Regional Events

Participating in regional conferences and events is a great way to connect with other members of Sigma Tau Delta, make new professional contacts, expand your knowledge, and gain valuable experience presenting papers.

If your chapter is contemplating hosting a regional event, your first step should be to contact your Regent for information about promotional, and possible financial, assistance. Note: In order not to conflict with Sigma Tau Delta's annual spring convention, regional events should only be planned for the fall.

As a service to its members, Sigma Tau Delta provides links to regional conferences and other non-Society-sponsored English events. If you wish to have a link to your conference or event on this web page, please complete the Event Posting Request Form.

Regional events will be posted on this page.

Sigma Tau Delta Midwestern Conference

"Economy: Moral Challenges and Opportunities": A Conference on Language and Literature

Co-Sponsored by the Phi Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta and the English Graduate Organization at Western Illinois University

Friday, September 30, 2016 - Saturday, October 1, 2016

Simpkins Hall, Western Illinois University; Macomb, IL

This co-sponsored conference serves all Sigma Tau Delta undergraduate and graduate students in the Midwestern Region. Literary critics have long used the concept of economy in a multitude of ways to understand literary texts, from internal economies of forms and genres to the profound effects of economic structures that produce and constrain knowledge and literacy. From the production and distribution of writing to the funding of universities, economics is often the determining factor in what is written, what is read, and how it is all interpreted. Critical movements including Marxism and new historicism are steeped in economic understandings of literature and writing practices, while deconstructionists, gender and sexuality theorists, critical race theorists, and postcolonial critics all speak of both global economics and specific symbolic economies of meaning. Writing studies is also steeped in questions of economics that define the possibilities for literacy and social justice and that undergird all pedagogies.

Scholars of literature and writing studies are hardly dispassionate or uninterested ethical actors. At the heart of humanism are serious moral and ethical aspirations, but these are always defined and constrained in the last analysis by economics. From the history of colonialism to contemporary debates about the value of a humanities degree, meaning and money are always deeply intertwined.

Keynote Speaker:
Dr. Jennifer Ruth, an Associate Professor of English at Portland State University and co-author of The Humanities, Higher Education and Academic Freedom: Three Necessary Arguments (2015), will deliver the keynote address "Flannery O'Connor's Boxcars, Hannah Arendt's Conscience" on Friday, September 30, 2016, at [time to be determined] in the Sandburg Theater in the University Union.

The conference will include regional networking and a special workshop for members of Sigma Tau Delta. Midwestern Student Representative Haley Helgesen and Midwestern Associate Student Representative Shelly Romero will host a roundtable entitled, "Maximizing Your Convention Experience," and will offer advice and answer questions related to presenting analytical papers and creative writing at the international convention to be held in Louisville, KY, in March 2017.

Submission Requirements:
Active undergraduate and graduate student members of Sigma Tau Delta are eligible to submit.

This year, we invite proposals for analytical papers, creative writing, or complete panels that address literature, writing, ethics, and economy.

WIU's Sigma Tau Delta chapter and English Graduate Organization invite undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty, to submit 250-word abstract proposals for conference papers. Submissions, one per person, may be directly related to the topic of economy and literature, but any topics within English Studies are welcome.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Literature and Economics
  • Writing and Economics
  • Literary Criticism and Economics
  • Literary Forms, Genres, and Economics
  • Literary Celebrity and Economics
  • Canons and Economics
  • Shakespeare and Economics
  • Symbolic Economies
  • Postcolonial Economies
  • Literature, Writing, and Sustainability
  • Economics and Pedagogies, Radical and Otherwise
  • English Studies and the Economics of the Contemporary University

Submitters are required to attend the event if their submission is accepted.

Document Format:

  • Word document
  • 250-word abstract

Registration Fee:

  • Undergraduate students: $10
  • Graduate students: $15
  • Faculty: $20

Submission Deadline: Friday, September 9, 2016
Email Submissions to: English Graduate Organization,
Email Questions to: Dr. Timothy Helwig,

Additional Information: A conference website, hosted by WIU’s English Graduate Organization, will be available by early September and will provide details about registration, local hotels, best paper awards, and more.

Annual International Convention

March 29-April 1, 2016
Louisville, KY

Regional Events

Sept. 29 - Oct. 1
Midwestern Region
Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL