Schedule announced for MUSE Conference

Sigma Tau Delta has announced their schedule for the Fifth Annual Muse Undergraduate Literary Conference, which will be held this Saturday, October 3, at the Center for Natural Science, Illinois Wesleyan University:

Registration, Atrium (8:30a.m.-1:00p.m.)

Session  I (9:30-10:45a.m.)

Room E103: Race and Ethnic Identity. Presenters: Korey Williams, “Claude McKay and Langson Hughes Discuss America: A Two-Part Study on Poetic Turns”; Diane Kevin, “Her Silence Shouts: A Comparison of Margaret and Alice in Octavia E. Butler’s Kindred”; Mike Whitfield, “Dysfunctional Dads: Native American Fathers in Life and Literature”

Room E104: The Big Picture: Applying Literary Theory. Presenters: Laura Spradlin, “The Use and Implications of Foreshadowing as a Deictic POP”; Linda Martin, “Re-Thinking Conceptual Metaphor”; Angela Lee “The Imperialistic Quest: Exploring Conrad’s Heart of Darkness through Archetypal and Post-Colonial Theories”

Session II (11:00a.m.-12:15p.m.)

Room E103: Sexuality and Identity Formation. Presenters: Amy Glaves, “‘A Figure with Full Breasts and Male Genitals’: Jack Gladney’s Bi-gendered Identity in Don DeLillo’s White Noise”; Anne Marquette, “Boys to Men: Nameless Narrators and the Men They Become”; Kerry Devitt, “Boy Meets Boy: Not Just Another Love Story”

Room E104: Revisiting Ancient and Medieval Texts. Presenters: Kate Norcross, “Crossing Over: Assimilating Opposites in Riddle 26”; Scott Schneider, “Poisoned Grails: Sipping the Wine of Civilized Greed”; Lydia Martin, “‘I, Who Am Dead, Must Guide Him Here Below’: Virgil as a Guide in Dante’s Inferno.”

Lunch, E103 (12:15-1:00p.m.)

KEYNOTE ADDRESS, C101 (1:00-2:15p.m.): Dr. Eric Rabkin (University of Michigan), “The Nature of Character: Science Fiction Speaks of the Soul”

Panel Presentations (2:30-3:30p.m.)

Room E108: Teaching and Education in English. Panelists: Casey Kelley, Tara Hohulin, Tyler McWhorter, Jared Johnson

Room E106: English Graduate School and Academia. Panelists: Prof. Chris Breu, Jenna Goldsmith, Jane Carman, Catherine Ratliff

Room E105: Technical Writing and Publishing. Panelists: Sarah Haberstich, Dr. Gerald Savage, Godwin Agboka

Session III (3:45-5:00pm)

Room E103: Literature Interacts With the World. Presenters: Natalie Lalagos, “Lending the World a Paintbrush”; Marie Huey, “The Meaningful Balance of Being”; Jonathan Gerard, “A Damnable Life”

Room E104: Writing the Self: Autobiography. Presenters: Travis Williams, “Building Bridges through Images in Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home”; Peter Vrousouris, “Dispatches and the Problem(s) with Autobiography”; Ashley Jaconetti, “Making a New Pact: Discrepancies and Limitations of Autobiography Exposed in A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

IWU students may attend free, but should RSVP to

St. Francis Undergrad Conference issues call for student papers

The 19th Annual University of St. Francis Undergraduate Conference on English Language and Literature will be held on March 19-20, 2010 at the University of St. Francis in Joliet, Illinois, and organizers are looking for students to present papers.

Submit complete papers (preferably) or abstracts on any topic in English studies, including writing, linguistics, film, theory, British/American/Commonwealth literatures, and literature in translation. Papers are limited to a 20-minute presentation (8-12 pages). Authors of the papers are obliged to present in person. The deadline is December 15, 2009, and there are two ways to submit: By mail, send proposals to: Dr. Marcia Smith Marzec, ELL Conference, Dept. of English, Univ. of St. Francis, 500 Wilcox St., Joliet, IL 60435. By email, send papers or abstracts as an attachment to

Students: sign up now for the October 3 MUSE Conference

Sigma Tau Delta will sponsor its Fifth Annual MUSE Undergraduate Literary Conference on Saturday, October 3, 2009. Students who are presenting papers have already been notified of their acceptance, but you don’t have to present a paper to attend. RSVP to to be able to attend all the student presentations, panels, and keynote speech. It’s free for IWU students, but you do need to reserve space.

