I went to two SIGs, Christians on Thursday night and Bloggers on Friday night. Both were enjoyable and informative. I particularly liked the blogging SIG because I saw so many name tags I recognized and got to finally start figuring out the faces behind the blogs. I won’t really go into the meeting because Clancy has already posted the very thorough notes she and Mike put together.
The Christians were a very serious and productive bunch. I came away with a large stack of annotated bibliographies. They’d been working in teams on compiling them since the SIG last year. I didn’t recognize any of their names because I had not done any reading at all having to do with recent scholarship and Christian rhetoric before crashing their Cs party. I was interested to find out, though, that the woman running the SIG, Elizabeth Vander Lei, has a book out, Negotiating Religious Faith in the Composition Classroom.
There is also a Rhetoric and Christian Tradition web site.
I think the Christian rhet people are doing a great job, especially on banding together to plan research projects, conference panels, and so on. It’s not all up my alley. I’m a back-row Baptist. There’s only so much interest I can drum up in actually studying a faith-based rhetorical tradition. (Heh. Just kidding.)
What I mean is I recognize that I don’t have time to be seriously interested in everything on an academic level. I’m stretched a little thin as it is with the massive piles of papers from my six sections that I’m working so hard to ignore at the moment.
But I was interested in some of the more hip things going on there, like Christian rhetoric and popular culture or Christian rhetoric and blogging. I could ignore a lot of paper grading to get into thinking about these kinds of things.
I’m also interested in something that wasn’t discussed there—Christianity and Contemporary Poetry. I’d been thinking about this before, but going to the SIG kind of made it gel for me. I’ve read a little bit about Christian poets or poets writing about Christianity—Denise Levertov, Mark Jarman, Scott Cairns, Mary Oliver, etc.
Today I ordered this anthology. I’m going to let the idea keep bouncing around and work on it little by little. Maybe I’ll write a paper on it at some point (if I can start getting up at 4 a.m. instead of 5). But I probably start by just ordering books and writing blog reviews of them.
Someone has already made a bibliography.