Redeemer University Professor of English Dr. Deborah Bowen will visit Geneva College on March 14–15. Her appearances are through the Association of Reformed Colleges and Universities (ARCU) Lectureship, which serves to provide models of scholarship that reflect the character of Reformed Christian institutions.
Dr. Bowen’s first lecture will be at John White Chapel in Old Main at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 14, where she will present “The Good Society: Why Bother with the Humanities in a Time of Crisis?” During this talk, Dr. Bowen will discuss how literature of the past can inform our response to present social issues.
She says, “In a culture of instant gratification and instant communication, we and our students need help to recognize that beyond the daily pressures of our lives, there is a world in other parts of the globe and in the past of our own and other civilizations that is real, interesting, and relevant to our living.”
Her second lecture, “What’s the Use of Stories that Aren’t Even True?” will be in John White Chapel at 10:10 a.m. on Friday, March 15. She will discuss narrative and the Christian reader by examining Salman Rushdie’s fable, Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Although prior knowledge of the story is not required to enjoy the presentation, Dr. Bowen encourages participants to read the tale if possible.
“Stories give us environments to explore, engage and stretch our imaginations, reflect our lives back to us, help us compose our own narrative identities and encourage us to see from other people’s points of view,” she says.”At the same time, any tendency to treat literature as salvific turns the imagination into an idol. But the Christian grand narrative anticipates that its hearers will move from what Ricoeur calls ‘living the story in the imaginary mode’ to living it in real life and in the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Among Dr. Bowen’s published works are her latest book, Stories of the Middle Space: Reading the Ethics of Postmodern Realisms, and a 2007 book on Christianity’s postmodern influence that she edited, The Strategic Smorgasbord of Postmodernity: Literature and the Christian Critic. She has also published 60 academic papers in the U.K., Belgium, the U.S. and Canada.
She teaches courses in British Novel, Literature and the Environment, Victorian Literature, Modern British Literature, Contemporary Fiction, Postcolonial Literature, Contemporary Literary Theory, and Contemporary Canadian Poetry.
The ARCU is an association of institutions in the Reformed and Presbyterian Christian tradition, which seek to develop and refine the identity, worldview and educational practices grounded in that tradition. ARCU Lecturers are established scholars whose work is a model of the type of scholarship that is distinctive at these colleges.
Dr. Bowen is being hosted by the Geneva Visiting Artist and Lecture Series (GVALS). Her appearances are free and open to the public.
Geneva College invites students to accept the challenge of an academically excellent, Christ-centered education. Offering nearly 40 undergraduate majors, an Adult Degree Completion Program with fully online and campus-based options, and seven graduate degrees, Geneva has programs that place students at the forefront of higher learning. Adhering to the inerrancy of scripture, the liberal arts core curriculum fosters a breadth of knowledge through the study of humanities, social and natural sciences, and experiential learning.
Students have opportunities for enrichment and networking through Geneva’s Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter.