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Booking for our conference ‘George MacDonald and the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy’ at Magdalen College, Oxford 13-15th August 2014 is now live and further information can be found at www.george-macdonald.com including details of our speakers. The conference is open to everyone and it is possible to book via PayPal, thus avoiding any complications with currency conversion etc. Accommodation is available at the college, including a limited number ‘with the walls’ where C.S. Lewis had rooms. Ideally bookings for accommodation should be received by us before the 10th May to enable us to confirm to the College.

The call for papers (30 minute) is still open. Proposals including: name, institutional affiliation, CV, title of paper, abstract (400 words max) should go to gmsociety.papers@gmail.com by 1st May 2014.

INFORMING THE INKLINGS: GEORGE MACDONALD & THE VICTORIAN ROOTS OF MODERN FANTASY

A CONFERENCE AT MAGDALEN COLLEGE, OXFORD, AUGUST 13-15, 2014

The ‘Inklings’, an Oxford group that included C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Owen Barfield, and Charles Williams, has long been recognized as one of the most creative literary groups of the mid-twentieth century, one whose fantasy writings in particular have become a major influence on the development of subsequent literature and film. But, as they freely acknowledged, behind these lay an earlier generation of Victorian writers who pioneered the forms they developed – perhaps most notably George MacDonald. With the fiftieth anniversary of the death of C.S. Lewis we wish to explore the many connections, and to see some of the ways in which the work of the Inklings was ‘informed’ by the work MacDonald and his fellow fantasists. Speakers include Kerry Dearborn, Danny Gableman, Malcolm Guite, Moniker Hilder, Stephen Logan, Kirstin Jeffrey Johnson, John Pennington, Stephen Prickett (Chair), David Robb and Jean Webb. As Magdalen was Lewis’s college – host to many ‘Inkling’ discussions – and as Oxford’s history is long-entwined with the genre of fantasy, the conference will include a thematic introduction to relevant sites. We invite session papers of not more than 20 minutes on any themes connecting these writers and their work and influence on literature, theology, and the arts in general. Attention to fellow 19th century fantasists such as Charles Kingsley, Lewis Carroll, and William Morris is welcome. Proposals  (including name and institutional affiliation, CV, title of the paper, and an abstract of no more than 400 words) to gmsociety.papers@gmail.com by May 1, 2014.

“MacDonald is the greatest genius of this kind whom I know.”

C.S. Lewis

Advance notice. The George MacDonald Society is hosting a conference from lunchtime Wednesday, 13th to Friday, 15th August 2014 at C.S. Lewis’ own College, Magdalen, in Oxford. The provisional title is Re-Imagining the Inklings: the Victorian Roots of Modern Fantasy and will be chaired by Professor Stephen Prickett our Chairman.

More information and details of speakers will be made available later in the year but do get those dates in your diary now. This is an ideal opportunity for you to combine a stimulating conference, where George MacDonald is a key focus, with a visit to the historic city of Oxford and the United Kingdom.

It would be helpful for us to be able to to gauge possible numbers thinking of attending so, if you would like to provisionally book a place or register an interest, please contact us (macdonaldsociety@gmail.com) and we will add you to our mailing list so that we can update you when fuller details become available.

danny_gabelman_book

Danny Gabelman’s book on George MacDonald was published on the 15th August. Published by Baylor University Press, it focuses on MacDonald’s fairytales and looks at how they lightly embodied key aspects of his aesthetics and theology. It should be available from major distributors like amazon, barnes and noble, waterstones, etc. A Kindle version should be available in due course.

An excellent response to John Piper and Tim Keller’s recent controversial online comments about George MacDonald.

A call for MacDonald researchers and bloggers to contribute reflections on “The Light Princess” for Christine Chettle and Christi Williams’s digital storytelling project, “Subverting Laughter”:

http://subvertinglaughter.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/call-for-contributions/

The aim is to explore how MacDonald’s theories of the imagination and of storytelling might transfer to a modern context, and the project will combine visual image and reflective blogging to encourage new appreciations of MacDonald’s text.

Talk in New York

Robert Trexler will be speaking on the topic “George MacDonald: Scholar and Educational Reformer” at the June 14, 2013 meeting of the New York C.S. Lewis Society. As an independent publisher (Winged Lion Press and Zossima Press), Robert has released seven books written by noted MacDonald scholars about various aspects of MacDonald’s life and thought.

This will be the fifth time Robert has addressed the Society on George MacDonald over the past decade. Two previous talks, “The Light Princess” and “George MacDonald: Merging Myth and Method” are available to read on the George MacDonald Society website. Another talk, detailing the Pre-Raphaelite interests of MacDonald’s artistry, was accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation of 20 artists who have illustrated At The Back of the North Wind since 1868. This presentation has been given at several conferences.

The C.S. Lewis Society meeting begins at 7:30pm in the Parish House of The Church of the Ascension at 12 West 11th Street, Manhattan. Meetings are free and open to the public.

Additional directions can be found at their website: www.nycslsociety.com