The Fall 2018 English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities Conference was held at Shippensburg University on October 4-6. EAPSU prides itself as an inclusive organization dedicated to excellence in English Studies. The conference showcases the best in many disciplines within English Studies: creative writing, literature, film, composition, technical/scientific writing, and pedagogy. Members of the organization come from faculty and students from the 14 English Departments in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The overarching theme of the event was “Creativity in Times of Crisis”.
The keynote speaker was Patricia Smith, an award-winning author of eight critically acclaimed books of poetry. She is the winner of the 2018 Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, the NAACP Image Award, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for her poetry collection Incendiary Art (Triquarterly Press/Northwestern University Press, 2017).
Dr. Corkery and two groups of MU students presented at the conference. On Friday, the first panel, Hip Hop & Lyrics to Move the World, explored what can be learned about creativity through the emergence of Hip Hop, especially related to marginalized Blacks and Latinos in the Bronx, New York during the 1970s and ’80s. Panelists discussed the crises surrounding key players in hip hop who produced innovative lyrics aimed at addressing their circumstances. Nelian Cruz, Claribel Rodriquez de la Rosa, Barseh Gbor, and Dante McLeod were the students involved.
Later that day, a second group of students discussed the implications of Alice Walker’s piece “Search for Our Mother’s Gardens” in a panel titled Creativity and Oppression: Innovations of African American Female Authors. Walker and her ideas call attention to creativity where it is seemingly absent, encouraging Black women to create despite historical abuse and neglect. Students highlighted the creativity of different African American female writers, recognizing their unique challenges and creative products. Tatyanna Campbell, Naima Winder, Apsara Uprety, and Imani Anderson were involved in the panel.
A group of graduate students along with Dr. Pfannenstiel presented on Creatively Solving Data Dilemmas in Digital Humanities Student Projects. Each member of the panel presented their paper: Nicole Pfannenstiel, “Data Fluency in Assignments: Assigning and mentoring through data dilemmas”; Andie Petrillo, “Missing Data is not “Emma Approved”: How to make meaning with poorly archived data”; Jay Barnica, “Call, Raise, or Fold?: The ethics of evesdropping on an online poker forum”; Jason Hertz, “Control+s Your Data: A lesson learned with NeoGAF gafe made NeoGAF into Neo-NeoGaf.”
Hi everyone! I was honored last fall to be asked by Dr. Pfannenstiel to be a part of a panel discussion for this year’s EAPSU conference at Shippensburg University. After months of preparation, the day finally arrived for us to present. We left Millersville at an alarmingly early 6:30 am. We then arrived at Shippensburg University around 8:30 and wandered over to sign in and receive our “swag bags” and headed to our assigned room. We waited for what seemed like an hour, but was actually only about 15 minutes for our designated chair person and for any attendees to wander in. Even though our presentation wasn’t well attended (it was at 9 a.m. so I can’t blame students for not coming), I still had a great time presenting with my panel and answering English Librarian, Michele Santamaria’s many questions. Relieved to have successfully presented at my first conference, we headed to other sessions led by MU faculty and students. My favorite part of the day aside from presenting was having lunch with Dr. Pfannenstiel, Dr. Mando, Michele Santamaria, and Jay Barnica (fellow grad student and presenter). It was a great way for us all to get to know each other outside of the classroom! After a long day of presenting and learning from other presenters, we left the conference exhausted but inspired. I’m so glad that I got the chance to experience academic conferences!
-Andie Petrillo, second-year graduate student
A few faculty members participated in a panel presentation titled Observation, Invention, and Information in Times of Crisis. Justin Mando, assistant professor of English and Science Writing, presented “Tiny Ecology Project: A Place-Based Writing Pedagogy.” Joyce Anderson, instructor of English, presented “Curbing Writer’s Block: A Quick Workshop.” Last but not least, Michelle Santamaria, English and Foreign Language Subject Librarian, presented “Challenging Confirmation Bias: Creating & Playing an Information Literacy Game.”
Thanks to all MU students and faculty for their hard work!