This fall’s English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities (EAPSU) Conference was held at Kutztown University from October 5-7th. Professors and students from all 14 PASSHE universities attended the conference, including outstanding English majors selected from these institutions.
The keynote speaker was Ted Conover, a literary journalist who had done immersion journalism in challenging venues like Sing Sing (see his book Newjack or article “Guarding Sing Sing“), slaughterhouses (“The Way of All Flesh“), the East African AIDS belt (“Trucking through the AIDS Belt“), and freight cars. While he treated the audience to excerpts from Newjack, his insights focused on the techniques of immersive journalism, which are covered in his new book Immersion: A Writer’s Guide to Going Deep.
Sessions in the conference covered topics ranging from the future of English Studies to ways to teach students how not to plagiarize. English Chair Dr. Jill Craven participated in the Chairs’ Roundtable on Saturday morning with Dr. Andy Vogel, English Chair of Kutztown, where the two led discussion with English faculty and students about strategies to address the challenges facing English Departments.
Outstanding English Major Mariah Miller presented her paper entitled “The Human Condition: Exploring Misconfigured Realities in Donnie Darko and Fight Club,” which she had completed for English 237: Literary Research and Analysis, at a panel on Friday afternoon. Along with the other Outstanding English Majors, Miller received her Outstanding English Major award and an anthology of Shakespeare in a lunch ceremony earlier in the day.
The next EAPSU spring conference for undergraduates will be held at Lock Haven in spring 2018. The next fall conference, for faculty, is at Shippensburg in the fall of 2018. Undergraduates who wish to attend the conference should apply for Noonan grants in spring. Faculty and students should consider forming panels for the conference from class projects.
~ Jill Craven