The Brooks Forum

The annual Brooks Forum is composed of graduate students engaged in the early stages of their doctoral research and affords them an opportunity to present their preliminary interpretations in a congenial scholarly atmosphere. As such, it is always one of the hallmarks of the annual meeting and directly fosters the Society’s mission to cultivate serious, innovative scholarship on the American South.

The Forum is named in memory of Cleanth Brooks, noted literary critic, Gray Professor of Rhetoric at Yale University, and one of the original members of the St. George Tucker Society. Brooks studied with the Fugitives and Agrarians at Vanderbilt University, received a Master’s degree from Tulane University, and studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar. As a professor in the English Department at Louisiana State University, he colloborated with his friend and colleague Robert Penn Warren in founding The Southern Review . Brooks is best known for his contributions to the New Criticism, a careful textualist approach to understanding poetry. He published several books of literary criticism.

An annual call for nominations for graduate students to participate in the Brooks Forum is issued each spring. Deadline for submission is April 1, 2024. Nominees are asked to submit an abstract of their dissertation and a CV. Selected participants are expected to circulate a chapter-length paper from their project in advance of the annual meeting. Registration fees are waived for Brooks Forum participants and small travel stipends are available.

Brooks Forum Chair

Dr. Ashton G. Ellett, Politics & Public Policy Archivist at Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, University of Georgia