Women Reading / Reading Women
Held at John Brown University in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, October 13-15, 2022, this conference's theme is inspired by the artist Mary Cassatt’s paintings of girls and mothers with books, in particular “The Reader” on display at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.
(Early conference attendees will have the opportunity to tour Crystal Bridges.) Papers on women authors such as Marilynne
Robinson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Flannery O’Connor, Zora Neale Hurston, Charlotte Bronte, Dorothy Sayers, and Mary Shelley are warmly welcomed, as are topics that explore women’s representation in painting, film, or literature, particularly where such representations intersect with Christianity or other religions. Papers dealing with the changing nature of reading and the teaching of literature (Kindle versus print materials; the hybrid classroom) are also welcome.
The keynote speaker for this conference is Wheaton College’s Dr. Crystal Downing, Co-Director of the Marion E. Wade Center and author of five books, most recently Subversive: Christ, Culture, and the Shocking Dorothy L. Sayers (2020). Downing’s presentation for SWCCL is entitled, “The Seeing of Sayers: A Scandalous Prophet.”
Possible paper topics include, but are not limited to:
• The intersection of feminism and Christianity
• Children’s literature
• The effect of the male gaze on women’s representation in film
• Masculinist representations of the feminine
• Women and silence
• The maternal in literature
• Women students in the Zoom classroom
• Women and the construction of the text
• Restrictions on women’s reading
• Early church mothers
• BIPOC women in literary texts
• Women in community, secular or sacred
• The Pre-Raphaelites’ use of women subjects
• Women’s spirituality in popular media
As always, SWCCL is open to other proposals concerning the relationship of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals and creative works. Readings of original poetry and fiction will also be considered (please email conference coordinators for details).
Undergraduate and graduate students are also encouraged to submit proposals. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration; eligible undergraduate papers will be entered into the national CCL Undergraduate Writing Contest for a cash prize and publication on the CCL website. Graduate students accepted to the conference are encouraged to apply for the CCL Travel Grant. For more details on these undergraduate and graduate opportunities, please visit the CCL website for full details: https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Awards-and-Grants.
Send abstracts (200-400 words) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before July 1, 2022. Notifications will be sent to all submitters in early August 2022, with the final program being published by mid-September to allow ample time for presenters to make arrangements for their sessions. All presenters must be members of the Conference on Christianity and Literature prior to delivering their paper; membership includes a subscription to the conference’s journal and information can be found on the organization’s website: https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Membership.