Each year since 2014, undergraduates from SFU’s World Literature Program have hosted an interdisciplinary academic student conference addressing cultural, social, and aesthetic frames of reference. Our panels range across literature, cinema, & the image, and investigate the socio-political, cultural, & literary fallouts of cross-national encounters.

Our 8th annual academic conference takes place March 30th from 4-6 PM at the Halpern Centre. Each of our previous conferences have been attended by nearly 200 students, faculty, and members of the public. Addressing a shared conference theme, each year some 24-30 undergraduates from different departments have presented papers across 4 focused conference panels on aspects of World Literature and global culture. We have never had less than 48 audience members at any of our parallel sessions, and most of the attendees remain for the Gala reception immediately afterwards. Our host organization is the World Literature Student Union, and, since January 2016, a rotating student production team of between 32 and 47 individuals (Co-Curricular Credits given). We are grateful for financial and logistical support through SFSS, Arts Central, and the FASS office of Student Engagement.

Since 2018 we have been in conversation with the FASS Director of Student Engagement, Dr. Bettina Cenerelli, and the team at Arts Central. On occasion we have expanded our conference to include the formal participation of other departments within the faculty. This initiative began a trial run that year, and in 2019 we welcomed student presenters from FRENCH and FIRST NATIONS STUDIES. Our goal is to expand the event to allow the addition of a third parallel session. Eventually, we hope to open our conference to the faculty as a whole, with focus on the process of creating shared themes and joint panels. That we are ready to expand the conference is testimony to the dedication and professionalism of our student team, and to their willingness to work in concert with other student groups and disciplinary platforms.

Included below is the program for the WLSC.

“Intertextuality: The Symbiosis of Art and Self” Moderator: Kathryn Mar

First Session- Long Room (Room 126) 04:20 PM 

1.      Monika Leeder

The Whole is More than the Sum of its Parts – How we Come to Understand Art

2.      Marie Jen Galilo

Art in the Arena of Human Experience

3.      Junayd Ahmed

The Beauty of the Mise-en-scène in Wong Kar-Wai's In the Mood for Love

4.      Joy Kuang

Reading Repetition: Mysterious Drawbridges in The Erasers

5.      Bianca Weima

Identity Erasure in Creative Non-Fiction and Publishing

6.      Cassandra Reeves

The X Factor: The Scandalous Story of 19th Century France's Most Infamous Wardrobe Malfunction

7.      Cahleigh Kalbfleisch

The Husband Stitch: Transcending an Enduring Binary

8.      Kaya Hunter

Multispecies Entanglements: Unravelling Linguistic Dichotomies


“Wordlessness: Finding and Losing Language” Moderator: Darian Feakes

First Session- Round Room (Room 114) 04:20 PM 

1.      Nickole Villamin

Capturing Memories: The Role of Photographs in Sarah Novic’s Girl at War

2.    Shuxian Liu

“Farewell to My Country in Han Dynasty”: A Poem in Two Languages

3.    Noelene Prasad

    Lost but Never Found: The Painful Sublime of the Girmitiyas

4.    Ava McKinnon

 Love and Sacrifice in A Post-Apocalyptic World

5.    Sophia Hastings

    Meanings Left behind Through the Development of Language

6.    Stefan Nikolic

Life in the Untranslatable

7.        Ammarah Siddiqui

    The (in)tangible: Using Poetry to Translate the Untranslatable.

8.    Mason Rowan

 中:Language and the Navigation of Mixed-Race Identity in Contemporary Canadian Literature

“Connecting Identities Through Time” Moderator: Matthew White

Second Session- Long Room (Room 126) 05:30 PM 


1.      Chloe Lee-Sarenac

The Mark-Stepper: Beowulf’s Grendel as Transgressor of Signs


2.      Jessie He

The Farewell: The Oppressive Silence of Grief

3.      Odessa Twibill

Don’t Touch My Hair: The Assumption of Access to Black Bodies and Culture

4.      Darcy Kayibadi – 2nd session

Returning to your Roots: an African Perspective

5.      Chloe Liu

Reducing or Levitating the Difficulty?  The Story of The Stone for Both Chinese and English Readers

6.      Richa Daiya

Tritiyaprakriti: The Hidden Lives and Languages of the Hijras of South Asia

7.      Zeyna Al Gutani

The Hidden Language of Art and Expression 

8.      Kenneth Kim

The Power of Silence: (un)language in Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6

“Meaning Across Mediums” Moderator: Isha Hoonan

Second Session- Round Room (Room 114) 05:30 PM 

1.      Garin Fahlman

The Violence Gap: Adapting The Last of Us to TV

2.      Kitty Cheung

Humanizing through Drag: How Drag Performance is Combatting Anti-East Asian and Anti-Southeast Asian Racism

3.      Rodrigo Chiu Vincent

Football: An Art of Culture

4.      Salome Mengo Morales

The Untold Tale of Nine Queens

5.      Emaelena Popovic

The Cranes Are Flying - A Russian Cinematic Masterpiece: The Human Experience of War and the Power of Love

6.      Mina Han

Cultivating Voice: How “The Untamed” Plays with Censorship

7.      Theo Siggers

The “End Poem” by Julian Gough: an Analysis of the Story and the Bigger Picture on Creativity

8.      Amy Groves

Mafiosi and 'the Miracle:' Cinematic Representations of Corruption in Il Mafioso (1962)