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Lamppost Literary Conference: Reading and Teaching the Great Books

The Christian Imagination in Literature

Join us Friday, March 5, 2021, from 8 a.m.- 8 p.m. for a literary conference in the Geiger Center at Oklahoma Baptist University in Shawnee, Oklahoma. You will enjoy sessions by Christian authors, university professors, and classical educators on topics such as: approaches to teaching the great books; cultivating the Christian imagination; and Tolkien, Lewis, and Christian creativity. There will also be panel discussions with award-winning authors, young writers’ workshops, and a keynote lecture by Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson.


Registration closes March 1, 2021. A lunch box may be purchased at registration for an additional $10.

Register for Lamppost Literary Conference

FREE Online-Only Registration

Lamppost Literary Conference Schedule

Time Activity
8:15 a.m. Check-in
8:45 a.m. Welcome
9 a.m. Dr. Matthew Dickerson: “Tolkien’s ‘Leaf by Niggle’:  Cultivating Creativity for the Christian Parent, Teacher, and Student”
10 a.m. Coffee Break and Greetings from OBU President Dr. Heath Thomas
10:30 a.m.  Breakout Sessions
11:30 a.m.
12:15-1:20 p.m. Lunch
*Optional Brown Bag Discussion of Tolkien’s “Leaf by Niggle” (sign up at registration to reserve a spot)
1:30 p.m.
  • Dr. Alan Noble: “A Christian Imagination in a Secular Age”
  • A Reading by Hanna C. Howard from Ignite the Sun, her new high fantasy YA  novel
2:30 p.m.  Breakout Sessions
  • Breakout 1: Approaches to Teaching the Great Books
  • Breakout 2: Approaches to Teaching the Great Books
3:45 p.m. Panel Discussion: “Cultivating the Christian Imagination” with authors Diane GlancyJessica Hooten Wilson, and Alan Noble
5 p.m. Dinner on your own
7 p.m. Keynote lecture: "The Scandalous Holy: Following Fictional Saints on the Path to Holiness," by author, professor, and classical educator Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson 

Join us again on Saturday, March 6 as we take a look at what it means to be a Christian in the post-Christian age. Find out more about OBU's Youth Apologetics Conference Generation Why.


Dr. Matthew Dickerson

Dr. Matthew Dickerson completed his 25th year as a member of the computer science department at Middlebury College. He earned a BA from Dartmouth College in 1985 and Ph.D. in computer science from Cornell University, and was the first faculty member with a Ph.D. in computer science hired by the college. Dickerson also did graduate work in Old English Language and Literature and has published several books including a recent medieval historical novel titled, “The Rood and the Torc,” set in the middle of the seventh century in Europe. He is an internationally known scholar on the works of J.R.R. Tolkien with four published books about Tolkien, as well as book chapters on Tolkien in five other volumes. Dickerson has continued his research and writing about literature, with a special interest in environmental literature and nature writing, and in mythopoeic literature, especially that of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. He has published several books about literature, including, “Ents, Elves and Eriador: the Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien,” along with Jonathan Evans, and “Narnia and the Fields of Arbol: the Environmental Vision of C.S. Lewis,” with David O'Hara, which bring together his interests in environmental and mythopoeic literature. His other titles include, “From Homer to Harry Potter: a Handbook of Myth and Fantasy,” “Following Gandalf: Epic Battles and Moral Victory in the Lord of the Rings,” “Hammers and Nails: the Life and Music of Mark Heard,” and “The Finnsburg Encounter.”

Diane Glancy

Diane Glancy is a renowned author of Cherokee descent, gifted in the genres of fiction, nonfiction, poetry and playwriting. Glancy’s work often reflects her Native American heritage. Part Cherokee, and of English and German descent, she was born in Kansas City, Missouri. Glancy has served as artist-in-residence for the Oklahoma State Arts Council, traveling around the state to teach poetry to Native American students, and has taught Native American literature and creative writing at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Reviewers have noted Glancy’s ability to combine genres, to portray both Native American and non-Native characters, and to depict Native American beliefs and Christianity in her writing. Adept at writing free verse as well as prose poems, she often portrays the intersections of new and old worlds, reporting on history, religion and the loss of Native traditions. Glancy has explored Native American history in depth in her novels, “Pushing the Bear: A Novel of the Trail of Tears” and “Stone Heart: A Novel of Sacajawea.” Glancy’s collection of poems, “Primer of the Obsolete,” won the 2003 Juniper Prize for Poetry. She has also received the Five Civilized Tribes Playwriting Laureate Prize; the Oklahoma Book Award; the Cherokee Medal of Honor, Cherokee Honor Society, Tahlequah, Oklahoma; the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry; grants from the National Endowment for the Arts; and a Sundance Screenwriting Fellowship.

Hanna C. Howard

Hanna C. Howard is an OBU graduate and young adult fantasy author. Howard writes fantasy with a classic bent, in the tradition of Robert McKinley, Kristin Cashore and Garth Nix. She spent most of her childhood wondering how she might avoid growing up and eventually solved the conundrum by becoming an artist and a writer. She considers tea an essential food group, has more books than shelf space and thinks the ultimate geek triumvirate is Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and Doctor Who. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with her husband Dan, their son Edmund, a dog, and a cat. Her novel, “Ignite the Sun,” was released in August 2020 and is available in Magic City Books, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository and Goodreads.

Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson

Dr. Jessica Hooten Wilson is a Louise Cowan Scholar in Residence at the University of Dallas in the Classical Education and Humanities Graduate Program. She is the author of three books—“Giving the Devil his Due: Flannery O’Connor and The Brothers Karamazov,” which received a 2018 Christianity Today book of the year award; “Walker Percy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, and the Search for Influence;” and “Reading Walker Percy’s Novels.” In 2019, she received the Hiett Prize for Humanities from the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture. She is co-editor of the volume, “Solzhenitsyn and American Culture: The Russian Soul in the West,” a collection of essays on the legacy of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. Currently, she is preparing Flannery O’Connor’s unfinished novel, “Why Do the Heathen Rage?” for publication.