Gathering in the Strange: Literary Vision in a Disenchanted World

deadline for submissions: 
June 15, 2018
full name / name of organization: 
Southwest Conference on Christianity & Literature
contact email: 

UPDATE: Deadline for submissions has been extended to June 15. Additional conference information is now online here:


Gathering in the Strange: Literary Vision in a Disenchanted World

The Southwest Conference on Christianity and Literature

September 27-29, 2018

Oklahoma Baptist University

Shawnee, Oklahoma



In his poem “Expected,” Mark Jarman writes

                         That sense derived from my mother

                        who saw an angel by her bedside as a child

                        and knew the ghosts who attended her

                        as she cleaned house were playful but indifferent.

                        Seeing her during her difficult recovery

                        naked in her diaper and helping her dress

                        and washing her hair, that sense that I would find

                        the dimple in her scalp where the prosthesis was inserted.


                        It gathers in the strange and makes it yours.

For this conference we invite papers on the intersection of faith and literature, especially papers that explore literature’s ability to re-enchant the world, to make it strange again. How are certain authors, or perhaps literary activity itself, at odds with the secularized “social imaginary” that dominates our age? How can contemporary readers recover enchantment in the literatures of earlier ages? Can good literature be anti-secular? Or, conversely, how has the literature of modernity contributed to secularization? What are the hermeneutics of enchantment/disenchantment in literature from antiquity to postmodernity?

We are also eager to see proposals for presentations of creative work as well as for papers on the teaching of creative writing in the context of faith.

In addition to papers on Anglophone writers, we hope to read proposals for papers on writers in other languages and traditions (though abstracts should be in English).

Our keynote speaker will be Mark Jarman, who will deliver a poetry reading in addition to the keynote address.

Please send a 250 word abstract or a five-page sample of creative work to Benjamin Myers at The deadline for submission is June 15.

Limited funding may be available to assist dissertation-level graduate students with conference expenses. Interested students should request information from the conference organizers at the email address above.

We are happy to review proposals by undergraduate scholars and hope to arrange several panels of undergraduate scholarship. Rather than send an abstract, undergraduates should submit a completed paper between 2,000 and 3,000 words.