Return to Directory

Pearl McHaney

Emeritus, Professor

Ph.D., English, Georgia State University, 1992


Twentieth-Century American Literature
and Secondary English


Announcing Dr. McHaney’s appointment as the Kenneth M. England Professor of Southern Literature, Dr. Randy Malamud said, “Her work in the field defies a quick summary, but some of the highlights include her book A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography (UP of Mississippi 2014); five other edited volumes about Welty’s photography, essays, and book reviews, and reviews of her work; an annual journal, Eudora Welty Review, of which Pearl is the founding editor; 30 book chapters and essays (many about Welty, but other figures of southern literature as well including William Faulkner, Barry Hannah, Kathryn Stockett, Natasha Trethewey, and Tennessee Williams.

“Professor McHaney has given lectures around the world about Welty and other writers in an effort to bring southern literature to international audiences.  And closer to home she has organized numerous conferences and performances celebrating the writing of our region.  Combined with her work as director of GSU’s Center for Collaborative and International Arts (CENCIA and as a champion of the Decatur Book Festival, Professor McHaney has striven throughout her career to ensure that a strong presence as a public scholar accompanies her extensive academic research.” She also serves on the Advisory Committee for the Rialto Center for the Arts.

Dr. McHaney also researches and teaches twentieth-century American prose (fiction, essay, drama) and poetry from an American Studies point of view.  The cultural contexts revealed through art, music, history, and biography inform her teaching.  While the work of Eudora Welty is the primary focus for Dr. McHaney’s research and publications, she has also written on and/or lectured on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tony Grooms, Sindiwe Magona, David Mamet, Alice Munro, and Flannery O’Connor. She has given invited lectures on Welty and others in the U.S. and in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Spain. The courses that Dr. McHaney teaches are varied: Children’s and Young Adults’ Literature, Literature and Culture of the Harlem Renaissance, Literary Perspectives of New York City, Race, Rights and Resistance: Literature of the American South and South Africa, Senior Seminar for Secondary English, Twentieth-century American Poetry, and Welty’s Cosmos.

Dr. McHaney serves on the Secondary English committee, guiding undergraduates in the Secondary English Concentration, working with the College of Education and Human Development’s TEEMS English masters of arts in teaching degree program ( ). She served as chair (2006-2007 and 2008-2009) and chaor-elect (2005-2006, 2007-2008) of the Professional Education Faculty ( ). With colleague Renee Schatteman, she created an outreach program for K-12 teachers called Conversations among Partners in Learning (2000-2011. She and Schatteman won an NEH Summer Institute for Teachers grant in 2002. One of her current projects in completion of a textbook of Georgia literature that tells the stories of the state’s history, a book intended for Georgia’s eighth grade language arts and history students.

Dr. McHaney has been active in international programs development as well, originating and directing the college’s student and faculty exchange program with the University of Versailles Saint Quentin-en-Yvelines in France.

Beyond the university community, Dr. McHaney is a frequent presenter for the Georgia Center for the Book and guest leader for numerous book clubs and study groups.  She has garnered grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Georgia Humanities Council for the study and promotion of the importance of literature.

In addition to the ongoing editing of the Eudora Welty Review, Dr. McHaney is compiling Eudora Welty Remembered for a series edited by Jackson Bryer and published by University of Alabama Press (2015).   She also continues her scholarship on the work of Natasha Trethewey (U.S. Poet Laureate 2012-2014) with a presentation to “The Trans-South” Southern Studies Forum 2015 conference in Essex, U.K., in September 2015.


McHaney1 McHaney2 41wWSofTz4L._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_

51XPTzm4eAL._SY483_BO1,204,203,200_ 411wAB-ZVQL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_




                A Tyrannous Eye: Eudora Welty’s Nonfiction and Photography. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2014.

Eudora Welty as Photographer. Editor. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2009. Eudora Welty Prize.

Occasions: Selected Writings by Eudora Welty. Editor.  Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2009.

Eudora Welty: Contemporary Reviews.  Editor.  American Critical Archives. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2005, 2010.

Eudora Welty: Writers’ Reflections on First Reading Welty.  Editor.  Athens: Hill Street Press, 1999. Columbia: U of South Carolina P, 2010.



