February 15, 2008
English department to host daylong writing conference
The theme of this year's conference is "Imagination-Self-Other," exploring the ways that literature connects the three. The conference has attracted 60 student participants, more than half of whom are students from schools other than Susquehanna. Attendees will come from as far away as Virginia and Georgia, but most are from colleges and universities in Pennsylvania.
"The conference is an opportunity for Susquehanna students to mingle with their peers from other universities, to participate in the excitement," said Drew Hubbell, professor of English, who has been responsible for organizing this year's conference.
Sixteen panels will be held throughout the day, with three to four students in each panel. The panels of readers are grouped by connecting themes and topics, with a mix of critical and creative papers.
Panels will be moderated mostly by Susquehanna professors. Professors will introduce the students and facilitate question-and-answer sessions following the readings in order to encourage feedback for revision.
In addition to the student readings, writers Amanda Anderson and Bernard Cooper will be present to offer their perspectives as scholars and writers.
Anderson was chosen by the Department of English to give the keynote address, which will take place at 12:30 p.m. in Stretansky Hall in Cunningham Center for Music and the Arts. Anderson is a professor of English, as well as the department chair at Johns Hopkins University.
Anderson, in her most recent book, "The Way We Argue Now: A Study in the Cultures of Theory," examines the relation between forms of argument and social identities, selfhood and ethics. Anderson was chosen, Hubbell said, because of her status as a high-profile scholar.
"We wanted someone who could speak to a general audience about literature...without being too specialized," Hubbell said.
Anderson's other books and essays focus on Victorian literature, contemporary theory and aesthetics.
Following the last of the student panels, Bernard Cooper will give a reading and answer questions from students. The reading will be held at 4:45 p.m. in Stretansky Hall.
Cooper is the fourth of six visiting writers to come to campus, sponsored by the Writers Institute at Susquehanna. He is a widely acclaimed author of both nonfiction and fiction, including "Truth Serums," "Maps to Anywhere," "Guess Again" and "The Bill from my Father," which is being made into a Warner Brothers film.
Cooper has taught at Antioch/Los Angeles and at the UCLA Writer's Program and is currently the art critic for Los Angeles Magazine.
"Because this event is sponsored by the entire department, both the scholarly and creative sides of literature, we thought a writer who works primarily in nonfiction would prove valuable to the greatest number of participating students," said Gary Fincke, director of the Writers Institute.
Both appearances are free and open to the public. Books by Anderson and Cooper will be available for purchase and signing.
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