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Graduate English Conference

The University of Idaho Graduate English Conference (UIGEC) is an annual event sponsored by M.A. and M.F.A. English students of the English Graduate Association (EGA). The EGA is a student run organization dedicated to growing connection, academic and personal opportunities, and community ties. Each year, the conference chair(s) develop a theme, create a call for papers, invite a keynote speaker, and plan panels based on proposals submitted for the conference. All conference-related work is done by graduate students, with the faculty support of the M.A. English program director. The UIGEC is a unique opportunity for graduate students in the English Department to gain experience in planning, executing, and presenting at an academic conference.

UIGEC 2023: Storytelling: Narrating Agency

The UI EGA is seeking submissions for our 2023 multidisciplinary conference, Storytelling: Narrating Agency. Historically, humans have attributed agency to human consciousness and intentionality, often to exert control over other entities. Narrating Agency is an exploration of the meaning of agency, and what/who can have it. Within and beyond humans, we wonder what has the capacity and drive to enact change? In the stories we read, tell, and see, who has the ability to take action and why? Who are the characters, elements, landscapes, and settings that drive change in our stories of the world around us? How do the narrators and voices of our natural and social world assert themselves, or become silenced, in a story?

No story has a single author. In an increasingly divisive world, we hope to come together to tell our own story; a story of a conference as a confluence of perspectives that form new patterns and ties among different disciplines and agents that we may not always consider when working alone. We challenge you to push the boundaries of who is included in your - or, our - story, from the trees of a forestry study, to the bacteria living in wildfire, to the psychologically confounding identities of our social and bodily realities, and finally, to any imagery, speaker, perspective, or agent that influences the formation and telling of your story.

Keynote: "Storytelling in Indigenous cultures" by Caj Matheson, Director of Natural Resources for the Coeur d'Alene Tribe.

The 2023 conference will be held April 1st, 2023 on the University of Idaho's campus in Moscow, ID from 9am - 4pm. We are still accepting and encourage applications for in-person presenters through March 20th. Our virtual programming is full. Questions for the 2023 conference can be sent to

2023 Conference Chairs:

Kelsey Evans (she/her), EGA President,
Christian M. Perry (they/them), EGA Vice President,
Amanda Carruth (she/her), EGA Treasurer
Madi Aittama (she/her), EGA Event Coordinator
Kassidy Wigen (she/her), EGA Event Coordinator
Giana Starble (she/her), EGA Event Coordinator

Past conference:

UIGEC 2019: Fluid Frontiers: Explorations of Water in the Humanities and Beyond

Précis: Seventy-one percent of the planet is covered in water — an element that is fluid, ever-changing, essential to life on Earth. We live in a time where melting glaciers and rising water levels are reshaping landscapes, and physical and social boundaries are becoming increasingly fluid. This fluidity is written into our bodies at the cellular level. It welcomes us to think critically about ways of knowing both human and nonhuman worlds and creates a much-needed space for less-privileged narratives in academia and society. The graduate students in the University of Idaho Department of English invite you to consider how literature, creative writing, pedagogy, linguistics, and the humanities at large engage with water as both a physical substance and concept. This might range from ecocritical analyses, to fluid interpretations of language and literature, to creative works on the fluidity of relationships, ontologies, and experiences. We welcome projects that will open a discussion on ever-shifting creative, pedagogical, rhetorical, and theoretical boundaries, as well as explorations of how academic disciplines might harness the fluctuation of belief and knowledge to push these boundaries even further in ways that reflect the increasing interdisciplinarity of the watery world that we inhabit and embody.

Keynote: “Reclaimed Waters: The Arts of Elemental Justice in the Anthropocene”
Professor Richard Watts (French/Comparative History of Ideas/Environmental Humanities)
University of Washington, Seattle

Abstract: If instead of thinking of water as alternately pure or polluted—with all the associated pairs of tropes such as righteousness and abjection, virginity and defilement, and clarity and turbidity that this binary implies—what if we were to recognize water in the current social-ecological epoch of the Anthropocene as always already polluted or opaque (in that it always bears something other than itself, and we often cannot see what it carries) and to reimagine water’s possibilities from that standpoint? This keynote address explores the question of how we move forward with and through “tainted” waters by considering how cultural creators, actors, and theorists across a range of media, spaces, and languages “reclaim” waters in the name of environmental and social justice.

2019 Conference Chairs: Kit Stokes, Corrin Bond, John MacPhereson

English Department

Physical Address:
200 Brink Hall

Mailing Address:
English Department
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 1102
Moscow, Idaho 83844-1102

Phone: 208-885-6156


Web: English