author: kathryn nogue | contributor
A quality night out for any English major
Modern tragedy, Métis poetry, and moral chaos in Jurassic Park: these are just a few of the topics that will be discussed at “Literary Eclectic XI: Many Voices,” an upcoming conference presented by the English Department. The conference, which runs Oct. 21–22, gives the university community a look into the research being done by English Honours and MA students.
Now in its eleventh year, Literary Eclectic is the result of a partnership between the University of Regina and the University of Saskatchewan, which take turns hosting the proceedings. Its intent is to bring together students from both schools and provide them with a professional forum in which to present their recent research. As conference director Dr. Susan Johnston notes, the experience helps students develop as scholars and as speakers.
“It’s really in events like this that the professional skills and the academic skills meet,” she says. “And our students are learning to be…thoughtful and confident presenters.”
In keeping with Literary Eclectic’s emphasis on professionalization, the pre-conference activities include skills development workshops for attendees. On Friday, Oct. 21, noted Métis poet Gregory Scofield will be offering a master class. Registration for the session is limited, with preference given to those presenting papers. Following Scofield’s workshop, Johnston will lead an open seminar on conference presentations.
The conference will open with a 5:00 p.m. reception at the First Nations University of Canada. Professor, artist and critic Dr. Warren Cariou will be the keynote speaker at the event. Dr. Cariou’s talk, “‘You Have to Taste the Land’: Indigenizing the Senses,” is open to the public, and all are welcome to attend.
After the reception, the English Students’ Association will host an open mic and literary karaoke night at the Stone’s Throw Coffee Collective.
Students will present their papers from 9:00 a.m. to 5:45 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22. A closing banquet will be held at the University Club from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Following the banquet, there will be a public reading featuring guest of honour Gregory Scofield, who will present selections from his newest collection of poems, Witness, I Am. Scofield will be accompanied by U of R poet and professor Randy Lundy, and MA student Nathan Mader.
For Johnston, having writers of Cariou and Scofield’s stature participate in the conference is both an honour and an indication of the intellectual and creative strength of the university community.
“It’s wonderful to have scholars and writers of the calibre of Warren Cariou and Gregory Scofield here in Regina to be able to give our students this opportunity to hear their work and to have them hear the really excellent work our students are doing.”
In her view, the quality and success of Literary Eclectic depend on the support of that community.
“It just wouldn’t be possible without the help of sponsors like the President’s Conference Fund, the Humanities Research Institute, and the Faculty of Arts, not to mention all the time and resources the Department of English has put into this fantastic event.”
For more information, and to register for the conference, visit http://www.uregina.ca/arts/english/literary-eclectic.html. Registration fees are $55 for students and the un- or underemployed, and $85 for others.