The Conference!

Hi everybody. Now is the time to start talking about ideas for the Honors conference. We need a name and a theme to start. We’ll also need to decide on format.

I also wonder if anybody is interested in making a video or some other multimedia project that works with the theme.

To start, I’m listing the titles of all your theses. Use the comments section to post ideas about what themes might bring all these together–and to suggest titles for the conference. 

“The Importance of Memory and Legacy” by James Marone

“Reclaiming Space for Radical Empathy in Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things” by Sumaria Butt

“Death in Young Adult Literature” by Kelly Santana

“An Exploration of Anarchy in the Works of Ursula K. Le Guin” by Chani Rubenstein

“Self Under Siege: Pleasure in Brave New World” by Ikram Khan

“The Transcendence of Race in Contemporary America” by Tracy Kawall

The Giving Tree and Arlene Sardine: What is the Ultimate Message?” by Zainab Bhatti

“‘We Found Ourselves Veiled and Separated’; Liminality, Politics, and Representation in Bechdel’s Fun Home and Satrapi’s Persepolis” by Yazmin Estrada

“The Reality of Illusion in Dramatic Literature” by Caitlin Marziliano

“‘Mad!’ Historical Context as a Primary Diagnostic Criterion in Lady Audley’s Secret and its Film Adaptation” by Michelle Coleman

“What women? Examining the Invisible Figures of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man” by Krystal Dillon

“Teaching in the Age of Inclusion: Using Disability Narratives as a Bridge to Understanding Neurodiversity” by Brandon Hernandez

“Robotic Art and the Condition of Being an Object” by Sarah Schafer

“The Heroic Junkie: Transhumanist Theory and Neuroenhancers in the Television Series Limitless and Sherlock” by Asheka Lawrence-Reid

“The Horrors of Adolescence” by Zahava Glucksman

“Bram Stoker’s Dracula: The Connection Between Gender and its Many Euphoric States” by Radheeka Sharma

“Autistic Minds and Animal Minds in the Work ofTemple Grandin” by Lisa Lay



  1. Race, Gender, Neurological Conditions, Disability. These themes all deal with the second-class citizenship of those written about.

    How about something like:
    “18 Seconds:
    English 399W Examines the Struggle of the Second Class

    (the 18 seconds refers to our 18 papers)

  2. This isn’t obvious, but one common theme in all or most of your projects involves imagining alternative worlds. Or, something about relations between perception and reality.

  3. Maybe something like “World Building” or “Building Alternate Worlds”? These are just suggestions. I want to hear your ideas. It would be ideal if the topic came from you all, if we can find consensus.

  4. Building Worlds?

    But there is something in both Brandon’s and Lisa’s posts about living with others and building worlds with others. Of course, a title doesn’t have to represent everything. But let’s keep trying.

  5. Every time I hear “alternative worlds” I think of Kellyanne Conway’s “alternative facts.”

    I like the idea, but how about substituting “Parallel” or simply “Alternate?”

    1. I like the idea of “Building Worlds.” Maybe including something about the perception versus reality that Professor mentioned earlier on? “Seeing (something) and Building Worlds”?

  6. Building on Michelle’s idea about perception, what about using some version of the word “phenomenology”?

    Phenomenal Worlds? Building Phenomenal Worlds? The Phenomenology of World Building?

    Other ideas?

  7. I am just going to throw titles out there as they come into my head. “Dialectical Phenomenology: How We Shape and Create Reality”

  8. Storyworlds?
    Building Storyworlds?
    Phenomenal Worlds?
    Literature, Perception, Reality?
    Shaping Worlds, Building Minds?
    Building Worlds, Shaping Minds?

  9. Hi! It’s Chani. Can’t figure out how to log on. I’m a fan of anything that has to do with Storyworlds. It has a kind of ethereal, aesthetic appeal. My concern is that I don’t know if everyone feels that it applies directly to their papers. “Are You Thinking What I’m Feeling” is fantastic, as it’s a little more lighthearted, and may pertain to more papers. I’d be happy with an iteration of either.

  10. I suggested possibly threading each presenter’s portion together with a type of thematized “commercial break.” For example, Zahava’s presentation on “The Horrors of Adolescence” could be followed by a quick video of a shrieking, frightened person in a haunted house. Then Radheeka could follow with her presentation on Dracula.

    Corny, I know, but we have been practicing finding threads and connectors all semester. This could be one more (albeit lighthearted) way.

  11. I like “Are you thinking what I’m thinking” , or the variations of Brandon’s proposal, “Are You Feeling What I’m Thinking?”,”Are You Thinking What I’m Feeling?”

  12. I think it’s really hard to determine a theme based on titles. Maybe everyone can give 2-3 keywords what their essay is about so that we might have an easier time connecting them?

    1. Okay! So my keywords would be mental illness, playwright, and depiction…? It’s kind of hard to sum up in key words like that. Looks like a lot of us are working with the brain or mental illness though.

  13. what about “cognitive conscious kinesis”

    I’m trying to get at the movement of thoughts between people and trying to make it sound cool but also educated, thoughts?


    “Cognitive Kinesis”

    1. Something that plays on Brennan’s “The Transmission of Affect” might get at the idea you’re talking about here.

  14. Mine would be identity, Uncanny, and adolescence. I agree with, Caitlin. I think identity plays a large role in working with the brain. Either of those might be topics for us to work with.

  15. I also really like the “Are you thinking what I’m feeling” because a lot of us explore thought and feeling through language. Our exploration of the experience of thought and feelings is very interesting and intriguing.

  16. One thing to keep in mind. We can write a short paragraph describing the concept for the conference–so the title doesn’t have to sum up everything.

  17. keywords: pleasure, identity, subjectivity.
    I like the title “Are you thinking what I am feeling?” It seems broad enough to cover everyone’s topic.

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