The rescheduled Bristol BookFest is set to offer a close look at Robert Penn Warren’s All the King’s Men, probably the best novel about American politics ever written.
Now a free, online three-day public humanities program on October 16-18, all original 160 reservations have rolled over and 100 new spaces are now available.
The all-online event is scheduled to take place live from 4–6pm daily over three days — Fri Oct 16, Sat Oct 17 and Sun Oct 18 — in a Zoom webinar format that will support audience questions. Visit the link below or head to www.bristolbookfest.com for more information.
Speakers include the legendary Texas political consultant George C. Shipley and the country’s two leading Robert Penn Warren scholars: Ernest Suarez of The Catholic University of America and John Burt of Brandeis University. Joining them are film historian Alexandra Keller of Smith College and Bristol-based historian Charles Calhoun.
FRI OCT 16
4PM: ROBERT PENN WARREN IN 2020
Ernest Suarez is Chair and David M. O’Connell Professor of English at The Catholic University of America and executive director of the Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers. His fields of interest are 19th and 20th century American literature, especially writers of the American South, and the intersections of poetry, the blues, rock, and jazz. He is an occasional music critic for the Washington Post. His Ph.D. is from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is the author of Southbound: Interviews with Southern Poets (1999) and James Dickey and the Politics of Canon(1993), among many other books, essays, and reviews. He has taught at Catholic University since 1991.
5PM: ROBERT PENN WARREN AND THE NEW ENGLAND LITERARY TRADITION
John Burt is Paul E. Prosswimmer Professor of American Literature at Brandeis University, where he has taught since 1983. He is a specialist in 19th and 20th century American literature, especially poetry and Southern Gothic fiction. He is the author, among other works, of Lincoln’s Tragic Pragmatism: Lincoln, Douglas, and Moral Conflict (2013) and The Collected Poems of Robert Penn Warren (1998). His Ph.D. is from Yale. He is the executor of Robert Penn Warren’s literary estate.
SAT OCT 17
4PM: ALL THE KING’S MEN AND FILM
Alexandra Keller is Director of the Film and Media Studies Program at Smith College. She is a specialist on the American Western as well as on such areas as consumer culture in mid-20th century America and the impact of new media on the art of cinema. She is the author of James Cameron(2006) and The Endless Frontier: Western and American Identity from the Reagan Era to the Digital Age (forthcoming). Her Ph.D. is from New York University.
5PM: HOW DID CASS MASTERN, A CONFEDERATE SOLDIER, END UP IN WARREN’S NOVEL?
Charles Calhoun is a Bristol-based biographer and historian with a special interest in 19th century America, notably the Civil War era. He is the author of A Small College in Maine: Two Hundred Years of Bowdoin (1993) and Longfellow: A Rediscovered Life (2004). He has a law degree from Christ Church, Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. Since 1997, he has directed the Maine Humanities Council’s annual Winter Weekend, a public humanities program held at Bowdoin.
SUN OCT 18
4PM: COULD HUEY LONG HAVE ACTUALLY BECOME PRESIDENT?
George C. Shipley is a well-known Austin, Texas, political consultant and polling analyst who is also a pioneer in the field of legal research assistance. He was immortalized in the writings of Molly Ivins, especially for his role in helping Ann Richards win the Texas governorship in 1991. He has a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Virginia. In retirement he continues to volunteer his skills in aid of candidates in Texas’s emerging “blue wave.” He is a lifelong student of the South’s particular brand of identity politics, including the saga of the Long family of Louisiana.
5PM: POPULISM, POLITICS, AND POWER ROUNDTABLE
All speakers come together — George C. Shipley, Ernest Suarez, John Burt Alexandra Keller, and Charles Calhoun — in a live panel to discuss themes and audience questions. Beyond populism, politics and power, slavery and race, media and public perception, education and transformation, and loyalty, friendship, and betrayal will all be on the table.
6PM: 2021 BOOKFEST SELECTION ANNOUNCED
The program is a collaboration with Arts In Common in partnership with the Friends of Rogers Free Library, Linden Place, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Roger Williams University, and various private donors.