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UIS to host conference on the future of English studies

September 19, 2007

Contact: William Carpenter, 217/206-8332, wcarp2@uis.edu
or Sara Cordell, 217/206-7213, scord1@uis.edu

SPRINGFIELD -- The English Department at the University of Illinois at Springfield will host "The Purpose(s) of English: A Conference on the Future of English Studies" Friday and Saturday, October 19 and 20, on the UIS campus. Advance registration is required to attend the conference, however two keynote addresses on Friday will be presented free and are open to the public.

The event is designed to examine different responses to issues currently facing college and university English departments by asking a number of questions, such as: In an era that pressures colleges and universities to teach workplace literacy skills and career-specific knowledge, what should the English curriculum look like?  How might the emphasis on cultural studies or service learning affect the study of literature? Do different types of institutions require different types of English curricula? How do online courses in English represent the pressures of a corporatized, globalized university?

Keynote speakers will be Christine Farris, professor of English and director of composition at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and John Schilb, Culbertson Chair of Writing at IU and editor of College English. Farris' address, beginning at 11 a.m., will discuss "Will There Always Be an English?" Schilb's address, beginning at 8 p.m., will be "Should We Teach Literature as Rhetoric?"

The two-day event will also feature presentations and panel discussions by faculty, staff, and students from English departments at a number of colleges and universities in the region. Facilitators will be William Carpenter and Sara Cordell, both assistant professors of English at UIS.

Farris is the co-editor, with Judith H. Anderson, of Integrating Literature and Writing Instruction: First-Year English, Humanities Core Courses, Seminars (Modern Language Association, 2007) and, with Chris M. Anson, of Under Construction: Working at the Intersections of Composition Theory, Research and Practice (Utah State University Press, 1998). She is also the author of numerous chapters and articles in professional publications.

Schilb is the author of Between the Lines: Relating Composition Theory and Literary Theory (Heinemann-Boynton/Cook, 1996), as well as numerous chapters and articles. He was general editor of Series in Composition and Rhetoric (Peter Lang Publishing) from 1991 to 1998 and serves on the editorial boards of Rhetoric Review, Works and Days, Reader, and PRE/TEXT.

UIS sponsors of the conference are the Speakers' Award Committee, Office of the Provost, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the English Department.

The registration fee, which includes all meals, is $75 for full-time instructors, $65 for all others, and must be received by October 5.

For a complete list of presentations and to register, go to www.uis.edu/english/. For more information, contact Carpenter at 206-8332 or wcarp2@uis.edu, or Cordell at 206-7213 or scord1@uis.edu.



The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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