Each year, undergraduates from SFU’s World Literature Program host 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 5th annual academic conference takes place this coming April. 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 individually-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 well over 100 individuals attend the Gala reception immediately afterwards. Our host organization is the World Literature Student Union, and, since January 2016, a rotating student production team of no fewer than 32 individuals (Co-Curricular Credits given). We are grateful for financial and logistical support through SFSS, Arts Central, and the FASS office of Student Engagement. Other funding comes from World Literature’s operating budget, and, for 2017-2018, financial support from the Office of the Dean of FASS. Each year our budget has approached but not surpassed $3000.
Since last year we have been in conversation with the FASS Director of Student Engagement, Dr. Bettina Cenerelli, about the possibility of expanding our conference to include the formal participation of other departments within the faculty. This initiative begins its trial run for 2018, and for 2019 we are welcoming 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.
The academic portion of the 2019 CONFERENCE is scheduled to take place from 4-6 PM on Wednesday, April 3rd 2019 at the Halpern Centre on SFU’s Burnaby Campus. This year’s conference theme is “BEING IN PLACE : LANDSCAPE & IDENTITY IN WORLD LITERATURES” and it asks how feelings of “being in place” emerge in a world divided by complex and intersecting boundaries and borders.. The WL Student Conference team is presently in the process of finalizing the infrastructure of the event. For more information on submissions, visit the Call for Submissions page.