ONLINE CLASS: William Faulkner and Jesmyn Ward From Yoknapatawpha to Bois Sauvage (23118)

Four Thursdays: October 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. ET Online

$140 Per Person (10% off for Members)

In a recent interview with TIME Magazine, Jesmyn Ward explained that her work was in direct conversation with William Faulkner’s: “So much of his work was centered in this place that he made up in Mississippi, with this revolving set of characters that popped up in his work again and again. I understand that in some ways I’m attempting to do the same thing, to create this world and render it real and on the page.”

In this course we will read two novels that critics often discusses in kind—William Faulkner’s 1930 novel As I Lay Dying, set in his fictional Yoknapatawpha County, and Jesmyn Ward’s 2017 novel Sing, Unburied, Sing, set in her fictional town of Bois Sauvage—and explore together how their visions of the South are complementary and divergent, dissimilar and convergent, distinct and cooperative. What does it mean that contemporary Mississippi writers continue to turn to Faulkner for inspiration—and how do these writers move beyond, extend, or shift his vision of the South? How can we understand Ward’s work as offering us a new perspective on the South—albeit one shaped by (even in opposition to) Faulkner’s construction of Mississippi? In addition to exploring the themes and tropes of these novels, in this course we will explore contemporary theories in Southern Studies, focusing our attention on, in the main, ecocriticism, race and gender studies, and narrative studies.

Four Thursdays: October 5, 12, 19, and 26 from 6:30 p.m to 8:30 p.m. ET Online


Required Books:

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward (9781501126062)

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner (9780679732259)

Joanna Davis-McElligatt is an Assistant Professor of Black Literary and Cultural Studies in the Department of English at the University of North Texas, where she is also affiliated faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies and LGBTQ Studies Programs. She is co-editor of Narratives of Marginalized Identities in Higher Education: Inside and Outside the Academy (Routledge, 2019), Narrating History, Home, and Dyaspora: Critical Essays on Edwidge Danticat (U of Mississippi P, 2022), and BOOM! SPLAT! Comics and Violence (U of Mississippi P, 2024). She is currently at work on her first monograph entitled Black Aliens: Navigating Narrative Spacetime in Diasporic Speculative Fiction. Her scholarly work appears or is forthcoming in south: a scholarly journal, Mississippi Quarterly, The New William Faulkner Studies (Cambridge UP, 2023), The Cambridge Companion to the American Graphic Novel (Cambridge UP, 2023), A History of the Literature of the U.S. South (Cambridge UP, 2021), and Small Screen Souths: Region, Identity, and the Cultural Politics of Television (LSU P, 2017), among other places. She is currently serving as President of the Comics Studies Society, and is a Member at Large for the William Faulkner Society.

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can issue class refunds up until seven (7) days before the first class session.

SKU: 9787000012547
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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel By Jesmyn Ward Cover Image
ISBN: 9781501126079
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Scribner - May 8th, 2018

As I Lay Dying (Vintage International) By William Faulkner Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679732259
Availability: In Stock—Click for Locations
Published: Vintage - January 30th, 1991