Conferences and Announcements
Check here to find news and announcements relating to CCL and CCL members. Also listed here will be information about conferences, calls for papers, and other happenings that may be of interest to anyone exploring various themes in Christianity and literature.
CCL Luncheon at MLA Boston
The annual CCL luncheon during MLA 2013 took place Friday, January 4th. At the luncheon, we presented Robert Alter with his Lifetime Achievement Award (with Richard Brantley paying tribute to Alter), and honored honor the winners of this year's Book of the Year Award and Lionel Basney Award.
In addition to the luncheon, CCL sponsored two sessions at the MLA Convention:
CCL regular session:
Robert Alter delivered an autobiographical address: "Wandering among Fields: From Stendahl to the Bible"
A session jointly sponsored by CCL and the Division on Literature & Religion:
- "Different Gods: The Religious Contexts of Emily Dickinson"
- "A Different God? Religious Revelations from Dickinson's Holland Correspondence," Jane Donahue Eberwein, Oakland University
- "The Tender Pioneer in the Prairies of the Air: Dickinson and the Differences of God," Roger Lundin, Wheaton College
- "John Calvin, Marilynne Robinson, and Emily Dickinson: The Sacramental Nature of Perception," Thomas Gardner, Virginia Tech
Southwest 2013 Regional Conference
"Love that Moves the Sun and Other Stars": Exploring the Virtues in Literature
Houston Baptist University, Houston, Texas
September 20-21, 2013
Proposals: We welcome both individual paper abstracts and session proposals relevant to the conference theme. Please send paper abstracts (no more than 200 words) and/or session proposals by April 1, 2013 to the Conference Chair, Dr. Holly Ordway, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the classical period to today, the virtues have served as a means of self-examination, a guide for self-reflection, a pattern for living a good life, and an inspiration for literary composition. For Christians, the virtues have the added dimension of being rooted in the revelation of God's character. This re-orientation of the understanding of virtue means that pursuing virtue can be a spiritual discipline as well as a form of witness.
Literature provides a powerful means of reflecting on what virtue is, how the expression of particular virtues shapes actions and character, and what a virtuous life looks like in various times, places, and cultures.
This conference invites papers that consider literary approaches to one or more of the theological virtues (faith, hope, and love) and the cardinal virtues (justice, wisdom, temperance, and courage). Possible sub-topics include:
The representation in literature of specific virtues and/or their corresponding vicesParticular virtues considered in both non-Christian and Christian literatureRealistic, allegorical, symbolic, and mythopoeic approaches to presenting the virtues in literatureHow literature can 'embody' virtue (or vice)Considerations of Aristotelian, Thomistic, or Platonic representations of virtue as expressed in literary worksVirtues as represented in Biblical literatureVirtue as a topic for literary apologeticsOriginal poetryAnd other papers dealing with the conference theme
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Michael Ward: "'Pilate Was Merciful Till It Became Risky': C.S. Lewis on the Role of Courage in Every Virtue"
Senior Research Fellow, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University
Co-editor, The Cambridge Companion to C.S. Lewis; author, Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
Southeast 2013 Regional Conference
Covenant College, Lookout Mountain, Georgia
April 11-13, 2013
SECCL invites the submission of papers exploring the relevance of Christian faith for Twentieth-Century Literature and the relevance of Twentieth-Century Literature for Christian faith. Especially welcome will be papers focused on writers who, beginning in 1992, have been honored with CCL's Lifetime Achievement Award. The list includes poets such as Richard Wilbur, Denise Levertov, and Geoffrey Hill; novelists such as Marilynne Robinson, Frederick Buechner, and John Updike; critics such as Wayne Booth, Paul Ricoeur, and Nathan A. Scott, Jr. A complete list can be found at http://www.pepperdine.edu/sponsored/ccl/awardsandcontests/lifetimeachievement.htm
Proposals from undergraduates and proposals for projects exploring other intersections between faith and literature are also welcome. Presenters should be members in good standing with the Conference on Christianity and Literature.
Please send 400-500 word abstracts (preferably via email) to Dr. William Tate. The deadline to submit an abstract is Friday, January 18, 2013. For further information contact Dr. Tate email@example.com.
