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UPCOMING CONFERENCES

WEST

Literary Geographies – Space, Place, and Environments

Biola University

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

 

E-mail your one-paragraph abstracts for an individual presentation or a one-paragraph abstract for a group panel by December 20, 2021 to Chris Davidson at christopher.davidson@biola.edu. 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 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.

 

OTHER CONFERENCES

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 sean.hadley@faulkner.edu. (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

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:

Western

Midwest

Southeast

Eastern

Southwest

 

UPCOMING CONFERENCES

MIDWEST

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

Online Conference

 

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 cclconference@wheaton.edu by May 15, 2021. Panel proposals welcome. Abstracts should indicate a preference for either traditional panels or peer-review (pre-circulated papers) panels. 

 

SOUTHWEST

Christian Community
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 flavin@nsuok.edu 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 .