ARLS at 2019 ALA

The ARLS will host three sessions at the 2019 American Literature Association Conference in Boston. Also, please join us at our business meeting! Details are below.

American Literature Association

30th Annual Conference
May 23-26, 2019
Westin Copley Place
10 Huntington Avenue Boston, MA 02116

Literature and Ritual Thursday, May 23, 2019 1:30 – 2:50 pm (Great Republic)
Chair: Ryan Siemers, Southern Utah University

  1. “Making it Old: Ritual in O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away,” William Gonch, University of Maryland, College Park
  2. “Family Communions in Sarah Orne Jewett’s The Country of the Pointed Firsand Li-Young Lee’s ‘The Cleaving,’” Walter Hesford, The University of Idaho
  3. “The Uses of Ritual in a Time of Revolution: El Dios de los Reyes in Martin Delany’sBlake; or, the Huts of America,” Lucas Nossaman, The University of Tennessee
  4. “The 1920s New York Tabloids as Secular Liturgies,” Stephanie Redekop, The University of Toronto


Religion and Film Thursday, May 23, 2019 3:00 – 4:20 pm (Empire)
Chair: Catherine Rogers, Savannah State University

  1. “This is The Shackthat Job Built: Theodicy and Polytheism in William Paul Young’s Evangelical Bestseller,” Christopher Douglas, University of Victoria
  2. “The Tyranny of Masculine Creation and the Potency of a Replicant Adam and Eve Mythology: Postsecular Critique of Materialism in the Blade RunnerFilms,” David S. Hogsette, Grove City College
  3. “The Volatile Truth: Terrence Malick’s Thoreauvian Cinema,” Jonathan McGregor, U.S. Air Force Academy
  4. “Postsecular Signs: the disincarnate sign, the ordinary sacred, and transcendence in Jarmusch’s Paterson, Kogonada’s Columbusand Malick’s Tree of Life,” Caleb Spencer, Azusa Pacific University


Layered Identities: Women Writers and Jewish-American Identity Friday, May 24, 2019 12:40 – 2:00 pm (Great Republic)
Chair: Caleb Spencer, Azusa Pacific University

  1. “The Role of Jewish Identity for Wing’s ‘becoming a woman’ in Erica Jong’s Fear of Flying,” MyungJoo Kim, Chungnam National University
  2. “The Promise of God in Rachel Barenblat’s 70 Faces: Torah Poems (2011) and Elana Bell’s Eyes, Stones (2012),” Philipp Reisner, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
  3. “In Praise of Cloistered Virtue: The ‘Orthodox’ Women of Kaaterskill Falls,” Makayla Steiner, The University of Iowa


Business Meeting Friday, May 24, 2019 2:10 – 3:30 pm (St. George C)

ARLS Officer Elections

The American Religion and Literature Society elects its officers every three years. Our next election will take place at our upcoming business meeting, which will be held at the American Literature Association conference on Friday, May 24.

We invite nominees for the following positions: President, Vice President, Information Officer, Media Officer, and Treasurer. Please send an email to if you would like more information about any of these roles or if you wish to nominate yourself or a colleague. If you wish to run for a position, please submit a short statement of intent as soon as possible.

We ask that candidates for President or Vice President demonstrate a record of regular involvement with the ARLS. All members of the ARLS are eligible to run for the other three positions, regardless of previous involvement with the organization.