Dr. Robert Hamblin, Director
Robert W. Hamblin is Professor of English at Southeast Missouri State University, where he has taught since 1965. He first met L. D. Brodsky in 1978, and since that time the two men have worked together to produce Faulkner: A Comprehensive Guide to the Brodsky Collection (5 vols., UP Mississippi, 1982-88) and other books, articles, exhibits, and public lectures based on the materials in the Brodsky Collection. Hamblin has served as Director of the Center for Faulkner Studies since its creation in 1989.
Hamblin has directed Faulkner seminars for both the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Missouri Humanities Council. He is one of the originators of the "Teaching Faulkner" sessions at the annual Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference and edits Teaching Faulkner, a newsletter devoted to the teaching of Faulkner works in university, college, and high school classes. He has co-edited, with Charles A. Peek, A William Faulkner Encyclopedia (Greenwood, 1999) and A Companion to Faulkner Studies (Greenwood, 2004); with Stephen Hahn, Teaching Faulkner: Approaches and Methods (Greenwood, 2000); with Ann J. Abadie, Faulkner in the Twenty-First Century (UP Mississippi, 2003); with A. Nicholas Fargnoli and Michael Golay, Critical Companion to William Faulkner (Facts on File, 2008); with Melanie Speight, Faulkner and Twain (SE Missouri UP, 2009); and, with Christopher Rieger, Faulkner and Chopin (SE Missouri UP, 2011). In 1997 he delivered the keynote address at the Faulkner Centennial Celebration in New Albany, Mississippi, Faulkner's birthplace. He has presented seminars and lectures on Faulkner in England, the Netherlands, Japan, China, and Taiwan, as well as throughout the United States; and in 2005 he led the online discussion of As I Lay Dying for Oprah Winfrey's "Summer of Faulkner." A native of northeast Mississippi, Hamblin first read Faulkner's works in T. D. Young's Southern Literature class at Delta State University in 1959. Later he earned his master's and doctor's degrees at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Faulkner's hometown, completing both his thesis and dissertation on Faulkner topics under the direction of John Pilkington.
In addition to his Faulkner work, Hamblin has published four volumes of poems: From the Ground Up, Mind the Gap: Poems by an American in London, Keeping Score: Sports Poems for Every Season, and Crossroads: Poems of a Mississippi Childhood; a sports biography, Win or Win: A Season with Ron Shumate; a chapbook memoir, Bless You, My Father; a number of short stories and personal essays; and critical essays on Robert Penn Warren, Isaac Singer, Willie Morris, Pat Conroy, and W. P. Kinsella. He serves as associate editor of The Cape Rock, a little magazine of poetry, and from 1984 until 2005 was poetry editor of Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature.
Hamblin has also presented numerous public performances of "Preacher in Overalls: The Story of Clarence Jordan and Koinonia Farm," a Chatauqua-type impersonation of the legendary Baptist preacher who helped to found Koinonia Farm, a biracial fellowship in southwestern Georgia; authored The Cotton Patch Gospels; and inspired the beginning of Habitat for Humanity.