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"Thicker than Water?: The Family in Literature and Culture" (March 25-27, 2010)
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2010 West Region Conference on Christianity and Literature, California Baptist University
Conference Dates: March 25-27, 2010
The Western Regional Conference on Christianity and Literature 2010 is seeking informed papers and creative presentations which can address the role of “family” in literature. We also hope to find meaningful ways to engage contemporary culture and explore how participants can come to understand how the concept of family fits within modern and post-modern literary theories and practice. While the Committee will consider proposals on all subjects, we especially encourage those related to the general theme of the conference. Papers in progress, interdisciplinary panels, and panels composed of or including graduate students are welcomed. A limited number of subsidies will be available for graduate students.
The deadline for all submissions is January 10, 2010. Please see the Call for Papers below.
Call for Papers:
“You don’t choose your family,” says Desmond Tutu; “They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.” Indeed, one of the primary metaphors for the church is as the family of Christ; the use of such terms as “Father,” Son,” “bride” and “children of God” permeate the New Testament. Christian writers from Sidney to Dostoevsky to C. S. Lewis have made the family a central element of their fiction, and metaphors for the family often manifest in pop culture. Politicians run on “family values” platforms and “family-friendly” films often seek endorsements from religious communities, but is the concept of family relevant in a post-modern, post-Christian world?
Is our family a gift, a “haven in a heartless world” (attributed to Christopher Lasch), or has that term become outdated or limited? How do literature, film, and online media reify, reinforce, challenge, or redefine the traditional concepts of family? How do Christian writers address the concept of family, and does biblical imagery resonate in an emerging/emergent culture? How does family, as portrayed in literature, form identity? Does literature need to reflect “family values,” and how does a change in definition affect the teaching of literature in the classroom? How does the church offer alternatives to traditional family structures, and how is this reflected in its liturgy and literature? How do online communities affect our understanding of families?
Keynote speaker Gary Schmidt explores many of these dimensions of “family” within his young adult literature. His protagonists explore social, intellectual and spiritual connections through a variety of relationships, often interracial or intergenerational. Keynote speaker Diana Pavlac Glyer, author of The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, even more specifically investigates the influence of the Inklings upon each other. Her works consider the nature of these scholars as an authorial family, growing together and reacting to each other on personal, scholarly and spiritual levels. In light of these explorations, we seek informed papers and creative presentations which can address the presentation of family in literature. We also hope to find meaningful ways to engage contemporary culture and explore how participants can come to understand how the concept of family fits within modern and post-modern literary theories and practice.
Submissions are encouraged for sessions, roundtable discussions, workshops, and individual papers. When submitting a session proposal, include an abstract that outlines the purpose of the session and designate one panelist as the contact person. Each paper proposal, whether individual or part of a session, should include a one-page abstract, along with a one-page C.V., and an address, phone number, and e-mail for each participant. Please indicate audio/visual needs in your proposal. The Program Committee assumes all listed individuals have agreed to participate.
Presentations will be limited to 20 minutes.
Proposals should include
Graduate Student Grants:
Travel grants are available for select graduate students to help cover travel and registration expenses. Applications must be received before November 25, 2009. See the guidelines at http://www.pepperdine.edu/sponsored/ccl/awardsandcontests/gradstudentgra...
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