The Center for Political Theology at Villanova University invites proposals for symposia of 2-6 contributors to be featured on its new blog, Literature and Political Theology, hosted on politicaltheology.com. The blog will publish essays of 1500-2000 words that each critically engage with the same literary text (poem, novel, short story, play, creative non-fiction) in conversation with political theology, broadly understood.
Examples of literary texts that might be the topic for a symposium proposal include:
- Octavia Butler’s Parables
- Aimé Césaire’s “Notebook of a Return to a Native Land”
- Virginia Woolf’s Orlando
- Arundhati Roy’s The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
- Billy-Ray Belcourt, This Wound is a World
- The Book of Job
- Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement
- Wole Soyinka’s “The Lion and the Jewel”
- Muriel Rukeyser’s The Book of the Dead
We especially encourage symposia and essays that are experimental or unexpected; that approach familiar texts in new ways; that are in conversation with social justice movements; that engage with critical theory or anarchist/Marxist thought; or that engage with religious traditions outside Christianity. Feminist, queer, decolonial, Black, and Indigenous approaches are also especially welcome.
Proposals are due February 28, 2022. In a document of about 400-500 words:
- Describe which literary text your symposium focuses on, and why
- Discuss what possible approaches your contributors may employ
- Explain why you and the group of people in the symposium fit together and fit with the theme of your symposium
- List the possible best dates for your symposium to run between April 2022 and December 2023
- Provide link(s) to one or two writing samples from any member(s) of your symposium.
We will value proposals that include a diverse range of authors from different career stages, a gender balance among authors, authors from the Global South, as well as non-academics.
Questions and proposals can be sent to Vincent Lloyd (email@example.com) or Laura Simpson (firstname.lastname@example.org). Notification of acceptance will arrive by mid-March 2022. Proposals will be evaluated by the blog’s editorial team:
Benjamin Balthaser, Associate Professor of English, Indiana University – South Bend
James Ford III, Associate Professor of English and Black Studies, Occidental College
Kris Trujillo, Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature, University of Chicago
Brook Wilensky-Lanford, Postdoctoral Research Associate in Religion, University of Virginia
Mimi Winick, Post-Doctoral Fellow, “Transcendence and Transformation”
Center for the Study of World Religions, Harvard Divinity School; Affiliate Instructor, Department of English, Virginia Commonwealth University