18 - 28 February, 2022
Anna Leonidovna Gumerova (born in 1978) – Candidate of Philological Sciences, Senior Research Assistant at the Department of Literary Theory, A.M. Gorky Institute of
World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Teaches at the Institute of Foreign Languages (Moscow State Pedagogical University). In 2001 graduated from the State Academy of Slavonic Culture (Moscow). In 2007 successfully presented her dissertation entitled “The Compositional Role of Internal Texts in F.M. Dostoevsky’s Works: Biblical Quotes in the Novel The Brothers Karamazov”. Area of interests: composition, quotes, F.M. Dostoevsky’s works, J.R.R. Tolkien’s and C.S. Lewis’ works, fantasy literature, contemporary literature process. A.L. Gumerova wrote several articles concerning quotes and the problems of composition, J.R.R. Tolkien’s and C.S. Lewis’ works, fantasy literature.
Marius-Radu Clim has been a researcher within the Department of Lexicology and Lexicography, the A. Philippide Institute of Romanian Philology – Iasi Branch – of the Romanian Academy, since 2004. From the beginning, he was interested in the computerization of the Romanian lexicography, in editing a dictionary directly in electronic format and in digitizing the Romanian academic lexicographical works.
Since the stage of his training as lexicographer – stage materialized through his participation in the editorial and revision activities for The Academic Dictionary of the Romanian Language (DLR) – there was a concern of computerizing the editorial resources and processes of the academic dictionary. Thus, he digitized the list of bibliography for permitting a quick search (on the project The Dictionary of the Romanian Language in electronic format. Studies regarding its acquisition – 2003-2005) and he was responsible for the DLR’ bibliography scanning, summing over 4000 titles, within the project eDTLR – Thesaurus Dictionary of the Romanian Language in electronic format, a complex project, 2007-2010, coordinated by Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. For a subsequent project (ERLC. The Essential Romanian Lexicographic Corpus. 100 dictionaries from DLR bibliography aligned by entries and sense, 2010-2013) he worked on creating a corpus of 100 dictionaries from the history of Romanian lexicography, aligned by entries through which the activity of documentation regarding the editing of the thesaurus dictionary of the Romanian language was optimized.
Currently he is involved in preparing a new edition of The Academic Dictionary of the Romanian Language (DLR) that will be elaborated directly in XML format. This is a premiere for the Romanian lexicography, due to the fact that, until now, the work on the dictionary has been done in the classic format, on paper.
In the context of these concerns a new direction of personal research emerged – the study of neologisms in the Romanian language, especially the way in which they were treated in dictionaries. The research was materialized into a PhD thesis, that was presented in 2010 at the Faculty of Letters of Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi. It was then published as The Neologism in the Romanian Lexicography, Iasi, Alexadru Ioan Cuza University Press, 2012, 355 p., ISBN 978-973-703-794-7.
Dr. Daniela (Denise) Vasiliu, Ph.D., CEO Agora Christi Center for Christian Studies and Apologetics, Teacher of English (Lector at the Faculty of Psychology and Educations Sciences, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi). She has got MA in Theology from the University of Bucharest, and a Ph.D. in Philology - English Literature, with an interdisciplinary thesis on C. S. Lewis (C. S. Lewis at the border between Christian spirituality and fiction) from Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania. She is a post-doctoral student with research on Theories of Imagination in Literature, Philosophy, and Theology, at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Romania. She is the main founder of The C. S. Lewis & Kindred Spirits Society for Central and Eastern Europe.
