MELUS 2013 National Conference in Pittsburgh, Cosponsored by IUP

Posted on 3/3/2013 1:24:17 PM

Lingyan Yang, associate professor in the Department of English, is conference committee chair to organize the MELUS (Society for the Study of American Multi-Ethnic Literature of the U.S.) 2013 national conference on March 14–17 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in downtown Pittsburgh. IUP President Michael Driscoll and Dean Yaw Asamoah from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences have graciously agreed to attend the Friday MELUS Welcoming Plenary Lunch with Houston Baker on March 15. President Driscoll will welcome scholars, teachers, and graduate students from all over America in the academy and from 18-20 countries on behalf of IUP.

The MELUS 2013 national conference promises to be an intellectually stimulating and vigorous academic event with about 230 national, international, regional, and IUP attendants, with about 70 sessions and events, four large pleanry presentations, three professionalization workshops, books and journal exhibitions, and two receptions hosted by MELUS and Oxford University Press. Hosting of the conference by IUP will enhance the university’s national scholarly reputation; promote multicultural, global, and gender awareness as important to high-quality higher education; and benefit faculty and students’ professional growth.

Conference Schedule of Events (pdf)

Download the Conference Poster (pdf)

MELUS is a nationally and internationally prominent field of studies and professional organization on the research and teaching of American multiethnic literature, criticism, arts, and cultures in the national, global, regional, or local contexts, which are ethnically specific European American, such as Italian American and Irish American, Jewish American, African American, Asian American, Latino/a American, American Indian, Arab Amerian, and so forth.

The seven prominent ethnic pleanry speakers and panelists include Houston Baker, one of the world’s most respected African American literary theorists, Distinguish University Professor at Vanderbilt University, annd author of more than 20 books, and who was elected president of MLA in 1992; David Palumbo-Liu; Louise Hewlett Nixon, professor, director of the Department of Comparative Literature, and director of Asian American Studies at Stanford University; and Mary Jo Bona, a highly respected feminist scholar on Italian American women’s literaure and a professor of Italian American Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at Stony Brook University. Additionally, there will be three professionalization workshops on academic job search and interviews, surviving in the institutions after one gets a job, and academic publishing, which will benefit all attending gradaute students and faculty alike. Oxford University Press, one of the most prestigious academic publishers in the world and the current publisher of the journal of MELUS, will hold one table of book exhibitions on all four days and will host a wine and cheese reception on Friday, March 15.

The MELUS 2013 national conference is cosponsored by MELUS and IUP. The remarkable and generous support from the following cosponsors is deeply appreciated: President’s Office, Provost’s Office, Office of Vice President for Administration and Finance, Office of International Education, College of Humanities and Social Sciencs, School of Gradaute Studies and Research, English Department, Graduate English Program in Literature and Criticism, Women’s Studies Program, President’s Commission on the Status of Women, PASSHE Women’s Consortium, and Latin American Studies Program.

IUP will make an impressive scholarly presence at the MELUS 2013 conference with about 43 faculty, gradaute students, and university leaders attending, presenting, organizing panels, and chairing panels, with an additional three IUP alumni presenting. Twenty-nine of all IUP presenters/attendants are women. IUP presenters and attendants include 28 doctoral and master’s student presenter/panel organizers/panel chairs, all from the graduate English program in Literature and Criticism. They will benefit and grow enormously by professionalizing in a national conference. Additionally, 12 IUP faculty will present at or attend the MELUS conference, including two faculty members (Joan Van Dyke and Holly Boda-Sutton) from the Department of Theater and Dance and the College of Fine Arts, one faculty member (Nurhaya Muchtar) from the Department of Communication Media and the College of Education and Education Technology, and one faculty member(Edith West) from the Department of Nursing and the College of Health and Human Services.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) sends out a large and impressive scholarly team of 36 presenters and attendants alone to the MELUS 2013 conference, including 28 doctoral and master’s student presenters (19 women graduate students) from the graduate English program in Literature and Criticism and eight faculty from the English Department (David Downing, Gail Berlin, Susan Comfort, Michael T. Williamson, Tanya Heflin, Todd Thompson, Ed Carvalho, and Lingyan Yang). Five CHSS presenters/attendants are affiliated faculty from the Women’s Studies program. Five doctoral students from the graduate Literature and Criticism program (Jennifer Mato Ayala, Rachael Warmington, Kittiphong Praphan, Carolyn Marcille, and Ibrahim Azizi) deserve special thanks for serving as excellent Conference Committee members, offering a great deal of assistance and finishing a lot of work. As the MELUS 2013 Conference Committee chair, MELUS program chair, and vice president, Yang has been working diligently on organizing it for the past two years and 10 months, and will run the whole conference.

The overwhelcoming support from the university leaders, colleagues, students, and the campuswide community is deeply appreciated. Registration is required to attend all events at the MELUS 2013 conference. If you have questions or inquiries, please e-mail Yang at

Yang is a faculty member in the graduate English program in Literature and Criticism, director of the Women’s Studies program, and a respected Asian American feminist scholar,