Potter College News
WKU Department of English to Host 20th Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture
- DJ Stover
- Tuesday, November 9th, 2021
The WKU English Department will host the 2021 Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture on Friday, November 12th. This event marks 20 years the WKU Department of English has hosted the conference, which provides a forum for undergraduate students to read and have their works shared that were written for their WKU English classes.
Before the conference, WKU English graduate students review undergraduate analytical essay submissions. The graduate students then select conference presenters based on how well students address critical issues in literature, language, and culture. Finally, presenters will be grouped into panels based on essay topics and graduate students will then moderate the presentations.
This year, there are eleven participants in three panels, with topics ranging from Beowulf to Beloved. Four participants are in the first panel, four are in the second panel, and three are in the third panel. “The Undergraduate Conference gives WKU English students a chance to share analytical writing and research on literature, language, and culture. The event is modeled after academic conferences, which allows students to read their papers on panels organized around a topic or theme.” said Dr. Ted Hovet, who is a co-organizer of the event.
In years past, the conference has been held in Cherry Hall. Last year, because of COVID-19, the conference was held on Zoom and split into four panels, grouped by topics: “Voices in Verse;” “Recent Rhetoric: A Discussion on Current events and Language;” “Curious, Spurious, and Injurious;” and “A 21st Century Look at 20th Century Literature.” Dr. Gillian Knoll, co-organizer of the conference, shared her thoughts about the upcoming event. “This is the twentieth anniversary of the conference, and we have so much to celebrate: the opportunity to gather in person again, the creative and inspiring work our students continue to produce, and the supportive, lively community we have developed in the English Department.”
Dr. Hovet said, “It is fun to see the connections among the various student essays, and we always have enjoyable discussions after each panel. Since 2001, over 250 student essays have been read at this event - making it one of the longest running and most participatory events we have in the department.”
The 2021 Undergraduate Conference on Literature, Language, and Culture will be held Friday, November 12th at 1:30pm in Cherry Hall 125.
Those interested in attending the conference who cannot join us in person may log onto Zoom via this link: https://wku.zoom.us/j/96842365637