James Como is a lecturer, writer, teacher, and communication consultant. He holds the Ph.D. in Language, Literature and Rhetoric from Columbia University and now is Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Public Communication at York College (CUNY) where, upon joining the faculty in 1968, he founded the Speech discipline and thereafter, with a number of colleagues, the Department of Performing and Fine Arts, which he would chair for fifteen years. A founding member of the New York C. S. Lewis Society (1969), his Branches to Heaven: The Geniuses of C. S. Lewis is a ground-breaking study of Lewis as a rhetorician and his Remembering C. S. Lewis is a benchmark biographical anthology now in its third edition (and fourth decade). These, along with his many articles on Lewis in such journals as The Wilson Quarterly and The New Criterion and on-air commentary for five biographical documentaries have established Dr. Como as one of the most highly regarded Lewis scholars in the world. His most noteworthy book, from the Oxford University Press, is A Very Short Introduction to C. S. Lewis.
His contributions to rhetorical theory and criticism have been at international conferences and as journalism. As a credentialed foreign journalist, he covered the landmark Peruvian elections of 1990 and has written on Peruvian culture and communication often since then. Most recently he has published essays, stories, and poems in a number of different venues, a recent book being ‘The Tongue is Also a Fire’: essays on conversation, rhetoric and the transmission of culture. . . and on C. S. Lewis.
He has been a Chancellor’s Access to Excellence honoree and a Salvatori Fellow with the Heritage Foundation and is a member of the International Spanish Honor Society. At York College, his commitment to outstanding teaching has been recognized by students with a number of awards, notably from the York College Alumni Association and the York College Male Initiative Program. And he is as happy to have completed his children’s book, The Folk Tales of Brusco and Giovanni, in three books.
Jerry Root is a graduate of Whittier College and Talbot Graduate School of Theology at Biola University, both located in Southern California. He received his Ph.D. from the Open University.
He has written C. S. Lewis and a Problem of Evil: An Investigation of a Pervasive Theme, co-author with Mark Neal of The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis, co-author with Stan Guthrie of The Sacrament of Evangelism, and co-author and co-editor of The Soul of C.S. Lewis: A Meditative Journey through Twenty-six of His Best Loved Writings. Furthermore, he is co-editor, with Wayne Martindale, of the best selling, The Quotable C. S. Lewis. Jerry has also contributed to many edited works about C. S. Lewis and has published numerous articles about Lewis, Evangelism, Discipleship, and Spiritual Formation.
He is currently Professor of Evangelism and serves as the Director of the Evangelism Initiative and is a Faculty/Scholar Practitioner at the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism at Wheaton College where he teaches graduate courses in the MA in Evangelism and Leadership Program, and undergraduate courses in Christian Formation and Ministry. In addition, Jerry is a visiting professor at Talbot Graduate School of Theology and Biola University.
His hobbies and interests include all things Lewisian, travelling, winemaking, and enjoying deep conversation with all he meets on a variety of subjects. He played some form of American football until he was 44 and was once the player coach of the Oxford Bulldogs. He loves virtual fear including turbulence on airplanes, skydiving, swimming with sharks, hammerhead stalls in biplanes and has, 100 times, done bungee jumping equivalents. Furthermore, he is an airplane fanatic and particularly loves WWI and WWII vintage airplanes.
He and his wife, Claudia, have four grown children-all of whom are married, and has thirteen grandchildren.
Mislike me not for my complexion": Whiteness and World-Building in Lewis and Shakespeare
Although the complicated presentation of the Jewish money-lender, Shylock, in The Merchant Venice is perhaps Shakespeare’s most infamous example of prejudice and xenophobic cultural relationships, the play is actually filled with a variety of ethnocentric discourses from the moment the Christian heroine, Portia, takes the stage in Act One, Scene Two. The pressing question is what position Shakespeare and his audience members took up vis-à-vis such passages as the Prince of Morocco’s “Mislike me not for my complexion speech” or Portia’s later remark “let all of his complexion choose me so.” Most readers, I believe, assume that Portia is Shakespeare’s mouthpiece and, therefore, her prejudices reflect his own. I argue the texture of the play suggests a much more complicated interpretation.
