News Releases

2024 Eudora Welty Research Fellow Chosen

April 22, 2024

Gabrielle Bowden, a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi, has been named the Eudora Welty Research Fellow for 2024. Bowden will use archival holdings in the Eudora Welty Collection housed at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) to research the influence of Welty’s travel in Ireland on her 1951 publication “The Burning.” 

“In theme and style, 'The Burning' feels distinctly Irish; its dark, grotesque, modernist humor reflects the style of Irish contemporaries like Joyce,” said Bowden. “I hope to discover certain materials and texts that would further demonstrate Irish influence on 'The Burning.' From the Welty archives, the newly opened family correspondence would be particularly useful to this research. While previous scholarship has acknowledged her grand, pastoral description of Bowen’s Court in letters to John Robinson and others, none have yet explored what she wrote to her mother and other close family members about her experience in Ireland.” 

Established in 2010 by MDAH and the Eudora Welty Foundation, the fellowship seeks to encourage and support research of the Eudora Welty Collection by graduate students.  

“We’re grateful to the Eudora Welty Foundation for their continued support of our fellows,” said David Pilcher, director of the MDAH archives and records services division. “I am certain Gabrielle will gain valuable insight this summer, making excellent use of newly digitized Welty materials and extensive paper archives within the Eudora Welty Collection.”  

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in English from The College of William and Mary, Bowden pursed a master’s degree in Irish writing at Trinity College Dublin, graduating in 2020. She is currently working towards her doctorate in English, concentrating on twentieth-century American literature, especially literature of the American South. She will use the $5,000 fellowship award to cover her travel, housing, and other expenses incurred while doing her primary research at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.  

The Eudora Welty Collection is the world’s finest collection of materials related to Welty and one of the most varied literary collections in the United States. The collection includes manuscripts, letters, photographs, drawings, essays, and film and video footage that spans Welty’s entire life.  

Beginning in 1957, and over the course of more than forty years, Welty donated materials to the department, primarily literary manuscripts and photographs. At her death, her remaining papers were bequeathed to MDAH and included unpublished manuscripts and 14,000 items of correspondence with family, friends, scholars, young writers, and noted writers.  

The Eudora Welty Collection may be accessed at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building at 200 North Street in Jackson. For more information on the archival collection or the Eudora Welty Research Fellowship, contact Lis Cambonga at 601-576-6868 or by email at



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