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International “Return of the Text” Conference Starts Sept. 26

More than 200 attendees from 12 nations and 25 states are expected to attend “The Return of the Text: A Conference on the Cultural Value of Close Reading,” which will take place from Thursday, Sept. 26 through Saturday, Sept. 28 at Le Moyne College and the Syracuse Crown Plaza Hotel, located at 701 East Genesee Street in Syracuse. The conference is generously supported by the Le Moyne College Religion and Literature Forum.

The three-day event will feature five prominent keynote speakers from UC Berkeley, the University of Virginia, Columbia University, and Syracuse University. In all, approximately 120 scholars will speak at the conference.

“This conference considers how the study of religion and the study of literature have turned from emphasis on texts to emphasis on the reception of texts,” said Dr. Jennifer Gurley, associate professor of English at Le Moyne, who is directing the conference. “That phenomenon, while expanding our ability to comprehend wide ranges of religious and literary thought, has also encouraged a disregard for the very sources – the written works – that have helped shape the respective fields of study. This conference addresses the imbalance by examining how texts do not simply reflect but in fact participate in culture.”

The conference commences on Thursday, Sept. 26 with a group discussion and keynote address in Le Moyne's Panasci Family Chapel, followed by an opening reception in the College's Campus Center. The remainder of the conference will be held at the Crown Plaza Hotel, from 8 a.m. through the evening on Friday, Sept. 27 and Saturday, Sept. 28. Attendance at all keynote presentations, speaker panels, and receptions is free and open to the public.

See the entire conference schedule here.

The event is unusual not only for the breadth and depth of its keynote speakers and presenters, but also because it showcases local businesses. The Crowne Plaza has agreed, for this event specifically, to work with CNY farmers, the Cafe Kubal coffee company, and Anyela's Vineyard to provide local fare. In addition to Le Moyne, sponsors include the Central New York Humanities Corridor, Hamilton College, Syracuse University, and the McDevitt Center for Creativity and Innovation at Le Moyne.

posted on: 9/16/2013