Overview and History
The English Graduate Student Association at USF will host its second international, interdisciplinary, graduate conference in March 2010, following the success of 2009's "Anything but Safe: Sex, Sexuality, and Gender."
The impetus for hosting a conference began last year, when EGSA revamped their organization’s objectives to mirror those objectives of our department head, Dr. Hunt Hawkins. One of his departmental objectives included program visibility, and hosting our original conference complemented that objective. As president of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association and organizer of SAMLA’s 2009 “Human Rights and the Humanities,” Dr. Hawkins provided another objective EGSA wanted to complement—associating the humanities with human rights. With our 2010 conference theme, “Anything but Silence,” EGSA will encourage the interdisciplinary exploration of cultural and social acts of silence and hopefully offer a platform to examine how silenced can be rejected or resisted.
Rough Schedule (subject to change)
The “Anything but Silence: Politics, Poetry, and Pedagogy” conference is scheduled for March 25th through the 27th in USF’s new Marshall Center. All conference events will take place within the University of South Florida’s Marshall Center in Tampa, Florida.
Thursday, beginning at 3:00 pm, will include registration, a faculty roundtable discussion, faculty-run placement and writing workshop stations for graduate students, a local artist viewing, a creative writing panel, and a presentation by memoirist Kathleen Finneran. A light reception will follow Kathleen Finneran’s reading from her most recent memoir, The Tender Land: A Family Love Story.
Friday, our first full day, will begin at 9:00 am and include registration, a light breakfast, concurrent graduate panels, creative readings, and our keynote address at 6:30 pm. A formal dinner reception will follow our keynote address at 7:30 pm.
Saturday will include a light breakfast, a final faculty roundtable discussion, concurrent panels and a farewell happy hour.
EGSA is convinced of the value of this conference. An event directed primarily at graduate students, but including faculty presentations, provides necessary academic opportunities. Graduate presenters are offered a forum in which to practice the art of the academic conference. The abstract, conference paper, and conference proceedings have become a genre of text that graduate students need to familiarize themselves with for a successful career. A graduate conference is often less stressful than other nationally-organized conferences, but still offers the chance to make connections with specialists. Organizers are given preparation for the administrative aspects of an academic career; the act of juggling research with teaching appears difficult enough, but when department obligations are included, the academic career appears daunting. Conference organizers will be able to recognize that this juggling act can be accomplished. EGSA is also convinced that including faculty round table discussions not only offers student and faculty interaction, but highlights USF’s flourishing faculty members. Faculty roundtables, interspersed between concurrent panels, will offer interdisciplinary faculty the opportunity to share recent work, explore controversial topics, fill erasures, and bridge departmental gaps by collaboratively discussing similar topics.
This event will also emphasize USF’s growing graduate programs. We plan to target MA students with conference advertising and website postings on the College of Arts and Sciences. MA students that attend this conference will hopefully be encouraged to apply and attend one of USF’s many graduate programs. To aid graduate students’ incentive, EGSA will keep conference registration to the nominal fee of thirty-five dollars. EGSA is also prepared to publish peer-reviewed conference proceedings or conference papers in a special edition of their graduate online journal, Banyan.
Most of the receptions will be catered by the Marshall Center’s Food and Beverage Service. Local restaurant and independent stores have expressed interest in donating food and products for the conference. Nancy Serrano has graciously worked with EGSA’s treasurer, Megan Weber, to organize allotted funds from student government and the donated funds from the Humanities Institute, College of Arts and Sciences departments, and USF colleges and organizations, as well as local organizations.
Thanks the generous support of specific institutes and departments, the English Graduate Student Association will be able to showcase USF’s Humanities students and faculty. "Anything but Silence" is hosted by USF's English Graduate Student Association and supported by USF's College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Institute, the First-Year Composition Program, and the Departments of Anthropology, Communication, History, Sociology and Women’s Studies.