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Call for Papers: “Sideshow Wonders: Carnivals, Parades, Pageants, and Fairs in Eudora Welty’s Works”

Aug. 6, 2002

The Eudora Welty Society is issuing a call for papers for its session at the Convention of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Atlanta, Georgia, November 14-16, 2003, on the topic “Sideshow Wonders: Carnivals, Parades, Pageants, and Fairs in Eudora Welty’s Works.”

For centuries, carnivals, parades, pageants, and fairs have provided unusual meeting places for people from all aspects of society. Such extravaganzas provoke questions about race, class structures, sex, and even violence. Eudora Welty was clearly fascinated with these transitory events. She writes about parades in One Writer’s Beginnings, carnival “freaks” in “Keela, the Outcast Indian Maiden” and “Petrified Man,” beauty pageants in “Hello and Goodbye,” a tent show in “Lily Daw and the Three Ladies,” and Mardi Gras in The Optimist’s Daughter. She also took numerous photographs of the fairs that traveled periodically to Jackson, Mississippi.

Submissions should explore how Welty’s backdrop of the fair, carnival, pageant, or parade influences our reading of her fiction, viewing of her photography, or both. Feel free to discuss the concept of the carnivalesque or to consider comparisons with other authors such as Carson McCullers and other photographers such as Diane Arbus.

Send proposals of approximately 500 words to M. Katherine Grimes, Ferrum College, P. O. Box 1000, Ferrum, VA 24088, email kgrimes@ferrum.edu, by March 1, 2003.


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