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Schedule of Conference

Conference

Thursday, April 27

Welcome Reception and Banquet
5:00 p.m. / 12th Floor Lounge, Corrigan Conference Center

Keynote Lecture and Reading
7:30 p.m. / Pope Auditorium

Dana Gioia
Introduction: Angela Alaimo O’Donnell


Friday, April 28

Continental Breakfast
8:15 a.m. / Lowenstein
Atrium

Welcome Greeting
9 a.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Concurrent Session I : 9:15 - 10:30 a.m.

  1. Contemporary Catholic Fiction: ‘Making Belief Believable’
    Pope Auditorium

In one of her essays, Flannery O’Connor addresses one of the central challenges of the Catholic / Christian novelist writing in a secular era, stating that it has become “more and more difficult in America to make belief believable.” This panel explores this challenge, raising the question of whether it is possible to create credible characters and an authentic contemporary fictional world that takes faith seriously and makes it tenable to readers who do not necessarily hold those beliefs.

Mary Gordon (Barnard)
Ron Hansen (Santa Clara)
Paul Lakeland (Fairfield)
Moderator: Paul Contino (Pepperdine)

  1. Biography and the Catholic Literary Legacy
    McNally Amphitheatre

Every writer labors in the hope that her books will outlive her. In many ways, the literary legacy of Catholic writers is determined by the biographers that record and pass judgment on their lives and their work. This panel explores the key role played by biographers in crafting, shoring up, and challenging the literary reputations of key Catholic writers, both those well-known and those whose voices might otherwise be lost.

Dana Greene (Emory)
Michael McGregor (Portland State)
Mark Bosco, SJ (Loyola Chicago)
Moderator: Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham)

Concurrent Session II : 10:45 a.m. - 12 p.m.

  1. Irish Incarnations of the Catholic Imagination
    Pope Auditorium

Featuring four award-winning novelists and poets and a scholar of Irish drama, this panel explores the rich contributions made by Irish and Irish-American writers to contemporary literature and the variety of ways in which the Irish-Catholic Imagination informs the work of many writers of Irish descent, including their own.

Peter Quinn
Alice McDermott (Johns Hopkins)
Micheal O’Siadhail
Kathleen Hill (Sarah Lawrence)
Moderator: John Harrington (Fordham)

  1. Catholic Memoir and Spiritual Autobiography
    McNally Amphitheatre

Ever since Augustine’s Confessions, Catholic writers have engaged in telling stories of their moral, intellectual, and spiritual formation. This panel brings together practitioners of the genre who will discuss the challenges, pleasures, and risks of writing about one’s life & loves, sexuality & sexual orientation, friends & family, faith & doubt, neighborhood & nation.

Mary Gordon (Barnard)
Carlos Eire (Yale)
Richard Giannone (Fordham)
Moderator: Ken Garcia (Notre Dame)

Lunch
12 p.m./ Lowenstein Atrium

Plenary Poetry Reading
1 - 2:15 p.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Philip Metres
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell
Introduction: Paul Contino (Pepperdine)

Concurrent Session III : 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

  1. Beyond The Sopranos: The Ethnic Catholic Imagination
    Pope Auditorium

This panel engages the work and contributions of ethnic Catholic writers from the practitioner’s, the critic’s, and the reader’s perspective. Panelists will explore the influence of ethnicity on a writer’s work, both in terms of form and content, and the role Catholic writers play in shaping perceptions of the ethnic groups they belong to as well as the particular flavor of the Catholicism they have inherited.

Philip Metres (John Carroll)
Carlos Eire (Yale)
Dana Gioia (USC)
Thomas Kelly
Moderator: Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham)

  1. Theory and Theology: Religious Criticism and the Catholic Literary Tradition
    McNally Amphitheatre

This session will explore various intersections of literature, theology, spirituality, and critical reflection. Drawing on “sources and resources” of the Catholic literary tradition, the panelists will reflect on the Catholic imagination as a cultural production and will also illuminate arts and fictions themselves as theologies. The panel will engage both traditional and 21st century approaches to texts and topics.

Michael Murphy (Loyola Chicago)
Amy Hungerford (Yale)
Phil Klay
Moderator: Mark Bosco, SJ (Loyola Chicago)

  1. Form andContent: The Art of Good Writing
    Law School Lecture Classroom 3-09

The goal of the session is to emphasize the elements, life experiences, and skills that lead to strong and effective writing and to successful publication. Of the four participants, all of whom have published multiple books and articles, one is a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, another is a publisher and literary columnist for America, another has just published the investigative biography of an American nun murdered in El Salvador, and the moderator is the America book editor who has taught journalism for 40 years. He will call upon Hemingway and Orwell for inspiration.

