Keynote Speakers


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Stephen Prickett is President of the George MacDonald Society and Fellow of the English Association. He is Regius Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Glasgow, and an Honorary Professor of the University of Kent, at Canterbury. He took his B.A. and Ph.D. at Cambridge (where he studied under C. S. Lewis). His many publications include Coleridge and Wordsworth: The Poetry of Growth; Victorian Fantasy; and Words and the Word: Language, Poetics, and Biblical Interpretation. Most recently, he is the editor of The Edinburgh Companion to the Bible and the Arts.


Crystal Downing is the incoming Co-Director of the Marion E. Wade Center at Wheaton College. She is the author of Writing Performances: The Stages of Dorothy L. Sayers (winner of the Barbara Reynolds Award), How Postmodernism Serves (my) Faith, Changing Signs of Truth, and a forthcoming book on Sayers and Film.  Dr. Downing is Professor of English and Film Studies at Messiah College. 


Ron Reed is the Founding Artistic Director of Pacific Theatre in Vancouver, B. C. Highly acclaimed as an actor, a director, and a playwright, Ron has not only played the role of C. S. Lewis in the stage play Shadowlands, but is presently completing a full-length play on J. R. R. Tolkien (to premiere May 2018). Clearly drawing upon the influence of Lewis, Tolkien, and other favorite artists of his (like John Patrick Shanley), Ron’s long faithfulness to his vocation as a creative artist fits beautifully with our colloquium theme, “The Faithful Imagination.”

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Joe ChristopherProfessor Emeritus of English at Tarleton State University, is a distinguished teacher/scholar, a prolific poet, and foundational figure in the field of Inklings Studies. His early book C. S. Lewis (1978) in the Twayne Authors Series and his bibliographic study (with Joan Ostling), C S. Lewis: Writings about Him and His Works (1974) helped set the stage for the explosion of work on Lewis and the Inklings in the years since. Joe publishes regularly about Lewis, including over twenty essays on Lewis’s often-neglected poetry. He also serves on the Executive Board of the C. S. Lewis and Inklings Society.


Crystal Hurd is a scholar, teacher, writer, and book review editor of Sehnsucht, the C. S. Lewis Journal. Her blog featured a popular eight-part series on “Lewis and Women” (2013). More recently, she has begun the “Young Lewis” series. Some of her recent work on the Lewis family has been published in VII: Journal of the Marion Wade Center and Inklings Forever X: Papers from the 10th Frances White Ewbank Colloquium on C.S. Lewis & Friends.


Charlie Starr is the author of Light: C. S. Lewis’s First and Final Short Story and the forthcoming The Faun’s Library: C. S. Lewis on Why Myth Matters. C. S. Lewis fans know him better as Charlie Starr, Code Breaker (actually I made that title up in 2016, but I’m not sorry) for his work on dating Lewis’s manuscripts by subtle differences in his handwriting over the years. His insights have recently helped with dating Lewis’s poems as well the Lewis/Barfield “Great War” manuscript in the Brown Collection at Taylor.