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June 8, 2018

Asbury students present at C.S. Lewis Conference. Academic excellence is a characteristic of Asbury University’s English Department where students are encouraged to learn the works of great authors, write with imagination and creativity and participate in scholarly research.

Two Asbury English majors recently read research papers at The C. S. Lewis and Friends Colloquium in Upland, Ind.

Annalee Brantner ’19 made a presentation that focused on diversity in Lewis’s novel Out of the Silent Planet. Kayla Beebout ’20 presented an analysis of Lewis’ position on values in a post-Christian society through an examination of two of Lewis’s antagonists.

Both papers were originally written for the Lewis and Tolkien class offered at Asbury. The students then submitted them to be considered for the juried event after receiving comments and corrections in the class.

“I had dreamed of being a Tolkien scholar for years,” said Beebout. “Participating at this conference showed me how encouraging and supportive the Inklings scholarly community is and opened up opportunities for me to pursue that dream.”

Also attending the conference were Bethany Engler ‘18 and Caleb Engler ’21. Both students were also part of the Lewis and Tolkien class.

“The conference was a unique experience and a great opportunity to meet new friends and talk to people who share the same enthusiasm as I do for Lewis and Tolkien,” Caleb said. “It was also great to learn more about the lesser-known members of the Inklings as well as other authors who influenced their writings.”

The colloquium included a number of talks from internationally-known scholars. This year’s keynote speakers included President of the George MacDonald Society Stephen Prickett and author Crystal Downing, who wrote award-winning book Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy Sayers.

Asbury English professor Dr. Devin Brown presented at the conference at Taylor University as well. He also introduced one of the keynote speakers and signed copies of two of his books which were selected to be sold in the conference bookstore.

“The Lewis and Friends Colloquium has a well-deserved reputation for being both scholarly and welcoming.” Brown said. “Besides simply being great fun for me, having four of my students attend the conference served as a reminder of their tremendous potential and the wonderful future that lies ahead of them. I was extremely proud of the way they were able to fit right in and participate in this gathering of professional academics.”

All four students are planning on submitting papers to the next colloquium to be held two years from now.

Learn more about Asbury University’s English Department by visiting www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/english/.