Faculty-Organized Conferences

Utah Council of Teachers of English

UCTE: On November 11th the Utah Council of Teachers of English held their annual conference at the Jordan Commons Megaplex in Sandy, Utah. Jon Ostenson, a past president of UCTE and current conference chair, planned and organized the event for over 400 teachers and educators from across the state. In addition to two nationally recognized keynote speakers, breakout sessions included presentations by multiple BYU alumni as well as a session by Chris Crowe and Dawan Coombs entitled “Staying Fired Up to Avoid Burning Out.” This was Jon’s third year acting in the role of conference chair.

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Archipelagoes/Oceans/ Americas Symposium

On October 6–7 the BYU Humanities Center research group Archipelagoes/Oceans/Americas held its Archipelagoes/Oceans/Americas Symposium. With institutional sponsors and collaborators including the Humanities Center, the English Department Reading Series, the Fine Arts Department, and the Rutgers Center for Cultural Analysis, the two-day symposium was dedicated to reenvisioning the Americas not as a fundamentally continental space but as an assemblage of spaces made up of oceans, islands, archipelagoes, continents, and shorelines. Drawing twenty scholars and artists from BYU, UW-Madison, Rutgers, University of Hawai‘i, Texas Tech, the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Toronto, San Francisco State, the University of Utah, and Penn State, the symposium held six sessions and included a poetry reading by Craig Santos Perez and an art exhibition and artist talk.

(Pictured left: Far left, Hester Blum at her keynote address. Right, Craig Santos Perez at his poetry reading.)

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“Manuscripts, Print, and the Organization of Knowledge”

In early September of this year, Professor Nick Mason of BYU’s English Department collaborated with colleagues from Cambridge, the U. of Edinburgh, and the U. of Glasgow to host a three-day symposium on “Manuscripts, Print, and the Organization of Knowledge” at the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere, England. Bringing together leading book historians, literary critics, and historians of science from both sides of the Atlantic, the event showcased important new research on how Enlightenment- and Romantic-era writers, thinkers, and curators navigated the transition from manuscript-based systems of knowledge to the world of print. Several presenters also drew parallels between today’s “information age” and the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, when overwhelmed reviewers and archivists across Europe and North America struggled to process, catalogue, and organize the flood of new printed knowledge that arrived on their doorsteps each week. By holding the event in the Jerwood Centre—home to the Wordsworth Trust’s world-class collection of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century manuscripts, rare editions, engravings, and paintings—presenters were able to illustrate their remarks with specific manuscripts (e.g., letters, diaries, annotations) and printed materials pulled from the Trust’s archives.

More information about the Wordsworth Trust in Grasmere