Stories for the Refreshment of the Spirit
CALL FOR ACADEMIC PAPERS IS NOW CLOSED:
In The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis, Lucy Pevensie reads a lovely narrative spell in the Magician’s Book. It lifts her out of a petty state of jealousy, soothing her loneliness and easing her disappointment. In the Houses of Healing in Minas Tirith, humans and hobbits find healing for both body and spirit, including recovery from trauma and heartbreak. We are looking for proposals for flash-paper presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that rigorously investigate either depictions of healing in literature (especially speculative fiction) or applications of literature to real-life recovery. Questions and topics that may be considered include the following:
- The tale in Coriakin’s book was “about a cup and a sword and a tree and a green hill,” evocative of both Arthurian legends and the Gospel narratives; consider healing as it is presented in Arthuriana or in the Biblical text.
- Does Tolkien’s unique concept of “recovery” overlap with the medical or psychological definitions of that term?
- Do certain genres lend themselves to tales of healing? Are redemption and recovery built into the trajectories of certain genres? Do some genres complicate those expectations?
- Has literature been shown to aid individuals suffering from grief or trauma?
- Has literature been shown to contribute to the healing of cultural traumas or to the causes of social or racial reconciliation?
- Does literature build healthy communities?
- Can literature ever cause, exacerbate, or contribute to trauma and woundedness?
CALL FOR CREATIVE PRESENTATIONS IS NOW CLOSED: In addition to academic paper panels, there will also be one session of short, original creative presentations (up to 10 minutes each) that explore or demonstrate the same questions and topics listed above. These presentations may include:
- Original creative writing, such as poetry, short fiction, or short creative nonfiction
- Performances of original musical compositions
- Display and discussion of original works of visual art
Creative Presentation proposals should provide a short description (fewer than 200 words) of the presentation – including genre, medium, technical requirements, and connection to the symposium’s theme – and should also include a sample of the creator’s original work in the same genre/medium.