ConVersing/ConServing: Care, Creation, Communion

deadline for submissions: 
November 1, 2023
full name / name of organization: 
Dr. Katharine Bubel
contact email: 

Call for Papers

Western Regional Conference on Christianity & Literature 2024

ConVersing/ConServing: Care, Creation, Communion

May 9-11, 2024

Trinity Western University

22500 University Drive

Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1Y1

Our keynote speaker:

Marilyn McEntyre’s teaching and writing focuses on topics including American literature, medical humanities, literature and the natural world, portraiture and character in literature and art, and approaches to autobiography. Her many articles and books include Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies and Speaking Peace in a Climate of Conflict. She leads retreats and writing workshops and is deeply interested in the connections among spirituality, language, and healing.

Suggested topics include, but are not limited to, literary creation conversing with

  • the work of conservation: ecology, creation theology, contemplative/active practices of creation care
  • the work of dwelling: sacred, secular/post-secular accounts of place, pilgrimage, migration, exile, reinhabitation
  • the work of honoring First Nations or Indigenous ways of knowing and ways of life
  • the work of cultivating words: exemplars, strategies, practices of language stewardship
  • the work of recovery: re/discovering forgotten or marginalized voices
  • the work of empathy: emotion and affect, caregiving, accounts of suffering, grief, illness
  • the work of social justice: remembrance, lament, protest, reconciliation
  • the work of the Inklings: Christian imagination and cultural criticism, mythopoeisis, literary community
  • the work of liturgy: sacred services, sacrament, spiritual practices
  • the work of God: grace, transformation, restoring all things in Christ 

Proposal submissions: E-mail an abstract of no more than 300 words for an individual presentation or a group panel session by November 1, 2023, to Dr. Katharine Bubel at

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 are encouraged to apply for the CCL Travel Grant. For more details on these undergraduate and graduate opportunities, visit 

In Caring for Words in a Culture of Lies, our conference keynote speaker Marilyn McEntyre presents literary art and the study of literature as a form of stewardship. Caring for words is akin, she says, to environmental concern and action, for we hold both language and the land in common. The conference invites presentations and conversations exploring the relations among literature and conservation, of serving together creatively to keep and pass on what has been given to us. Our topic is intentionally broad to encourage engagement across historical periods and genres. We invite professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and scholars from multiple disciplines. 

A large, almost sacramental sense of the import and efficacy of words can be found in early English usage, where . . . to converse was to foster community, to commune with, to dwell in a place with others. Conversation was understood to be a life-sustaining practice, a blessing, and a craft to be cultivated for the common good.” – Marilyn McEntyre