Similarly, C. S. Lewis has been taken to task for his general valorizing of “whiteness” and demonizing of “blackness” or “darkness,” usually lumping him together with J. R. R. Tolkien because of their mutual attraction to “Northerness.” And Exhibit #1 for the case against Lewis is his rendering of Calormene culture throughout the Narnia but especially in The Horse and His Boy. My essay will show that Lewis, a Renaissance scholar and a religious controversialist, is rather closer to Shakespeare than Tolkien in his construction of complicated worlds featuring clashing racial, religious, and cultural identities. At important moments in the narrative (and again in The Last Battle), Lewis requires us, like Shasta in the novel, to suspend our prejudices long enough to hear a grand Calormene tale, told in the grandiose Calormene style.
Lewis was, of course, a person of his age. Shakespeare was as well. In fact, both of those statements are meaningless except as rhetoric, because all the human beings who has ever lived and all the artists who have ever built anything (whether a vase painting of the Amazons fighting the Athenians, a Renaissance tragicomedy, or a 20th century children’s fantasy novel) are persons of their age. The question is not whether they reflect their age, but the degree to which they reflect ON their age. I content that both authors were, if not as generous as we’d like (from our 21st century perspective), more generous towards racial/cultural differences than has been generally recognized.
Joe Ricke is an independent scholar and director of the Inkling Folk Fellowship, an international group of scholars, readers, seekers, and artists, meeting via Zoom every Friday at 4 p.m. (EST). He was previously Professor of English and Director of the Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis & Friends at Taylor University, where he organized and directed the highly-acclaimed Lewis & Friends Colloquium in 2016 and 2018 (“best Inkling conference on the planet,” Devin Brown). At Taylor, Dr. Ricke curated the Brown Collection, and, in early 2020, oversaw the acquisition of the historic McCaslin Collection of Lewis materials. He has presented and published numerous essays and book chapters on Shakespeare and early drama, the Inklings, and Christian higher education. He has co-edited three books and, since 2012, has organized the Lewis and the Middle Ages panels at the International Congress on Medieval Studies. His poems have appeared in various journals and book collections. As a singer/songwriter, he performs as Joe Martyn Ricke and with The Ricke Brothers. Contact: email@example.com
Dr. Joel Heck teaches theology at Concordia University Texas, which includes courses in Old and New Testament and the life and writings of C. S. Lewis. He holds the Doctor of Theology from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He is the author or editor of fourteen books, including two books on C. S. Lewis. In 2005, his book, Irrigating Deserts: C. S. Lewis on Education, was published by Concordia Publishing House. In 2008 The Personal Heresy, authored C. S. Lewis & E. M. W. Tillyard, was edited and reprinted by Heck. Dr. Heck spent the fall of 2004 in Oxford, working with Walter Hooper on Vol. III of Lewis’s Collected Letters and the fall of 2012 in Cambridge, doing additional research on Lewis. His most recent book, From Atheism to Christianity: The Story of C. S. Lewis, was released earlier in 2017, also by Concordia Publishing House. He and his wife Cheryl reside in Austin, Texas USA. They have three grown children and three grandchildren.
Dr. K. Alan Snyder is the author of America Discovers C. S. Lewis: His Profound Impact. He has spoken at the New York C. S. Lewis Society and at the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. He also has presented papers on Lewis at the Academic Roundtable for the C. S. Lewis Foundation and at The Center for the Study of C. S. Lewis and Friends at Taylor University.
Dr. Snyder is a professor of history at Southeastern University in Lakeland, Florida, where he specializes in American political, cultural, and intellectual history. He has devoted his entire academic career to teaching at Christian universities.
Other books Dr. Snyder has authored are the following:
The Witness and the President: Whittaker Chambers, Ronald Reagan, and the Future of Freedom
Mission: Impeachable—The House Managers and the Historic Impeachment of President Clinton
Defining Noah Webster: A Spiritual Biography
If the Foundations Are Destroyed: Biblical Principles and Civil Government
Dr. Karen Coats is Professor of Education and Director of the Centre for Research in Children's Literature at the University of Cambridge. She publishes widely on the intersection of youth literature and critical theory. Her most recent books include The Bloomsbury Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature, and the co-edited collection, Teaching Young Adult Literature.
