The Public Life of Literature: April 18-20, 2012 (proposals due November 1, 2011)

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Conference on Christianity and Literature: Midwest Regional Meeting
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The Public Life of Literature
April 18-20, 2012, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Midwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature:
in conjunction with The Festival of Faith and Writing (April 19-21, 2012, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, Michigan)

Featured Speaker: Marilynne Robinson, author of Housekeeping, Gilead, Home, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, and Absence of Mind

For its 2012 Midwest Regional Meeting, the Conference on Christianity and Literature (CCL) solicits papers and panel proposals that address the conference's theme: The Public Life of Literature. Such papers might consider, for instance, whether literature can function as public testimony, whether story can preach without becoming preachy, whether confessional poetry embraces or eschews repentance, or the like. Papers and panels focused on pedagogy or texts written in world languages are most welcome, too, as are papers that examine the work of any of the Festival of Faith and Writing's 2012 participants, including Newbery winner Clare Vanderpool; poets Li-Young Lee and Maurice Manning; graphic novelist Craig Thompson; novelists and essayists Marilynne Robinson, Walt Wangerin, and Jonathan Safran Foer; or memoirists G. Willow Wilson and Mark Richard. For a complete list of the writers taking part in the Festival, see

Scholars writing about any of the Festival of Faith and Writing's featured authors may also submit their papers for the Festival's academic track. Such papers should be fitted to the Festival's constituents, who tend to be serious lay readers rather than specialists. Those who want their papers considered for the Festival's academic track must submit their manuscripts in full. For those proposals intended for the CCL, an abstract of 200-300 words will suffice. The CCL will also jury papers for an undergraduate track of panels; students interested in this track should send complete 10-page papers, labeled "undergraduate," to the organizers.

All participants must be members of, or join, the CCL as well as register for the conference. Those delivering papers at the Festival of Faith and Writing must additionally register for the Festival. We heartily invite all members of the CCL, though, to attend both the Conference's regional meeting and the Festival of Faith and Writing. To that end, all CCL members who register for the Midwest conference will receive discounted registrations to the Festival. Graduate students may also apply for a small travel grant. For a complete run-down of membership and registration fees, see after August 15, 2011.

Please submit abstracts and papers to no later than November 1, 2011.