8th Annual MSU Undergraduate Literature Conference

Join us April 20–21, 2023

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.


Day One: Thursday, April 20, Glass Hall 486

9:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

Gender and Sexuality in Popular Culture

Billie Randle (MSU), Beowulf in the Twenty-First Century: Siding with the Monster

Giovanni Acosta (MSU), Dungeons & Dragons: Underrepresented Women and Female Creatures through the Male Conquest

Audrey Lutmer (MSU), Victorian Women in Refrigerators: A Modern Trope’s Reflection of Victorian Ideology

Abigail Zajac (MSU), An Exploration of “Kinky”: Duhamel’s Ideology of Gender Roles and Sexual Pleasure

11:00 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.

Race in American Literary and Intellectual History

David Brockway (MSU), Amasa Delano as a Critique of the American Moderate

Makayla Malachowski (MSU), Stories Passed Down: Frame Narratives in African American Folklore and Literature

Ebony Williams (OTC), “Education over Identification”

2:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

Gender and Sexuality in American Literature

Rebecca Dixon (Drury), An Analysis of Internalized Homophobia throughout Toni Morrison’s First Three Texts

Molly Del Rossi (MSU), Poets Can Lie: Female Experience in Ai Ogawa’s Dramatic Monologue

Israel Budd (MSU), Alien Love and Familiar Horror in Octavia Butler’s “Bloodchild”

3:30 p.m. – 4:45 p.m.

Medieval and Early Modern British Literature

Dessa Outman (MSU/Zoom), Childish Faith: The Role of Folklore and Juvenalian Satire in Geoffrey Chaucer’s “The Prioress’s Tale”

Marianne Prax (MSU), How “The Knight’s Tale” and Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc form a Metaphorical Palimpsest

Sav Archer (MSU), Margaret Cavendish: A Study of Pleasure and Identity Politics


Day Two: Friday, April 21, Glass Hall 486

9:05 a.m – 9:55 a.m.

Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Fictions

Alex Perchatkin (NYU Shanghai/Zoom), Post-Conflict Narratives in the Basque Country: Separatism and Nationalism through the Lens of Mass Literature

Alana Rowan (MSU), A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes: Italics as Self-Transformation Through Internal Dialogue in William Faulkner's “Barn Burning”

Tyler Cavin (MSU), In the Land of Nod: An Ecocritical Perspective on John Steinbeck’s East of Eden


10:10 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Gender, Sexuality, and History

Hunter Mayo (MSU) Don’t Kill Yourself, You’re Too Sexy: The Ophelia Complex in David Lynch’s Twin Peaks

Lillian Durr (MSU) The Monster is She: Comparative Characterizations of Women and the Monster in Frankenstein

Stevie Garish (MSU) Queer History in the Media: A Look into the Life of Emily Dickinson

Fiona Ross (MSU) “Give Me Back My Girlhood”: Taylor Swift’s Midnights (3am Edition) and Performing the Victorian Girl-Child

11:15 a.m. – 12:05 p.m.

Snack and Chat

Join us for informal discussion of English Department programs and organizations!

12:20 p.m – 1:10 p.m.

Representing Young Adults

Anastasiia Stafford (OTC), The Teenage World of Thingness in Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre

Claire Meisch (MSU), Girls with Guns and Boys with Bats: The Exploration of Gender Roles in 1980s Film in Stranger Things

Reanna Schrader (MSU), The War on Young Minds: Cancel Culture and Banned Books

1:25 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Graphic Narrative

Caleb Cloud (MSU), A Degree of Separation: The Use of Defamiliarization in Maus and Barefoot Gen

Tyler Wilkerson (MSU), The House of M(en): The Injustice of Superheroine Portrayal in Comics

Raylene Romireo (MSU), One Piece: The Brilliance of Queerness in a World Full of Pirates

Need more information?

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

To present, please fill out the ULC submission form and email it to Dr. Lanya Lamouria. Please type “ULC Submission” in the subject line of the email. The submission date is February 24.