Thursday, March 31, 2011

Conference schedule for CSLIS 14

It’s that time of year again, folks. If you live in the south-central United States, anywhere within a reasonable driving distance of Tulsa, Oklahoma, give some thought to coming out for the C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society’s 14th Annual Conference, this weekend (April 1–2, 2011) at Oral Roberts University. I know this is a last-minute post, but I’ve mentioned it here enough times that you have no excuse! :)

I just got a copy of the conference schedule last night, so I can give you some idea of what you’ll be in for — or what you’ll be missing if you can’t make it. As you can see, they always pack a lot into two days! As you can also see, I am continuing my research on Tolkien’s hapax legomena — a topic that holds great fascination for me. A full conference report will follow sometime next week. (Follow this link for my report on last year’s event.)

Friday, April 1

8:30–10:15 (Plenary Session)
“Illuminating Ungit: Unveiling the Deep Mysteries of Love in C.S. Lewis’s Last Novel, Part 1”, Andrew Lazo


Session I-A: The Creators of Middle-earth: God and the Subcreators
  • “‘Derived from Reality’: J.R.R. Tolkien as the God of Middle-earth”, Jonathan Hall
  • “The God Who Hides: Isaiah, Mark, Pascal, Tolkien”, Dr. Normal Styers
  • “‘A Place for Their Habitation’: Space and Character in Middle-earth”, Randall Compton
Session I-B: Angels and Paradise: A Lewisian Interpretation
  • “‘Mighty Ones Who Do His Bidding:’ Lewis’s Mythic and Reasonable Depiction of Angels”, Dr. Janice Brown
  • “Paradise Retold: Lewis’s Reimagining of Genesis and Milton”, Dr. Benita Muth
  • “Satan Redux: C.S. Lewis’s (Christian) Reader Response in Preface to Paradise Lost”, Dr. William Epperson
Session I-C: Lewis and Tolkien and the Power of Their Words
  • “Facts and Meanings: From Word to Myth”, David Rozema
  • “C.S. Lewis: Christian Humanist and Writer”, Peter Hoheisel
  • “Sharing the Inkwell: Comparing Tolkien’s and Lewis’s Writing Styles”, Dr. Linda Gray

Session II-A: C. S. Lewis and Science: Pain, Physics, and the Tao
  • “Science and the Tao: Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and the Remaking of Man”, Dr. Kenneth Weed and Justin Nichol
  • “Physics and Out of the Silent Planet”, Dr. Andrew Lang and Joe Ninowski
  • The Problem of Pain and the Relational Theory of Design: Can Suffering Result in Positive Affordances?”, Dr. Dominic Halsmer and Kyle Hansen
Session II-B: Deception and Usurpation in That Hideous Strength
  • “Usurpers of the Almighty: A Perspective on That Hideous Strength”, John Fulton
  • “Utter Deception in N.I.C.E.: C.S. Lewis’ Use of Media in That Hideous Strength”, John Weiand
  • “From Shortcomings to Seer: Mark Studdock in That Hideous Strength”, Christina Jumper
Session II-C : Themes and Techniques in George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, and Charles Williams
  • “The Vicar’s Declaration of Religious Independence in George MacDonald’s Annals of a Quiet Neighborhood”, Dr. Larry Fink
  • “Man Found Alive With Two Legs: Chesterton’s Defamiliarizing Method”, J. Cameron Moore
  • “‘On Shadows of Ecstasy’ as Autobiography”, Dr. Joe Christopher

Session III-A: Science, Ethics, and Religion Through the Lens of Lewis
  • “Lewis and Religious Philosophy: An Examination of C.S. Lewis in Light of Contemporary Thought”, Dave Bukenhofer
  • “C.S. Lewis: Christian Ethicist in a Relativistic Age”, Dr. Martin Batts
  • “Presupposition and Scientific Methodology: Evolution and Intelligent Design in Light of Lewis’s View of Models”, Dr. Mark R. Hall
Session III-B: King Arthur and the Mythic Hero in the Fiction of Lewis and Tolkien
  • “Resurrecting Logres: Arthurian Elements in C.S. Lewis’s That Hideous Strength”, Jana Swartwood
  • “Arthuriana in Narnia”, Kazia Estrada
  • “Aaragorn, Echoes of a Messianic King: Tolkien’s Defamiliarization of the Mythic Hero”, Bryce Merkl
Session III-C : The Face of the Gods and the Devil in Lewis and Tolkien
  • “Venus and Mars: Female and Masculine Traits in the Planets Malacandra and Perelandra”, Sarah Thompson
  • “Two Faces”, Steve McKinney
  • “The Devil Made Me Do It: Demonic Possession in the Inklings’s Works”, B.J. Thome
Conference Banquet
Welcome and Invocation, Entertainment, Introduction of the CSLIS Executive Board Members, Presentation of the CSLIS 2011 Writing Competition Awards, etc.

