Welcome to Arkansas State University!

2021 Schedule of Events

Arkansas State University's Department of English, Philosophy and World Languages Presents

Delta Symposium XXVI: The Haunted South

2021 Schedule of Events

All events will be on-line

Thursday, April 15

1:00 – 2:45  Folklore, Legend, and Belief, Session One

Research Presentations

Revis Edmonds (Department of Arkansas Heritage/Old State House Museum): “The ‘Fouke Monster’: How a Horror Tale Helped Shape the Character of a Community and Region”

Jennifer Hardaway (Arkansas State University): “Yarb Healing”

April Sheppard (Arkansas State University): “Summoning the Spirits: The Ghost Lights and Spooklights of Arkansas and Missouri”

Moderated by Gregory Hansen


3:00 – 4:15  Haunted Landscape and Print Media

Exploring Regional Literature Published in the Arkansas Review

Lauren Willette (Arkansas State University): “How Historical and Personal Trauma Creates a Haunted Landscape in the Delta Region”

Hosted by Marcus Tribbett, General Editor of Arkansas Review


4:30 – 5:30  Visual Representations of Delta Life

Photographic Documentation

Harriet Riley and Ashleigh Burke Coleman (New Orleans): “Rodney, Mississippi”

Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley (Michigan State University): “Devil’s Promenade”

Moderated by Gregory Hansen


7:00 – 8:15  Creative Writing and Poetry

Readings by Phillip McMath and Greg Brownderville

Moderated by Khem Aryal



Friday, April 16

8:00 – 9:15  Haunted Memory and Subaltern Social Histories

Research Presentations

Sharla Rosenbaum (University of Arkansas): “‘Bitchcraft’: Horror, Spectacle, and the Myth of Racial Exceptionalism”

Virginia Seigel and Deena Owens (University of Arkansas): “The Arkansas Drag Community Oral History Project: Spirits of Resistance and Resiliency”

Moderated by Taylor Swygert


9:30 – 11:00  Hauntings and Fiction

Research Presentations

Jerry L. Ball (Arkansas State University): “The Haunted South in Popular Fiction, 1850-1960”

Jesse Matlock (Arkansas State University): “Skeleton and Flesh: Absalom, Absalom! As Myth and History”

Moderated by Gregory Hansen


11:15 – 12:30  Folklore, Legends, and Belief, Session Two

Research Presentations

William Clements (Independent): “Swamp Ape Rhetoric: Delta Discourse”

Mark Spencer (University of Arkansas at Monticello): “A Haunted Love Story: The Ghosts of the Allen House”

Moderated by Richard Burns


2:00 – 3:15  Haunted Sites: Historical and Symbolic Meanings

Research Presentations

Patty S. Camp (Paragould, Arkansas): “Signs Have Stories to Tell – Ghost Signs of the Haunted South”

John Toth (University of Central Arkansas): “Racial Ghosts in the Empty Publics of the Mississippi Delta”

John Zheng (Mississippi Valley State University): “Kuhn Memorial State Hospital”

Moderated by Ed Salo


3:30 – 5:00  History, Heritage, and the Paranormal

Research Presentation

Kristine Sumner (Soul Sisters Paranormal, Ocala, Florida): “Paranormal Tourism and Historic Preservation”

Moderated by Mary Donaghy



Saturday, April 17

8:30 – 10:00  Creative Writing and Poetry

Readings and Book-Talks

Khem Aryal (Arkansas State University)

Philip M. Cottingham (Little Rock, Arkansas)

Tom Neumeyer (Cape Girardeau, Missouri)

Michael Spikes (Arkansas State University)

Moderated by Khem Aryal


10:15 – 11:30  Southern Literature and the Persistence of Haunting

Research Presentations

James Stannard (University of Essex): “The Physical and Psychological Grotesque in As I Lay Dying, The Sound and the Fury, and Sanctuary

Jordan A. Savage (University of Arkansas): “Desolation Tries to Colonize You”

Moderated by Catherine Calloway


12:30 – 1:30  Keynote Presentation

Alan Brown (University of West Alabama): “Walking the Line Between Legend Collecting and Legend Tripping at the Crescent Hotel”

Introduced by Lonnie R. Williams, Ed. D. Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement, Arkansas State University 


1:45 – 2:45  Hauntings in Heritage and Historic Preservation

Research Presentations

Gregory Hansen (Arkansas State University): “Wall Dogs, Ghost Signs, and Contested Aesthetics”

Jennie Lightweis-Goff (University of Mississippi): “Prepositional Space: The Built Environment of the Tourist’s South”

Moderated by Janelle Collins


3:00 – 4:30  Hauntings and Musical Metaphors

Research Presentations

Robin Roberts (University of Arkansas): “The Haunted South in Baton Rouge’s Old State Capitol: ‘The Ghost of the Castle”

Andrew Scheiber (University of St. Thomas): “Horror, Hokum, Hoodoo: Haunting in the Blues”

Moderated by Lauri Umansky