2017 Panelists :


Ralph C. Wood is University Professor of Theology and Literature at Baylor University, and focuses his scholarship on the cultural intersection of religion and literature. Among his books are Flannery O'Connor and the Christ-Haunted South (Eerdmans, 2005). He spoke at the 2014 Walker Percy Weekend on the relation of Walker to William Alexander Percy.

Jessica Hooten Wilson is an Associate Professor of Creative Writing and the Associate Director of the Honors Scholars Program at John Brown University. She is the author of Giving the Devil His Due: Demonic Authority in the Fiction of Flannery O’Connor and Fyodor Dostoevsky (Feb 2017). She also has two beautiful children, to whom she dedicates most of her time.

Patrick L. Connelly is an Associate Professor of History and the Chair of the History & Political Science Department at Mississippi College. Prior to arriving in Mississippi during the summer of 2016, Patrick served as Director of the Honors Program at Montreat College (NC), where he was awarded the David L. Parks Distinguished Professor Award in 2015. He received his Ph.D in History from Emory University in 2011 and specializes in modern American cultural, intellectual, and religious history. He is currently researching and writing on the historical vision of Walker Percy.  He and his wife Julia have three boys and live in Clinton, Mississippi.

Dr. Ralph Beaumont is an adult psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, living in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Ann Dart, a social worker psychotherapist and native of Saint Francisville, and his daughter, Clara Dart Beaumont, an undergraduate at Tulane and Walker Percy fan in her own right. Dr. Beaumont, who in West Feliciana Parish is often known as Ralph Dart, attended college and medical school at Duke, pursued his psychiatric residency in Denver, and completed his psychoanalytic training in Boston. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of psychiatry at Oregon Health Sciences University, and Director of the Oregon Psychoanalytic Institute. He has presented his work at national and international meetings, and this has included both clinical topics, and so-called applied analysis, often involving psychoanalysis applied to opera. He has been a follower and appreciator of the work of Walker Percy since the early 1970s, and greatly enjoyed anecdotes from Ann's Aunt Jane, who had a long-standing friendship with Mr. Percy.

Harrison Scott Key is the author ofthe book The World's Largest man , a contributing editor for the Oxford American and a professor of writing at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah , Georgia, where he lives with his wife and three children.  His humor and non-fiction have been featured in The Best American Travel Writing and numerous magazines.