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Jessie Ball duPont Library

Friends of the Library at Sewanee: The University of the South

A guide to the events and membership of the Friends of the Library at Sewanee

FOL Events 2023-24







FOL Events 1983-Present


June 21, 2023

Ryan Chapman and Meera Subramanian

Co-Sponsored with the School of Letters


April 12, 2023

Lauryl Tucker, Matthew Mitchell, The Rev. Rob MacSwain

Celebrating Faculty Publications


April 3, 2023

Edible Books Festival


February 9, 2023

Dr. Robin R. Bates, Professor Emeritus of English

The Significance of Card Playing in Jane Austen


November 2, 2022

Fifth Annual Tom Watson Memorial Event

David Payne and Gregory Williams Welsch

An Evening with Lewis & Tolkien


September 21, 2022

Dr. David Haskell, Biology

Sounds Wild and Broken


June 29, 2022

Jamie Quatro, Nickole Brown, Allen Reddick

Readings from School of Letters Faculty

Co-sponsored by the School of Letters


February 5, 2020

Collin Cornell, Melody Lehn, Shana Minkin, Jennifer Michael, Sean O'Rourke, Greg Pond

Celebrating Faculty Publications


November 13, 2019

Fourth Annual Tom Watson Memorial Lecture

Dr. John Grammer, Professor of English

Why Study the South? Southern Studies in the 21st Century


September 16, 2019

Dr. Bil Bass, Founder of the UTK Body Farm

Case Studies from the Body Farm


June 12, 2019

Meera Subramanian, Author

Reading and Conversation - A River Runs Again: India's Natural World in Crisis


May 1, 2019

Rob Bachman, Julia Gatta, Pradip Malde, Stephanie McCarter, Amy Patterson

Celebrating Faculty Publications


April 1, 2019

Edible Books Festival


January 30, 2019

Sewanee Review Staff

The Sewanee Review and the Future of Literary Magazines


November 1, 2018

Third Annual Tom Watson Memorial Lecture

Dr. Beth Rushing, President of the Appalachian College Association

Transformative Collaboration: the Appalachian College Association and the Bowen Central Library of Appalachia


October 2, 2018

David B. Coe

Imagination as Mirror: What Speculative Fiction Can Teach Us About Our World


June 13, 2018

Maha Jafri

Reading for Pleasure, Reading for Spite: Gossip and Victorian Literature

Co-Sponsored with the School of Letters


April 18, 2018

W. Brown Patterson, William Engel,

Susan Ridyard, J. Ross MacDonald

The Art of Memory and the New History in Early Modern England


February 13, 2018

Andrew Hudgins

Andrew Hudgins Reads and Discusses His Poems


November 7, 2017

Second Annual Tom Watson Memorial Lecture

Rev. Dr. Robert MacSwain

Rational and Imaginative Persuasion: The Ambiguous Achievement of C.S. Lewis


October 3, 2017

Steve Suitts

Justice Hugo Black as a Young Southern Advocate for Social Justice


September 21, 2017

Vicki Sells, Associate Provost for LITS

The New Learning Commons


July 5, 2017

Alana Levinson-LaBrosse

Translations of Kurdish Poetry

Co-sponsored with the School of Letters


February 21, 2017

Erin McGraw, Fiction Author

Storytelling: It's not what you think it is


November 30, 2016

Bob Benson, Professor Emeritus of English

Wedding the Wild Particular


September 21, 2016

First Annual Tom Watson Memorial Lecture

Chris Nugent, Warren Wilson College

Remembering, Reflecting, Reckoning:

German Women and the Long Shadow of

National Socialism


June 8, 2016

Ed Tarkington

Author of Only Love Can Break Your Heart

Co-sponsored with School of Letters


March 31, 2016

Matt Reynolds

Making Space: Cartographic Selections

from University Archives and Special



February 15, 2016

John Jeremiah Sullivan

Boys to Men and Back Again


November 13, 2015

Dr. Jerry Smith

Excavation of Rebels' Rest


February 27, 2015

The Perkins Symposium: William Perkins and Elizabethan England

Dr. Brown Patterson, Dr. Benjamin King, Dr. Ross McDonald, Dr. Jim Turrell


February 3, 2015

Dr. Pat Kelley, Professor Emeritus, Religion

A Modest Proposal on Bonhoeffer and Biography


December 4, 2014

DebbieLee Landi, Director of University Archives and Special Collections

Special Collections: For the Love of Books


October 17, 2014

Dr. Samuel R. Williamson, 14th Vice-Chancellor of the University of the South and Professor of History Emeritus

