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National grant funds Flannery O’Connor summer institute

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August 26, 2013

Bruce GentryBruce GentryAuthor Flannery O’Connor, ’45, is one of the most well-known alumni of Georgia College.

Famous for works like “A Good Man Is Hard to Find," "Good Country People," "The Life You Save May Be Your Own" and "Everything That Rises Must Converge," the acclaimed writer has influenced people around the world.

It’s that legacy and broad interest in O’Connor’s writings that prompted Dr. Bruce Gentry to apply for a grant allowing others to learn more about her and her works.

“We were awarded a nearly $194,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) to host a four-week summer institute,” said Gentry, professor of English and editor of the “Flannery O’Connor Review.”

During the institute, O'Connor's work will be examined through various critical and disciplinary perspectives.

“The 22 college faculty members and three graduate students will get the opportunity to come to Milledgeville, live on campus and interact with various scholars who study O’Connor’s work,” said Gentry. “They will learn from the presenters and discussions and will also conduct their own research.”

This marks the second time Georgia College has received a NEH grant to fund the summer institute.Flannery O'ConnorFlannery O'Connor

“We received a grant in 2007 to host a similar program,” said Gentry. “From that group of participants, at least three books, 20 articles and 60 papers were published. That shows the impact this intense learning experience had on those who were involved.”

Distinguished scholars teaching during the institute include Robert H. Brinkmeyer, Jr. (University of South Carolina), Gary M. Ciuba (Kent State-Trumbull University), Doreen Fowler (University of Kansas), O’Connor biographer Brad Gooch (William Paterson University), Christina Bieber Lake (Wheaton College) and Virginia Wray (Lyon College).

In addition to examining O’Connor’s manuscripts and other sources from the Special Collections of the Georgia College Library and Instructional Technology Center, the institute will be supplemented by special lectures from such scholars as O’Connor’s friend and biographer W.A. Sessions, longtime editor of “The Flannery O’Connor Bulletin Sarah Gordon, president of the Flannery O’Connor Society Avis Hewitt, African-American scholar Nagueyalti Warren and Georgia historian Robert Wilson.

The upcoming summer institute will be held July 1-30, 2014.

Applications for the program are due by March 4, 2014.

For more information on the institute, email

This NEH grant is one of 173 humanities projects the organization will fund including publication of complete papers of the first Federal Congress and the archaeological excavation and analysis of Bronze Age settlements around Marmara Lake Basin in Anatolia, Turkey.

For the complete list of grants awarded by NEH, click here.


ABOUT GEORGIA COLLEGE: Georgia College, the state’s designated Public Liberal Arts University, combines the educational experience expected at esteemed private liberal arts colleges with the affordability of public higher education. Its four colleges – arts and sciences, business, education and health sciences – provide 6,600 undergraduate and graduate students with an exceptional learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, with hands-on involvement with faculty research, community service, study abroad and myriad internships.

Founded in 1889, Georgia College boasts one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation with Corinthian columns fronting red brick buildings and wide open green spaces. Georgia College also offers graduate education at the historic Jefferson building in downtown Macon, at Robins Air Force Base and online.

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