School of the Arts, Media + Culture SAMC Interdisciplinary

Bios + Abstracts

Thursday, September 29 | 1:15-2:25 pm


UNDERGRADUATE SESSION | Room 201 


The Crone Revisited: MacDonald’s Re-Invented Crone Figure
Graham Boldt

In George MacDonald’s fairy story The Princess and the Goblin, we are introduced to Irene’s beautiful and, consequently, benevolent great grandmother. Although MacDonald operates within the fairy tale tradition, the scotch novelist re-invents the stock Crone (or old magical woman) figure from a perspective that supports heroic qualities deemed feminine. Indeed, although popular fairytales tend to depict the Crone as either ambivalent or hostile, Irene’s great grandmother uses her powers to cultivate moral qualities typically deemed feminine--humility, obedience and imagination—in the novel’s heroines and heroes alike. Inspired by this depiction I sought to invent my own interpretation of the Crone figure, creating the spunky Caribbean wise woman Mama Callie—who appears in my short children’s play Mama Callie and the Crocodile Riders. I intend to illuminate the various nuances of MacDonald’s depiction of the Crone figure, calling to attention some other examples of Crone figures from popular fairytales. Furthermore, I wish to supplement this analysis with my own creative interpretation, presenting a brief but crucial scene from my children’s drama. My introductory explanation and comparison will take approximately 5 minutes, followed by the dramatic reading will take 8-10 minutes. 

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Graham Boldt is currently in his fifth year at Trinity Western University. He seeks to complete his Bachelor of Arts in English and proceed to finish his Masters, likely in Canadian theatre literature. His goal is to eventually earn a PhD in North American theatre literature and to teach, as well as write scripts or screenplays for the remainder of his career in the liberal arts. Some of Graham’s publications include: a sonnet, the “Heart and the Head”; a short story, The Bone and the Sound; a one act play, Please, Pass the Damsel Hand, and an article titled “Me, Mallorns and Mordor.”

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Viewing Social Media Through Values Emphasized and Explored by the Inklings
Madison Evans

In our current age of technology, face-to-face interactions have diminished in importance. The ability to communicate simply and quickly across distances through texts and email has resulted in their acceptance as some of the most dominant and widely used forms of communication. The prevalence of social media in today’s interpersonal interactions has lessened the necessity and frequency of meeting with others in person. Though social media has opened up channels of connection that could never have existed before, could it be that, in relying on screens as a primary form of communication we are missing out on vitally important aspects of human interaction? Though the Inklings are not around to witness and comment on the effects of social media, the legacy of cultural criticism they left behind carries on to inform discussion on the effects of social media today. Their critique of the weaknesses inherent in human nature can be applied to the media-drenched context of our society. Much of social media essentially capitalizes on the pride inherent in human nature. Lewis comments on the sin of pride in his famous introduction to the Christian faith, Mere Christianity. Lewis believed that we are all interconnected, and part of a larger cosmic reality, informed through receptivity to God. Can we be receptive to God when we are inundated with social media updates? Consciously interacting with social media through values emphasized by writings of the Inklings can help. Social media boasts of its ability to form connections, but the depth of the connections formed through this new form of communication is questionable. This presentation explores how social media might be approached through values emphasized in writings by C.S. Lewis and the Inklings.

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Madison Evans is a third-year student at Trinity Western University studying English Literature and pole-vaulting for the Spartans’ track and field team. It is her first year on the Mars’ Hill newspaper’s editing team in the position of Sports Editor. She attributes her passion for the effects of social media to the media fast she participated in for the fall semester of 2015. She gave up all social media for the semester for her Contemporary Ethical Issues philosophy class, and has since been more conscious of the way she engages with different media.

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How Creativity Links Faith and Art in The Mind of the Maker and The Zeal of Thy House by Dorothy Sayers, and “Leaf by Niggle,” by J.R.R. Tolkien

Leanne Witten

Dorothy Sayers’ book, The Mind of the Maker and her play The Zeal of Thy House, provide crucial insight into the relationship between faith and art that can also be seen in J.R.R. Tolkien’s short story “Leaf by Niggle.”In The Mind of the Maker, Sayers argues that the creative process can be broken down into the Idea, Energy and Creative Power, and that these relate directly to the Trinitarian Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinitarian view of creativity makes the process of creating art spiritually meaningful. 

Sayers’ view of the creative process demonstrates how art can be the means to better understanding spiritual concepts such as the Trinity through the analogy between the Trinity and the creative capacity of the human mind. Sayers view on creativity can also be seen in “Leaf by Niggle.” Niggle is a struggling artist who, when he at last perfects his art and masters the Creative Power, Idea and Energy, finds that others are able to participate in it, allowing both the artist and the audience to find spiritual satisfaction though it.

Sayers and Tolkien agree on the spiritual significance of creativity and art. The three works provide insight into the creative process and the spiritual duty and delight of the artist to exercise his creativity and produce art.

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Leanne Witten is an English Honours student at Trinity Western. She is finished her fourth year and is in her final semester of her undergraduate degree. She is looking into graduate school for the future.  Leanne has been involved with the English Department at Trinity Western as a Teaching Assistant as well as [spaces] Literary Journal. She has also presented two papers at the annual Spring Symposia.Her favorite author is C.S. Lewis but she enjoys the work of the other Inklings and was particularly inspired by Dorothy Sayers during her studies at Trinity Western.

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