Literary Geographies – Space, Place, and Environments
La Mirada, CA
April 7-9, 2022
“All theology is rooted in geography.”
—Eugene H. Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant: an Exploration in Vocational Holiness
Eugene Peterson’s statement highlights how our spiritual lives are rooted in the material reality of our daily lives. Keeping in mind how Christ transforms not only individual hearts but also entire neighborhoods—and remaining attentive to how literature documents and shapes that transformation—we invite papers that address textual representations of space/place, environment, ecological endangerment, displacement, and rootedness. How do these ideas shape individual and communal identities? How do embodied experiences of being in particular places affect our orientation toward the world and understanding of human flourishing? What does it mean to cultivate a meaningful relationship to place? How does the discourse around immigration and citizenship help us think about the effects of displacement and emplacement? How do literary texts illuminate what our response should be toward the environmental crisis? And what does it mean to think of place and environment not merely as backdrops to our lives but as agents and interlocutors?
Potential topics / methods might include:
- Neighbors and neighborhoods (shared, communal or different identities)
- Geocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies
- Ecological footprints and the relationship between nature and culture
- Literary representations of disaster—fires, floods, earthquakes, drought
- Reflections on how Christian scholars occupy particular space(s) in the academy or elsewhere
- Literary representations of embodiment/embodied identities
Submission guidelines: The CCL committee invites individual proposals (abstracts 300–400 words), as well as panel proposals (3–4 presenters, 200-word panel rationale + abstracts 200 words per presenter). Pedagogy-oriented roundtables and other innovative presentations or workshops are welcome. Email your abstracts saved as a PDF to CCL2022@biola.edu by November 15, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by January 15, 2022. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration; eligible undergraduate papers will be entered into the national CCL Undergraduate Writing Contest for a cash prize and publication on the CCL website. Graduate students and contingent faculty are encouraged to apply for the CCL Travel Grant. For more details on these undergraduate and graduate opportunities, visit https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Awards-and-Grants.
Southeast CCL Conference
October 21-23, 2021
Keynote Speaker: Dr. John D. Sykes, Jr., Wingate University
Call for Papers: This has been the year of pandemic-induced cancellations—from international travel to athletic tournaments to our own Spring 2020 SECCL. The year also witnessed civil unrest, galvanized by George Floyd’s death in police custody. This scenario has fueled widespread social self-examination on the issue of racism. One result has been the acceleration of a new censoriousness in matters political, cultural, and academic. Statues have been pulled down, university buildings re-named, jobs lost and new positions created, curricula overhauled, and the literary canon sifted—all in the name of new moral reckoning. For this conference, we would like to invite papers that deal in theoretical and practical consequences of this movement for literary study, especially for that undertaken by Christian scholars and teachers. How should we respond to what is often pejoratively called “cancellation”? This can be broadly understood as encompassing not only the effect upon university curricula and the literary canon but also the censorious impulse within literature, and the religious impulses bound up with it, such as awakening, iconoclasm, and scapegoating. Possible topics could include:
• Themes of heresy/scapegoating/iconoclasm/erasure in literature • The effect of “Cancel Culture” on the English curriculum/pedagogy • “Cancelled” works or works in danger of cancellation • Christianity’s relation to protest literature. Faith, literature, and • Race and other forms of identity • Critical Race Theory • Postcolonial Theory • Postermodernism
The SECCL is also open to other topics on the intersection of faith and literature. Please submit a 200-400 word proposal to SECCL2021@gmail.com by July 16, 2021. Proposals from undergraduate students are also welcome (undergraduates must submit an entire paper for consideration).
CFP for SAMLA 93, November 4-6, 2021, Atlanta, GA
The Company You Keep: Reading, Writing, & Socializing in Religious Literature
Affiliate Group: Southeast Conference on Christianity and Literature
Literature is rife with the concept of the “social,” whether it be through exclusion or connection. The Bible records letters sent, Church History preserves the ways in which communities gathered and encouraged one another regardless of distance, and Christian writers have invested heavily in understanding the topic of community and social structures. This panel welcomes submissions that address the topics of intimacy, community, or exile. We welcome papers exploring literary works that engage with Christianity (or religion broadly) on the idea of the “social.” Papers might consider one or more of the following:
- Definitions of community in the writings of A. J. Mojtabai
- Social networks, broadly conceived, in the writings of Walker Percy
- Letter writing between authors as a source for inspiration (i.e. the letters of Ernest Hemingway)
- News or gossip in relation to community connections (i.e. gossip in the works of William Faulkner or the importance of the news in James Fenimore Cooper’s writing)
- Exile and reconciliation in American Catholic fiction (i.e. J. F. Powers and Harry Sylvester)
- The nature and definition of exilic literature (or literary depictions of characters in exile)
- The question of authenticity in religious literature
- Ways that literary texts comfort the reader or challenge religious traditions
- The conventions and techniques of religious literature and their adaptation over time and distance
- How religious writers turn to other religious traditions for resources of community or inspiration
- The relationship between society and exile in religion
- Pedagogical approaches to religious literature
- The nature of communities built around the reading of good books
- Creative writing submissions addressing the panel theme are also welcome
Please send a 250-word proposal, a CV, and any A/V requests to Sean C. Hadley at email@example.com. (For creative writing submissions, please submit the full work to be read and not an abstract). All abstracts or creative writing submissions are due May 31.
