Posted by Philip Poole on 2012-04-06

By Tully Taylor

Christopher Metress, Samford University professor of English and director of Samford's University Fellows program, presented a paper on author Harper Lee at the Society for the Study of Southern Literature conference in Nashville, March 29- April 1.

Metress presented "Harper Lee and the Burden of Southern Liberalism," which addressed the new criticism facing Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird that it is not as racially progressive as first thought.

"In my paper, I offered a new reading which suggests that Harper Lee built this criticism of white liberalism and Atticus Finch into the novel itself, and that it's something we should have been noticing all along," Metress said.

Metress joined Samford in 1993.

Tully Taylor is a senior journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in Samford University's office of marketing and communication.

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. The Wall Street Journal ranks Samford 1st nationally for student engagement and U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 37th in the nation for best undergraduate teaching and 97th nationally for best value. Samford enrolls 5,758 students from 48 states and 22 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference, and ranks 3rd nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.