Gathering: Christianity, Race, and Justice

Midwest Regional Meeting of the Conference on Christianity and Literature

"Gathering: Christianity, Race, and Justice"

Wednesday-Thursday, June 23-24, 2021

Online Conference hosted by Wheaton College (IL) English Department

Willie James Jennings will be our keynote speaker. He is the author of The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race, has recently released After Whiteness: An Education in Belonging, which seeks to reframe higher education by "turning attention to the original trajectory of a God who has ended hostility and has drawn all of creation into a reconciliation... one that aims to re-create us, reforming us as those who enact gathering and who gesture communion with our very existence."  What parts do literature, writing, and teaching play in such a vision? How do justice, race, and faith intersect in literature? In our creative work? In our teaching?  

This conference gathers under the conditions of a global pandemic that prevent physical proximity. It no less, however, allows us to reflect in scholarly and creative ways on the concept of gathering, given the realities of injustice that have been prominent on the global, political, social, and religious stage in the past year.

This conference will involve:

  • traditional panels
  • round tables
  • peer-review panels with pre-circulated papers
  • shorter presentations and substantive feedback
  • creative readings
  • student panels

Scholars at all stages of their inquiry into matters of Christianity, race, and justice in literature, writing, and teaching are welcome.

Possible topics include the following:

  • pedagogy and race in Christian higher education
  • the Christian imagination of race in literature
  • raced bodies and the body of Christ in literature
  • mestizaje theology and literary form
  • anti-racism, faith, and literature
  • writing and literature pedagogy and contemporary realities of injustice
  • the cross and the lynching tree
  • prophetic textual traditions of race and faith 
  • repudiations of Christianity in literary accounts of race
  • critique and post-critique of literature, race, and faith
  • race, place, and faith
  • the ethics of minority/majority as categories for literature
  • political rhetoric of race and faith
  • faith and protest literature
  • Minjung theology and literature
  • literature and repair/reparations
  • whiteness and Christianity in literature
  • majority world theological readings of literature
  • (con)textualized theology of race
  • indigenous literatures' imaginations of faith
  • modernity and the theological formulation of race 
  • the Christian literary marketplace and diverse books
  • literature of law and order, policing, justice 

As always, the Midwest CCL is open to other proposals concerning the relationship of Christianity and literature, including panel proposals. Undergraduate students must submit their entire paper for consideration; eligible undergraduate papers will be entered into the national CCL Undergraduate Writing Contest for a cash prize ($100) and publication on the CCL website. 

Send abstracts (200-400 words) via email to:  by Tuesday, June 1, 2021. Panel proposals welcome. Abstracts should indicate a preference for either traditional panels or peer-review (pre-circulated papers) panels.