“Eudora Welty.” Oxford Bibliography Series. Oxford: Oxford U P. 2015. 150 citations.

“An Interview with Natasha Trethewey.”  2007. Conversations with Natasha Trethewey. Ed. Joan Wylie Hall. Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 2013: 45-60.

“Southern Women Writers and Their Influence.” Cambridge Companion to Southern  Literature. Ed. Sharon Montieth. Cambridge UP, 2013. 132-54.

“’Hard Beauty’: The Confluence of Eudora Welty and Alice Munro: Mississippi-South and Ontario-South Portraits of the 1930s.” Cultural Circulation: Canadian Writers and Authors from the American South—A Dialogue. Ed. Waldemar Zacharewicz and Christoph Irmscher. Vienna: Verlag der Osterreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2012. 191-200.

“William Faulkner: Women Writers’ Inheritance: Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty, Toni Morrison, Lee Smith, Natasha Trethewey.” William Faulkner’s Legacy. Pia Masiero, ed. Venice, Italy: University of Ca’Foscari Venenzia, 2012. 35-45.

“Southern Erasures: Natasha Trethewey’s Native Guard.” The (Un)Popular South. Ed. Marcel Arbeit. Olomouc, Czech Republic: Palacky University in Olomouc, 2011. 81-96.

“Prospects for the Study of Eudora Welty.”  Prospects for the Study of American Literature II.  Ed. Richard Kopley and Barbara Cantalo. Brooklyn: AMS Press, Inc. 2009. 304-323.

“Contextual Spaces of Place and Race in Eudora Welty’s “Livvie.” Less Is More: Short Fiction Theory and Analysis. Ed. Jakob Lothe, Hans H. Skei, and Per Winther.  Oslo: Novus Press, 2008. 77-89.

“New York, The Emblematic Dream.” Il sogno delle Americiche: Promess e tradimenti. Ed. Francesca Bisutti De Riz, Pzatrizio Rigobon, and Bernard Vincent. Padua: Studio Editoriale Gordini, 2007. 227-42. [Call It Sleep, The Great Gatsby, and Jazz.]



“Kathryn Stockett’s Postmodern First Novel.” Southern Cultures 20.1 (Spring 2014): 77-92

“Natasha Trethewey’s Triptych: The Bodies of History in Bellocq’s Ophelia, Native Guard, and Thrall. Southern Quarterly 50.4 (Summer 2013): 153-72.

“Forays into the Surreal: Eudora Welty’s ‘The Winds’ and ‘A Sketching Trip’ and Joseph Cornell.” Miranda: Multidisciplinary Peer-reviewed Journal on the English-Speaking World. 7 (December 2012). “Sensing Eudora Welty’s New Orleans.” Studies in American Culture 35.1 (October 2012): 77-93.

“Race, Rights, and Resistance in Southern Literature in the Age of Obama.”  The South in the Age of Obama. Alfred Hornung, ed. American Studies Journal. 56. 2012.

“Eudora Welty: Artist Abroad and ‘The Burning.’” Mississippi Quarterly. 64.3-4 (Summer-Fall 2011): 504-23.

“Eudora Welty: Sensing the Particular, Revealing the Universal in Her Southern World.” Transatlantica: Revue d’études americaines, American Studies Journal. 1. 2011.

“History and Intertextuality: A Transnational Reading of Eudora Welty’s Losing Battles and Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother.” Southern Literary Journal. XL.2 Spring 2008: 166-181.



 Native Guard Act 2.” Guest Speaker, Alliance Theater at the Woodruff, Atlanta, GA, Oct. 17, 2014.

“Natasha Trethewey’s Personal Story as American History.” “Women in the Americas” Institute of the Americas Annual Conference, Aix-en-Provence, Dec. 5, 2013.

“Welty at the Museum of Modern Art, 1973.” “’Everybody to their own visioning’: Eudora Welty in the 21st Century,” International Conference of the Eudora Welty Society, College Station, TX, Apr. 5, 2013

“Eudora Welty: Confluence of Fiction and Photographs.” Epps Lecture, LaGrange College, LaGrange, GA, Apr. 12, 2012.

“’The Key’ by Eudora Welty: Seventy Years Hence.” Society for the Study of Southern Literature, Nashville, TN Mar. 30 2012.