This year’s keynote speaker is Dr. Eric Rabkin, who teaches Science Fiction at the University of Michigan and maintains the award-winning University of Michigan Fantasy and Science Fiction Web Site. The title of his talk is “The Nature of Character: Science Fiction Speaks of the Soul.”

Three panels on Graduate School, English Education, and Technical Writing and Publishing will allow students to access basic information that can help them when it comes time to take that next step, and maybe even do a little networking. Students presenting papers from from a number of universities.

Check out this week’s writing events

Tomorrow, Thursday, September 24, at 8 p.m. at the Hansen Student Center, Professor Michael Theune and Chip Corwin (’05, currently Adjunct Instructor of English at Heartland Community College) will present new creative works, including their latest project, The Divine Pregunta.

Saturday, September 26, in Beckman Auditorium of Ames Library there will be a double-feature for the writing community. First, leaders of the writing organizations on campus (Lyrical Graffiti, Tributaries, and Pseudonym Required), will read/perform their own work. Then the movie Dead Poets Society will be shown. Doors open at 6:30 p.m, and the film will be shown at approximately 7:45 or 8 p.m.

Both events are free and open to the public, so majors can bring friends or dates.

Poetry contest offers B&N prize

The deadline is fast approaching for the Fall for the Book Poetry Contest, which offers a first prize of a $50 gift certificate to Barnes & Noble and second and third prize memberships/subscriptions to The Writer’s Center and Poet Lore Magazine, co-sponsors of the contest along with Fall for the Book.

The deadline is September 30, and the guidelines are simple: write a poem of 60 lines or less in which you incorporate a quote from one Fall for the Book 2009 author into the poem. Email your poem as an MS Word attachment (.rtf or .doc) to and include your name, contact information, and source of the quote in the body of the email, but leave your name and contact information off the actual poem. Submissions will be read anonymously.

Another literature conference opportunity

Streamlines: An Undergraduate Conference Celebrating Language, Literature, and Writing, is calling for conference paper proposals. Hosted by Clarke College, Loras College and the University of Dubuque, the conference provides students with another opportunity to present their work at a gathering of their peers. The conference will be held Saturday, November 14, 2009, and a $20 registration fee includes lunch.

To submit a proposal, use the online submission form to send a 300-word abstract by Friday, October 14, 2009. You’ll be asked to send the complete paper to Breyen Strickler, Assistant Professor of English at Loras College ( Panel submissions are also encouraged. Participants will be notified of selection by Friday, October 23. Suggested panel/presentation topics in English, French, or Spanish are: American literature, British literature, global/world literature, modern languages, linguistics, creative writing, rhetoric, women’s studies, literary studies, women’s literature, literary theory, and teaching language/literature/writing. For more information see the Streamlines Web site.

Alum novelist to visit campus

Walk into Barnes & Noble these days and you’ll see in the New Fiction section a copy of Spin, a first novel by Robert Rave (’96).

Rave, whose second novel, Waxed, will be released next summer by St. Martin’s, will be in Chicago on Nov. 4 for a booksigning, and he’ll return to IWU on Thursday, Nov. 5 to talk about Spin and his experience getting that first novel published. He’ll visit Professor DeVore’s 1:10 p.m. Senior Writing Project class, but other English majors are welcome to attend (location: Stevenson 103). Afterwards, Rave will answer questions. Spin (St. Martin’s Press) is based on Rave’s experience working PR in New York City. A reviewer for Publisher’s Weekly noted, “With its inside views of a corrupt yet glamorous lifestyle and its witty tone, the book is sure to please fans of the sub-genre.”

If you linger over the acknowledgments page you’ll notice that Rave includes Professor Kathie O’Gorman among those who’ve helped him along the way.

