Belmont Abbey College holds first literary conference
BELMONT—In a beautifully archaic auditorium at Belmont Abbey College, more than 70 people gathered to listen to keynote speaker Dr. Stanley Fish, world-renowned literary theorist and legal scholar. "Why are you here? It's a nice day," Fish asked in his keynote address Saturday afternoon.
Fish wondered why there were so many young people present "doing what we are told is dying and needs justification." Belmont Abbey College, a liberal arts college, hosted the conference, showing a commitment to that which Fish was acclaiming: an education centered on the arts. And the conference's high attendance confirmed Fish's argument for and demonstration of the power and value of literary art.
Pictured: Dr. Stanley Fish, one of the country's leading public intellectuals and a world-renowned literary theorist and legal scholar, gave the keynote address to kick off Belmont Abbey College's first literary conference June 22. (Photos by Anthony Perlas, Catholic News Herald)
Fish's address was part of the first Belmont Abbey College Literary Conference, which explored the theme of "Transformations in Literature." The attendees and presenters included students, alumni, faculty and staff of Belmont Abbey College, along with members of Belmont Abbey's monastic community. Also in attendance were students and faculty from schools such as University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at Charlotte, Ave Maria University, University of Notre Dame and Wingate University.
The conference kicked off Friday, June 22, and continued through June 24. As papers were presented and talks were given, the weekend was broken up with coffee breaks, literary conversations and a banquet dinner.
Organized by Assistant Professors of English at Belmont Abbey College Drs. Al Benthall and Joseph Pizza, the event took more than a year of preparation. The hard work paid off with a well-attended, lively weekend focused on literary art.
"For Dr. Benthall and I," Pizza said, "the most enjoyable part of organizing the event was listening to the fine papers that were given and taking part in the engaging literary discussions that they inspired."
Conference papers addressed a range of writers from classical, medieval, Renaissance, and contemporary periods, and they explored an array of topics.
Fish is one of the country's leading public intellectuals and a world-renowned literary theorist and legal scholar. Currently professor of humanities and law at Florida International University, he is a prolific author, having written more than 200 scholarly books and articles. He is also a frequent media commentator and has appeared in such venues as CNN, "Hardball" with Chris Matthews, "The O'Reilly Factor," NBC Nightly News and many NPR stations.
The professors who organized the conference were faced with limited funding and the pressure of putting together a conference from scratch. However, Pizza acknowledged, "in overcoming those challenges we were aided by the encouragement and support of many on campus, especially by Dr. Bill Thierfelder, the president of Belmont Abbey College, by Dr. Carson Daly, the Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty, by her administrative assistant, Kathy Shaw, by Jillian Maisano, the Assistant Director of Marketing, by Denise Boykin in the Office of Administration and Finance, and by Jenny Ross, the catering manager at Chartwells. Without their help, the conference probably would not have taken place."
— Christopher Lux, correspondent
Patron saints of familiesThere's a saint for everyone, and families are no different. Here are a few noteworthy examples for your family to learn more about. There is the familiar and beloved St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, and St. Francis of Assisi, who's on everyone's...
Reflections on St. PeterPeter the fishermanAfter Jesus, Peter is the figure best known and most frequently cited in the New Testament writings: he is mentioned 154 times with the nickname of Pétros, "rock," the Greek translation of the Aramaic name Jesus gave him directly;...
Pope Francis on the Year of FaithPope Francis spoke about the Year of Faith in his audience with representatives of the Churches and Ecclesial Communities, and other religions March 20: "I begin my apostolic ministry in this year that my venerated predecessor, Pope Benedict...
As pope, Benedict worked to promote understanding of Vatican IIVATICAN CITY — On Feb. 14, in one of the last public appearances of his pontificate, Pope Benedict XVI spoke to the clergy of Rome about his experiences at the Second Vatican Council, which he had attended as an expert consultant half a century...
People around world pledge to say rosary daily during Year of FaithEASTON, Mass. — The Family Rosary division of Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton has gathered more than 80,000 pledges from people around the globe who said they would pray the rosary daily during the 2012-13 Year of Faith. The pledges,...
A culture of lifeIn 2013 our country observes a shameful anniversary: marking 40 years of a "culture of death" that began when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade, struck down all state laws restricting abortion. Since the advent of "legalized" abortion,...
The Fathers of the Church
Lives of the Saints
St. Justin Martyr, patron of philosophers, honored June 1On June 1, one day before 2011's celebration of the Ascension of Christ, the Catholic Church honors the memory of the early Christian philosopher St. Justin Martyr. Justin was born around the year 100 in the Palestinian province of Samaria,...
Roman martyrs Sts. Marcellinus and Peter remembered June 2On June 2, the Catholic Church remembers two fourth-century martyrs, Sts. Marcellinus and Peter, who were highly venerated after the discovery of their tomb and the conversion of their executioner. Although the biographical details of these two martyrs...
St. Barnabas, 'son of encouragement' Feast day: June 11Catholics will celebrate the memory of St. Barnabas on June 11. The apostle and missionary was among Christ's earliest followers and was responsible for welcoming St. Paul into the Church. Though not one of the 12 apostles chosen by the Lord, Jesus, he...
St. Anthony of Padua, 'Hammer of Heretics,' honored June 13On June 13, Catholics honor the memory of the Franciscan priest St. Anthony of Padua. Although he is popularly invoked today by those who have trouble finding lost objects, he was known in his own day as the "Hammer of Heretics" due to the powerful...
St. Aloysius Gonzaga, patron of AIDS patients, remembered June 21On June 21, the Church celebrates the life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. St. Aloysius had a great desire to serve and know God as a young boy, but his family life was not always aligned with his desire. He was born into a noble Italian family and...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy