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Flannery O'Connor: The Spring Hill College Connection: Visit to Spring Hill College

Flannery O'Connor LibGuide by student Cecilia Dupepe

Flannery O'Connor Visits Spring Hill College

Flannery O'Connor visited Spring Hill College on April 4th, 1960. During her visit, she lectured on "The Catholic Writer in the Protestant South." She was invited by Fr. J. Franklin Murray, SJ, as part of the Lecture and Concert Series 1960 at Spring Hill. This page provides archival information about O'Connor's visit to Spring Hill College, as well as information about her lecture circuit as a whole.

Correspondence between O'Connor and Father Murray

Father J. Franklin "Frank" Murray began writing to Flannery O'Connor in December of 1959. Below are the letters O'Connor and Murray exchanged regarding the planning and afterthoughts regarding O'Connor's lecture. This is the first time these letters are being made available to the public. The physical letters exchanged are held in the Burke Memorial Library Archives and Special Collections at Spring Hill College. 

Lecture and Concert Series 1960

Flannery O'Connor visited Spring Hill College as part of the Lecture and Concert Series 1960. This series, run by Father J. Franklin "Frank" Murray, SJ, of the English department, also included visits from many other interesting lecturers and performers, many of which were featured in the SpringHillian. Below, there are links to the articles in the SpringHillian where these lecturers and performers are highlighted.

Pictures from O'Connor's Lecture

Flannery O'Connor talking to faculty and students following her lecture at Spring Hill College in on April 4, 1960.

Photo Courtesy of Spring Hill College Archives and Special Collections

Flannery O'Connor answering questions from students in Dr. Charles J. Boyle's class on modern fiction, as well as a few Jesuits, on the day following her lecture at Spring Hill College in 1960.

Photo Courtesy of Spring Hill College Archives and Special Collections

The College Inn was the building on Spring Hill's campus where O'Connor's lecture was held. The building is no longer standing.

Photo Courtesy of Spring Hill College Archives and Special Collections

Dr. Charles J. Boyle's Description of O'Connor's Lecture

On October 8, 1970, Dr. Charles J. Boyle, the Spring Hill College Dean, gave a lecture on Flannery O'Connor and her relationship with Spring Hill College and Catholicism to the Spring Hill College Women's Associates. In this lecture, he remarks on his own interactions with O'Connor as well as his analysis of the concepts of grace, the grotesque, and more in her stories. 

Map of States where Flannery O'Connor Lectured/Read from 1955-1963

The states highlighted in blue are the states where O'Connor lectured/read. 

Jesuit House Diary

The Jesuit Order at Spring Hill College kept a Jesuit House Diary regarding all the happenings around campus and regarding the order. The Jesuit House Diary from 1954-1966 contains an excerpt about the Flannery O'Connor lecture. The original Jesuit House Diaries are housed at the Spring Hill College Archives and Special Collections, but a scan of the page addressing the lecture is provided below.