WCU Hosts Mississippi Philological Association Conference

Hattiesburg, Miss., February 25, 2013 - The Department of Language and Literature at William Carey University hosted the annual Mississippi Philological Association (MPA) Conference on February 8-9.  This year’s conference featured critical, creative, and pedagogical papers from scholars across the South.

Approximately 100 faculty, staff members, and students attended the conference from Alcorn State University, Delta State University, Grambling State University, Jackson State University, Mississippi College, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Northeast Mississippi Community College, Northwest Mississippi Community College, Shorter University, Southern Polytechnic State University, Tennessee State University, University of Arkansas at Monticello, University of Central Arkansas, University of Mississippi, University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas-Pan American, University of West Alabama, and WCU.

On the evening of February 7, MPA hosted a banquet that included a plenary lecture by Peggy Whitman Prenshaw, professor of Southern studies emerita at Louisiana State University and humanities scholar-in-residence at Millsaps College. Prenshaw, author of “Elizabeth Spencer” and editor of “Conversations with Eudora Welty,” spoke about her book “Composing Selves:  Southern Women and Autobiography,” which was awarded the 2011 Jules and Frances Landry Award by Louisiana University Press to recognize the text’s significant contribution to the field of southern studies. She is also the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Society for the Study of Southern Literature as well as the Charles Frankel Prize for service to the humanities.

(left to right) Seth Dawson, an English lecturer at Mississippi State University, Jennifer Polk Heidelberg, daughter of Noel Polk, and Dr. Lorie Watkins, associate professor of language and literature at William Carey University, pose for a photo after the panel “Pushing the Limits: Southern Literature and Noel Polk’s Influence” at the annual Mississippi Philological Association (MPA) Conference held at WCU February 8-9. Noel Polk, who passed away in 2012, was a well-known William Faulkner and Southern literature scholar and lecturer who taught at The University of Southern Mississippi and at Mississippi State University.