James Dwyer (New York Times)
Eileen Markey
Jon Sweeney
Moderator: Ray Schroth, SJ (America)

Concurrent Session IV : 4 - 5:15 p.m.

  1. Catholic Women’s Voices
    Pope Auditorium

This panel will consider the role of Catholic women writers in shaping literature of the past and present. Panelists will discuss their own writing along with the work of their predecessors who have influenced and encouraged them to find their voices amid a church culture—and a secular culture—that has not traditionally valued women’s voices or perspectives.

Mary Gordon (Barnard)
Kathleen Hill (Sarah Lawrence)
Anne Higgins DC (Mount St. Mary’s)
Moderator: Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham)

  1. Ecumenical Perspectives : Spirituality and Contemporary Literature
    McNally Amphitheatre

This panel features four writers who are editors of journals and presses that are not explicitly Catholic but publish writing by Catholic authors. Jill Peleáz Baumgaertner (poetry editor of The Christian Century), Nathaniel Hansen (editor of The Windhover), Mark Burrows (poetry editor at Arts, Spiritus, and Paraclete Press), and Kim Bridgford (founder and editor of Mezzo Cammin) will discuss the role writers of faith play in contemporary literature, the contributions of Catholic and Christian writers to the publications they edit, and the challenges they themselves face as writers and editors.

Mark Burrows (Protestant University of Applied Sciences)
Jill Peláez Baumgaertner (Wheaton)
Nathaniel Hansen (Mary Hardin Baylor)
Moderator: Kim Bridgford (West Chester)

Reception
5:15 - 6:15 p.m. / Lowenstein Atrium

Plenary Lecture / Reading
6:30 p.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Ron Hansen


Saturday, April 29

Continental Breakfast
8:15 a.m. / Lowenstein
Atrium

Concurrent Session I : 9 - 10:15 a.m.

  1. The Catholic Poet in the Secular World
    McNally Amphitheatre

In her celebrated essay, “The Catholic Novelist in the Protestant South,” Flannery O’Connor explores the conundrum of writing as a Catholic amid a culture that seems alien to her belief. What she reveals, ultimately, is that her culture has shaped her work as much as her faith has. This panel explores similar terrain, posing the question, “What does it mean to be a Catholic poet in a secular culture?” Can the contemporary Catholic poet succeed in writing for readers who share his/her belief and for those who do not? What are the challenges of being true to one’s Catholic vision while writing for a universal (or small “c” catholic) readership? Panelists will draw on their own experience as practitioners and readers.

Dana Gioia (USC)
Paul Mariani (Boston College)
Angela Alaimo O’Donnell (Fordham)
Anthony Domestico (SUNY Purchase)
Moderator: Paul Contino (Pepperdine)

  1. America and Commonweal: National Catholic Magazines and the Flourishing of the Catholic Imagination
    Pope Auditorium

This panel features editors of two long-standing American Catholic journals in conversation about the role of the Catholic press in creating conditions under which good Catholic writing can flourish. Led by veteran editor and journalist, Margaret O’Brien Steinfels, Matt Malone and Paul Baumann, along with their assistant editors, will discuss the role each of their magazines has played historically and continues to play in creating a Catholic lens through which to view the events in our world and conditions of our culture, and in highlighting and promoting the work of Catholic writers.

Matt Malone, SJ (America)
Kerry Weber (America)
Paul Baumann (Commonweal)
Dominic Preziosi (Commonweal)
Moderator: Margaret O’Brien Steinfels (Commonweal)

  1. Curating the Catholic Imagination: Editors’ Roundtable Discussion
    Law School Lecture Classroom 3-09

This panel features a gathering of editors of Catholic/Christian journals and presses in conversation about the state of Catholic publishing today. Each editor will discuss the audience, mission, and contributors to his/her publication(s) and also address larger questions about the role of publishers in creating conditions wherein the Catholic Imagination might flourish.

Angela Cybulski (Wiseblood Books)
Wendy Galgan (Assisi)
Bernardo Aparicio Garcia (Dappled Things)
James Keane (Orbis Books)
Jon Sweeney (Ave Maria Press)
Moderator: Mary Ann B. Miller (Presence)

Concurrent Session II: 10:30 - 11:45 a.m.