Keynote Speech
“Finding God in The Lord of the Rings”, Kurt Bruner

Saturday, April 1

8:45–10:15 (Plenary Session)
“Illuminating Ungit: Unveiling the Deep Mysteries of Love in C.S. Lewis’s Last Novel, Part 2”, Andrew Lazo


Session IV-A: Angels and Paradise: A Lewisian Interpretation
  • “Narnia as Bestiary and the Rational Necessity of The Magician’s Nephew”, Jim Stockton
  • “Philosophy and Fairy Stories: Lewis’s Narnia as Philosophical Ontology”, Michael Muth
  • “The Country Inside the Cupboard: Reason, Myth, and the Leap Through the Wardrobe Door”, Dr. William Thompson
Session IV-B: God and the Self in the Space Trilogy and Middle-earth
  • “Eldila and Valar: Theology on Malacandra and Middle-earth”, Hannah Erwin
  • “‘Lewis, You Are Inimitable!’: Self-reference in Lewis and Tolkien’s Tales of Space or Time Travel”, Dr. Jonathan Himes
  • “The Third One at St. Anne’s: Pneumatological Typology in ‘The Descent of the Gods’”, Chuck Fowler
Session IV-C: Subjectivism in That Hideous Strength: Mark and Jane Studdock as Victims and Victors
  • “The Freedom of Tradition: Lewis’ Portrayal of Jane Studdock in That Hideous Strength”, Ariel Arguelles
  • “The Psychology Behind That Hideous Strength: The Mental and Emotional Struggle of Mark and Jane Studdock”, Amaris Woolard
  • “Feelings, Motives, Decisions and their Effect on Morality: Subjectivism’s Influence as Revealed in That Hideous Strength”, Teresa Jaquith
Session IV-D: Tolkien and the War
  • “From Trenches to Towers: The Echoes of World War I in Middle Earth”, David Apy
  • “Creations of War: Tolkien’s Depiction of Character in The Lord of the Rings”, Billy Burke
  • “The Hen that Laid the Eggs: Tolkien and the Officers Training Corps”, Janet Brennan Croft
1:00–2:30 (Plenary Session)
“Finding God in the Land of Narnia”, Kurt Bruner


Session V-A: Eucatastrophe and a Desire for Joy and the Good in Lewis, Tolkien, Williams, and Chesterton
  • “Lewis and Tolkien: Masters of Art With a Longing for Joy”, Elisabeth Knier
  • “Joy and Eucatastrophe: An Aspect of Myth”, Katelyn Yeary
  • “Let Us Draw the Line: Comparing the Nature of Good and Evil in the Works of Williams, Tolkien, and Chesterton”, Melanie Westpetal
Session V-B: Sayers and Tolkien as Creators and Wordsmiths
  • “Dorothy Sayer’s Triune of the Creative Mind and C.S. Lewis’s Ideas on Creativity With Some Illustrations from The Chronicles of Narnia”, Salwa Khoddam
  • “Tolkien’s Niggle: Answering Sayers’ Question: ‘Why Work?’”, Dr. Kay Meyers
  • “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hapax Legomena: The Devil in the Word-hoard”, Jason Fisher
Session V-C The Imagination as Key to the Themes of Lewis and Tolkien
  • “The Broad and the Narrow Paths of Imagination: Narnia and Middle-earth”, Lindsey Presnell
  • “Glimpses of Glory: The Source of Imagination in the Writings of C.S. Lewis”, Jasmine Wilder-Johnson
  • “Tolkien Devotionals: Christian Symbolism and Themes Within The Lord of the Rings”, Lauren Percival
“Further Up and Further In: Tackling Today’s Tough Questions with Lewis and Tolkien” (Panel Discussion), Kurt Bruner and Andrew Lazo


  1. Sounds fascinating! Wish I could go. My big goal is to become rich and free enough to go to all these events. I hope the papers will be published so we unlucky ones who can't go can still enjoy!

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)

  2. Sigh. Two missed Encyclopedia-autograph opportunities in two weekends: Andrew Lazo here, and some Toronto-based contributors from the Wellinghall smial at last week's Reading Day get-together.

  3. This was my first time meeting Andrew Lazo in person (though we are Facebook friends). I must say, you missed an opportunity indeed, and not just for an Encyclopedia autograph! Andrew gave an extremely stimulating talk on Lewis’s last novel, Till We Have Faces, which was by itself worth the whole price of admission to the conference. Really spectacular stuff.