A Note to Participants:

We are excited that you will be involved this year’s English Symposium! As you continue to prepare, here are some notes and reminders:

Download Here Participant Instructions

  • Review the symposium program, which is linked above. Note your presentation time and place and plan accordingly. Also, note other panels that may be of interest to you and plan to attend those in support of your peers. Finally, please attend the keynote we have scheduled for Thursday at 1PM in the HBLL auditorium. Lisa Valentine Clark, comedian and radio personalty, will be speaking about the role of the humanities in her own personal and professional success.
  • Attend a presentation skills coaching session. If you were not able to attend one of the two coaching sessions that took place on February 10th and 11th, we have added an additional session for February 18th at 4:30 PM in JFSB 4188.
  • Plan for time constraints. This detail was discussed in coaching, but it is worth repeating. If you are in a 50-minute panel with two other presenters, you should plan for roughly twelve minutes for your presentation. If you are in a 75-minute panel with three other participants, you should plan for roughly fifteen minutes for you presentation.
  • On the morning of the symposium, stop by the symposium table to register and get your name tag and program. The table will be set up in the JFSB basement near the northeast elevator.
  • Stay in touch with the symposium website. There may be minor changes to symposium details. If so, they will be announced here.  


English Symposium February 27 – 28, 2020
Visions of Past, Present, and Future

The concept of vision is more than a pun on the new year; it is a principle that is central to faith, education, literature, rhetoric, even language itself. Without vision, the psalmist reminds us, people perish. Without revision, the professor reminds us, writing perishes. Whether presenting eye-opening creative work, a fresh perspective on an old text, or insight into the personal and professional world of the humanities, students are invited to share their work at this year’s English Symposium.* We invite proposals for individual papers, paper panels, and topic roundtables; the symposium will also feature English+ stories and competitive panels in creative writing and film. Descriptions and deadlines are below.

Submissions can be made HERE
(Paper Submission is under Author Corner on left hand side of the web page)

Individual Papers (Deadline January 10)

A student may propose an individual paper on any topic related to their studies in the humanities. Papers may come from – but are not limited to – research the student has done in English department courses. Proposals should be no more than 250 words.

Paper Panels (Deadline January 10)

Students may collaborate to propose a panel on a single topic, where each participating student presents an individual paper on the given topic. Up to four students may comprise the panel. Paper panel proposals should also include the name of a faculty member who has agreed to serve as chair of the panel should it be accepted. Proposals should include a 150-word rationale, and a 75-word summary of each of the papers to be presented.

Roundtables (Deadline January 10)

Like paper panels, roundtables are designed around a single topic. However, unlike paper panels, roundtables are less formal. Roundtable participants will conduct a guided conversation around a topic of relevance within the humanities. Topics may range from practical matters, such as maintaining work-life balance, to more academic issues, such as the role of social justice in the classroom. Proposals should include a 150-word rationale and a short bio for each of the participants, including a roundtable facilitator.

Film Competition (Deadline February 10)

The English Symposium inaugurated its film competition in February of 2019. Students are invited to select a scene from a favorite piece of literature, then to interpret that scene in film. Submissions should be no longer than 10 minutes in duration. An information session on this category will take place later fall semester. At this meeting, interested students can enjoy refreshments and talk with film judges and experts about how best to proceed with their project, as well as how to submit it. Collaborative projects that involve multiple students from diverse departments and colleges are welcomed.

Creative Writing Showcase Panels

The program in creative writing organizes panels that showcase award-winning student work in various categories, including fiction, poetry, and mixed genre. Students who are interested in being considered for these awards should consult the English department’s awards website: http://english.byu.edu/awards-scholarships-and-contests/

English+ Stories

Students who have participated in an English+ experience will also be selected to share their stories in the form of a short presentation with a visual aid (e.g. PowerPoint). These presentations are filmed and archived. Previous presentations can be found on the English Symposium YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdejN0nxgn5VKsNbfUmK0w/featured

Fame, Glory & Prizes

  • All presenters may choose to archive their presentations in BYU’s ScholarsArchive.
  • Excellent research papers will be selected for publication in Criterion, BYU’s journal of literary criticism.
  • “My English+ Story” will be filmed and featured on the English Symposium YouTube Channel and in English Department media.
  • Cash awards for creative writing competition winners and winners of the Short Film competition.

*Students who graduate in December 2019 are also welcome to submit proposals. Students need not be pursuing English Studies in order to submit a proposal, provided the content is appropriate for the English Symposium.