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C.S. Lewis Conference Returns to OCU
The C.S. Lewis and Inklings Society (CSLIS) will hold its annual conference April 9 and 10 at Oklahoma City University. Some lectures during the event are free to the public in the Meinders School of Business at Northwest 27th Street and McKinley Avenue. Guest speakers will be Michael Ward and Diana Glyer. Ward, a leading expert on the works of Lewis, served as chaplain of Peterhouse in the University of Cambridge from 2004 to 2007. He studied English at Oxford, theology at Cambridge and once held the title of Warden of the Kilns in Lewis’ Oxford home. His most recent book is titled “Planet Narnia.” Glyer is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She has published many works on Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings Society. She received the Wade Center’s Clyde S. Kilby research grant and the Chase A. Sawtell Inspirational Teaching Award. Her latest book is titled “The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community.” Public lectures with Ward will be at 9 a.m. April 9 and 9:15 a.m. April 10, and with Glyer at 7 p.m. April 9 and 1:15 p.m. April 10. CSLIS is accepting papers and proposals until Feb. 8 for its writing contest. The contest theme is “Discovering Hidden Truth.” Contestants must be members of the society to participate. Entry forms will be available soon on the society’s Web site at www.okcu.edu/english/cslis. Society founder and OCU English professor Salwa Khoddam said she is pleased that the conference is returning to its original location, giving local Inklings fans a chance to participate. “This is shaping up to be a great conference with two highly respected guest speakers,” Khoddam said, adding that the society is expecting at least 100 guests. What started as a small one-day forum more than a decade ago has since blossomed into a nationwide society with an annual conference and plans for individual local chapters. The CSLIS was officially founded in 2004 at Oklahoma City University, but it has been holding annual conferences on various campuses since 1998. The original Inklings was a group of people who met informally in Oxford, England, in the mid-1900s to discuss literature, philosophy, religion and scholarly works. The group met weekly in a public house near the Oxford campus to share ideas and written works, often before the written pieces were published. Besides Lewis, regular attendees included Tolkien, author of the “Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit,” fellow Oxford professors and other deep thinkers and writers from that area. The Oklahoma Humanities Council is co-sponsoring the event. For information about the conference or how to join CSLIS, visit the OCU English Department Web site at www.okcu.edu/english/.