CFP: 2020 Convivium Conference ‘Inhabiting Memories & Landscapes’: a cross-disciplinary engagement with Wendell Berry

This might be of interest for those who are work on the topic of “theology of place” and especially those who are interested in the theology of Wendell Berry.

In his novels, poetry, and essays, the American Agrarian writer, philosopher, and farmer Wendell Berry frequently speaks of the need to be ‘placed’, to inhabit a particular landscape and its social memory over an extended period of time. This, he believes, is a necessary precondition for fostering communities that care for the earth and the people who live off it—what he refers to as conviviality.


This conference will offer an interdisciplinary exploration of notions of conviviality, social well-being, and the good life that are rooted in the interplay of local landscapes, memory/heritage, and social identities. How have societies in the past inhabited memory and their landscapes? In a time of increasing globalization and networked societies? What models are there from around the world for sustainable communities that also value heritage? How might contextual approaches to research better account for landscapes and heritage? How are social memories and local landscapes impacted by current concerns about misinformation and the climate crisis? What economic, social, environmental, and political policies today might wendell-berry-c-guy-mendes_crop-e1563466456950encourage a ‘convivial’ engagement with local heritage and conservation?

The conference will feature keynote lectures, interdisciplinary paper panels, and a concluding panel discussion, as well as a Cathedral tour and a possible walk taking in local landscape and heritage. We invite papers and panels from across disciplines that engage either with the writings of Wendell Berry or with the interplay of memory/heritage, landscape, and social identity.

Possible topics could include but are not limited to:

  • Any aspect of the fiction, poetry, or essays of Wendell Berry
  • Writings about nature and place in an age of globalization
  • Memory, local landscapes, and place in regional literature, historical studies, and theology
  • Concepts of and attitudes towards memory, local landscapes, and place in a globalised society
  • Concepts of ‘placed’ sociology, economics, and political theory
  • Past and present notions of ‘conviviality’ or the good life that account for harmonious relationships with local environments and heritage
  • Intersections of the local and global and their impact on social memory, landscapes, and identity
  • Impact of tourism on local connections with inhabited landscapes and historic sites
  • Connections between nature and heritage conservation
  • Environmental ethics and approaches to localism that account for local heritage, religion and culture

We invite abstracts of approximately 250 words for

  • 20-minute papers
  • pre-formed 90-minute panels (please send an abstract for each paper)
  • poster presentations which will be displayed for the duration of the conference

Please send abstracts, accompanied by a short biographical note to by 16th March 2020. Please note that the organisers will not accept proposals for all male panels.


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