Apr 27-29, 2020
WriterCon 2019 (Writers' Conference at UW-Parkside) is where names on projects meet faces, where great ideas are presented and flourish. Join us to see great projects and participate in workshops and panels. Engage with other Literatures and Languages majors as well as alumni and professionals who are active in the field that interests you!
CALL FOR PROPOSALS
Details about WriterCon 2020 will be announced at a later date.
WriterCon 2019 invited current Parkside students and recent alumni to submit papers and projects that explored:
Transitions and Translations Panel
From “Coming of Age” to “Adulting”: Becoming an Adult in Literature Since the Beginning of Time
Creative Project Panel
#MeToo: Where Are We Now?
One of the papers or projects presented at the conference was awarded Best Paper of the Conference and $100!
ABOUT THE PANELS
Transitions and Translations panel
We are seeking submissions for papers and works that deal with questions of process of shifting between one state of being or another. Papers might consider acts or processes of translation in the literal linguistic sense, or in more figurative ways. These papers might think about boundaries and the ways in which people transgress or shift those boundaries.
From “Coming of Age” to “Adulting”: Becoming an Adult in Literature since the Beginning of Time
We are seeking submissions for papers that address questions of development, education, and coming of age. These papers can be on this issue in Young Adult or Children’s literature, but may be in other genres, including film and poetry, from The Odyssey to Fun Home. Papers could also be on adult bildungsroman (novels of development or education).
Creative Project Panel
For this panel, we are seeking creative projects, which can be anything from physical submissions, pictures, or creative writing. We do ask that you create a visual element if your project does not already have one (a poem, short story, etc) such as a poster. The projects will be displayed in science fair style. There is no specific theme for this panel, just show off your awesome, creative works.
#MeToo: Where Are We Now
The #MeToo movement, originated by Tarana Burke in 2006, but going viral in 2017, has changed public dialogue about sexual harassment and sexual assault. This panel/round table seeks speakers who will offer short position pieces about how the #MeToo movement has changed or shifted the conversation. What is the aftermath of #MeToo? What does it mean for us now? These position pieces might focus on such ideas as:
- CancelCulture (i.e. Terry Crews or Alyssa Milano, who have made public missteps with regard to #MeToo)
- allegations against political figures like Joe Biden
- Louis C.K.’s jokes about and then rage-response to the movement’s critique of him
- the whitewashing of #MeToo with respect to the originators of the movement and to the experiences of women and people of color
- CIS men’s struggle to understand and adapt to shifting cultural expectations (i.e. the rise in men seeking therapy for previous actions that they now see as, at best, inappropriate, or worst, harassment or assault).
Although these position pieces do not need to be heavily researched, they should be informed by engagement with social trends, events, and conversations, and should offer your response or interpretation to these trends or events, not simply a personal narrative.
Please submit a one paragraph proposal that identifies your main interests and what you would like to contribute to this discussion.
PROPOSAL TIPS AND EXAMPLES
- Make sure that your “so what” statement is clear and obvious. You should introduce the thesis of your paper and provide enough background knowledge so that your argument is apparent.
- Specifically state which panel you want to submit to. With that, explain how your paper relates to the topic you are submitting to!
- Mention the texts that you are working with within your paper.
- Explain the lens that you examined the text through. Was it theoretical? Historical? What was the thought process behind it and how did you apply it? Explain it to us!
Senior, English Major
For the Transitions, Translations, and Spaces in Between panel for the 2018 Writers’ Conference, I submit my paper “Transgressing Morals: the Theory of Life.” In the essay, I use philosopher Michel Foucault’s theory of transgression, which is outlined in his “A Preface to Transgression,” to dissect Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment. I argue that the only way the main character, Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov, is able to find the significance of morals and the meaning of life is when he stops obsessing about the theory of morals and lets life define his existence. I use literary critic Gary Saul Morson’s “The Disease of Theory: “Crime and Punishment” at 105” as a secondary source in order to provide background information on the time period and cultural setting when Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s book was published, and I also reference the critic’s argument on how Raskolnikov’s obsession with being able to rationalize morals makes him mentally ill. In the book, the main character believes that a select few people have the ability to transgress morals and not feel remorse. Raskolnikov’s obsession with this theory almost unconsciously possesses him to transgress the line of morality, leading him to commit murder. Unfortunately, Raskolnikov’s rationalization of morals crumbles when he feels guilt for his crime. Because he disproves his own theory, he no longer finds any meaning to life. After he accepts the fact that he cannot theorize morals, he is able to let go of his obsession and finally, once again, find the true meaning of life. Ultimately, in my paper about transgression in
Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, I analyze how the act of transgression reinforces the need for rules and morals.
Senior, English Major
Because my paper is about the anthropomorphic trees in The Lord of the Rings, which is sometimes marketed as a Young Adult series, I would like to submit this paper for the Coming of Age: bildungsroman panel.
Can’t See the Forest for the Trees
Through the winding rivers and vast forests of Middle-earth, the scenery is a part of every step that the fellowship takes. At times, Tolkien’s descriptions seem to make the world come to life; at other times, Middle-earth is literally alive. From the Hedge boundary that separates the trees of the Old Forest and the Shire to the Ents of Fangorn Forest, the anthropomorphic trees of middle earth cause the distinctions between human and plant become blurred. The words that Tolkien uses to describe these trees blend the ideas of flora and fauna into one being. The experience of life itself is being examined through the contrast of nature and domestication. Even without explicit anthropomorphism or other forms of personification, Tolkien’s use of exposition and scenery throughout his writings emphasizes the underling life of Middle-earth itself. Tolkien surrounds his characters in the rich geography and history of the land, bringing the background details into the foreground while also having consequences for the plot. While not literal anthropomorphism, Middle-earth has a life beyond the trilogy, branching into other books and stories. Through their anthropomorphism, the motives of the trees take on a life of their own and become as applicable and understandable as any Tolkien’s characters made of flesh and blood. Throughout the hobbits’ journeys, both together and split apart, they encounter the consequences of history and geography that give the land of Middle-earth a life of its own. The natural world of Middle-earth in The Lord of the Rings is as alive as any other character with a heartbeat, with the same motives that drive life.