  1. Panel 13 Scorsese, Silence, and The Ignatian Imagination
    Pope Auditorium

One of the finest works of the Catholic Imagination in recent memory is Martin Scorsese’s film, Silence. Based on the novel by Japanese Catholic writer, Shisaku Endo, Scorsese’s film follows the plight of two young Jesuits who travel to Japan in the 16th century during a time of persecution of Christians. The work is powerfully informed by the Ignatian imagination as the men undergo a trial of their faith and everything they believe in. Fr. James Martin, who served as spiritual director to the actor who plays one of those Jesuits, Andrew Garfield, and Paul Elie, who conducted a lengthy interview with Scorsese for the New York Times, will address the influence of the Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit ethos on the film and the ways in which Scorsese’s work bears the mark of a Catholic Imagination.

Paul Elie (Georgetown)
James Martin, SJ (America)
Moderator: Kathryn Reklis (Fordham)

  1. Catholic Writers : The New Generation
    McNally Amphitheatre

This panel features younger Catholic writers who will discuss their work and its relationship to the future of the Catholic literary Imagination. These award-winning writers will engage in conversation about what it might mean to be a Catholic writer today along with the influence of their faith and religious background on their work.

Matthew Thomas
Phil Klay
Kathleen Donohoe
Philip Metres (John Carroll)
Moderator: Anthony Domestico (SUNY Purchase)

  1. Presence: A Journal of Catholic Poetry Reading
    Law School Lecture Classroom 3-09

This panel features short readings from new work published in the newly-founded journal of Catholic poetry, Presence. Contributors will read poems from the inaugural issue and discuss the vocation of writing in the Catholic Literary Tradition.

Moderator: Mary Ann B. Miller (Caldwell)

Lunch
12 p.m. / Lowenstein Atrium

Plenary Poetry Reading
1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Micheal O’Siadhail

Concurrent Session III : 2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

  1. Catholics Writing for the Stage and Screen
    Pope Auditorium

Expressions of faith in art come in many genres and forms. This panel features award-winning screenwriters, television writers, producers, and playwrights whose work is informed by a religious imagination. Led by dramatist Fr. George Drance, Tom Fontana, Thomas Kelly, and Karin Coonrod will discuss their writing in light of their formation (including the experience of Jesuit education) and its influence upon their work.

Tom Fontana (St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life on the Street, Oz)
Thomas Kelly (Bluebloods, Copper, The Get Down)
Karin Coonrod (texts&beheadings/ElizabethR, Everything that Rises Must Converge)
Moderator: George Drance, SJ (Fordham)

  1. The Legacy of Dante in Art, Literature, and Culture
    Law School Lecture Classroom 3-09

This panel explores the cultural foundation and the influence of Dante’s poetic imagination on contemporary thought and the arts. Participants will discuss Dante's reinterpretation of the Christian tradition, its role in the development of Dante's poetics, and the legacy of Dante's visionary experiment in the Divine Comedy on the contemporary imagination, from pop culture to literary criticism.

Giuseppe Mazzotta (Yale)
Kristina Olson (George Mason)
Dennis Looney (Modern Languages Association)
Moderator: Susanna Barsella (Fordham)

  1. New York Novelists: The Voice of the Boroughs
    McNally Amphitheatre

This panel features novelists who hail from and set their stories in the boroughs of New York City: Mary Gordon (Queens), Peter Quinn (Bronx & Manhattan), Kathleen Donohoe (Brooklyn), Matthew Thomas (Queens), and Eddie Joyce (Staten Island) will discuss the challenges and pleasures of bringing the local to life in the pages of their books and making the world of urban Irish Catholics accessible to a broad readership.

Mary Gordon (Final Payments)
Peter Quinn (Banished Children of Eve)
Kathleen Donohoe (Ashes of Fiery Weather)
Matthew Thomas (We Are Not Ourselves)
Eddie Joyce (Small Mercies)
Moderator: Keri Walsh (Fordham)

Plenary Poetry Reading
4 - 5 p.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Mary Gordon

Mass
5:15 p.m.
/ The Church of St. Paul the Apostle

405 West 59th Street
New York, NY 10019

Celebrant, James Martin, SJ (America)
Deacon Ron Hansen (Santa Clara)

Reception
6:15 - 7:15 p.m. / Lowenstein Atrium

Plenary Lecture / Reading
7:30 p.m.
/ Pope Auditorium

Alice McDermott

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