March 24, 2018  

Current weather

Clear sky, 59 °F

Southern Miss to Host Critical Readings Lecture Series

Main Content

The Department of English in the College of Arts and Letters at The University of Southern Mississippi will host Critical Readings, a lecture series featuring leading cultural critics who consider new questions about literature and culture. All of the lectures will be held on the Southern Miss Hattiesburg campus in the Liberal Arts Building, room 108.

These lectures are free and open to the public. A public questions and answer forum, along with discussion, will follow both lectures.

The lecture series is made possible by a grant from the Mississippi Humanities Council (MHC). “The College of Arts and Letters greatly benefits from the generous support we receive from MHC on yet another worthwhile endeavor to provide culturally important programs to the Southern Miss community,” said Dr. Steven R. Moser, Dean of the College of Arts and Letters.

MHC is a private nonprofit corporation funded by Congress through the National Endowment for the Humanities to provide public programs in traditional liberal arts disciplines to serve nonprofit groups in Mississippi.

The first lecture in the series will be held Sept. 19 at 4:30 p.m. when Dr. Ted Atkinson of Mississippi State University presents “Mississippi Bound: Locating the Closed Society in American Culture.”

Atkinson’s areas of interest include Southern Studies, modern and contemporary American literature and culture and one of Mississippi’s favorite sons, William Faulkner. He is currently working on a book about the cultural representations of Mississippi as a “closed society.”

Dr. Mark Dahlquist, assistant professor in the Department of English, organized the lecture series and hopes to expand it beyond the fall semester. “Mississippi is one of those states that seems to stand for something,” said Dahlquist. “It kind of serves a role in national discussions very often. Professor Atkinson has ideas on why that is and what it means.”

The second lecture will be held Oct. 10 at 4:30 p.m. when Dr. Joel Dinerstein of Tulane University presents, “Origins of Hip and Cool in Post War American Literature and Culture.”

Dinerstein is an expert on literature and jazz. His recent work analyzes the concept of cool in American culture, and he is the co-curator of a photography exhibit entitled “American Cool” at the Smithsonian Institution.

Dahlquist says it’s important for people to read together and believes this lecture series will enlighten and educate people across the state of Mississippi.

“We want them to listen to the most interesting voices of people writing today about literature and culture, what the meaning of Mississippi is and the meaning of cool. What I would like people to take away from this lecture series is the idea of the humanities and the role it can play in our lives as individuals and as members of a community,” Dahlquist said.

For more information about any of these lectures, contact the Department of English at 601.266.5757 or visit