The Start of the First World War: What Happened and Why It Still Matters

Co-Sponsored with Finding Your Place


September 4, 2014

Jeanne Marie Warzeski, Curator of the North Carolina Museum of History

Windows into Heaven: Russian Iconography


June 18, 2014

David Mickics, Critic

Slow Reading in a Hurried Age


April 24, 2014

Dr. William S. Stoney, C'52, Cardiac Surgeon

Medical Schools Through the Years


January 30, 2014

Dr. Martin Knoll, Professor in Forestry and Geology

Sewanee's Baltic Amber Insect Collection


November 4, 2013

Minton Sparks, Poet, performance artist, novelist, teacher, and essayist

Southern Storytelling


October 3, 2013

Rachel Hildebrandt, Guest Curator

Home Front, War Front: Sewanee and Ft. Ogelthorpe in World War I


September 8, 2013

Sarah C. Sherwood and Jan F. Simek

The Sky Above, the Mud Below: Prehistoric Rock Art in the Southeast

Co-sponsored with the Department of Anthrolopology


June 19, 2013

Richard Tillinghast

"Readings from Poetry and Istanbul Travel Book"

Co-sponsored with the School of Letters


April 22, 2013

Patrick Dean

"Hudson Stuck: 100 Year Anniversary of the Ascent of Denali"

Co-sponsored with the Sewanee Outing Program, John Benson.


February 28, 2013

Marvin Pate, Rich Berlin, Michael Thompson

"Sustainability Initiatives in Sewanee"


January 31, 2013

Rayid Ghani, Chief Scientist for the Obama Campaign

"The Role of Data, Technology, and Analytics in the Presidential Elections"

Co-sponsored with the Math and Computer Science and Economics Departments, Sherwood Ebey Lecture.


November 28, 2012

Kevin Wilson, Assistant Professor in the Department of English

"The Family Fang and Readings from a Work in Progress"


October 24, 2012

John Tilford, Curator of Special Collections; Betsy

Grant, Head of Acquisitions and Cataloging; and Rick Sommer

"The Rick and Wilma Sommer Special Collection"


March 29, 2012

Dr. John McCardell, Jr., Vice-Chancellor and President

"The Library of the Future"


February 29, 2012

Richard Tillinghast, Poet

"Readings from Poetry"


January 26, 2012

Jane Borden, Author

"I Totally Meant to do That"


November 17, 2011

W. Brown Patterson, Professer Emeritus of History

"The History of the King James Bible: 400 Years."


October 3, 2011

Sharyn McCrumb, Award Winning Southern Author

"The Ballad Books and Southern Culture"


March 8, 2010

Thomas Lakeman, Tennessee Williams Playwright in Residence

“The Movies of Alfred Hitchcock”


April 24, 2009

Thomas Keith, Consulting Editor at New Directions

“Publishing Tennessee Williams, New Directions, and James Laughlin”

February 13, 2009

Harry Lee (Hal) Poe, President of the Edgar Allan Poe Museum and Foundation of Richmond, Virginia

“Eureka: Poe’s Journey of Discovery”


 November 19, 2008

Sarah Sherwood, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of the South

“Archeological Research at the Bronze Age Site of Pecia in Romania”


October 29, 2008

Thomas S. Freeman, Researcher for the British Academy John Foxe Project

“New Views of ‘Bloody Mary’ and the Tudor Counter-Reformation”


October 22, 2008

Derek Waller, Retired Professor of Political Science, Vanderbilt University

“A North Korean Birthday Party”


April 16, 2008

James C. Davidheiser, Professor of German, University of the South

“And They Lived Happily Ever After: The Brothers Grimm and Their Phenomenally Successful Fairy Tales”


April 11, 2007

Donald Huber, Visiting Assistant Professor of Classical Languages, University of the South

Reading from Kick Butt, Huber’s humorous novel about a Southeastern Conference college football season.


