TexMoot: Stories for the Refreshment of the Spirit
The First Annual North Texas
Literature & Language Symposium
13 January 2018
Scarborough College, Fort Worth, Texas
Signum University is pleased to announce the first annual North Texas Literature & Language Symposium (aka “TexMoot”) on January 13, 2018, at Scarborough College in Fort Worth, Texas. This one-day event will include flash-paper sessions, a panel of invited guests, a keynote address by The Tolkien Professor, creative presentations, and lots of time for fellowship (open mic, games, and of course conversation!).
Signum University sponsors regional gatherings throughout the year. These are times of academic conversation and fellowship that often include creative presentations and special guests. Although these conferences may vary in flavor, they are united by a love of stories and the people who read them.
A “moot” refers to a meeting or legislative assembly, but also the place in which that meeting is held. It’s from the Old English -mot, which could be appended to the end of a word, as in “Texmoot.” It was made famous by the “Entmoots” of the tree-shepherding Ents in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.
CALL FOR ACADEMIC PAPERS:
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, Lucy Pevensie reads a lovely narrative spell in the Magician’s Book. It lifts her out of a petty state of jealousy, soothing her loneliness and easing her disappointment. In the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, humans and hobbits find healing for both body and spirit, including recovery from trauma and heartbreak. We are looking for proposals for flash-paper presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that rigorously investigate either depictions of healing in literature (especially speculative fiction) or applications of literature to real-life recovery. Questions and topics that may be considered include the following:
- The tale in Coriakin’s book was “about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill,” evocative of both Arthurian legends and the Gospel narratives; consider healing as it is presented in Arthuriana or in the Biblical text.
- Does Tolkien’s unique concept of “recovery” overlap with the medical or psychological definitions of that term?
- Do certain genres lend themselves to tales of healing? Are redemption and recovery built into the trajectories of certain genres? Do some genres complicate those expectations?
- Has literature been shown to aid individuals suffering from grief or trauma?
- Has literature been shown to contribute to the healing of cultural traumas or to the causes of social or racial reconciliation?
- Does literature build healthy communities?
- Can literature ever cause, exacerbate, or contribute to trauma and woundedness?
CALL FOR CREATIVE PRESENTATIONS: In addition to academic paper panels, there will also be one session of short, original creative presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that explore or demonstrate the same questions and topics listed above. These presentations may include:
- Original creative writing, such as poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction
- Performances of original musical compositions
- Display and discussion of original works of visual art
Creative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (fewer than 200 words) of the presentation – including genre, medium, technical requirements, and connection to the symposium’s theme – and should also include a sample of the creator’s original work in the same genre/medium.