West Chester University hosted the EAPSU Undergraduate Conference entitled “Re: Thinking, Re: Visioning, Re: Covering English Studies” on Friday April 3, 2009 in the Sykes Student Union from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.Sykes was alive with students from universities all over the state dressed in their business best, note pads and flash cards in hand, eager and patiently waiting their turn for their presentations. Other students sat attentively in their seats while those involved presented their research.
According to the organization’s website, EAPSU, which stands for English Association for Pennsylvania State Universities, is an organization whose members derive from the students and English departments of the 14 state universities in Pennsylvania.
Those universities are;Bloomsburg University, California University of Pennsylvania, Cheyney University, Clarion University, East Stroudsburg University, Edinboro University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, Lock Haven University, Mansfield University, Millersville University, Slippery Rock University, Shippensburg University and West Chester University.
There were however, representations from other universities and colleges attending the conference including Messiah College, University of Delaware, and Cedar Crest College.
EAPSU has been in existence since 1980 and continues to showcase “the best in many disciplines within “English”: writing and literature, pedagogy and film, creative and critical,” according to the organization’s website.
The conference was open to all English majors at West Chester, or any of the other institutions that are members of EAPSU looking to add something great to their resumes, or just to report on a topic of interest to them.
The conference was separated by time and room for convenience and to ensure that everyone who was participating got equal time with their presentations.
This year’s conference consisted of 66 individual and class presentations under 24 separate topic headings.
Some of which were: Heroes and Heroines, with participants from Ursinus College, Edinboro University, and Saint Francis University; Modern Technology in Undergraduate Literary Research, with students from West Chester University’s ENG 400 Seminar class on 18th Century Crime and Punishment; Pedagogy and Teaching, with students from Saint Francis University; and Diversity and Discrimination with students from Shippensburg University, Ursinus College, and Slippery Rock University.
At 12:45 p.m. the conference’s keynote speaker, Judith Fetterley spoke on “Teaching English as an Act of Love” where she was received with accolades from her colleagues and others attending and speaking at the conference.
The presentations took place on the second floor of Sykes in the many conference rooms available there.
Mary McNamee, a student at West Chester and an EAPSU participant commented on the conference saying that she thought there would be fewer people at her presentation and at the conference in general but was pleasantly surprised when she saw the number of people there.
“There were definitely more there than I expected but I liked talking to a good number of people in the room instead of just my class who I was participating in the conference with.”
Jenna Shepanski is a fourth-year student majoring in English and minoring in Journalism. She can be reached at JS618186@wcupa.edu