The Conference

Beyond the “Very Small Audience”: Centenary, Archive, and Futures

December 29th 2022 was the 100th anniversary of William Gaddis’ birth. Washington University in St. Louis, whose Julian Edison Department of Special Collections at Olin Library holds Gaddis’ comprehensive archive and related collections, commemorated this centenary with, among other content, an academic conference on the prospects for the next 100 years of studying Gaddis’ life and work.

The celebration took place October 20-22, 2022 and included an exhibition of Gaddis’ archive, roundtable discussions, and art and performances inspired by Gaddis. Joel Minor (curator of the Modern Literature Collection at Washington University), and Ali Chetwynd (author of multiple articles on Gaddis’ archive) were the organizers. They can be reached at

The three-day conference—William Gaddis Beyond the “Very Small Audience”: Centenary, Archive, and Futures—featured a keynote by Steven Moore on “New Directions for Gaddis Studies,” an archive-driven roundtable with a variety of Gaddis scholars on “Gaddis’ Unpublished Creative Work,” readings of Gaddis by fiction writers, and much more. See the Program page for the full itinerary and our summary news article for pictures, descriptions and links to available videos.

The Publication

William Gaddis at His Centenary

Following the generative Centenary Conference, it’s time to put some of this new understanding on the record! A special issue on Gaddis is being planned for the peer-reviewed, open-access online journal, electronic book review (founded in 1995 by Gaddis’ biographer Joseph Tabbi) to be published in December 2023.

This issue will include some content from the conference as well as newly submitted content. See our Publication Call for Papers page for more information.