Educating the Imagination Conference

As many of you will know, a conference was held at the University of Toronto at the beginning of October in honour of Frye’s centenary, and on Thursday evening a bronze statue of Frye (modeled on the one originally unveiled in Moncton earlier this year) was unveiled in the quad of Victoria College. The statue is located just outside Northrop Frye Hall. For more on the unveiling, go here.

The conference itself was a great success, the level of the papers very high, and the considerable number of papers from the younger generation of scholars gave us much to hope for the future of Frye studies. The conference website, here, may be posting some of the papers.  Here is the conference program:


October 4th – 6th 2012,
Victoria University in the University of Toronto



9.45 -10.00 Welcome by Neil ten Kortenaar (University of Toronto)

10.00-11.15 am

Panel 1: Influences on Frye (Chair: Melissa Dalgleish, York University)

Joseph Adamson (McMaster University): “Frye and Edgar Allan Poe”

Craig Stephenson (IAAP): “Reading Frye Reading Jung”

Robert D. Denham (Roanoke College, Emeritus): “Frye and Colin Still”

11.30 am-12.45 pm

Panel 2: Frye: Structure and Change (Chair: Paul Downes, University of Toronto)

Duncan McFarlane (University of Ottawa): “Frye, Bloom, and the Problem of Satire”

Jan Gorak (University of Denver): “Frye and the Comedy of Humors”

Glen Robert Gill (Montclair State University): “The Dialectics of Myth: Northrop Frye’s Theory of Culture”

12.45-2.00 Lunch (on your own)


Plenary Lecture by Robert Bringhurst

“The Use and Abuse of Theory in Literature”

(Chair: Germaine Warkentin, University of Toronto)

4.00- 5.15

Panel 3: Frye: Cognition, Materiality (Chair: Julian Patrick, University of Toronto)

Neal Dolan (University of Toronto Scarborough): “The Feeling Mind: Northrop Frye, Romanticism at Yale, and  the Neurobiology of Consciousness”

Michael Sinding (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam): “The Shaping Spirit: Literary Cosmology, Cognition, and Culture”

Sára Tóth (Károli Gáspár University of the Reformed Church, Hungary): “The Unreality Which Transforms Reality: Northrop Frye’s Typological Theory of the Real”


Panel 4: Frye and the Brave New Humanities (Chair: Terry F. Robinson, University of

Robert T. Tally Jr. (Texas State University): “Power to the Educated Imagination!: Northrop Frye and the Utopian Impulse”

Wang Ning (Tsinghua University, China): “Frye’s Legacy: Toward a Dialogic Interaction between Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies”

Paul Hawkins (Dawson College): “The Teaching of Innocence and of Experience: One Teacher’s Life Journey with Northrop Frye”

Michael Fischer (Trinity University, Texas): “Revisiting Frye’s Defence of Poetry in
Another Anxious Time”

7.00-8.30 pm

Gala Reception and Northrop Frye Statue Unveiling

Generously hosted by Victoria University in the University of Toronto
Event begins at 7pm in the Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West (a 30-second walk north of Alumni Hall, the conference location)
With remarks by Prof. Alvin A. Lee, Prof. Jean O’Grady, and Mr. Ron Schoeffel
Music by William Aide
Reception to follow in the A.B.B. Moore Foyer, Victoria College


Panel 5: Romanticism after Frye: New Perspectives on Literature, Media, and
the Educated Imagination (Chair: Angela Esterhammer, University of Toronto)

Diane Piccitto (University of Zurich): “Frye, Blake, and the Dramatic Medium of the Illuminated Book”

Mark Ittensohn (University of Zurich): “Romanticism and the Beyond of Language: Frye and the Wordsworthian Imitation of the Point of Epiphany”

Alexander Dick (University of British Columbia): “Frye, Oxford, and the Romantic University (to come)”

10.30-12.00 pm

Plenary Lecture by Michael Dolzani (Baldwin Wallace College) “From the Defeated: Northrop Frye and the Literary Symbol”  (Chair: Linda Hutcheon, University of Toronto)


Panel 6: Symbol, Myth, and The World (Chair: Mark Knight, University of Toronto)