October 18, 2006

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Historian and Sewanee Alumnus, C’53, H’85

“Who Owns the Dead? T.E. Lawrence of Arabia and his Disputed Reputation”


September 27, 2006

Robert Benson, Professor of English, University of the South

Reading from Blood and Memory, a memoir


April 19, 2006

Anthony Abbott, author, critic, literary historian and Professor of English at Davidson College

Readings from his own poetry & prose


February 8, 2006

Robb White, humorist, naturalist and author of How To Build A Tin Canoe

“Old-Time Naturalists”


December 8, 2005

Ninette Fahmy, Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the University and specialist in Egyptian politics

“Women and Human Rights in Egypt”


October 3, 2005

Calhoun Winton, Emeritus Professor of English, University of Maryland

“The History of Scottish Books in the Colonial South”


March 23, 2005

John Gatta, Brown Foundation Fellow at the University and former Professor of English at the University of Connecticut

“Harriet Beecher Stowe, a Southern Episcopalian?”


February 16, 2005

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Florida

“Honor and the Tragedy of Assassinations:  Julius Caesar and Abraham Lincoln”


December 1, 2004

Annie Armour, University Archivist, and Tam Carlson, Professor of English at the University

“The Present and Future State of the New Archives”

(a joint meeting with the Sewanee Historic Preservation Society, held at the newly renovated Kappa Sigma House)


October 27, 2004

Todd Kelley, University Librarian

“Plans and Goals for the duPont Library”


April 17, 2004

William “Woody” Register, Professor of History and American Studies at the University

“The Biggest Playground on Earth:  Luna Park at Coney Island”


March 31, 2004

Paul Bergeron, Emeritus Professor of History, University of Tennessee and Brown Foundation Fellow at the University

“Andrew Johnson of Tennessee and His Presidency”


March 10, 2004

George Core, Editor of The Sewanee Review

“George Garrett As A Man Of Letters”


October 6, 2003

Jon Meacham, Managing Editor of Newsweek and author of Franklin and Winston

“The Discovery of the Private Letters of FDR’s Great Love, Lucy Rutherford”


April 22, 2003

Gerald Smith, Professor of Religion at the University

“What We Can Learn From Cemeteries”


March 26, 2003

Samuel Williamson, retired Vice-Chancellor and President of the University

“Higher Education and the Vietnam War”


November 20, 2002

Michael Bradley, Professor of History, Motlow State Community College

“It Happened Here in the Civil War”


October 31, 2002

Malcolm Goldstein, Emeritus Professor of English, City University of New York

“Thornton Wilder’s Novels, Heaven’s My Destiny and The Eighth Day”


April 17, 2002

Edwin M. Yoder, Jr., syndicated columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist

“Admitted Fiction:  From Journalist to Writer of Fiction”


 February 19, 2002

Milbury Polk, author of Women of Discovery

“Writing His Book”


December 11, 2001

Jam Yang Norbu, Tibetan novelist

“Tibetan Politics and the Great Game”


November 28, 2001

Joel Cunningham, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University

“Reflections on My First Year at Sewanee”


October 19, 2001

James Waring McCrady, Emeritus Professor of French at the University

“Russian Icons”


April 19, 2001

Charles B. Lowry, Dean of Libraries, University of Maryland

“Libraries in An Age of Change:  Timeless Purpose and Scholarship”


November 15, 2000

Richard Henderson, Associate Provost for Information Services at the University

“Recent Developments in Information Technology”


November 18, 1999

Henry Taylor, Pulitzer Prize Winning Poet

Readings from his own works


April 21, 1999

Edmund Ball, author of Slaves in the Family

(topic unknown)


December 9, 1998

Annie Armour, University Archivist

“Hudson Stuck"


 October 14, 1998

Lyle Leverich, Scholar-in-Residence, Head of the Editorial Board, Tennessee Williams Literary Journal, and biographer of Williams

“Remembrances of Tennessee Williams”


December 4, 1997

Charles Cullen, President and Librarian of the Newberry Library, Chicago

“The History and Mission of the Newberry Library and the Special Role of Research Libraries”


April 25, 1997

William T. Cocke III, Professor of English at the University

“Shakespeare’s Indispensable Book”


February 27, 1997

James Dunkly, School of Theology Librarian, and Annie Armour, University Archivist, gave a tour of the rare book area and spoke about some of the more interesting items in the collection.


