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English honor society hosts regional literature conference

ISSUED: 8 November 2017
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s Alpha Gamma Kappa Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the international English honor society, hosted its sixth regional undergraduate literature conference November 4. The conference drew about 25 participants from 11 colleges and universities from across the region. Dr. Lois Jarman, director of Shepherd’s intensive English language program, gave the keynote address, titled “The ‘Unknown’ Lens and the Humanities.”

Brianna Maguire, an English major from Paw Paw and co-president of the Alpha Gamma Chapter, was the conference organizer. Maguire said she enjoyed meeting undergraduate students from other colleges.

“It was interesting to see a lot of different states coming together to present papers,” Maguire said. “I think we get a little bit wrapped up here in our Shepherd bubble so it’s great to see other people come in to present their material.”

Kylie Krummel, Alpha Gamma Chapter co-president from Fishers, Indiana, sees a lot of value in organizing and participating in a conference like this.

“I think it helps all of of us learn how to be a little more professional in our endeavors,” Krummel said. “It also helps us build up English presentations, because a lot of times as writers we don’t read or present our work, we just kind of let it sit and speak for itself, so this is one chance to talk to other intellectuals about the work.”

Shepherd students who made presentations were Meaghan Papeika, Annville, Pennsylvania, “Can Bodies Talk? Storytelling in Chrètien’s Chivalric Culture”; Gabrielle Hersey, Delray, “Hysterical Dysfunction: The Birth of the Cinematic Queer”; Claudia McCarron, Charles Town, “The Divine Mother: Motherhood and Gender in the Odyssey”; Allexandra Benedict, Shepherdstown, “femiNAZI”; Gabrielle Hess, Martinsburg, “The Household Empire: Using the Power over the Oikos to Influence the Polis”; and Olivia Barrett, Kearnesyville, “The Trouble with Maidens: Retention of Female Agency in Arthurian Romance.”

Shepherd students who chaired the various sessions during the conference were McCarron, Maguire, and Hersey, as well as Michaela Keyser, Hagerstown, Maryland; Casey Otto, Wellsburg; and Christopher Bonar, Great Falls, Montana.

“Hosting the conference gives students the opportunity to share their work, hear what’s going on in other English classes around the country, and feel really good about what they’ve done,” said Dr. Heidi Hanranhan, associate professor of English and Alpha Gamma Kappa advisor.

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