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Dal Hosts Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference
The Dalhousie English Society and the Department of English hosted the 33rd Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference, March 14-16, 2014. This event, a real tradition, attracts students and faculty advisors from throughout the Atlantic region, from Newfoundland to the northern campuses of the University of Maine.
This year, we had about 65 student presenters, plus advisors, and attendees from Dalhousie and the Atlantic universities. Fine students from throughout the region got to hear each other’s work, exchange ideas, and socialize. The event received support from the Dal Student Union, Department of English, Dean of FASS, VP Academic, VP Student Services, President of the University of King’s College, and from the President of Dalhousie.
There were two days of concurrent sessions where students presented both critical and creative work. The conference began with a free public talk by author Lynn Coady, who had just won the 2013 Scotiabank Giller Prize for fiction. She spoke about her own creative practice, read from her work, and spoke also about the role of literary creativity in the world.
The Saturday evening banquet, in the Great Hall of the University Club, was the occasion to present the Department of English’s awards for student writing, and to promote two student-edited journals, Fathom and Verso. Following the banquet, there was live music and dancing. The event was organized by a superb student team, led by Julia Manoukian
and Jacob Sandler, working with many volunteers from the Dalhousie English Society and the English student community more generally. They did Dalhousie proud by mounting one of the best conferences ever in the long tradition of this event.
Whether it was Lynn Coady speaking about truth or comfort inherent in story telling, students making connections across time periods and genres, or El Jones rhapsodically debunking clichés, the AAUEC will always be one of my fondest memories at Dalhousie. Never have I felt so connected not only to my peers across Atlantic Canada, but also to ideas studied again and again at English Departments across the globe. The academic and creative prowess displayed at the Conference this year was nothing short of impressive and inspiring. I am delighted to have helped lead such a wonderful team, and even more thrilled to see what the conference will bring in the following years.
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