And So The Judge Returns: Blood Meridian Workshop at the University of Warwick


  • Katja Laug English and Comparative Literature Studies, University of Warwick
  • Katja Laug Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies, University of Warwick



Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian, Judge Holden, workshop, live-stream, kid


Pulitzer Prize winning author Cormac McCarthy’s work has become required reading in literary criticism, and yet no syllabus appears to provision for the in-depth discussion his texts, particularly the 1985 novel, Blood Meridian: Or, the Evening Redness in the West, require. The ‘And So the Judge Returns: Blood Meridian Workshop’ at the University of Warwick emerged from the idea to provide a space that facilitates such a discussion. Designed to bring academics and non-academics of all ages together in one space, the workshop quickly developed from a small, Warwick-based event into a live-streamed and recorded international conference with a significant audience based in the United States.

The workshop reaffirmed the interest in the novel’s enigmatic antagonist Judge Holden and motifs such as the landscape and violence. Less traditional ideas of the judge were also discussed, such as reading the judge as fraud or as weary of chaos and perpetual violence. The workshop succeeded in creating a space to share thoughts and ideas and continue the academic discourse on the novel. Speakers included Dr Nicholas Monk and Dr David Holloway, both established McCarthy critics; Peter Josyph whose artistic engagement with McCarthy’s work and career his highly respected among critics; and Dr Dan O’Hara, expert in American Studies. Ronan Hatfull and Katja Laug represented the younger generation of McCarthy critics. Live-streaming also afforded insights into the academic discourse to the mostly non-academic online audience. The article provides a summary of the day’s events and the links to the edited recordings.


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People in a discussion






Critical Reflections