Roots: Tradition and the New

deadline for submissions: 
February 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
The University of St. Thomas Catholic Studies and English Departments

The University of St. Thomas English & Catholic Studies graduate programs will host an interdisciplinary conference on Friday, April 27, 2018. While papers addressing any aspect of literature, faith, visual arts, and culture will be considered, the graduate programs particularly welcome proposals for papers exploring the topic "Roots: Tradition and the New" across all time periods, media, and geographical regions. Download the Roots: Conference CFP.

Rootedness and growth have been central to many literary and religious works. The aim of this conference is to explore this theme in an interdisciplinary way, engaging with a wide variety of texts, approaches, traditions, innovations, and points of view.

  • Rootedness and Mobility: home, inheritance, chlidhood, family, the body, or theories of the self; intersectional identities based on faith, race, class, gender, or disability; psychic, epic, and spiritual journeys or pilgrimages; ancestral religion and personal faith; immigration and emigration; educational, imperialist, or leisure travel.
  • Regeneration: rebirth, liberation, emancipation, confession, conversion, incarnation, renewal, revolution, reformation, and revival.
  • Impediments to Growth: dystopia and apocalypse; racism, sexism, and other forms of injustice; constraint, stasis, and entropy; rootlessness.
  • Genealogies: the roots of words, religions, concepts, genres, belief systems, or ideologies.
  • Tree Rings: inner selves, souls, spirits, desires, and motivations.
  • Branching Out: new genres, spiritual practices, identities, textualities, pedagogies, forms of life, or theoretical schools; stability and flexibility; inheritance and originality; modernity.
  • Interstices: spaces between faiths, selves, communities, neighborhoods, genres, stanzas, ideas, and words.
  • Ecologies: links between local, regional, national, and global geographies, literatures, and religions; regionalism, globalism, and transnationalism; urban, virtual, and technoscientific spaces; systems of growth, symbiosis, parasitism, evolution, and development; climate change, environmental crisis, and the Anthropocene.
  • Disciplinary Roots: points of contact and divergence between academic disciplines: Catholic Studies, English, theology, art history, environmental studies, the sciences, professional writing, pedagogy, creative writing, and other fields.


We encourage analyses of artistic, religious, literary, architectural, cultural, cinematic, digital and/or other textualities. Proposals for whole panels (three presenters) or roundtables (four or more presenters) are welcome.

For consideration, please submit a 400-word abstract for individual papers, panels, or roundtables to the graduate conference coordinators, Mary Catherine-Adams and Sarah Pavey, at by February 15, 2018.