Western 2013 Regional Conference
The Company of Others: Literary Collaboration & the Common Good
Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, California
May 16-18, 2013
How do creative people—scholars, teachers, writers—begin and sustain work that transforms self and others for the common good? People of faith seeking understanding are admonished to "spur one another on to love and good deeds" in pursuit of God's redemptive purposes for all people and the renewal of all creation. What does that look like between writers and their literary mentors? How does it occur between teachers and students reading a common text or collaborating on a creative project, research presentation, or scholarly article? Where can we see it happening among scholars across disciplinary boundaries and/or writers in community? Finally, how do scholars and authors intentionally or unconsciously collaborate with the divine in their work, and what can we learn from their experiences that might encourage and inspire Christian writers, teachers, and scholars as they work for the common good?
Please note extended deadline!
We welcome papers that provoke scholarly conversation, collaboration, and camaraderie based on some aspect of the conference theme. Email one-paragraph abstracts and session proposals by January 31, 2012 to Dr. Patricia Andujo at firstname.lastname@example.org. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration. Conference poster here.
Southwest 2012 Regional Conference
Theatrum Mundi: Faith, Representation, and Multiculturalism
Oklahoma Christian University, with Oklahoma Baptist University
October 5-6, 2012
Keynote Speaker: David Henry Hwang, Tony Award-winning playwright, will deliver the 8th annual McBride Lecture for Faith & Literature and will also appear, along with members of the editorial board of the journal Ecumenica, on a panel addressing issues of faith in contemporary drama.
Call for Papers: Shakespeare's famous proclamation that "All the World's a Stage" is just one among numerous Renaissance assertions of the Theatrum Mundi. In his 1612 Apology for Actors, Thomas Heywood, for instance, argues that
... the world a Theater present,
As by the roundnesse it appears most fit,
Built with starre-galleries of hye ascent,
In which Jehove does as spectator sit.
This metaphor gave thinkers in the early modern period and beyond both a means of defending the sacramental value of the stage itself—and of representation more broadly—and a means of conceptualizing God's relationship to his creation as its author, director, and primary spectator. As we consider this metaphor today, we might consider the implications of the Theatrum Mundi concept for the expanded stage of a global society. Is all the world a stage?
For this conference we seek papers that address questions of representation before the divine. While we are, in keeping with our keynote speaker, especially interested in papers on dramatic literature, faith, and multiculturalism, we are also interested in how non-dramatic texts grapple with God as author, director, and/or audience for the theater of human activity. We will also consider papers more broadly interested in the intersection of Christianity and literature, as well as creative writing dealing with issues of faith.
Email one-paragraph abstracts and session proposals by July 6, 2012 to Benjamin Myers at: email@example.com
Northeast 2012 Regional Conference
Christianity in the Public Square: The Literatures of Politics, Protest, and Social Justice
King's College, Wilkes-Barre, PA
November 2-3, 2012
Call for Papers: In this period of presidential campaigning and partisan politics, when religion often becomes quite divisive in public rhetoric, how do we understand our Christian vocation and the faith we share? Its role in the public sphere has been hotly debated for years in America, especially given how one interprets the "separation of Church and State" that we have traditionally been taught and maintained. Add to this mix the recent phenomena of the Tea Party and Occupy movements and a tradition of social and political activism, in person and online (change.org, Credo, etc.), that is creating a place for itself in public life and discourse. Much of this shares roots in social theology and teachings on social justice handed down from mainline Christianity.
We seek papers that deal with current and past literatures on the role of protest, Christian faith, and/or social justice in society. How have others before us, and how do we, envision the place of faith in a pluralistic society? How has that vision evolved, and does it need to change? Papers might also consider utopian and dystopian literatures and what they have contributed to our understanding and to the discussion. What does literature tell people of faith about how--or even whether--we should preach it loudly, or instead, practice it quietly in our dealings with one another and with the systems of power that we encounter in the public sphere?
We will also consider papers more broadly interested in the intersection of Christianity and literature. Please email one-page abstracts and session proposals by July 15 to Reverend Anthony Grasso at: firstname.lastname@example.orgInformation about all CCL regional organizations