Dr. Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson is a George MacDonald scholar who lives in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. She lectures internationally on MacDonald, the 19th century, the Inklings, and Faith & the Arts. Co-editor of Informing the Inklings (and forthcoming sequel), she has published many chapters and articles in the field, and appears in the documentary, The Fantasy Makers (featured at the 2018 Lewis and Friends Colloquium). Currently completing a book on MacDonald, she also authored the Forewords and Afterwords to the Romanian translations of MacDonald’s The Golden Key and Barfield’s The Child & the Giant.
She is on the Advisory Board of Inklings journal VII, a founding Board Member of the C. S. Lewis & Kindreds Society of Eastern & Central Europe, and co-chair of the George MacDonald Society. She directs Linlathen – a Theology & Arts conference and lecture series based in rural Ontario.
Passionate about integrating ecological care and local community with academia, she occasionally speaks for and partners with A Rocha, a faith-inspired network of environmental organizations. She lives on a farm, loves enticing academic colleagues into the outdoors, and is always up for a serious game of scrabble.
Many modern people have difficulty with the concept of heaven, either dismissing it as wish fulfillment or treating it as some airy pie-in-the-sky that lacks the reality of earth. In this lecture, I shall comb through the works of C. S. Lewis to find those places where he meditates on what it will be like to spend eternity clothed in a resurrection body and in the direct presence of God.
Louis Markos, Professor in English & Scholar in Residence at Houston Baptist University, holds the Robert H. Ray Chair in Humanities; his 22 books include Restoring Beauty: The Good, the True, and The Beautiful in the Writings of C. S. Lewis, The Life and Writings of CSL, From A to Z to Narnia with CSL, On the Shoulders of Hobbits: The Road to Virtue with Tolkien and Lewis.
Malcolm Guite is an English poet, singer-songwriter, Anglican priest, and academic.
Born in Nigeria to British expatriate parents, Guite graduated from Cambridge with a Bachelor of Arts and a Master of Arts in English Literature and obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from Durham University degree in 1993. His doctoral dissertation focused on "the centrality of memory as a theme in the sermons and meditations of Lancelot Andrews and John Donne and to explore the extent of their influence on the treatment of memory in T. S. Eliot' s poetry".
His research interests include the intersection of religion and the arts, the examination of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, and British poets such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
He is currently a Bye-Fellow and chaplain of Girton College, Cambridge and associate chaplain of St Edward King and Martyr in Cambridge. Guite is the author of five books of poetry, including two chapbooks and three full-length collections, as well as several books on Christian faith and theology. He also performs as a singer and guitarist fronting the Cambridgeshire-based blues, rhythm and blues, and rock band "Mystery Train".
Dr. Paul E. Michelson is Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at Huntington University, where he began teaching in 1974. He has been three times a Fulbright fellow in Romania (1971-1973, 1982-1983, 1989-1990; and holds a Ph.D. from Indiana University.
His areas of interest and expertise include historiography, Romanian history in the 19th-21st Centuries, Totalitarian and post-Totalitarian societies, the History of Venice, and the work of C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. He served as secretary of the Society for Romanian Studies for nearly 40 years and was secretary of the Conference on Faith and History for ten. His book, Romanian Politics, 1859-1871: From Prince Cuza to Prince Carol (1998) was selected by CHOICE MAGAZINE as an Outstanding Academic Book for 1998 and was awarded the 2000 Bălcescu Prize for History by the Romanian Academy.
