The C.S. Lewis Studies Series: Where It’s Going and How You Can Contribute

Hello fair pilgrims! I wanted to pause for a bit and talk about the “C.S. Lewis Studies Series” here at A Pilgrim in Narnia. Quite honestly, although I had sketched out a “5 Books” series (you can see me testing the idea here, here, and here), this was not something that I had planned. Instead, the “C.S. Lewis Studies Series”  is a feature that has emerged naturally in 2021.

I have done some background posts over the years, like the chronological reading project, thoughts about the Problem of Susan debate, the “How to Read All of C.S. Lewis’ Essays” post, and some bibliographiesreviews, and resource lists from time to time. But I was provoked in the springtime by the Tolkien studies sweep of the Mythopoeic awards nomination list to think about what might be at the root of what I perceived as a difference between Lewis studies and Tolkien studies projects. In doing this, a reader challenged me to acknowledge where I thought the strengths were in Lewis studies. Thus, I began the “Good C.S. Lewis Studies Books That Did Not Win the Mythopoeic Award” series. With its gangly name and my own pivot away from my PhD to other projects, the series has grown and changed.

I want to provide resources to Lewis readers, stimulate new and better scholarship, challenge scholars and historians who dialogue with Lewis to deepen their work, and give emerging scholars a footing. And I want to share some of my PhD discoveries that will never otherwise find their way to print. Therefore, I am shifting the focus a bit. With “The C.S. Lewis Studies Series,” I am opening the door to a greater variety of resources pieces that I and others can provide to readers. This will also allow me to rebrand some of the previous articles and posts to provide an easy-to-find research guide for scholars, essayists, period historians and biographers, pastors and teachers, and avid Lewis readers.

So here is a list of reviews, bibliographies, articles, and resource packs for The C.S. Lewis Studies Series, followed by a note about how you can get involved.

Guides for C.S. Lewis Researchers

Pieces on Lewis and Reading Books He Thought Important

Why is Tolkien Scholarship Stronger than Lewis Scholarship? (Limited Series)

C.S. Lewis Studies Literature Reviews

Scholarly Lewis Studies Reviews and Review Essays

Resources for Archival Research

Other Select Contributions to C.S. Lewis Studies (Lectures, Talks, and Essays)

Planned Future Posts in The C.S. Lewis Studies Series

  • “Lewis Studies Books from Friends of the Inklings”
  • “5 Thoughtful Essay Collections”
  • “The 5 Most Important Lewis Studies Books that Scholars Fail to Read”
  • “Some Helpful Resource Guides”
  • “5 Great Tolkien Studies for C.S. Lewis Readers”
  • “Intriguing Lewis Studies Books in 2021”

How Can You Get Involved? (Volunteer Opportunities and Call for Posts)

  • Can you design a banner/poster that is actually good? I am not a visual designer–evident by the banner above–but I do love good visual design. If you would like to volunteer to design something, I would love to hand that power over to you.
  • Indeed, if there were someone who wanted to volunteer to do site design and organization, there is a good amount of work to be done to keep this website open and free to users.
  • You could write a review of a C.S. Lewis studies book, special journal edition, or series of articles. Reviews must contain bright, sharp, and tight writing, be positive (when possible) but critical, and written in a tone that is front-facing for a non-academic audience while providing a resource for scholars. You can come up with this review yourself from something on your bookshelf. Or, if you would like to be added to a list of potential reviewers when publishers and editors contact me, you can send me an email: junkola[at]gmail[dot]com. You will need to be a graduate student in a relevant field (literature, religion, theology, history, etc.), have completed a graduate degree, or have an active writing portfolio. If interested, email your full contact information, a brief bio (including what you have published), and a list of topics you would be comfortable reviewing.
  • Do you have a relatively up-to-date literature review in something you have written (e.g., from an Honours, MA, or PhD thesis or as background to a larger project) that is not published elsewhere but would be of interest? It could even be in a related field, like another one of the Inklings or literary friends of Lewis, 20th c. Fantasy writers, methods for studying children’s literature, Oxford or Belfast histories, etc. This series might be the place to share your discoveries with others.
  • If you are a Lewis scholar with a completed PhD or upcoming book or major article, I am open to scholars sharing their discoveries in a guest post where the interest for the reader is not merely “this is what I found” but also “here is my process of discovery.”

Or you may want to write a new guest post for The C.S. Lewis Studies Series. There are many areas where I am simply not able to guide readers and researchers. Here are some ideas for guest posts:

  • “The Best Oxford C.S. Lewis Society Talks You Should Read”
  • “5 Great Youtube Lectures on C.S. Lewis”
  • A post about Lewis-related devotional material
  • “C.S. Lewis and Philosophy: A Review of Key Texts”
  • “5 Cool Lewis Studies Articles You Are Unlikely to Stumble Upon”
  • “5 Tolkien Studies Books Lewis Scholars Should Read” (or Inklings Studies, War Histories, Liturgy Studies, Anglican Histories, etc.)
  • “The 5 Owen Barfield Books (or Ideas) that Changed C.S. Lewis the Most”
  • A post on Lewis and leadership, rhetoric, or communication
  • A review of what is happening in Lewis studies outside of the West (i.e., the southern hemisphere, East Asia, Eastern Europe, etc.)
  • “C.S. Lewis in Japan” (or some other interesting place)
  • “The Top 5 Lewis Studies Books that Brenton Forgot to Read” (if it was done well with humour and knowledge)

I intend to write some “Top 5” Lewis original material for the winter and would be open to your ideas or blog posts there as well. Feel free to send a pitch to junkola[at]gmail[dot]com. You will want to have familiarity with my work and read my piece “Why I Don’t Write Bad Book Reviews” (which I have diverged from a bit, but not much).

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.
This entry was posted in 5 Books Series, Lewis Biography, Original Research, Reviews, The C.S. Lewis Studies Series and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The C.S. Lewis Studies Series: Where It’s Going and How You Can Contribute

  1. robstroud says:

    Quite a project! One that promises to be extremely valuable.

    I’m willing to serve as a reviewer, and will send the requested info to junkola, which I assume is a trash bin decorated with tasteful images of Oxbridge.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cecilia Zeichner says:

    Brenton, thank you so much for your generosity in gathering all of this research and criticism into one post–a truly Herculean effort, and a valuable resource for scholars and lay people alike.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! Thanks for all these resources. I will bookmark this post and I’m sure I’ll come back to it many times. I think you probably know more about Lewis than he knew about himself, lol!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Just a note to say that this looks pretty awesome. Your work is both encyclopedic but also heartfelt. That is a rare combination and a great gift to the rest of us.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. danaames says:

    A gentleman first, and a first-rate scholar!

    Dana

    Liked by 2 people

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