The Owen Barfield Society

Papers Presented by Members


The papers published on this site are about Owen Barfield's life and work or informed by a Barfieldian perspective.  Most of them were presented in the Owen Barfield sessions of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association.   Beginning in 1998, an Owen Barfield session has been a regular feature of RMMLA's annual convention.  The Owen Barfield Society is an affiliate organization of RMMLA.

  Currently Posted

In "On Directing Owen Barfield's Orpheus"   James Loren describes his experience of directing Owen Barfield's Orpheus, in the spring of 2015 in North Hollywood, California. This was the second production of the play and its North American premiere.   The author presented this paper during the meeting of the Owen Barfield Society at the 2015 RMMLA convention in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

"Can Life Be Golden--Gendered Duality in the Evolution of Consciousness" analyzes Owen Barfield's last published fiction, Eager Spring, in conjunction with the history from ancient times of the poarity of gender. Jefferey Taylor presented this paper during the Owen Barfield Session in the 2014 RMMLA convention in Boise, Idaho.

"Participation Lost: Theatricality and Allegory on the Cusp of Modern Consciousness" is a penetrating, closely reasoned study of key aspects of the evolution of modern consciousness. Jefferey Taylor presented this paper during the Owen Barfield Session in the 2013 RMMLA convention.

    Julie Nichols presented  "Godbodied": A Comparison of Barfieldian and Mormon Texts Regarding the Shared Nature and Role of Divine and Human Matter in the Evolution of Consciousness in the 2012 Owen Barfield Session.  The research embodied in this paper introduces an entirely new perspective on Owen Barfield's work.  

    Julie Nichols presented "Barfield, Boyd, and Bringhurst: Consciousness, Cognitive Science, and Creative Nonfiction" in the Owen Barfield session of the 2010 RMMLA, held in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  In this paper Professor Nichols extends and deepens the groundbreaking new approach to Owen Barfield's writings that she introduced in her presentation in the Owen Barfield session of the 2009 RMMLA. 

     Danny Smitherman's "Tolkien, Barfield, and the Language of Original Participation: The Vagaries of Confusion and Savagery" was given in the Owen Barfield session of the 2010 RMMLA, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The paper thought-provokingly contrasts Tolkien's and Barfield's depictions of primeval human consciousness.

     Julie Nichols opens a new scholarly perspective on Owen Barfield's work in "Perhaps the Historian of Her Own Consciousness" She presented this paper in the Owen Barfield session of the 2009 RMMLA, in Snowbird, Utah.        

      "A Second Earth: Owen Barfield's Concept of Equity" formed the basis of Christopher Houghton Budd's presentation in the conference on Owen Barfield and the Redemption of the Western Mind, held at the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland on March 27-29, 2009.  In this essay Dr. Budd discusses the relevance of Owen Barfield's ideas to key economic questions of our time.

    Jane Hipolito's paper on "The Alchemy of Imagination and Love in Owen Barfield's The Rose on the Ash-Heap" was given in the Owen Barfield session of the 2008 RMMLA convention in Reno, NV.  The paper centers on two key themes of Barfield's 1929 mythopoeia The Rose on the Ash-Heap -- the transformative power of imagination in modern times, and the mysterious relationship of imagination to love. 

    David Joplin presented "The Moral Quality of Wordsworth's Nature"  in the Romanticism session of the 2007 RMMLA convention in Calgary, Canada.  Professor Joplin's paper, which describes the moral dimension in Wordsworth's view of nature, is informed by a distinctly Barfieldian perspective.

    Jeffrey Hipolito presented " Can Ideas Have Histories?" in the Owen Barfield session of the 2007 RMMLA convention in Calgary, Canada.  In this paper Professor Hipolito provides the first formal description of the relationship between Owen Barfield's view of history and evolution of consciousness, and the work of the important twentieth-century historian R. G. Collingwood.  In addition, "Can Ideas Have Histories?" investigates the general twentieth-century impulse called history of ideas, as developed most notably by A. O. Lovejoy.