Conference Celebrates Lewis Carroll and Creativity

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October 8, 1997

Collegeville, Minn. - The College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University are sponsoring an annual conference on creativity, "The Creative Imagination of Lewis Carroll," with activities on both campuses October 17-18.

This year's conference is on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Lewis Carroll's death and it inaugurates annual creativity conferences planned through 2001. By focusing on Lewis Carroll and his works, the conference will help answer the questions:

"Where do ideas come from?", "How are discoveries made?" and "Who determines what is creative?".

"Lewis Carroll's life and work allows us to investigate several disciplines--math, natural and social sciences, art, music and literature," said Charles Thornbury, professor of English, at CSB/SJU and conference organizer.

Whether it is examining the insects encountered by Alice in the course of her adventures in Alice in Wonderland, studying Lewis Carroll's use of names for characters in his book or listening to his poems set to song, this conference celebrates Lewis Carroll's inventive nature and his unique inspiration given to many people for over a century. The conference is also the occasion for the annual fall meeting of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America.

A partial schedule of the conference events and activities are as follows:

Alice in Wonderland, Friday, Oct. 17, seven performances, from 6:20 to 8:20 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 18, 18 performances, from 9:20 a.m. to 3:20 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 19, 10 performances, from 1-4 p.m. in SJU's Old Gym. Performed by the CSB/SJU theater department, directed by Kaarin Johnston. Tickets are $2 and on sale now. For tickets, reservations, and information please call: (320) 363-3241.

Minnesota Center Chorale Chamber Singers conducted by Professor Phil Welter, Friday, Oct. 17 from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Alumnae Hall at the S. L. Haehn Campus Center at CSB.

Exhibits of original paintings of the Alice characters by Michael Osterweil are displayed at the Clemens Library at CSB

and at the Alcuin Library at SJU through mid-October. Posters and cards of the paintings are available in the bookstores on both campuses. Also, rare books, illustrations and collectibles will be displayed from the private collection of Joel Birenbaum, president, Lewis Carroll Society of North America. The exhibit celebrates Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It includes rare first editions, illustrations, pop-up books, postage stamps, toys and ceramic figures.

Keynote address: "Lewis Carroll's Mathematical Inventions" by Professor Fran Abeles, Kean College, State College of New Jersey.

Abeles will examine four mathematical inventions spanning Carroll's professional life: ciphers, letter register database, tennis tournament and work toward a perpetual calendar. This address is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 at SJU.

Keynote address: "The Creative Imagination of Lewis Carroll."

Morton N. Cohen, professor emeritus of the City University of New York, has written or edited seven books on Carroll including Lewis Carroll, A Biography published in 1995. This address is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 18 at SJU.

Two formats, a "conference" and a "festival," will help examine and celebrate creativity and creative minds.

The "conference" format emphasizes the investigative and historical side of creativity. The "festival" format will be more interactive and celebratory.

All events are free and open to the public with the exception of the performance of Alice in Wonderland. For more information or a complete schedule of the conference please call Charles Thornbury at (320) 363-2893.