|Dr. Joonna Trapp, associate professor of English at Northwestern College, is among a select group of 25 teachers and scholars who are participating in "Reconsidering Flannery O'Connor," a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute held on the campus of Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville during the month of July.
Trapp and the other participants, representing 18 states, received a substantial stipend to attend the institute. They are engaging in group discussions with--and hearing lectures by--O'Connor experts from the University of Michigan, Lyon College, Vanderbilt University, Fordham University, Georgia College & State University and DePaul University.
“The grant from NEH recognizes Flannery O’Connor as one of America’s great writers, worthy to appear on reading lists in America’s classrooms,” says Dr. Bruce Gentry, Georgia College professor of English and editor of the Flannery O’Connor Review.
“Reconsidering Flannery O’Connor” has also been designated a ‘We the People’ project, which means it is part of an NEH strategy to promote the teaching of American literature.
The institute includes tours of Andalusia, the O'Connor farm, just outside Milledgeville, as well as other O'Connor-related sites in the area. Class topics focus on “O’Connor: The South, Race, Gender and Satire,” “Theology in Relation to O’Connor’s Outsiders” and “O’Connor: Bioethics, Theology and the Narrative Voice.”
Participants will present their research during the last two days of the month’s intensive study. Trapp is studying O'Connor's radio speeches and her use of the Southern gothic.
Flannery O’Connor is the most famous graduate of Georgia College. She lived at Andalusia when she completed all of her most important stories and both of her novels. She won the National Book Award for The Complete Stories, the National Book Critics Circle Award for The Habit of Being: Letters of Flannery O’Connor, and three O. Henry Awards for the year’s best American short story. Her novels are Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away. In 1988, the prestigious Library of America published Flannery O’Connor: Collected Works.