“I have many great memories of Dr. O’Gorman’s classes at IWU,” Rave said.  “It’s where I discovered my love of Samuel Beckett and the theater of the absurd.  It’s where I trudged through Ulysses and made it to out alive—although just barely.  I met my lifelong best friend, Jennifer Gill in Dr. O’Gorman’s class.  Our fates were sealed as eternal friends when we both showed up wearing chocolate brown velour pants to British Literature. (Sad, but true).

“Synthetic fibers aside, Dr. O’Gorman’s class was where I began exploring the many layers of literature.  Not long after, I examined subtext like I had never quite done before. In fact, I was often looking for the subtext when none existed.   Yet one of the most valuable things that has stuck with me through today was repeatedly said by Dr. O’Gorman.  It was just a simple phrase that always proceeded an important point she was about to make: ‘the notion of.’  ‘The notion of’ quickly became my catch phrase during my final two years of college especially when I tried to impress those who were, at the time, far beyond my intellectual reach.  Jennifer and I would attempt to use it in everyday conversation. I would ask her to grab a bite to eat and she would respond, “Let’s explore the notion of dinner,” much to my chagrin.  However, what started out as playful banter between two friends later evolved into something tangible. Whether I was simply reading for pleasure or researching ideas for a book I explored new ways of looking at the material and questioned the writer’s intent.  I kept hearing Dr. O’Gorman’s voice in my head “the notion of.”  So now, when I start a writing project I often think of challenging old notions or archetypes typically seen in books and I go against the grain.

“Many people were surprised I wrote a book, which some have dubbed “chick-lit,” with a male protagonist.  However, I liked the idea of challenging readers of the genre to open themselves to something different not only because he’s a guy, but he’s also flawed and by the end of the novel he becomes someone completely different from who we met at the beginning.  Dr. O’Gorman was the one who turned on the light switch for me.  She assigned material that I can say with great certainity that I would have never picked up at a library or bookstore. I feel that I am not only more enlightened as a reader and author because of it, but as a human being.  I can almost see the proverbial eye-rolling and hear the snickers from cynics from here.  But for me, it’s all true.  Simply because, with some prodding, I explored ‘the notion of.'”

Lyrical Graffiti announces activities

Lyrical Graffiti, an IWU student group, has announced that its weekly open mic series, “Words that go BOOM!,” will resume this Saturday, September 12 in the Turfler Room of Memorial Center. Doors open at 7:30 p.m., with open mic starting at 8:00. It’s free, though a $2 donation is suggested. According to Corey McCord, Lyrical Graffiti president, “Poets, singers, banjo(ers), guitarists (or any one who plays an instrument), rappers, monologue readers, and listeners are welcome.”

McCord said that Lyrical Graffiti is also looking for volunteers to conduct poetry workshops at Unity Community Center, 632 Orlando Avenue, Normal. The Center serves inner city youth who may lack the skill sets necessary to excel in their respective grade levels. The children, who range from 5-14 years old, need help spelling words, understanding poetic concepts, and crafting poems. Volunteers must go through a brief training (upcoming sessions are Sept. 11, 14, 15, and 16 at 6:00 p.m., and volunteers would serve on Mondays. If interested, email

High School Baseball Report is looking for interns

The High School Baseball Report is looking for qualified students to fill unpaid internships in Website/Content Administration. The High School Baseball Report is the online leader for in-depth information, analysis, and “scoops” in high school baseball. The Report provides exclusive team-specific coverage, as well as the ultimate fan experience and community interaction from its team of experts, writers and reporters.

Position Description: The Web/Date Administrator plays a key leadership role in our overall digital content strategy. The intern in this position will work with Web site execution and e-newsletter platforms.

Qualifications: Ideal candidates should demonstrate knowledge with the latest methods of communicating and building community interaction to increase digital traffic and user loyalty. Must also be proficient in social media and understand technology and content needs of the future. Candidates should demonstrate content strategy leadership along with some knowledge of Web publishing and Web metrics. A minimum of 1 year of online experience is required; however, candidates with print and broadcast media backgrounds will also be considered.

Fall or Spring Semester internships are available. Five to 10 hours per week, work remotely, unpaid. Interested candidates should email a cover letter and resume to: