East Georgia State College (EGSC) congratulates Dr. Carmine Palumbo, Professor of English, for completing the NEH Summer Institute “Rediscovering Flannery O’Connor,” which was held at Georgia College & State University in Milledgeville, Georgia, from June 1-29. The highly competitive Summer Institutes are funded by the National Endowment for Humanities and hosted at colleges and universities around the country for scholars to do intensive research on an author or theme over an extended period, usually a month, during the summer.
“Rediscovering Flannery O’Connor” was co-directed by Marshall Bruce Gentry of Georgia College & State University and Robert Donahoo of Sam Houston State University, both preeminent Flannery O’Connor scholars, and featured seminars and lectures by notable experts in the “O’Connor-verse,” such as Monica Carol Miller, author of the recently published Dear Regina: Flannery O’Connor’s Letters from Iowa, Carol Shloss, author of Flannery O’Connor’s Dark Comedies: The Limits of Inference, and Farrell O’Gorman, author of Catholicism and the American Borders in the Gothic Literary Imagination.
Participants spent a month in residence at Georgia College attending lectures and seminars, doing archival research in the Flannery O’Connor collections at Georgia College & State University, the Andalusia Institute, and the Flannery O’Connor Collection at Emory University, and working on an individual project.
“My project dealt with a topic that I have been working on for several years, comparing the work of John Kennedy Toole, author of A Confederacy of Dunces and Flannery O’Connor, especially in their use of humor,” said Dr. Palumbo. “There is also a bit of a mystery that I was trying to solve. It has often been said that Toole travelled to O’Connor’s house outside of Milledgeville, Andalusia, before committing suicide in 1969. I wanted to see if I could prove that.”
With the end of the institute, Dr. Palumbo is looking forward to getting back to Swainsboro for the remainder of the summer and to implementing some of the ideas and strategies that were discussed during the program in his classes in the fall.
Dr. Palumbo lives in Swainsboro with his wife and two children.