George MacDonald Conference Planned Sept. 16-19 At Baylor

Aug. 2, 2005

by Nancy Pederson, Library Advancement, (254) 720-6675

Frodo might never have made his epic journey through Middle Earth, and Narnia might have a remained a kingdom only in C.S. Lewis's imagination without the inspiration of George McDonald, the founder of the literary genre, religious fantasy.

McDonald, who also is believed to have been an inspiration to J.R.R. Tolkien and perhaps J.K. Rowling, died Sept. 18, 1905. To honor the Scottish author on the centenary of his death, Baylor University's Armstrong Browning Library has planned a MacDonald conference Sept. 16-19 at the library. "George MacDonald and His Children: the Development of Fantasy Literature," will begin at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 16, with registration in the Browning Library; it will conclude at noon on Monday, Sept. 19. The conference fee for participants will be $100. Baylor faculty and staff and all local college students will be admitted free with their ID cards.

Scholars from throughout the world will present papers about MacDonald, his circle, including Lewis Carroll and Charles Kingsley, and his successors, G.K. Chesterton, Rudyard Kipling, E. Nesbit and the Oxford Inklings. Papers on the artists who illustrated the great fantasy writers will also be presented.

Speakers from other countries will include Dr. Susan Ang, assistant professor of English literature at the National University of Singapore; Julia Briggs, professor of English literature and women's studies at De Montfort University in England; John Docherty of the George MacDonald Society; Dr. Roderick McGillis, professor of English at the University of Calgary; Dr. David Robb, head of the English department at the University of Dundee in Scotland; and Dr. Colin Manlove, full-time writer and former professor at the University of Edinburgh.

Others presenting papers are Dr. George Bodmer, chair of the English department at Indiana University Northwest; Dr. Rolland Hein, adjunct professor emeritus at Wheaton College in Illinois; Dr. David Neuhouser, professor of mathematics at Taylor University in Indiana; Dr. Jan Susina, associate professor of English at Illinois State University; and Robert Trexler of Amherst, Mass., editor of The Bulletin of the New York C.S. Lewis Society; and Dr. Stephen Prickett, director of Armstrong Browning Library.

For more information on the speakers' topics and the conference time schedule, please contact Kathleen Miller at the Browning library, 254-710-4968, or see the library's web page at Armstrong Browning Library.

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