Agency and the EGSA Conference — Toward the beginning of last semester, my coffee cup and I wandered into the faculty/staff lounge in search of coffee, for a coffee cup without coffee is about as bad as a bookshelf without books. Anyway, there I ran into the officers of the English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) all huddled around a table. I asked what they were up to, and Sara Eudy, the president of the EGSA, informed me that they were discussing possible themes for their upcoming conference. I chatted with them for a few minutes about their plans for the conference, and then my replenished coffee cup and I wandered back into my office.
At the time, I was not sure what conference theme they would settle upon, but I was very pleased to see them making the decision on their own. In the end, they came up with the following theme: “A World of Difference: Re-Imagining the Global in the 21st Century.” Over the course of last semester and into the beginning of the current semester, the members of the EGSA have been diligently organizing their annual conference, and they are now ready to go.
This year’s EGSA conference will take place on Friday, February 1, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. in UNC Charlotte’s Popp Martin Student Union. The conference will feature thirty presentations in addition to the keynote address by Emek Ergun from UNC Charlotte’s Department of Global Studies. The presenters represent twelve different universities from across the southeast. The EGSA conference promises to be an informative and thought-provoking event, and I urge everyone to attend for at least part of the day.
Over the past nineteen years, the members of the EGSA have taken on the challenge of organizing their annual conference. They usually feel a bit intimidated at the beginning of the planning process, they always rise to the occasion. They often consult with members of the faculty and staff of the English Department during the planning stages, but they make their own decisions and take responsibility for solving the logistical problems inherent in running a day-long conference. For these graduate students, the experience of organizing this conference involves claiming and exercising agency.
Upcoming Events and Meetings — Here is a list of upcoming events and deadlines:
February 1 — The 2018 Faculty Recognition Event will take place on February 1, 2019, from 3:30 to 5:00 pm in the Harris Alumni Center.
February 7 — Grace Ocasio will participate in a poetry reading at the Waccamaw Library on Pawleys Island, SC, from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm.
Quirky Quiz Question — The keynote speaker at this year’s EGSA conference is a professor from UNC Charlotte’s Global Studies Department. Our department also has another ongoing connection with the Global Studies Department. A member of our department regularly teaches a course that is cross listed with Global Studies. Who teaches this course?
Last week’s answer: Harriett Jacobs
One of the books that Janaka examines in Freedom Narratives of African American Womenis a classic autobiography titled Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. This book was originally published under the pseudonym of Linda Brent. What is the real name of the author of this autobiography?