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2015 English Studies Conference


Eastern Illinois University’s English Studies Conference is an annual event held during the Spring Semester that showcases the exciting work being done by our students, faculty, alumni, and local community members in the various areas of English Studies. 

This event is open to the entire university and the public and will feature a range of panels, roundtables, readings, poster sessions, and more in the areas of Creative Writing, Literary & Cultural Studies, Professional Writing, Rhetoric and Composition, and English Language Arts Pedagogy.  Come hear current students discuss their recent creative and scholarly projects and their experiences at internships, local & national conferences, and more.  Gain important tips for the job hunt by attending alumni panels where participants will discuss the ways in which they marketed and applied their English Studies skills to various professions.  And sit in on faculty panels to learn about the diverse research trajectories being pursued by English Studies scholars.


Important Information:

Date:  Thursday & Friday – April 9-10, 2015

Cost:  Free – includes light refreshments on Thursday and lunch on Friday for all attendees & participants. Thank you to our sponsors, Starbucks and Little Caesars, for providing morning coffee and lunch.

Conference Schedule: The online schedule is available here.


Conference Timeline:

Conference Kick-Off Event:  “We Need Diverse Books!:  An Educational Celebration" (Opening Reception, Book Tasting, & Book Give Away) – Thursday – 6pm-7pm – Witters Conference Room 4440, Booth Library

In light of the national discussion of the lack of diverse books for children and young adults—evident in The New York Times (C. Myers & W.D. Myers), the professional literature (K. Horning in School Library Journal), and the kidlitosphere—and inspired by the constructive response to that conversation represented by the organization We Need Diverse Books! on the web and social media, we are hosting an event where pre-service middle and high school teachers from across the content areas – along with other interested English majors and local educators – will have an opportunity to explore and discuss these books through a book-tasting activity facilitated by faculty with expertise in youth literature and issues of diversity.  Participants will also be supplied with the means of keeping up with the conversation about diverse books – via the web, Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, etc.  At the end of the event, participants will be allowed to select a book that would diversify their own growing (classroom) libraries.  

Event Facilitators:  Ann Brownson, Fern Kory, Jamila Smith

Conference Registration:   Friday - beginning at 9:30 a.m. – Third Floor Coleman – East Hallway (registration table will remain open throughout the conference)

Panel Sessions:  Friday - 10am-3pm – Third Floor Coleman Hall – Classrooms

Keynote Address:  Friday - 3-4pm – Lumpkin Hall Auditorium (LMPH 2030)

Keynote Speaker:  Dr. Pamela Hoff, Illinois State University

Title: The Dilemma of Educational Equity:  the More Things Change the More Things Stay the Same.  

Pamela Twyman Hoff is a mother, “sista” and friend to many. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Illinois State University in the College of Education Administration and Foundations. She teaches courses in the Social Foundations of Education and African American Education. She holds a M.Ed. from the University of Cincinnati in Curriculum and Instruction, Multicultural and International Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Studies.

Dr. Hoff’s career in education has spanned more than 20 years in numerous capacities. As a faculty member in Africana Studies at the University of Cincinnati she taught in two large urban schools so that students could earn college credit. As the director of a Head Start program she increased parental involvement and community support. As the director of an Upward Bound program her motto was, “opportunity favors a prepared mind.” She used critical race and culturally centered approaches to increase student participation, graduation and post-secondary matriculation by more than fifty percent.

Dr. Hoff identifies as an activist scholar who believes that education should be transformative for the individual and the community.


Submission Process: 

Students are invited to participate in this event by submitting proposals for individual presentations or pre-formed panels consisting of multiple presenters.  Use the link below to submit proposals by Friday, March 13, 2015. Students will be notified of their presentation time when the conference program is released two weeks prior to the event.  

English Studies Conference Registration

For additional inquiries, please contact Dr. Melissa Ames (mames@eiu.edu).