Friday, October 14, 2011

Flannery in the White City

What a wonderful time we had at the Flannery O'Connor conference in Chicago last week! The conference at Loyola University featured some of the heavy-weights in Flannery O'Connor studies, and it was a pleasure to get to meet some of these scholars. The four days we were in Chicago were an absolute delight. The weather was sunny and warm, affording us the opportunity to take in Windy City sights such as the Art Institute, Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, and a good many other iconic buildings in this city renowned for its architecture. The site of the conference - Loyola University's Water Tower campus on Michigan Ave. (pictured to the left of the water tower) - provided magnificent vistas of the Chicago skyline. From our perch atop the 17th floor of Lewis Towers, we could see the John Hancock Building in the near distance as well as the other landmarks dotting the "Magnificent Mile." No trip to Chicago would be complete without sampling some of the city's gastronomic delicacies. We had some fabulous meals there, including a lunch of classic Chicago hot dogs on the last day. As much fun as all this was, the purpose of our being there was to promote Andalusia and further our understanding of the philosophical and theological influences in Flannery O'Connor's work. To that end, the Loyola conference was a success. While most of the presentations were first rate, the plenary address by Susan Srigley on Flannery O'Connor and Martin Buber was outstanding. What I enjoyed most, however, was meeting new friends who enthusiastically shared with us their love for Flannery O'Connor. Last and certainly not least, I would be remiss if I did not thank the Flannery O'Connor-Andalusia Foundation for making this trip possible.
- Mark

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