USM Academic Forum to Welcome Joyce Carol Oates Online March 22

Wed, 03/09/2022 – 11:07 | From: David Tisdale

The Spring 2022 University Forum at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM) will welcome one of America’s most celebrated authors when it hosts Joyce Carol Oates on March 22 at 6:30 p.m. for her presentation, “The Life literary”. This online event will be co-sponsored by the USM Center for Writers and its journal, the Mississippi Reviewcelebrating its 50th anniversaryand birthday.

Oates is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and an award-winning novelist, poet, playwright, and essayist. Although best known for her fiction, Oates has been widely praised for her ability to reinvent genres. During his brilliant literary career, more than 40 of his books have been presented on the New York Times list of Notable Books of the Year and President Barack Obama awarded Oates the National Medal of Humanities in 2010.

Dr. Monika Gehlawat, associate director of the USM School of Humanities, will introduce Oates, whom she describes as “a living master of the American literary canon and a major influence on generations of American writers.”

“It is truly remarkable that the University Forum is hosting a literary figure of the stature of Joyce Carol Oates,” continued Dr Gehlawat. “His work is taught in contemporary literature classes, not to mention creative writing workshops, all over the world. As a first-generation student herself, she will bring a personal understanding of the challenges and excitement that so many USM undergraduates feel at the university.

“For our community, hearing Oates speak directly about his craft and his continued productivity will be a rare opportunity to connect with a writer who has secured an undeniable place for himself in the history of American literature.”

Some of Oates’ most important works include Blondwhich was filmed for Netflix; theirNational Book Award winner; We were the Mulvaneysa novel selected by Oprah’s Book Club; The falls, who won the Prix Femina de France; and Carthage, who was a New York Times Bestseller. In addition to his ongoing contributions to American literature, Oates has been the Roger S. Berlind Emeritus Professor of Humanities at Princeton University and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Letters since 1978.

Oates has taught at the University of Detroit, the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada, and Princeton. In addition to writing and teaching, she and her husband, Raymond Smith, published the Ontario Review from 1974 to 2008.

“Reject what New Yorker dubbed “killjoy politeness”, Joyce Carol Oates has – throughout a career that spans decades, dozens of novels and an avalanche of awards – defined not only what the American novel can do, but what can be literary life,” said University Forum Director Dr. Andrew Haley. “University Forum is proud to present a writer who has carved her own path to artistic greatness and is thrilled to help celebrate Southern Miss’s 50th anniversary. Mississippi Review.”

The Academic Forum is presented by USM Honors College and the Office of the USM President. For more information about University Forum, including instructions on how to access online presentations, visit or email forumFREEMississippi; visit the University Forum Facebook page at

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