College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Vanderbilt University Scholar to Discuss ‘Faulkner and Latin America’

Earl F. Fitz is featured speaker for 56th annual Christopher Longest Lecture

NOVEMBER 4, 2016 BY EDWIN SMITH

Earl Fitz, professor of Portuguese, Spanish and comparative literature at Vanderbilt University, is the featured speaker for this year’s Christopher Longest Lecture at UM. Photo courtesy Vanderbilt University/Steve Green

Earl Fitz, professor of Portuguese, Spanish and comparative literature at Vanderbilt University, is the featured speaker for this year’s Christopher Longest Lecture at UM. Photo courtesy Vanderbilt University/Steve Green

Connections between Nobel Prize-winning author William Faulkner and South America are the focus of an annual discussion set for Nov. 14 at the University of Mississippi.

Earl E. Fitz, professor of Portuguese, Spanish and comparative literature at Vanderbilt University, is the featured speaker for the 56th Christopher Longest Lecture. Sponsored by the UM Department of Modern Languages, the free event begins at 5:30 p.m. in Bondurant Hall Auditorium. A reception in Paris-Yates Chapel precedes the program.

“Dr. Fitz will address Faulkner’s importance to Latin American writers, and especially Brazilians, who love the writings of Oxford’s ‘native son,’” said Diane Marting, associate professor of modern languages and organizer of this year’s lecture. “His lecture should be a fascinating journey into the ways in which Yoknapatawpha has inspired other writers across South America.

“Anyone interested in Oxford’s legacy in fiction will discover the interesting ways Faulkner has stirred up new incarnations of his themes and characterizations.”

Fitz’s discussion, titled “Faulkner and Latin America: The Case of Brazil,” examines Faulkner’s influence upon Latin American authors and their writings.

A longtime Faulkner fan, the speaker teaches courses on Brazilian and Spanish American literature, inter-American literature, comparative literature and translation. Fitz has contributed to the Faulkner Journal on Borges’ translation of “The Wild Palms.”

“While Faulkner studies have been a focus in Oxford and the university, Dr. Fitz’s comments promise to open an entirely new dimension to how we understand Faulkner’s impact on the world,” said Daniel O’Sullivan, assistant chair and professor of modern languages.

“Moreover, as Brazil’s role in global cultural affairs only continues to grow, Dr. Fitz’s lecture is both timely and germane to a great many other fields of inquiry.”

The Christopher Longest Series was created by Ann Waller Reins Longest to honor her husband and to enrich the university to which he had contributed so much for so many years. It also serves as a memorial to her, a gallant lady who had the vision to establish this tribute.

For more information about the UM Department of Modern Languages, visit http://modernlanguages.olemiss.edu.