Are WomEn Human (Yet)?
Gender and the Inklings
C. S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium | Taylor University
June 4-7, 2020
CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT and CALL FOR PAPERS
JOIN US for our 12th Biennial C. S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium, June 4-7, 2020. Sponsored by Taylor University’s Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends, the Colloquium features keynote addresses from top scholars in the field, plus hundreds of presentations of both original scholarship and original creative work in paper sessions, workshops, panel discussions, performances, artist exhibitions, and much more. The Colloquium welcomes scholars, teachers, students, life-long learners, fans, seekers, and, as always, new friends to be part of our adventurous company. For the first time in our history, and as part of our mission to identify and support the next generation of friends, the Colloquium will feature a one-day pre-conference especially for “Young Inklings” on June 3.
Of course, this liveliest of conferences will have its usual dramatic performances, board games, late night singalongs, tea and biscuits, and the return of the fabulous pop-up bookstore by Eighth Day Books. In addition, The 2020 Colloquium will also once again include the opportunity to buy used and rare copies of books by Lewis & Friends authors. Come discover why Devin Brown says “The Taylor University Lewis Colloquium is the premier Inklings conference on the planet, with something for every level of scholar.”
Plenary Speakers: We are happy to announce that our plenary speakers for 2020 include Monika Hilder, Jane Chance, Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, Don King, Diana Glyer, Jason Lepojärvi, and Charles Huttar.
Conference Theme: The 2020 Colloquium program will highlight the specific theme of “Are WomEn Human (Yet)? Gender and the Inklings.” Over eighty years after Dorothy L. Sayers first posed her startling question (and in honor of the centennial of woman’s suffrage), we think it is high time to acknowledge and celebrate women in the lives and works of authors like C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dorothy L. Sayers, and George MacDonald, but also to look carefully at their attitudes towards and relationships with women. We also hope to encourage new scholarship on individuals such as Ruth Pitter, Joy Davidman, Mary Neylan, Barbara Reynolds, Louisa and Lilia MacDonald, Ida Gordon, Katherine Farrer, Sister Penelope, Anne Ridler, and others whose contributions have been insufficiently noticed and/or undervalued in the shadow of their more famous friends. In keynote addresses, panel discussions, paper presentations, and creative work of all kinds, we will explore together these topics and many others. As always, papers on more general topics are also encouraged.
Call for Papers: We invite proposals for scholarly papers on any topic related to C. S. Lewis and his circle (broadly defined) – Owen Barfield, G. K. Chesterton, George MacDonald, Dorothy L. Sayers, J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, and others. We are especially interested in papers on the conference theme, papers that expand the horizons of previous scholarship, and papers from new and emerging scholars. We also invite creative work—poetry, fiction, essay, drama, film, visual art, musical composition—that responds to or is influenced by the conference theme and/or these authors. Proposals should be 100-200 words in length and should anticipate a twenty-minute presentation time limit. Creative work must be a complete work, rather than a proposal. Deadline for proposals is March 1, 2020. All proposals will be considered on a rotating basis.
The Colloquium Planning Committee has created a spreadsheet as an informal tool to connect individuals who wish to brainstorm ideas and/or find collaborators for panels, workshops, and roundtables. It is monitored by the Colloquium Planning Committee but is not part of the official proposal process. Anyone wishing to submit a proposal for a panel, workshop, or roundtable should contact email@example.com.
Young Inklings Pre-Conference: College and university undergraduates are invited to the first-ever “Young Inklings” event on June 3. The complete student registration package will include lodging, meals, and the events of that day, as well as the main conference. Students will have the opportunity to attend special lectures and participate in workshops with leading scholars, as well as to present their own scholarly and creative work. Work submitted for the student writings contests (see below) will be considered for presentation at both the pre-conference and the Colloquium.
Student Essay Contest: Currently enrolled undergraduate students may submit complete critical essays on the work of C. S. Lewis or a related author (see Call for Papers above for further information). Essays should not exceed ten double-spaced pages, excluding Works Cited. Winners will present their papers at the Colloquium and will receive free registration, room, and board. First place will receive a cash award as well. Deadline for student essays is March 1, 2020. Click here to submit a proposal.
Student Creative Writing Contest: Currently enrolled undergraduate students may submit creative writing (poetry, prose, drama, creative non-fiction, graphic novels, screenplays, etc.). Submissions should not exceed ten double-spaced pages (and should be at least five pages). The creative works should show familiarity with and influence by (or response to) the works of C. S. Lewis and his circle (broadly defined). Winners will present their papers at the Colloquium and will receive free registration, room, and board. First place will receive a cash award as well. Deadline for student creative work is March 1, 2020. Click here to submit a proposal.
Keep in Mind: Colloquium announcements and other important information will also be added regularly on our Facebook page (please “like” to make sure you are in the loop): https://www.facebook.com/cslewiscenter/. Registration information will be available by December 1.
Frances White Ewbank pioneered the study of C. S. Lewis at Taylor University. More than thirty years ago, she began to assign readings from Lewis's works as the basis for writing assignments in an honors class. Her work inspired her colleagues as well as her students and led to the Lewis studies at Taylor today. We believe that it is fitting to name the colloquium in honor of this outstanding scholar and teacher.
At these colloquia we are interested in more than just Lewis. The "and Friends" in the title has a triple meaning. It refers to the fact that we are interested in the friends of Lewis, both his contemporaries and otherwise. Also, we ourselves are friends of these authors. Finally, because of our common love for these men and women, we are friends of each other. We are friends in the sense that, to use George MacDonald's words, we are "alike enough to understand each other, and unlike enough to interest and aid each other." We believe that the varied programs at the colloquia promote conversations among "friends," whether scholars or not, and occur outside of the scheduled sessions as well as within them.