(There were no FOL lectures in 1996)


November 4, 1995

Garret Keizer, Chair of the Department of English, Lake Region Union High School in Vermont and author of A Dresser of Sycamore Trees

“The Books That Change Our Lives?”


April 29, 1995

Rebecca Bain, Public Affairs Director at WPLN, Nashville Public Radio

(Topic unknown)


April 20, 1995

Paul Erwin, Regional Director of the East Tennessee Region, Department of Health

“Public Health in East Tennessee:  Towards Healthier Communities in Appalachia” 


November 12, 1994

David M. Seaman, Coordinator of Electronic Texts, University of Virginia Library

“The University of Virginia Digital Library Project”


April 21, 1994

Billy F. Bryant, Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, Vanderbilt University

“Sir Isaac Newton:  His Life and Work”


November 13, 1993

Steven Shrader, Associate Professor of Music at the University and Director of the University Orchestra and Sewanee Chorale

“Literature and Music”


April 27, 1993

John Egerton, author and free-lance writer

“The End of the Print Age”


November 12, 1992

Bertram Wyatt-Brown, Professor of History, University of Florida

“The House of Percy:  Honor, Mind and Melancholy in a Southern Family”


April 4, 1992

Benjamin Dunlap, Carolina Research Professor, University of South Carolina

“Fiction to Film:  Ashes on the Screen”


November 21, 1991

Reed Whittemore, Poet and Brown Foundation Fellow at the University

Readings from his poetry


April 20, 1991

Elizabeth N. Chitty, Associate Historiographer of the University

“Tales from Sewanee’s Attic”


November 10, 1990

Malcolm Getz, Director of the Heard Library, Vanderbilt University, and Associate Provost for Information Services and Technology

“The Electronic Library”


April 21, 1990

Wyatt Prunty, Poet, Literary Critic, Professor of English and Director of the Sewanee Writers’ Conference at the University of the South

Readings from his own books of poetry


November 11, 1989

George Connor, Emeritus Professor of English at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

“Some Notes on Overstuffed Biographies”


April 15, 1989

Nelson Campbell Sudderth, College Admissions Counselor at the Baylor School

“The Writings of Biography”, Using Ann Waldron’s book, Close Connections:  Carolina Gordon and the Southern Renaissance


November 12, 1988

Walter Harrelson, Professor of Old Testament and Dean at Vanderbilt Divinity School and an authority on translations of the Bible

“The Difficulties of Biblical Translation”


April 9, 1988

Walter Sullivan, author and Professor of English at Vanderbilt University

“Shaping the Literary Canon:  A Modest Defense of the Classics”


November 14, 1987

Robert Wyatt, Book Editor of the Nashville Tennessean and Professor of Mass Communications at Middle Tennessee State University

“Reviewers and Reviewing in the Mass Media:  Research and Ruminations”


May 2, 1987

Kenneth S. Cooper, author and Emeritus Professor of History at George Peabody College, Vanderbilt University

“Booby Traps for Textbook Authors”


November 15, 1986

Steven John Ross, noted filmmaker and Assistant Professor of Theatre at Memphis State University

A showing of the film of Peter Taylor’s “The Old Forest”


April 19, 1986

Glynne Wickham, Brown Foundation Fellow in Speech and Drama and an authority on the English theatre

“William Shakespeare, King’s Man:  The Page and His Patron”


November 23, 1985

Jim Wayne Miller, Poet, Appalachian writer, and Professor of German at Western Kentucky University

Reading from his work in progress


April 13, 1985

Ellen Douglas, novelist and National Book Award nominee

Reading from her work in progress, Scenes from Two Lives


November 19, 1984

Viewing of items from Bishop Gailor’s Library and architectural books, presented by the father of Vice-Chancellor Bob Ayres


November 17, 1984

Will Campbell, Raconteur and award-winning author

“Words, and How We Use Them”


April 28, 1984

Alan Cheuse, Brown Foundation Fellow and Visiting Professor of English

“A New Jersey Writer In Dixie”


November 19, 1983

Andrew Lytle

Readings from his book, Jericho, Jericho, Jericho


April 23, 1983

Thaddeus Lockard, Emeritus Professor of German at the University

“The Inklings:  C. S. Lewis and His Circle”