2015 Undergraduate Literature Conference

The Eighth Annual Pitt English Undergraduate Literature Conference March 20, 2015

Schedule of Events

SESSION ONE:   9:00-9:50      

 1. Media and Product Production in Relation to Childhood (Room 501 Cathedral of Learning)  Moderator: Mary Gryctko

  • “Adult Influence on Children's Consumer Culture” | Emily Fecile 
  • “Female Childhood: “A Harmless Longing” of a Culturally Designed Beauty” | Samantha Hom
  • "Comedy and Sexuality: Regaining Agency Through Power and Laughter" | Lauren McNeil  

2. Utopian and Dystopian Literature: Representation, Unconsciousness, and Real World Applications (Room 512 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Sarah Hakimzadeh 

  • “The Giver and The Hunger Games: Adolescent Experience and the Changing Societal Perspective” | Victoria Morrow
  • “Visual Images: Connecting We and The Dispossessed” | Mary Wade
  • “Idealism in Paradise: Escapism in 20th Century Literature” | Courtney Phillips

SESSION TWO:   10:00-10:50        

3. A brave new world: dystopian fiction for women and young adults (Room 501 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Shawna McDermott

  • “The Potential to Overcome Feminine Alienation in SciFi” | Elise Taryn Haas
  • "A Dystopia of One’s Own: Female Protagonists in Young Adult Literature" | Alicia C. McCaffrey
  • “Are You There, God? It's Me, Katniss: Bodily Autonomy and Anxiety in Young Adult Dystopias” | Megan Alanna Zagorski  

4. The American Dream on Screen: Part I   (Room 512 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Kevin Flanagan 

  • “Skating on Thin Ice: Tonya Harding and the Myth of Upward Class Mobility” | Naralie Russell 
  • “Shamelessly American"  | Matthew Patton       

SESSION THREE: 11:00 -11:50 

5. Poached & Encroached Communities (Room 501 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Schuyler Chapman

  • "Poached Brides: Marriage and the Aristocracy"  | Alexander Schirra
  • "Sacrificial Lamb: Abnormality in Silas Marner" | Margaret Laird 
  • "The Fairytale Past: George Eliot's Silas Marner and Humanist Societies" | Sarah Mejia 

6. Writing the Postmodern: Limits of the Self (Room 512 Cathedral of Learning)  Moderator:Laura Feibush

  • "Cinema: The Language of the Posthuman in Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow "  |  Monique Briones
  • "‘Only fragments are accurate’: Emotional Memory in Lyn Hejinian’s My Life”" | Daniel Willis
  • "Creating Imaginative Space: New Directions in the ‘Endless Present’" | Michael Pugliese 

LUNCH:   12:00-1:00

Informational Panels: 

                 A.  Lit @ Pit (Room 501 Cathedral of Learning) 

                      Speakers from the Pitt Potter Project, Pitt in London, the Fantasy Studies Fellowship, the Senior Thesis Program

                  B.  So, You Wanna Go to Grad School? (Room 512 Cathedral of Learning)

                      Roundtable and  Q & A with Pitt Grad Students

SESSION FOUR:   1:10 – 2:00   

7. Ma/n/chine: Technological Perspective  (501 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Treviene Harris

  • “Empathy & Physicality: Creating Humanity in Science Fiction” | Christopher Matich
  • “The Culture of Machines: Technology in Midnight Robber” | Kaylen Sanders   
  • Dear Esther and Perspective: Videogames in Conversation with Art and Literature” | Michal Cohen 

8. Excavating Bleak House (512 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Hyo Kung Woo

  • “Excavating Bleak House”  | A Panel of Students from the Bleak House 360 Project

SESSION FIVE:   2:10-3:00       

9. Perennial Concerns of Satire: Women, Excrement, and the Grotesque (501 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Kyle Winkler

  • “Women in Satire–Misogyny On and Off the Page” | Elizabeth Rakow
  • “Grotesque Portraits of Humanity: The Organic, the Machine and the Demonic” | Katherine Mooney
  • “Shits and Giggles: The Role Played by Scatology in Satire”  | Anjuli Das
  • “Two Competing Images of the Grotesque”  | Georgia DuCharme 

10. Playing with Patriarchy and Punishment (512 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Clare Sigrist

  • “Manufacturing Children: Toy Story's Interpretation of Advertisement Explotation | Monica Morrison 
  • “Twentieth Century Feminist Utopias: Science Fiction as Deconstruction of Patriarchy through Patriarchy” | Kameron Sanzo 
  • “The Price of Progress: Duality and Suffering in Crime and Punishment and 'The Flood'" | Jenna Geiman 

SESSION SIX:   3:10 – 4:00      

11. An Open Book: Both Medium and Message (501 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Treviene Harris

  • “The Importance of Being Active: Embodied Practice and Field Trips" | Julie Mueller
  • “A Brief History of the Book From Manuscript to Electronic, and How and Why to Study It” | Stephanie Roman
  • “The Process is the Point: A Case for Experiential Learning in the English Literature Classroom" | Kyle Semroc  

12. The American Dream On Screen : Part II  (512 Cathedral of Learning) Moderator: Rachael Forlow

  • “The Psychology of the Modern American Man in The Sopranos” | Amanda Ford
  • "So We Beat On: The American Dream Lives Through Leonardo DiCaprio​ " | Zersha Muir

CLOSING SESSION:   4:10 - 5:00     

Remarks from:

Dr. Hannah Johnson, Director of the Literature Program 

Dr. John Twyning, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences

Awards for Best Paper Competition


CLOSING RECEPTION :  5:00-5:30    (501 Cathedral of Learning)

There will be snacks!


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