Department of English

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Send an English Student to a Professional Conference!

Imagine shaking the hand of a poet or scholar you've only met in the pages of your class anthology, or listening to a panel of experts discuss ideas you've debated with your professor, or meeting other practitioners in the field you hope to soon be a part of and suddenly seeing how large the world of ideas truly is? Students in Chico State's English major work closely with faculty on timely, innovative research and writing projects, and are actively encouraged to submit their work to conferences and professional meetings, where they can meet in person leading scholars, writers, and researchers. When their projects are accepted, students are understandably excited, but that excitement is often tempered by the fear that the costs for traveling will prohibit them from being able to attend.  

This is where you can help. It can cost upwards of $1,000 or more for a student to attend a 3-day conference or professional meeting, depending on location. Even a small donation of $10 will help feed a student attending a conference, while larger donations can help offset the costs of air travel and lodging. When our students attend these events, they learn important skills related to presenting new information in engaging, professional ways, network with active professionals who can help them when they leave the care of Chico State, and showcase the innovation of programs here at Chico State. Past students who have been able to participate have landed important jobs at places like Crown Publishing, where alum Zach Phillips is assisting with the editing of Barack Obama’s new book.  

Case for Giving: 
Costs for attending academic and professional conferences are surprisingly high. Conferences are usually held in large, expensive cities that usually require air travel, several nights of accommodation, and meals, and registration fees can add significantly to overall cost. It can easily cost a student over $1,000 – that’s 1/4 of an entire semester’s tuition! – to attend a 3-day conference. But your donation can help offset these costs. 

  • $750 provides full support for one student to attend a conference in the US 
  • $500 provides ground and air travel expenses for one student to attend a conference in the US  
  • $250 provides food, lodging, and registration for one student for an entire conference 
  • $100 provides lodging for one night for two students 
  • $50 provides conference registration at student rates for one student 
  • $20 provides meals for a day 

During the 2018-19 academic year, our students are hoping to attend these events: 

  • The Working Class Studies Association Annual Conference. Dr. Nathaniel Heggins Bryant’s students in his Working Class literature seminar are hoping to attend the Working Class Studies Association's annual academic conference at the University of Kent in southern England. This represents an amazing opportunity for graduate students, many of whom are themselves working class, to combine international travel and professionalization experience in a community of artists, community activists, and well-established scholars. The students have drafted (and redrafted!) proposals and conference papers in response to the 2019 conference theme. 
  • The Association of Writers and Writing Programs Conference and Bookfair. Each year, more than 12,000 writers, teachers, students, editors, and publishers form a community for four days of insightful dialogue, networking, and unrivaled access to the people and groups that matter most in contemporary literature. The conference features over 2,000 presenters and 550 readings, panels, and craft lectures. Each year, a faculty advisor and three to four students represent Watershed Review at the bookfair, which hosts over 800 presses, journals, and literary organizations from around the world. In 2019, the conference will convene in Portland, OR, to celebrate the best of what contemporary literature has to offer. 
  • The Conference on College Composition and Communication (CCCC). Hosted by the National Council of Teachers of English, CCCC is the largest conference in the world for researching and teaching writing, with a proposal acceptance rate of approximately 30%. This March, it convenes in Pittsburgh, PA around the theme of Performance-Rhetoric, Performance-Composition. Several English graduate students have received invitations to present their research on topics including peer mentoring and social media activism against domestic violence. Conference presenters have the opportunity to share their own research, participate in rigorous scholarly conversations, meet fellow educators and professionals, and learn about PhD programs and industry opportunities. 


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