Literary Geographies: Space, Place, and Environments (Extended proposal deadline: November 30, 2021)
La Mirada, CA
April 7–9, 2022
“All theology is rooted in geography.”
—Eugene H. Peterson, Under the Unpredictable Plant: an Exploration in Vocational Holiness
Eugene Peterson’s statement highlights how our spiritual lives are rooted in the material reality of our daily lives. Keeping in mind how Christ transforms not only individual hearts but also entire neighborhoods—and remaining attentive to how literature documents and shapes that transformation—we invite papers that address textual representations of space/place, environment, ecological endangerment, displacement, and rootedness. How do these ideas shape individual and communal identities? How do embodied experiences of being in particular places affect our orientation toward the world and understanding of human flourishing? What does it mean to cultivate a meaningful relationship to place? How does the discourse around immigration and citizenship help us think about the effects of displacement and emplacement? How do literary texts illuminate what our response should be toward the environmental crisis? And what does it mean to think of place and environment not merely as backdrops to our lives but as agents and interlocutors?
Potential topics/methods might include:
Neighbors and neighborhoods (shared, communal, or different identities)
Geo/ecocriticism and Spatial Literary Studies
Ecological footprints and the relationship between nature and culture
Literary representations of disaster—fires, floods, earthquakes, or drought
Reflections on how Christian scholars occupy particular space(s) in the academy or elsewhere
Literary representations of embodiment/embodied identities
The CCL committee invites individual proposals (abstracts 300–400 words), as well as panel proposals (3–4 presenters, 200-word panel rationale + abstracts 200 words per presenter). Pedagogy-oriented roundtables and other innovative presentations or workshops are welcome. Email your abstracts saved as a PDF to CCL2022@biola.edu by November 30, 2021. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance status by January 15, 2022. 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 and contingent faculty are encouraged to apply for the CCL Travel Grant. For more details on these undergraduate and graduate opportunities, visit https://www.christianityandliterature.com/Awards-and-Grants.
Biola University is located near downtown Los Angeles, Disneyland, and Universal Studios.