Western Conference on Christianity and Literature 2024

ConVersing/ConServing: Care, Creation, Communion, May 9-11, 2024

Schedule Overview

Concurrent Panel Sessions

Friday, May 10

10:30-11:45 a.m. Session 1 concurrent panels

1A. RGK 202 Conservation, Canon, and the English Curriculum

Moderator: Jonathan Goossen, Ambrose University

1. Darren Dyck, Ambrose University: The Medieval Concept of Auctoritas and the Study of Literature Today

2. Jonathan Goossen, Ambrose University: Conservation and the University English Program

3. Katie Jo LaRiviere, Mount Angel Seminary: A Conservation Curriculum: A Case Study at Mount Angel Seminary

1B. RGK 221 The ConVersing/ConServing Project: “Places Gather” and Poiesis Matters

Moderator: Holly Faith Nelson, Trinity Western University   

1. Laura N. Van Dyke and Faith Nelson (Student Research Assistant), Trinity Western University 

2. Katharine Bubel and Jessica Walters, Trinity Western University 

3. Juliette Kuhn (Student Artist, Project Participant) Trinity Western University 

1C. RGK 203 Literary Ecocriticism

Moderator: Elizabeth Reyes, Thomas Aquinas College

1. Dana Graham Lai, Simon Fraser University: Facing the Planetary: William Wordsworth’s Global Warning from the Lake District

2. Lauren Sim, University of St. Thomas: The Idolatry of Production in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818) and Mike Flanagan’s Fall of the House of Usher (2023)

3. Sarah Eschrich, University of Dallas: Language and an Agrarian Ethos in Brian Friel’s Translations

1D. RGK 204 C. S. Lewis: Language and Creation

Moderator: Rita Teschner Powell, The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard

1.  Ed Gerber, Trinity Western University: A Biblical Theological Meditation on Word-Keeping and Word-Making in Light of Insights in C.S. Lewis’s Essay “Transposition’’ 

2.  Mark-Elliot Finley, University of South Florida: “The Voyage of the Old Men”: A Seafaring Conversation between C. S. Lewis and Ernest Hemingway

3.  Adrea Johnson, University of the Fraser Valley: “The song of the Lion”: Theological Imagination and the Goodness of Creation in C.S. Lewis’s The Magician’s Nephew

1:00-2:30 p.m. Session 2 - Concurrent Panels

2A. RGK 202 Pedagogy and Affective Practices

Moderator: Darren Dyck, Ambrose University 

1. Patricia Victor, Switametelót, and Jan Lermitte, Trinity Western University: Lets'emó:t: Teaching and Honouring Indigenous Literatures in a Christian University

2. Rita Teschner Powell, The Episcopal Chaplaincy at Harvard: Finding the Order of Damaris: Modern Desert Monastic Ways of Writing Prayer with Land, Honoring and Witnessing Historical Trauma, and Transforming Time

3. Jillian M. Snyder, University of Notre Dame: Cultivating Care: Affective Pedagogy in the Literature Classroom 

2B. RGK 221 Round Table: Christian Environmentalism and Human Responsibility in the 21st Century: Questions of Stewardship and Accountability

Moderator: Katherine Quinsey, University of Windsor

1. Katherine M. Quinsey, University of Windsor: Introduction: Christian Environmentalism and Human Responsibility; Early Modern Reformation Theology and Animal Welfare

2. Tina Trigg, The King’s University: Birding, Fiction, and Margaret Atwood’s Cultivation of Ecological Awareness

3. Doug Sikkema, Redeemer University: To Dwell Ecologically: The Practice of Re-enchantment

4. Deborah Bowen, Redeemer University: Afterword: Poetic Attention and Environmental Action

2C. RGK 203 Redemption and Sacraments

Moderator: Adrea Johnson, University of the Fraser Valley

1. Rachael Laurel Schremp, Walla Walla University: The Redemptive Power of Womanist Literary Midrash in Lucille Clifton’s “some jesus” 

2. Patricia Brown, Azusa Pacific University: Liturgy in the Clearing: Baby Suggs’ Secular Sermons in Beloved 

3. Gary Kuchar, University of Victoria: Baptism and the Literature of Anglican Survivalism (1642-1660)

4. David Anonby, Trinity Western University: Conversing on Grace in Hamlet to Conserve Conciliatory Public Discourse

2D. RGK 204 Longing for Love

Moderator: Ariel Little, University of British Columbia

1. Emily Keery, Trinity Western University: “A naked intent unto” “a revelation of divine love”: Cataphatic and Apophatic Theology in Julian of Norwich’s Showings and The Cloud of Unknowing

