JBU to Host Conference

Siloam Springs, Ark. (February 22, 2006) — The C.S Lewis and the Inklings Society (C.S.L.I.S) will host their ninth annual conference on the campus of John Brown University, March 3-4. The conference’s theme, “Faith, Friendship, Fiction,” will examine the impact of faith and friendship upon fictional works of C.S Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, other Inklings, and related writers.

The Inklings were an informal writers club who met to criticize each other’s creative writings. The club had no formal membership roll, no rules or dues. In short, it was a gathering of Lewis’ friends invited by word of mouth who took the name of a defunct undergrad club because they liked its various connotations.

The C.S.L.I.S. upholds and promotes the advancement of scholarship, teaching, writing, and other professional activities related to the life and works of C.S. Lewis and the Inklings. The society is made up of faculty from local and regional colleges and universities. Membership into the society is open to anyone.

Dr. Jonathan Himes, conference chair and JBU assistant professor of English along with the JBU English department and professors from the biblical studies department, will host the conference.

The conference features two keynote speakers, Dr. Tom A. Shippey and Derick Bingham. Shippey has followed in Tolkien’s steps as a rugby player, Oxford teacher, and a professor at Leeds where he inherited Tolkien’s chair and syllabus. He won the 2000 Mythopoeic Award for Inklings Studies for his book, J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century. Shippey will speak to the general public free of charge on Friday, March 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the Administrative Dining Room (ADR) in the Mabee/Chapman Administration Building.

Bingham is Northern Ireland’s best-known evangelical preacher. A prolific writer of over 23 books, Bingham has published a biography of Lewis, A Shiver of Wonder. Bingham has recently written a book for children, C.S. Lewis, The Storyteller. He will speak to the general public free of charge on Saturday, March 4 at 8:15 a.m. in the ADR.

The C.S.L.I.S. conference began in 1998 and is an annual event attended by scholars, students and the general public who share an interest in Lewis and his literary associates. Himes is the current secretary of the society.

Pre-registration is $75 for faculty and $40 for students and visitors. On-site registration will be $90 for faculty and $50 for students and visitors.

Registration for the two-day event allows individuals to attend sessions of scholarly papers and student presentations, a formal banquet with the keynote speakers, entertainment, meals and snacks. The conference’s keynote addresses are free and open to the general public. (See schedule for free events.)

To pre-register or learn more about the conference, visit www.jbu.edu/academics/langart/english/cslewis/index.html. For more information, contact Himes at 479-524-7399 or jhimes@jbu.edu.