On Friday and Saturday, March 7 and 8, 2014, at the HUB complex on campus, IUP’s English Graduate Organization (EGO) hosted its 12th annual interdisciplinary conference, entitled “Enacting Change in a Polarized World: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Inequality.”
During the opening luncheon at noon on Friday, Tanya Heflin, the faculty adviser to EGO, and Rachael Warmington, the conference chair, gave welcoming speeches, outlining the conference and relating the history and the aims of EGO.
After the luncheon, the first panel, chaired by Jaron Fox, concentrated on the topic of “Creative Approaches to Inequality” in a number of literary genres such as fiction, poetry, and other kinds of creative writing.
The attendees and the guests included a specializing host of IUP professors and students as well as interested scholars from the neighboring states, the American South, and the UK, and for the rest of the conference, numerous panels (14 in all) presented in 75-minute time slots in different halls in the HUB.
The conference consisted of 14 panels in all, and these, in the words of Heflin, “represent the many interests of the department: undergraduate panels, graduate panels, creative writing panels, and research panels with far-reaching topics in literature, criticism, composition, and international study.”
The topics discussed in the conference, among other things, included “Women in Rap Media,” “Disrupting Socialized Class Structure and Gender Roles,” “Equality in Islam: The Position of Women in Islam,” “Women's Writing: Addressing Women and Work,” “Queer Ecological Negotiations,” “‘Othered’ Bodies Explored through Diverse Narratives,” and “Popular Narratives in a Post-9/11 World.”
EGO was honored to have George Yancy, professor of Philosophy at Duquesne University and author of Black Bodies, White Gazes: The Continuing Significance of Race, as keynote speaker during Saturday’s luncheon.
The 2014 EGO officers who worked hard to realize this event are IUP graduate students Sheila Gross (president), Rachael Warmington (vice president), Jaron Fox (secretary), Matthew Robert Loudon (treasurer), Lauren Shoemaker (historian), Asmaa Alshehri (public relations officer), Matthew Stumpf (webmaster/media coordinator), Jennifer Matos Ayala (social event coordinator and fundraising chair), and Samantha Audette (workshop coordinator).
Special thanks went out to EGO’s faculty adviser Heflin, who, since her move to IUP last year, has worked passionately and tirelessly to promote such high-quality activities in IUP’s English Department.
Thank you all for the splendid event, and please make it happen again!