Thomas Willard (University of Arizona): “Symbolism Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow:  Frye’s Principles of Literary Symbolism in the Context of Twentieth- Century Criticism”

Ian MacRae (Wilfrid Laurier University): “Rewiring the Great Code: Literature and the Bible in Foundational Fictions of the Americas”

Michael Demson (Sam Houston State University): “Encountering the Polyonymous Transnational: Euripides, Northrop Frye, and the Circulation of Myth in World Literature”

2.45- 4.00

Panel 7: Literature and the Bible After Frye (Chair: Oana Fotache Dubalaru, University of Bucharest)

Jo Carruthers (Lancaster University): “Decoding, Encoding and Code-Breaking: Hardy’s Far from the Madding Crowd as Cipher of 2 Samuel 11 and 12”

Mark Knight (University of Toronto): “A Tale of Two Narratives: Dickens, the Book of Revelation and the Possibility of Countervoices”

Andrew Tate (Lancaster University): “What man is like Job? Reading The Tree of Life via Northrop Frye”


Panel 8: Frye, the Qur’an, and the Literature of the Islamic World (Chair: Todd Lawson, University of Toronto)

Suzanne P. Stetkevych (Indiana University, Bloomington): “Solomon and Mythic Kingship: Qasida, Qur’an and Qisas al-Anbiya’”

Franklin Lewis (University of Chicago): ‘“The World IS God, Seen as a Bundle of Attributes’: Frye Reading Rumi”

Paul Losensky (Indiana University): “Babble, Doodle, and Riddle in the Persian Ghazal: Northrop Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism from a Cross-Cultural Perspective”

Peter Matthews Wright (Colorado College): “Northrop Frye’s Blakean Gift to Islamic Studies”

5.45- 7.15 pm

Plenary Lecture by Ian Balfour (York University) “Northrop Frye Beyond Belief” (Chair: Alan J. Bewell, University of Toronto)


9.00-10.15 am

Panel 9: Theoretical Dialogues (Chair: Kevin Godbout, Western University)

Garry Sherbert (University of Regina): “Verum Factum: Frye’s Deconstruction of Actuality”

Adam Carter (University of Lethbridge): “Correspondences: Frye, De Man, Romanticism”

Manuel Jofré (Universidad de Chile): “Frye and Bakhtin: Parallel and Opposite Poles”

10.30- 12.00 pm

Plenary Lecture by Gordon Teskey (Harvard University) “Is the Future Different from the Past? Frye’s Milton” (Chair: Eleanor Cook, University of Toronto)

1.15- 2.30

Panel 10: Aesthetic Legacies (Chair: Thomas Willard, University of Arizona)

Troni Y. Grande (University of Regina): “‘Our Lady of Pain’: Prolegomena to the Study of She-Tragedy”

Kevin Godbout (Western University): “The Legacy of Northrop Frye’s Vision of William Blake”

John Ayre (Independent): “Northrop Frye and the Structures of Symbolism”


Panel 11: Frye Here, There, and Everywhere (Chair: Alan Bewell, University of Toronto)

Jeffery Donaldson (McMaster University): “Environmental Returns: Current Shifts in Northrop Frye’s Axis Mundi”

Melissa Dalgleish (York University): “Frye Unschooled: Mythopoeic Modernism in Canada”

Oana Fotache Dubalaru (University of Bucharest): “‘Making It New’: Topoi of Literary Historiography in Frye, Guillén, and Moretti”


Panel 12: Frye in New Media (Chair: Adam Hammond, University of Toronto)

Tjirk van der Ziel (Ede Christian University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands): “Frye’s Theory of Primary Concerns in News and Journalism”

Tom Miller (University of Calgary): “Up In The Sky: Moses, Jesus, Superman, and the Typology of Fiction”

5.30-7.00 pm

Plenary Lecture by J. Edward Chamberlin (University Professor Emeritus, English and Comparative Literature, University of Toronto) “Chanting Down Babylon: Innocence and Experience in the Contemporary Humanities” (Chair: Neil ten Kortenaar, University of Toronto)

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