CFP: “L.M. Montgomery and Reading” Conference in Prince Edward Island

Living on the extreme end of the continent has its perks. Besides a rich culture, gorgeous beaches, and something we call weather–sorry folks, most of you don’t have weather–we in Prince Edward Island also have Anne of Green Gables.

It’s true, it gets a bit much with the tourism and TV remakes. But even those have upsides. Lucy Maud Montgomery’s work has introduced the world to a gem of an Island, and this interest, in turn, has buoyed the prosperity of Canada’s poorest province. And as far as TV remakes go, the cartoon and the Martin Sheen version were painful, but the 1980s Kevin Sullivan miniseries and the new Anne program on Netflix/CBC were very well done.

As part of encouraging the worlds of Anne from an Academic perspective, the L.M. Montgomery Institute has a biennial conference at the University of Prince Edward Island (where I teach part-time in religious studies). The Institute is looking for strong, interdisciplinary papers that draw out the best of Canada’s century-old literary superstar with the best of 21st century scholarship. Extremely rigorous, the proposal deadline is August 15th–a full 10 months before the conference next June (see CFP below).

Besides spending time in Prince Edward Island at the end of June, this conference might be interesting to you as an academic or as a reader of L.M. Montgomery. My own proposal considers how Montgomery uses the character of Anne to forge for the reader a spirituality of joy that fuses together what C.S. Lewis called the “two hemispheres” of his mind, that of reason and romanticism. What would your approach be? Perhaps you want to talk about the bookshelves in Avonlea, or the effect of WWI on her work, or issues of mental illness in Montgomery’s short stories. Or perhaps you want to come and just soak in the words and the work.

In either case, you should come to this little Island! For me, I’m back to my reading of Anne’s House of Dreams.

CFP: L.M. Montgomery and Reading (link here)

The L.M. Montgomery Institute’s Thirteenth Biennial Conference
University of Prince Edward Island, 21-24 June 2018

“I am simply a book drunkard. Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.” –April 4, 1899 (from The Complete Journals of L.M. Montgomery: The P.E.I. years, 1899-1900)

“In spite of this proliferation of approaches to Montgomery, her fictions flourish in their original form. They continue to draw people from all over the world to the island of reading pleasure.” –Elizabeth Waterston, Magic Island: The Fictions of L.M. Montgomery

The 2018 conference invites research that considers “L.M. Montgomery and Reading” in all its forms and possibilities. The allusions in Montgomery’s novels and the richness of her own reading life raise a host of questions about the politics, history, culture, technologies, and practice of reading. In turn, fans and scholars explore what it means to read Montgomery as they continue to visit and revisit her novels and autobiographical work. Her enduring popularity continues to inspire translations and transformations that offer readers new ways to experience Montgomery’s texts.

This conference will also mark the 25th anniversary of the L.M. Montgomery Institute, providing an important opportunity to (re)read and reflect on the past and future of Montgomery scholarship and to explore how the presenters see themselves in a community of international, interdisciplinary, and interrelated readers.

The conference theme inspires topics including:

  • Reading politics and history in and of Montgomery’s works
  • Material cultures and the class implications of reading
  • Influence and intertextuality across texts including explorations of Montgomery’s literary allusions
  • Global experiences of reading classics
  • Literacy in all forms, teaching Montgomery texts, and reading education
  • The neurobiology and neuroscience of reading and the human capacity to read
  • Reading and ways of seeing, reading and visual culture, alternative reading methods
  • Reflections on and readings of Montgomery scholarship
  • Reading in translation, reading personally and culturally, and reading over a lifetime

Please submit 250-300-word proposals and short CVs to the submission form on the LMMI website (lmmontgomery.ca) by 15 August 2017.

Proposals should not only clearly articulate a strong argument but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship. All proposals are blind reviewed. Proposals for workshops, exhibits, films, and performances are also welcomed.  For more information please contact Laura Robinson (lrobinson@grenfell.mun.ca) or Emily Woster (ewoster@d.umn.edu).

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About Brenton Dickieson

“A Pilgrim in Narnia” is a blog project in reading and talking about the work of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the worlds they touched. As a "Faith, Fantasy, and Fiction" blog, we cover topics like children’s literature, apologetics and philosophy, myths and mythology, fantasy, theology, cultural critique, art and writing. This blog includes my thoughts as I read through Lewis and Tolkien and reflect on my own life and culture. In this sense, I am a Pilgrim in Narnia--or Middle Earth, or Fairyland. I am often peeking inside of wardrobes, looking for magic bricks in urban alleys, or rooting through yard sale boxes for old rings. If something here captures your imagination, leave a comment, “like” a post, share with your friends, or sign up to receive Narnian Pilgrim posts in your email box. Brenton Dickieson is a father, husband, friend, university lecturer, and freelance writer from Prince Edward Island, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter, @BrentonDana.
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8 Responses to CFP: “L.M. Montgomery and Reading” Conference in Prince Edward Island

  1. Ah 🙂 I am eyeing your Montgomery collection. Half of mine are collecting dust in my childhood library.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. laurielfrodo says:

    Definitely a bucket list item for me to make it to PEI one day, friend! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    Uh oh, “but they should also situate that argument in the context of previous Montgomery scholarship.” Does that exclude poor villagers like myself, ab initio, then?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. David Llewellyn Dodds says:

    If we think ‘Sevenly’, Montgomery is a contemporary of Chesterton (though she survived him by six years) and, like him, I seem to remember [Citation needed] a fan of MacDonald’s work. And Anne, if the Chronologists Wikipedia draws upon have done good work, is her slightly younger contemporary, so Anne of Green Gables begins around the time of the birth of Charles Williams, while Tolkien and Dorothy Sayers are born around the time of the earlier parts of Ann of the Island, and Owen Barfield and C.S.Lewis during Ann of the Windy Poplars, and MacDonald will have died between Anne’s House of Dreams and Anne of Ingleside. Now, what of the fairy and more serious supernatural elements of Montgomery’s stories? How do they compare or contrast with the reading and thought and work of the ‘Seven’ during, especially, Anne’s life? Is the ‘lore’ conservative? Are there ‘esoteric’ threats on PEI? Has previous Montgomery scholarship elucidated such matters thoroughly, or do such fields await harvesting?

    Like

    • I think MacDonald has to be behind LM Montgomery (who married a MacDonald!). The Anne/PEI timeline is tough because the war dominates the later books, so I haven’t quite worked it out. I tried to parallel Anne & Lewis: Anne of Green Gables was released the summer that Lewis’ mother died, so Anne was just a couple years older than Lewis at that moment. But she ages more quickly (and more slowly at times). I haven’t worked it out….

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