists)

John Anderson Brayton, The ancestry of Tennessee Williams

Senata Karolina Bauer-Briski, The Role of Sexuality in the Major Plays of Tennessee Williams

Harold Bloom, Tennessee Williams (Bloom's Modern Critical Views)

----------, Tennessee Williams's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Bloom's Modern Critical Interpretations)

George W. Crandell, Tennessee Williams: A Descriptive Bibliography (Pittsburgh Series in Bibliography)

----------, ed., The Critical Response to Tennessee Williams (Critical Responses in Arts and Letters)

Albert J. Devlin, et al, The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Volume II: 1946-1957

Tennessee Williams, Albert J. Devlin, Conversations With Tennessee Williams (Literary Conversations Series)

Signi Lenea Falk, Tennessee Williams (Twayne's United States Author Series, 10)

orman J Fedder, The influence of D. H. Lawrence on Tennessee Williams,

Anne Fleche, Mimetic Disillusion: Eugene O'Neill, Tennessee Williams, and U.S. Dramatic Realism

Donahue Francis, The Dramatic World of Tennessee Williams.

Alice Griffin, Understanding Tennessee Williams (Understanding Contemporary American Literature)

Robert F. Gross, Tennessee Williams : A Casebook (Casebooks on Modern Dramatists, Volume 28)

Drewey Wayne Gunn, Tennessee Williams, a bibliography (Scarecrow author bibliographies ; no. 48)

Robert Hauptman, The Pathological Vision: Jean Genet, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, and Tennessee Williams (American University Studies. Series III, Comparative Literature, Vol. 5)

Ronald Hayman, Tennessee Williams: Everyone Else Is an Audience

Greta Heintzelman, Alycia Smith Howard, Tennessee Williams A To Z: The Essential Reference To His Life And Work (Critical Companion)

A Portrait of the Artist: The Plays of Tennessee Williams (Literary Criticism Series)

W. Kenneth Holditch, Richard Freeman Leavitt, Tennessee Williams and the South

Esther M Jackson, The broken world of Tennessee Williams

Gulshan Rai Kataria, The Faces of Eve: A Study of Tennessee William's Heroines

Philip C. Kolin, ed., The Tennessee Williams Encyclopedia

-----------, ed., Confronting Tennessee Williams's A Streetcar Named Desire: Essays in Critical Pluralism (Contributions in Drama and Theatre Studies)

-----------, ed., Tennessee Williams

Richard F. Leavitt The World of Tennessee Williams

Lyle Leverich, Tom : The Unknown Tennessee Williams -- Volume I of the Tennessee Williams Biography

Felicia Hardison Londre, Tennessee Williams (World Dramatists)

Robert A. Martin, Critical Essays on Tennessee Williams (Critical Essays on American Literature)

John S. McCann, The Critical Reputation of Tennessee Williams: A Reference Guide (A Reference guide to literature)

Brenda Murphy, Tennessee Williams and Elia Kazan : A Collaboration in the Theatre

Timothy Murray, Evolving texts: The writing of Tennessee Williams : catalog of an exhibition at the Hugh M. Morris Library, University of Delaware

Jacqueline O'Connor, Dramatizing Dementia: Madness in the Plays of Tennessee Williams

Nicholas Pagan, Rethinking Literary Biography: A Postmodern Approach to Tennessee Williams

Michael Paller Gentlemen Callers : Tennessee Williams, Homosexuality, and Mid-Twentieth Century Drama

Grigor Pavlov, Blood and mustard;: A brief look at Tennessee Williams' major themes and technique

Gene D. Phillips, The Films of Tennessee Williams

Dotson Rader, Tennessee: Cry of the Heart/an Intimate Memoir of Tennessee Williams

Harry Rasky, Tennessee Williams: A Portrait in Laughter and Lamentation

Ingrid Rogers, Tennessee Williams: A Moralist's Answer to the Perils of Life (Europaische Hochschulschriften : Reihe 14, Angelsachsische Sprache Und Literatur, V. 44.)

Matthew C. Roudané, ed., The Cambridge Companion to Tennessee Williams (Cambridge Companions to Literature)

Annette J. Saddik, The Politics of Reputation: The Critical Reception of Tennessee Williams' Later Plays

June Schlueter, Dramatic Closure: Reading the End

Irene Shaland, Tennessee Williams on the Soviet stage

Muhammad Shukri, Tennessee Williams in Tangier

Bruce Smith, Costly Performances Tennessee Williams

Donald Spoto, The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams

S. Stanton, Twentieth Century Interpretations of Tennessee Williams: A Collection of Critical Essays (A Spectrum book ; S-TC-131)

Mike Steen, A Look at Tennessee Williams

Stewart Stern, No Tricks in My Pocket: Paul Newman Directs

Jac Tharpe, Tennessee Williams: A Tribute

Judith J. Thompson, Tennessee Williams' Plays: Memory, Myth, and Symbol

Nancy M. Tischler, Student Companion to Tennessee Williams (Student Companions to Classic Writers)

Nancy Marie Patterson Tischler, Tennessee Williams: Rebellious Puritan

Dennis P. Vannatta, Tennessee Williams: A Study of Short Fiction (Twayne's Studies in Short Fiction, 4)

Ralph F. Voss, Magical Muse: Millennial Essays on Tennessee Williams

G. Weales, Tennessee Williams

Dakin Williams, His Brother's Keeper: The Life and Murder of Tennessee Williams

Edwina Dakin Williams, Remember Me to Tom,

Tennessee Williams, Tennessee Williams: Plays 1957-1980 (Library of America)

-----------, The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams

-----------, Memoirs

-----------, Five O'clock Angel : Letters of Tennessee Williams to Maria St. Just, 1948-1982

-----------, Where I Live: Selected Essays

-----------, Tennessee Williams' letters to Donald Windham, 1940-1965

-----------, The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, Volume I: 1920-1945

David Savran, Communists, cowboys, and queers: The politics of masculinity in the work of Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams

Sandrine Villers, La société américaine dans le théâtre de Tennessee Williams (Collection Critiques littéraires)

Donald Windham, As If: A Personal View of Tennessee Williams

-----------, Footnote to a Friendship: A Memoir of Truman Capote & Others

-----------, Lost Friendships: A Memoir of Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Others

Maurice Yacowar, Tennessee Williams and Film (Ungar Film Library)

Student Presentations (April 21 & 26, 2011)

FINAL PAPERS DUE ON APRIL 26TH BY 5PM, Love House & Hutchins Forum

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