Concordia’s tenth annual Conference on Spirituality and the Arts and Sciences is seeking essays for competition, due February 23, 2018.

Concordia University Ann Arbor will be hosting the tenth annual Conference on Spirituality and the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) on Thursday, April 5, 2018.


Concordia University Ann Arbor will be hosting the tenth annual Conference on Spirituality and the Arts and Sciences (CSAS) on Thursday, April 5, 2018.

Open to all students, alumni, faculty, and staff, this year’s CSAS is soliciting papers and projects which explore any aspect of this year’s theme—“Investigating Identity.” Cash prizes of $500 and $250 will be awarded to the finest two undergraduate-authored essays as determined by the Kreft Arts Committee.

The committee is currently seeking papers and presentations with a 15-20 minute reading or delivery time, approximately six-seven double-spaced pages in length. Electronic copies of completed papers must be submitted by Friday, February 23, 2018 to one or more of the department of English faculty members listed below:

“We really urge students and members of the CUAA community to consider submitting essays to this conference because it offers a chance for people to display their best work in a formal yet comfortable way,” said Dr. Mark Looker, co-chair of the CSAS conference.

In a working, global environment that asks students ever more increasingly to build their resumes and expand their academic experiences, this conference provides a forum that indeed makes further-ranging experience possible.

Decisions on acceptance to the April 5th conference will be made in early March.

Accepted participants will be placed into panels of two authors each, with a faculty moderator who will introduce the panelists, lead a discussion of the papers, and ask questions of the presenters afterwards. Each panel, or session, will occupy an hour.

“We love to see our students dealing with the issues that matter most, working through problems and ideas prompted by their courses,” said Dr. Neal Migan, co-chair of the CSAS conference. “Not only is participation in CSAS a way to build a resume and curriculum vita, but it allows students to enter into a larger academic discussion that in many ways governs the world we inhabit.”

Those interested in participating are urged to thinking about this 2018 theme “Investigating Identity” broadly, considering some of the below questions to help with essay inspiration:

  • What are the constituent parts of “identity” and how do we understand and represent them?
  • How much of an individual’s identity is personal and self-constructed and how much of it depends on something socially created, transmitted by religion, society, school and state, and mediated by family, peers, friends?
  • In what sense is identity a creative act in itself?
  • Where do we find evidence of identity construction in literature, culture, the arts, religion, and the sciences, and what does it mean if and when we run up against it?
  • What is the purpose of studying identity, and what are we to learn about ourselves from having done so?

To learn more about the tenth annual Conference on Spirituality and the Arts and Sciences, contact Director of the Kreft Arts Program Mark Looker at Mark.Looker@cuaa.edu.

— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at rachel.ferry@cuaa.edu or 734-476-7736.

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