Regional conferences afford members an opportunity to learn from one another and to build networks of support for their scholarly and professional endeavors. They also offer graduate students an opportunity to gain valuable experience presenting at conferences.
For the themes of past and recent regional conferences, please click on the regions below:
Gathering: Christianity, Race, and Justice
Keynote: Willie James Jennings (Yale University)
Midwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature
June 23-24, 2021
Willie James Jennings, author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, has recently released After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, which seeks to reframe higher education by "turning attention to the original trajectory of a God who has ended hostility and has drawn all of creation into a reconciliation . . . one that aims to re-create us, reforming us as those who enact gathering and who gesture communion with our very existence." What parts do literature, writing, and teaching play in such a vision? How do justice, race, and faith intersect in literature? In our creative work? In our teaching? This conference gathers under the conditions of a global pandemic that prevent physical proximity. It no less, however, allows us to reflect in scholarly and creative ways on the concept of gathering, given the realities of injustice that have been prominent on the global, political, social, and religious stage in the past year. This conference will involve traditional panels; roundtables; peer-review panels with pre-circulated papers, shorter presentations and substantive feedback; creative readings; and student panels. Scholars at all stages of their inquiry into matters of Christianity, race, and justice in literature, writing, and teaching are welcome.
Possible topics include the following:
pedagogy and race in Christian higher education
the Christian imagination of race in literature
raced bodies and the body of Christ in literature
mestizaje theology and literary form
anti-racism, faith, and literature
writing and literature pedagogy and contemporary realities of injustice
the cross and the lynching tree
prophetic textual traditions of race and faith
repudiations of Christianity in literary accounts of race
critique and post-critique of literature, race, and faith
race, place, and faith
the ethics of minority/majority as categories for literature
political rhetoric of race and faith
faith and protest literature
minjung theology and literature
literature and repair/reparations
whiteness and Christianity in literature
majority world theological readings of literature
(con)textualized theology of race
indigenous literatures' imaginations of faith
modernity and the theological formulation of race
the Christian literary marketplace and diverse books
literature of law and order, policing, justice
As always, the Midwest CCL is open to other proposals concerning the relationship of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration; eligible undergraduate papers will be entered into the national CCL Undergraduate Writing Contest for a cash prize and publication on the CCL website.
Send abstracts (200-400 words) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 1, 2021. Panel proposals welcome. Abstracts should indicate a preference for either traditional panels or peer-review (pre-circulated papers) panels.
Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature regional meeting
October 15-16, 2021
Northeastern State University
Broken Arrow, Oklahoma
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Dr. Rachel Fulton Brown, associate professor of History at the University of Chicago and author of Mary and the Art of Prayer: The Hours of the Virgin in Medieval Life and Thought (2018), who will be discussing Christian poetry and its role in community and culture.
In light of the disruptions in our world created by COVID-19, the working theme for this year’s conference will be “Christian Community” as we begin to rebuild and reestablish communal bonds and seek to understand how our sense of community and the communal have changed in response to the world around us.
Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
The construction of Christian community and fellowship in or through literature
Recovering a sense of the communal through literature
The impact of the world on both faith and literary interpretation
Constructions of communal worldviews through shared experience
Faith as a tool for rebuilding after disaster
Ways of engaging with community through narrative
Community and the construction of the text
Narrative community as model
Liturgy and the lived community
Community and spirituality in popular media
As always, SWCCL is open to other proposals concerning the relationship of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals and creative works. Readings of original poetry and fiction will also be considered (please email conference coordinators for details).
Undergraduate and graduate students are also encouraged to submit proposals. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration; eligible undergraduate papers will be entered into the national CCL Undergraduate Writing Contest for a cash prize and publication on the CCL website. Graduate students accepted to the conference are encouraged to apply for the CCL Travel Grant. For more details on these undergraduate and graduate opportunities, please visit the CCL website for full details. https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Awards-and-Grants
Send abstracts (200-400 words) via email to email@example.com on or before June 1, 2021. Notifications will be sent to all submitters in early July, 2021, with the final program being published in August or early September to allow for ample time for presenters to make arrangements for their sessions. Please note—while the organizers are planning on hosting the event on-site, circumstances may require moving the conference to a virtual environment. In the event of a change in mode, all presenters will be notified as far in advance as possible.
All presenters must be members of the Conference on Christianity and Literature prior to delivering their paper; membership includes a subscription to the conference’s journal and information can be found on the organization’s website: https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Membership .