2. Elizabeth Hall, Ave Maria University: “I am inhabited by a cry. Nightly it flaps out looking, with its hooks, for something to love”: Sylvia Plath and her God 

3. Jeremy Stewart, Regent College: Literary Pilgrimage: Kindness to Vladimir Nabokov

4. Lydia Forssander-Song, Trinity Western University: Where is the love? Imagined Futures, Creating “Home,” and Determination to Love

3:00-4:15 p.m. Session 3 - Concurrent Panels

3A. RGK 221 Educating for Creation Care through Acknowledging the Land as a Gift

Moderator: Rick Sutcliffe, Trinity Western University

1. David R. Clements, Trinity Western University: How the Gift of Land Speaks and Opens the Conversation 

2. Matthew Etherington, Trinity Western University: This Land is My School: Children and the Environment

3. Christopher Hall, Trinity Western University: Muddy Boots & Childlike Wonder: 20 Years of Teaching through God’s Bountiful Creation

3B. RGK 203 ConVersing/ConServing with the Inklings, or, Why the Inklings Matter Today

Moderator: Monika B. Hilder, Trinity Western University

1. Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, George MacDonald Society: “Master of the Hearing”: MacDonald’s Invitation into Antiphony

2. Matthew Steem, Editor of Radix Magazine: The Optimistic Appreciation in Chesterton’s Critique

3. Laura N. Van Dyke, Trinity Western University: Conversing with “the earth and its doings” in Owen Barfield’s Eager Spring

4. Jan Lermitte, Trinity Western University: Dorothy L. Sayers: Gluttony, Greed, and the Perils of Contemporary Consumerism

5. Monika B. Hilder, Trinity Western University: J.R.R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis as Heirs of “the kindly West”: A Rereading

3C. RGK 202 Flannery O’Connor: Revelatory Space and Place

Moderator: Thomas F. Haddox, University of Tennessee-Knoxville

1. Paul Marchbanks, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo: Anagogic Revelation and Ecumenicism in Flannery O’Connor’s “A Temple of the Holy Ghost”

2. Jamie Hall, Trinity Western University: “Depth after depth”: Sky Symbolism and Spiritual Awakening in Flannery O’Connor’s Wise Blood

3. Lauren Bentley, Trinity Western University: Place and Particularity in Flannery O’Connor’s “A View of the Woods”

Saturday, May 11

9:00-10:30 a.m. Session 4 - Concurrent Panels

4A. RGK 202 Faith in American Fiction

Moderator: Katharine Bubel, Trinity Western University

1.  Brody C. J. Eldridge, Palm Beach Atlantic University: The Christian Narrative and The Scarlet Letter 

2.  Thomas F. Haddox, University of Tennessee-Knoxville: Christian Faith and the Absolute in Robert Stone’s Novels

3.  Haien Park, Biola University: The Gift in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead

4. Taylor Bowman, Point University: Marilynne Robinson’s Puritan Vocabulary: Reframing Wilderness, Civilization, and Providence in the Gilead Novels

4B. RGK 221 Creation, Liturgy, Worship

Moderator: Emily Keery, Trinity Western University

1.  Daniel Melvill Jones, Regent College and Vancouver School of Theology: Worshiping with Creation: Learning from the Liturgies of Anglo-Saxon Christians

2.  Audrey Miatello, University of Toronto: Reconnecting to Nature in the 21st Century: Considering Laudato Si’ as a Guide

3.  Sarah Kurbjuweit, Regent College: Rootedness and Belonging through the Rhythms of the Liturgical Calendar

4.  Elaine Ries, Trinity Western University: Sowing Songs: Seeing Creation as Revelation, Co-Worshipper, and Mentor

4C. RGK 204 Language and Nature in Contemporary Literature

Moderator: Lydia Forssander-Song, Trinity Western University

1.  Elizabeth Reyes, Thomas Aquinas College: Love, Joy, and Names in Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick

2.  Benjamin Sammons, Wingate University: Exchanging Words: Reciprocal Language in Achebe’s “Chike’s School Days”

3.  Ben Egerton, Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand: “The dog left in the cold yard sings it”: Canine Appearance as Intrusion of Grace in Michael Symmons Roberts’s Drysalter 

4.  Steven Gomez, Regent College: The God-Spell: The Restoration of Sacramental Magic and Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

