Department of languages and literature puts on Visions Conference
TNE Editor
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Department of languages and literature puts on Visions Conference

Published 4/3/17

Madison Durham

TNE Writer

The Visions Conference is put on by the departments of languages and literature. The conference highlights the creative work and research of students in the department, as well as other students in supported programs.

“The department of languages and literature has been organizing visions conferences for six years,” said Irina Strout, Visions Conference coordinator. “It is to promote critical thinking skills and to help students present their research to other students, as well to faculty members”.

The conference is not only for language and literature majors and minors. Strout said it is also for students who are working in other areas of humanities. There will be students who work with social studies, communications and criminal justice.

The conference is broken up into two days. Friday, April 7 is when they will have the creative writing portion. NSU students, as well as students from other graduate programs who have submitted their creative writings, will have an opportunity to present them. They will also have outside writers from graduate programs, professional writers and local writers to give panels.

“It all kind of capes off with two things,” said Christopher Murphy, assistant English professor. “One is readings from the creative writing competition where students have written poetry or fiction and submitted their stories. Then we will select a handful for them to read, and then we will select one of each for the overall winner. Then we will have visiting writer, Arigon Starr. She is a playwright musician and she writes a comic called Super Indian. She will give a lecture during the day and a reading at night at the Jazz Lab.”

On Saturday, April 8, they will have academic panels.  The panels focus on languages, literature and rhetoric. It is an academic conference where there are panels organized around a certain topic. Students and faculty who have submitted research papers on the certain topic will discuss their research papers. They keynote speaker for that day will be Kimberly Lee, assistant English professor. She will discuss the importance of research in the academic setting.

Gemini Creason, St. Louis senior, will present her research over language barriers that occur between minorities and the police. She heard about the conference from some of her colleagues and they explaned to her that it could be over any aspect of language. She decided to combine her two majors of criminal justice and Spanish.

“To figure out if I want to submit my work, I typically ask myself ‘What is the worst that could happen?’,” said Creason. “The worst that could happen is that you don’t get accepted. You can always try again later, but in most cases you should jump out and try.”

The Visions Conference is noon to 4 p.m., Friday, April 7 at Seminary Hall. The last day of the conference is 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, April 8 at Seminary Hall.

For more information, call Strout at 918-444-4506, or email


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