NSU students will present research at regional conference for English studies

Five current Northwestern State University students and one recent graduate will present their original research and writing at a regional conference for undergraduates and graduates in English studies. The students will present at the Sigma Tau Delta North Georgia Southern Regional Conference hosted by the University of North Georgia’s Alpha Upsilon Phi Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta. The conference will be held virtually October 17.

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English Honors Society. The Nu Iota Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta has been in existence at NSU since 1964. Current president of NSU’s chapter Maxey McSwain (double-major in English and Art) is current chapter president and was instrumental in promoting the event and securing such representation from NSU, according to Dr. J. Ereck Jarvis, assistant professor of English and coordinator of graduate studies in NSU’s Department of English, Foreign Languages and Cultural Studies and faculty advisor to NSU’s Nu Iota chapter of Sigma Tau Delta.

Participants and their topics are as follows.

Kristen Culver of Hackettstown, New Jersey, a graduate student in the Master’s in English program with a concentration in writing and linguistics, will present “Writing about Writing (WAW) as a Discipline” which she developed in Dr. Jenn Enoch’s ENGL 5280 class.

Elliot Davis of Natchitoches, undergraduate student majoring in history, will present “Eighteenth-century Embroidered Pockets,” research on 18th century embroidery and Samuel Richardson’s “Pamela” developed in Jarvis’s Fall 2019 ENGL 4350.

Meghan Quaglino of Chalmette, a Louisiana Scholars’ College student majoring in liberal arts, will present “Fake News: The Not-So-Hidden Danger that’s Hiding in your Facebook Feed,” research conducted with Dr. James Picht in SCRT 181W.

Christina Rigaud of Jarreau, a graduate student in the Master’s in English program with a concentration in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), will present “Creating Living Cultural Spaces for Language Learning in Louisiana,” research from her MA thesis directed by Dr. Lisa Abney.

Ruben Smith of Clayton, undergraduate student majoring in English, will share and discuss two of his own short films whose titles appear in the title of his presentation, “On Time and Place in 2020: Focusing on Experimental Films Before & During a Pandemic with ‘Inescapable Doom’ & ‘Anthills.’” Smith generated this creative work in connection with Dr. Allison Rittmayer’s Spring 2020 ENGL 3530.

Jade Williams, who graduated from NSU with a bachelor’s degree in English in 2019 will present creative work. Williams was one of three NSU undergraduate English majors who travelled to the University of North Georgia and participated in the conference last fall. This year’s call for participants was extended to past presenters even if they had graduated. In 2018, Williams shared her research on Jean Rhys’ “Voyage in the Dark” and will present her creative work this year.

Many regional, national, and international scholarly organizations are holding 2020 and 2021 conferences virtually because of the pandemic,” Jarvis explained.

Jarvis is a member-at-large of the executive board of the Southeastern Society for Eighteenth Century Studies. That group will host a Zoom-based conference in February 2021.

“Although the virtual structure limits collegial interactions, it likewise encourages new approaches to these events and increases access, particularly for graduate students and university scholars whose funding has been affected by the pandemic,” Jarvis said. “NSU’s English graduate programs are wholly online, so opportunities like this enable students from around the country and world – such as current students residing in Greece and Japan — to participate in regional scholarly events. The Sigma Tau Delta Southern Regional Conference follows the model of academic conferences which are integral to the vitality and development of scholarly research.”

This event hosted by the University of North Georgia and supporting undergraduate and graduate research offers students excellent experience of and insight into the work professors do outside of the classroom, Jarvis said.

Information on the conference is available at http://www.english.org/events/regional/index.shtml.