8th Annual MSU Undergraduate Literature Conference

April 7-8, PSU 317

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The MSU Undergraduate Literature Conference (ULC), held annually each spring, welcomes undergraduate students from across the region to present their research in a public forum. If you are an undergraduate student who has written a paper that examines a work of literature or a cultural text (such as a film, television series, or video game), the Missouri State University English Department encourages you to submit your work during our call for submissions at the beginning of the calendar year. We also encourage members of the community, as well as family members and friends of presenters, to attend. The ULC is free and open to the public.


All events are free and open to the public!

Printable Schedule

Thursday, April 7th Panels

  • 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.: Gender Issues in America Women’s Literature 
    • Taylor Pinon (MSU), “With Unerring Touches and Tenderness to Her”: Relational Consciousness in Sarah Orne Jewett’s Imaginative and Day-to-Day Writing

    • Emily Willis (MSU), The Awakening: Edna's Suicide as Ascension

    • Zachary Thompson (MSU), “The light which, showing the way, forbids it”: Modernist Masculinities in Kate Chopin’s The Awakening


  • 11:10 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.: Snack and Chat
    • Join us for informal discussion of English Department programs and organizations! 


  • 12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.: Disrupting Narrative / Disrupting Structures of Power
    • Megan Sharman (MSU), Everything is Not Alright: Melville’s Fiction as a Precursor to the Postmodern

    • Andrew Cummings (MSU), “Something Went Wrong:” Re-Reading Mumbi and Gikonyo in A Grain of Wheat


  • 2:00 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.: Performing Gender, Sexuality, and Celebrity 
    • Claire Smith (MSU), ““Howling of the Wolf”: Lycanthropy, the Body, and Changing Masculinity in John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi

    • Kyle Richardson (MSU), Sleepaway Camp: “Camping,” Queer Cult Fandom, and Subverting the Trans Killer

    • Sarah Morgan (MSU), Love Isn’t Perfect: The Male Gaze and Female Empowerment in You

    • Aryann Verma (U of Florida / Zoom), The Boys and the Culture of Celebrities

Friday, April 8th Panels 

  • 10:10 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.: Snack and Chat 
    • Join us for informal discussion of English Department programs and organizations!


  • 11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m.: Religion and Literature
    • Sabrina Kutell (Webster / Zoom), Suicide in Dante’s Inferno: “Are You Completely Without Pity?”

    • Mya Berry (MSU), Stoker and the Anti-God

    • Addisyn Wheeler (MSU), Adapting the Religion of the Oppressor: Christianity in Ngũgĩ’s A Grain of Wheat


  • 12:10 p.m. - 1:10 p.m.: Death and Suffering in twentieth-Century Poetry
    • Grace Willis (MSU), The Need for a Witness: Modernist Perspectives on Suffering in Brueghel’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”

    • Brayden Jones (MSU), Death & The Arkansas River: The Poetry of Frank Stanford and its Contribution to the Southern Gothic Tradition


  • 1:25 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.: Narrative, Voice, and Identity in The Thriller 
    • Caleb Cloud (MSU), How The Talented Mr. Ripley and Gone Girl Show That Narrative Voice Is the Key to Creating a Reliable Narrator

    • Jacob Oldham (MSU), In the Telling: Narrative and Identity in Native Speaker

    • Kwan Willhoft (Webster / Zoom), Devotion to CompleX Female Characters: The Case of Yasuko in Higashino’s The Devotion of Suspect X


  • 2:30 p.m. - 3:20 p.m.: Ethnic American and British Literature
    • Elaine Pohlsander (Missouri S&T), Recognition of an Oppressor Class Audience in the Works of Sarah Winnemucca & Mary Prince

    • Charlie Crane (MSU), The Great Alchemist: How Israel Zangwill Creates the Melting Pot

    • Claire Roberts (MSU), Ceremony: An Expression of Metanarrative and Nonlinear Storytelling

Need more information?

Please contact Dr. Lanya Lamouria, Chair of the ULC, for more information.