A group of senior English majors recently had work accepted by the Alpha Kappa Delta literary conference at Cedarville University in Ohio. On Saturday, six students joined undergraduates from Cedarville and Blufton University to present analytical essays on a variety of literary works, as well as original creative writing. This year’s conference theme was “Living in the Kiln: Refining the Self through Literary Conversation.”
Taylor English majors adapted sections of their senior projects into presentations for the conference. (The senior project is an extended critical study or creative work that serves as the culminating activity in the major, completed through ENG 492, guided research, and ENG 493, the Senior Capstone course.)
Literature majors wrote on diverse topics. Joy Bowman covered works by Hawthorne and Emerson in a presentation titled “The Reality in Pursuit of the Ideal,” while Megan Adams gave a talk called “And the Waves Roll On: Discovery of True Self through Nature in Wordsworth, Stevens, and Chopin.” Hannah Haney rounded out the scholarly presentations with an essay titled “Human Flourishing and Survival in The Road and Brave New World.”
Sarah Lyons kicked off the creative writing presentations with both fiction and creative nonfiction selections from her senior project, “Teacup Deities and Demons.” Caroline Nurkkala read from her multi-genre manuscript, “Not a Formula,” while Suzi Rhee presented a short story called “The Painter” in both text form as well as graphic narrative.
Poet Karen An-hwei Lee gave both a keynote address and an evening poetry reading. Lee is the author of Phyla of Joy (Tupelo, 2012); Ardor (Tupelo, 2008); In Medias Res (Sarabande, 2004); a book of literary criticism, Anglophone Literatures in the Asian Diaspora (Cambria, 2013); and a new chapbook, What the Sea Earns for a Living (Quaci Press, 2014). She holds an MFA from Brown University and PhD in British and American literature from University of California, Berkeley.
The reading was well-attended, with many students purchasing books and getting them signed.
The conference was a success all around. Though travel made the day long, students were energized by new ideas and perspectives on literature and writing, and grateful for the opportunity to attend and present. We at Taylor would like to thank CU Alpha Delta Kappa students and the members of the Cedarville University Department of English, Literature, and Modern Languages for all your hard work facilitating a wonderful experience.
For more news from Taylor’s English department, follow along on Facebook or Twitter.