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Released June 14, 2004


HATTIESBURG -- Dr. Noel Polk, professor of English at The University of Southern Mississippi and noted authority on the writings of William Faulkner, is spending his summer lecturing in Japan from June 7 to July 7.

He was the featured speaker at an international conference on William Faulkner, sponsored by the Japanese William Faulkner Society in Tokyo from June 11-14. Polk also will teach a mini-seminar on "William Faulkner and Southern Culture" at Hokusei Gakuen University in Sapporo, Japan, the chief city of Hokkaido, located on the northernmost island of Japan.

Other lectures on the topic will be held at universities in Osaka, Fukuoka, and Hiroshima, and Polk will consult with many Japanese Faulkner scholars about their work on and interest in Faulkner.

"For years, Faulkner has been the most often studied English language author in Japan," Polk said of the immense interest in Faulkner in Japan. "His works are extensively translated as well as read in English."

Polk received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Mississippi College and his doctorate from the University of South Carolina. He is the author of several books on Faulkner's works, including "An Editorial Handbook for Faulkner's 'The Sound and the Fury'"; "Children of the Dark House: Text and Context in Faulkner"; and "Reading Faulkner: 'The Sound and the Fury.'" Polk also has served as editor for several reprints of Faulkner's novels.

Having written extensively about another famous Mississippi writer, Eudora Welty, Polk has lectured on Faulkner and Welty widely in the United States, throughout Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, and in the former Soviet Union.

"It's a pleasure and a privilege to be invited to speak at such a distinguished gathering of international Faulkner scholars," Polk said. "It's humbling and thrilling at the same time to be among people who are interested in my Mississippi, and I'm grateful for the opportunity that their interest in Mississippi gives me to visit and learn about other cultures."


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June 21, 2004 12:50 PM