I wanted to re-share the Call for Papers for one of my favourite conferences (which I describe here and here). If you are thinking of proposing a paper or creative piece, get that proposal in! They are especially interested in having students submit something as they believe in building scholarship for the future.
Here is my proposal:
“As High as My Spirit, As Small as My Stature”: C.S. Lewis’ Theology of the Small and Monika Hilder’s Theological Feminism
Canadian literary critic Monika Hilder has provided a model for reading Lewis’ fiction that she calls “theological feminism.” Hilder outlines a consistent “feminine heroic” in Lewis’ fiction that resists, critiques, and transforms classical-masculine models. Some critics claim that Lewis’ medieval-soaked imagistic approach to gender creates damaging exclusivities. Hilder argues that, by contrast, Lewis uses gender metaphors in remarkably gender-inclusive ways.
Though Hilder’s well-reviewed work provides a turning point in Lewis studies, the full impact of her thesis has not yet been exploited. This paper considers the implications of Hilder’s thesis for Lewis’ narrative spiritual theology. In taking feminist critics seriously, we discover the upside-down form of Lewis’ moral thought that emerges from the interrogation of his spiritual theology. This inversive, even subversive element in his thinking offers possibilities for a hopeful, holistic spirituality of the cross evident in his fiction and nonfiction. Combining Hilder’s feminist literary criticism with a careful concentration upon Lewis’ crucicentric theology leads ultimately to what I call Lewis’ “theology of the small”—an ironic spirituality that subverts culturally constructed expectations. Extending past the specific questions of gender Hilder is addressing, I argue that there is an inversive quality inherent to Lewis’ thought that confirms the comedic, eucatastrophic narrative pattern at the centre of his theology.
Beyond what I’m going there to talk about, the conference theme is intriguing, calling upon Dorothy L. Sayers’ 1938 essay, “Are Women Human?” My own proposal is working with the research of one of the keynotes, Monika Hilder, on C.S. Lewis’ theological feminism.
Are WomEn Human (Yet)?
Gender and the Inklings
C. S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium
June 4-7, 2020
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT and CALL FOR PAPERS
JOIN US for our 12th Biennial C. S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium, June 4-7, 2020. Sponsored by Taylor University’s Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends, the Colloquium features keynote addresses from top scholars in the field, plus hundreds of presentations of both original scholarship and original creative work in paper sessions, workshops, panel discussions, performances, artist exhibitions, and much more. The Colloquium welcomes scholars, teachers, students, life-long learners, fans, seekers, and, as always, new friends to be part of our adventurous company. For the first time in our history, and as part of our mission to identify and support the next generation of friends, the Colloquium will feature a one-day pre-conference especially for “Young Inklings” on June 3.
Of course, this liveliest of conferences will have its usual dramatic performances, board games, late night singalongs, tea and biscuits, and the return of the fabulous pop-up bookstore by Eighth Day Books. In addition, The 2020 Colloquium will also once again include the opportunity to buy used and rare copies of books by Lewis & Friends authors. Come discover why Devin Brown says “The Taylor University Lewis Colloquium is the premier Inklings conference on the planet, with something for every level of scholar.”
Conference Theme: The 2020 Colloquium program will highlight the specific theme of “Are WomEn Human (Yet)? Gender and the Inklings.” Over eighty years after Dorothy L. Sayers first posed her startling question (and in honor of the centennial of woman’s suffrage), we think it is high time to acknowledge and celebrate women in the lives and works of authors like C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, and George MacDonald, but also to look carefully at their attitudes towards and relationships with women. We also hope to encourage new scholarship on individuals such as Ruth Pitter, Joy Davidman, Mary Neylan, Barbara Reynolds, Louisa and Lilia MacDonald, Ida Gordon, Katherine Farrer, Sister Penelope, Anne Ridler, and others whose contributions have been insufficiently noticed and/or undervalued in the shadow of their more famous friends. In keynote addresses, panel discussions, paper presentations, and creative work of all kinds, we will explore together these topics and many others. As always, papers on more general topics are also encouraged.
Call for Papers: We invite proposals for scholarly papers on any topic related to C. S. Lewis and his circle (broadly defined) – Owen Barfield, G. K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and others. We are especially interested in papers on the conference theme, papers that expand the horizons of previous scholarship, and papers from new and emerging scholars. We also invite creative work—poetry, fiction, essay, drama, film, visual art, musical composition—that responds to or is influenced by the conference theme and/or these authors. Proposals should be 100-200 words in length and should anticipate a twenty-minute presentation time limit. Creative work must be a complete work, rather than a proposal. Deadline for proposals is Mar 3, 2020. All proposals will be considered on a rotating basis.
Complete information, including submission instructions, will be available soon at our website: library.taylor.edu/cslewis. Direct all proposal-related questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please address all other questions to email@example.com.
Young Inklings Pre-Conference: College and university undergraduates are invited to the first-ever “Young Inklings” event on June 3. The complete student registration package will include lodging, meals, and the events of that day, as well as the main conference. Students will have the opportunity to attend special lectures and participate in workshops with leading scholars, as well as to present their own scholarly and creative work. Work submitted for the student writings contests (see below) will be considered for presentation at both the pre-conference and the Colloquium.
Student Essay Contest: Currently enrolled undergraduate students may submit complete critical essays on the work of C. S. Lewis or a related author (see Call for Papers above for further information). Essays should not exceed ten double-spaced pages, excluding Works Cited. Winners will present their papers at the Colloquium and will receive free registration, room, and board. First place will receive a cash award as well. Deadline for student essays is March 1, 2020. For further information and submission instructions, please see our website at library.taylor.edu/cslewis.
Student Creative Writing Contest: Currently enrolled undergraduate students may submit creative writing (poetry, prose, drama, creative non-fiction, graphic novels, screenplays, etc.). Submissions should not exceed ten double-spaced pages (and should be at least five pages). The creative works should show familiarity with and influence by (or response to) the works of C. S. Lewis and his circle (broadly defined). Winners will present their papers at the Colloquium and will receive free registration, room, and board. First place will receive a cash award as well. Deadline for student creative work is March 1, 2020. For further information and submission instructions, please see our website at library.taylor.edu/cslewis.
Keep in Mind: The best way to be aware of Colloquium news and updates is to pay attention to our new website: library.taylor.edu/cslewis. [Note: We are currently undergoing a redesign of our website. The current website contains all necessary information, but you will notice an updated format soon.] Colloquium announcements and other important information will also be added regularly on our Facebook page (please “like” to make sure you are in the loop): https://www.facebook.com/cslewiscenter/.