Saturday, April 19, 2008

Looking for Some Chestertonian Presenters

As some of you may recall, Jill presented a paper to us at the Chesterton Conference about two years ago, a fascinating look at Dickens's Dombey through a Chestertonian point of view.

Jill has a request:
I have the wonderful and unique opportunity of bringing our friend, GKC, to the forefront at the 2008 MAPACA conference (Mid-Atlantic Popular/American Culture Association). After presenting a Tolkien/Chesterton paper there (a largely secular and postmodern arena) last year, I was asked many positive questions about Chesterton, enough that the panel chair suggested that I propose a panel for 2008. Happily, with the support my friend, professor Bill Mistichelli from Penn State/Abington, and God's help, my proposal was accepted.

Now, the important thing is for me to have abstracts for papers. In order for the panel to exist, I will need to have 3-4 presenters, and this is where I really need your help,. If there is any way for you to spread the word, I would so appreciate it. Below, I am including my specific panel proposal and contact info. And you will find the general Call for Papers for the MAPACA conference (Ed. note: I can't include it all here, but if you are interested, email me). There will be found all the details of the conference itself. You'll note there that Bill annually chairs a session on Tolkien and Lewis, one in which acquaintances of yours may also be very interested.

On Bill's suggestion, too, I just sent a similar proposal for the NEMLA (Northeast Modern Language Association) conference in 2009. I'm all for letting GKC do his magic in all of these places so sorely in need of his common sense!

Thanks for your help. God bless.
Details: Click here.
G. K. Chesterton, certainly one of the most voluminous writers of the early twentieth century, was well-known for his work as a literary and social critic, a novelist, a poet, and Catholic apologist. As a forerunner of the reawakening of Chesterton interest, Dale Ahlquist, president of the American Chesterton Society, refers to G. K. Chesterton as “the apostle of common sense,” for he was a man eager to shepherd the people of his time, a heyday of secular humanism and the rise of postmodernism. His gifted use of paradox has the unique ability to evoke smiles and awaken faith. His famous debates with George Bernard Shaw and H. G. Wells created an intense but friendly and respectful forum for discussion of opposing views on science, materialism, and religion. Without doubt, Chesterton can engage equally well in such discussions with thinkers of our day.

In his literary criticism, Chesterton salutes those Victorian writers, such as Charles Dickens, who so clearly delineate between good and evil, promote the necessity for social and moral change, and portray the joy ever-present in the company of absolute truths. These same values are evident in his apologetic works, such as Orthodoxy, and his fiction, such as The Man Who Was Thursday. Such literary contributions bestow us with lifelong gifts, for in the early 20th Century, they supported and encouraged the enormously influential works of, among others, C.S. Lewis and J.R. R. Tolkien. Indeed, Chesterton's work enthusiastically encourages dialogue across centuries. This Chesterton panel eagerly invites proposals for papers of comparative literature as well as those of social and cultural commentary.

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