Recent publications include "’ To Promote Professional Study, Criticism, and Research on All Aspects of Romanian Culture and Civilization’: The Society for Romanian Studies at Forty," Balkanistica, Vol. 29 (2016); “Romania and World War I, 1914-1918: An Introductory Survey,” Revue Roumaine d’Histoire, Vol. 55 (2016); "George Enescu in Wartime Iași, 1916-1919," Anuarul Institutului de Istorie A. D. Xenopol, Vol. 53 (2016); "C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and Esemplastic Friendship," Inklings Forever, Vol. 10 (2017); "The History of Romanian Evangelicals, 1918-1989: A Bibliographical Excursus," Arhiva Moldaviae,, Vol. 9 (2017); "Inklings at war. J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and the Crucible of World War I," Christian History, Nr. 121 (March 2017); and "Greater Romania and the Post-World War New Normal," in Victor Voicu, ed., Lucrările conferinței internaționale România și evenimentele istorice din perioadă 1914-1920. Desăvârșirea Marii Uniri și întregirea României (București: Editura Academiei Română, 2018).
He recently delivered keynote addresses at the Romanian Academy's 1918 commemoration in September 2018 and at the Babeș-Bolyai University of Cluj 1918 conference in October 2018. He is currently finishing a history of Romanian historiography, 1880-1940, and continues to work on a history of the Romanian 1848.
Rodica Albu, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, founding member of the Linguaculture Research Centre for Interlingual and Intercultural Studies, author, co-author, and editor of volumes (such as Myth and Folk Elements in the Poetry of W. B. Yeats, English Synonyms, Using English(es), Migrating Memories: Central Europe in Canada, English in Canada. Representations of Language and Identity, Irish Studies Reader) and articles that testify to her interest in dynamic approaches to language, culture, and society in their interrelatedness co-organizer of the C. S. Lewis conference series, co-author and editor of the volume Inklings. Litera și spiritul (Inklings. The Letter and the Spirit) and translator of the first signed Romanian version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1993).
Sørina Higgins holds a Ph.D. from Baylor University, where she was a Presidential Scholar, Teacher of Record, Graduate Writing Center Consultant, and English Department Representative to the Graduate Student Association. She is also a faculty member at Signum University. She is a scholar of the Inklings, Arthuriana, and British and Irish Modern Literature. Her ground-breaking blog “The Oddest Inkling,” was devoted to a systematic study of Charles Williams’ works. Her edited collection The Inklings and King Arthur: J. R. R. Tolkien, Charles Williams, C. S. Lewis, and Owen Barfield on the Matter of Britain won the Mythopoeic Society Inklings Scholarship Award in 2018.
Ştefan Oltean, Professor Emeritus at Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj, Romania, has taught possible world semantics, generative syntax and the history of the English language. He was visiting professor at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, and Cornell University. He participated in European projects in the field of language diversity and multilingualism (e.g., the European FP6 project Language Dynamics and Management of diversity), and has published books on free indirect discourse, narrative poetics, and semantics (e.g. Teoria discursului narativ și discursul indirect liber „Narrative Theory and Free Indirect Discourse”, Lumile posibile în structurile limbajului „Possible Worlds for Linguistics”, Introducere în semantica referențială „Introduction to Referential semantics”), as well as articles in Poetics Today, Journal of Literary Semantics and in Romanian linguistics journals, such as Revue Roumaine de Linguistique, Dacoromania, Studii și cercetări lingvistice. Professor Oltean was a member of the Board of the European Language Council (ELC/CEL), vice rector of Babeș-Bolyai” University, dean of the Faculty of Letters and chairperson of the English Department of Babeș-Bolyai
Dr. Teodora Ghivirigă is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Letters within the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi, the Department of Modern Languages. She currently teaches Terminology, Semantics and (Specialized) Translation. She has published a volume on the formation of the terminology of Economics in Romanian and a number of articles on the terminology and translation of texts on Economics and also corpus based articles on translation into Romanian, as well as a number of translations on various topics (linguistics, cultural studies). She is also interested in English (British mainly) literature for children and in fantasy, especially in the works of the authors known as Inklings. Didactic interests also include teaching English to adults (especially in specialized domains such as Business and Economics and Law).
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