“The Return of the Text” — Upcoming Conference, Le Moyne College, Syracuse, September 26-28

Unfortunately the CFP deadline has passed, but the conference looks wonderful.  More information can be found here, and below.


About the Conference

In recent decades, the study of religion and the study of literature have similarly turned from emphasis on texts to emphasis on the reception of texts. Scholars in both fields have sought to recreate contexts and audiences by means of which texts should be understood. While this work has invaluably expanded our ability to comprehend wide ranges of religious and literary thought and practice, it has also encouraged a disregard for the very sources that have helped shape the respective fields of study. The idea seems to be that texts have nothing in themselves to reveal but are only what we make of them.

Rather than view texts as objects that merely reflect culture, this forum will consider whether and how texts participate in culture. This calls for discussion of the role of close reading in cultural formation.  We invite all manner of papers that explore the conference’s broad theme. Topics include but are not limited to: source studies; textual production and/as cultural production; literary theory; new formalism; textual studies and religious traditions; defining religious experience; ethics of reading; genre studies and/as cultural studies; narrative and narrative theory; oral features of written texts; orality and literacy; philosophy of religion; literary features of religious texts; religious features of literary texts; and, perhaps most importantly, implications for pedagogy.

The Return of the Text forum will be held at Le Moyne College and the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Syracuse, New York
Showcasing the food and wine of Central New York

Three days of lovely meals and wine from Central New York farms, bakeries, and vineyards are included in the registration fee of $125 ($65 for graduate students).

Registration information and materials will be posted in March.

Keynote Speakers:

Theology as a Kind of Reading Charles Mathewes, Carolyn M. Barbour Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia

‘Faith Loses Its Merit Where Human Reason Supplies Proof’ Steven Justice, Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley

Who is Saadi? Emerson and Thoreau on Islamic Mysticisms Branka Arsic, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University

A Saint Speaks Up: Angelic Texting in the Early Middle Ages Albrecht Diem, Associate Professor of History in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University

Thoreau: Awaking to an Answered Question Mitchell Breitwieser, Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley 

With a special reading and group discussion of Finnegans Wake led by John Bishop,University of California, Berkeley

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