4D. RGK 203 J. R. R. Tolkien: Myth-Making and Conservation

Moderator: Laurie A. Wilson, Biola University

1.  Bret van den Brink, Trinity Western University: The Gifts of Galadriel: Marian Ecology in Middle Earth

2. Greg Maillet, Crandall University: Recovering Consolation: Sam’s Enchanted Path in The Lord of the Rings

3.  Rehan Naqvi, Trinity Western University: Spiritual and Conservational Stewardship in J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings

4 Rick Sutcliffe, Trinity Western University: Alternate and Future History Speculative Fiction as Mythopoesis

11:00-12:30 a.m. Session 5 - Concurrent Panels

5A. RGK 203 Encouraging Creative Work that Blends Cultural Criticism with Christian Imagination

Moderator: Monica Ganas 

1. Rachel Tracie, Biola University: A Christmas Carol, “cultivating words”

2. Erin Gaw, La Salle College Preparatory School: It’s All a Love Story

3. Karen Lang, Azusa Pacific University: The Art of Artifacts 

4. Monica Ganas, Azusa Pacific University: The Church Secretary, an original one-act dramedy

5B. RGK 202 Conserving Language

Moderator: Ben Egerton, Te Herenga Waka | Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

1. Chris Morrissey, Trinity Western University: The Literary Descartes: The Unconscious’s Conservation and Compensation in Dreams

2. Dylan Braun, Trinity Western University: The Writer as Metaphysician: An Antidote to the Modern Meaning Crisis in the Thought of Walker Percy

3. Matthew Steem, Editor of Radix Magazine: Pernicious Patriotism and other Supercilious Simplifications: A Chestertonian Challenge

4.  Ryan Douglas Koepke, Canada Institute of Linguistics: The Sign of our King: Living the Regal Metaphor in John 13 with Insights from Cognitive Linguistics 

5C. RGK 221 Imagining Place

Moderator: Paul Marchbanks, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo

1. Ariel Little, University of British Columbia: “[A] prince in his own realm”: Overcoming Stigma Through Place-Based Narrative in L.M. Montgomery’s Emily Series

2. Deborah C. Bowen, Redeemer University: An operator’s manual for culture-building: an old bucket of leaves and stories in Wendell Berry’s Jayber Crow

3. Connie Braun, Independent Scholar/Author: Place, Spirit, Peace: A Poetic Response

5D. RGK 204 Creation and Christ in C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra

Moderator: Doug J. Sikkema, Redeemer University

1. Noah Van Brenk, Redeemer University: An Aesthetic of Celebration: The Sensual Anthropology of C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra

2.  Jessica Blumberg, Catholic University of America: Visions of Harmony: Tolkien’s Leaf by Niggle and Lewis’s Perelandra

3.  Heesun Nam, Trinity Western University: “My Name is Also Ransom”: An Exploration of the Christ-Figure Character in C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy 

4. Monika Hilder, Trinity Western University: The Stone in the River: The Terrible Choice of the Divided Tongue

1:30-2:45 Session 6 - Concurrent Panels 

6A. RGK 221 Creative Stewardship

Moderator: David Clements, Trinity Western University

1. Richard Chandra, Trinity Western University: Going “Back to the Future” to Meet the Challenges of Sustainability

2. Holly Faith Nelson and Russell Nelson, Trinity Western University: Affect and Arboricide in Poetry from the Medieval Period to the Modern Age

3. Jeremy Laity, Trinity Western University: Cultivating British Columbia’s Eden: The Moral Superiority of Agriculture in Early Colonial Writing

6B. RGK 202 Contemplative Poetry and Dwelling

Moderator: Noah Van Brenk, Redeemer University

1. Nadine Josephine Menghin, University of Augsburg: “[A] world taken in, given back”: Contemplation of Nature and Ethics of Care in Contemporary Canadian Nature Poetry

2. Melanie East, Redeemer University: To Tarry and Reside: Learning to Dwell in the Poetry of Karen Solie and Emily Osborne

3. Doug J. Sikkema, Redeemer University: Words for the World: Poetic Attention in an Age of Control

6C. RGK 204 Imagination: Sight and Insight in MacDonald and Montgomery

Moderator: Sara L. Pearson, Trinity Western University

1.  Jennifer Doede, Trinity Western University: The Complemental Sacramentality of George MacDonald’s and Gerard Manley Hopkins’s Imaginations

2. Laurie A. Wilson, Biola University: Cobbler Philosophers: George MacDonald on the Liberal Arts and Vocational Knowledge

3. Emily Wiebe, Trinity Western University: Imagination as the Facilitator of Maturity in Anne of Green Gables