The work of famed author David Foster Wallace will be celebrated at Illinois State University with the second annual David Foster Wallace Conference, running May 28 to 30, at the Bloomington-Normal Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal.
Speakers and panels will highlight Wallace’s work, with more than 120 scholars from around the world converging in Normal for the conference. Keynote speaker Stephen Burn of the University of Glasgow will speak on Friday. Burn has published widely on contemporary fiction, writing both academic books and articles, and regularly reviewing fiction for the New York Times Book Review and the Times Literary Supplement. He is preparing an edition of David Foster Wallace’s letters that will be a biography of Wallace’s writing.
A series of writing workshops with Wallace scholars will be Saturday. A complete schedule is available on the conference website.
David Foster Wallace arrived as a faculty member at Illinois State in 1993. Already an accomplished author, it was here he finished Infinite Jest, often called one of the greatest novels of the late 20th century. The upcoming film, The End of the Tour, a movie starring Jason Segal and based on a lengthy interview Wallace gave during a media tour of the best-selling novel.
Events during the conference will help support the David Foster Wallace Memorial Restricted Fund, established to support activities of the Department of English by sponsoring the Wallace Memorial Reading Series and the David Foster Wallace Award. This cash award will honor a graduate or undergraduate student whose writing engages its subject from an original, committed, and humane perspective.