“The Future of the Catholic Literary Imagination”

Definitely of interest to Dappled Things readers: this conference to be hosted at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Advanced Catholic Studies. Titled eponymously with this post, “the goal” (says the conference’s website) “is to foster a dynamic, serious but never pious conversation about the relationship between faith and literature in the contemporary American culture.” (Which leaves me wondering: what is wrong with pious? – but of course the term is being used here in its Mystery-and-Manners sense of sugary, unctuous, unrealistically upbeat, not in its robust Latinate sense of filled with the sweetness of the love of God. One wants to be the latter but, yes, never the former.)

Plenary speakers are slated to include rockstars of the Catholic literary world like Ron Hansen, Dana Gioia, Tobias Wolff and Alice McDermott. They’ll be joined by an undisclosed number of “early career writers” (names? names?!) to discuss “ways in which Catholic literary life can be enlarged, enlivened, and refined to meet the needs of both our new century and a new generation of writers.” So exciting! We’ll be following this one for sure.