Call for Proposals: English Symposium 2023

The Words that Shape Us

Symposium Dates: March 2-3, 2023

Proposal Deadline: January 13, 2023

Proposal Submission Link

“All I need is a sheet of paper and something to write with, and then I can turn the world upside down.” -Friedrich Nietzsche

As students and practitioners of language and literature we know that words matter – indeed, one of the fundamental assumptions of our discipline is that words shape who we are and how we live in the world. There is a relational trajectory between words and ideas, ideas and values, values and behavior, and our ultimate sense of place and identity. To this end, we invite you to consider how the words you are encountering in your studies (which may come in material, theoretical, or experiential forms) have shaped or continue to shape our individual and communal worlds past, present, and future. 

We invite proposals from the following English department tracks: Literary Studies, Literary Media and Cultures, Professional Writing and Communication, and the English Teaching major. Proposed presentations may include traditional papers, multimodal research projects, and/or teaching modules (e.g., lesson plans, unit plans, assignments). Please submit proposals here at any time between now and  January 13, 2023.

  • To propose an individual presentation (10-15 minutes), please submit a 150-200 word description of the thesis that guides the research with a brief outline of the presentation and/or the paper’s central argument(s). Accepted presentations will be grouped into panels around common topics by the symposium organizers.
  • To propose a panel (45-60 minutes), please submit one 300-400 word overview of the proposed session’s unifying theme that outlines the specific contributions of each panel participant, including titles and/or brief descriptions of their papers. 

Successful proposals will demonstrate a specific and original claim, a clear purpose, and a connection to the symposium theme. Please do not submit full papers at this time.

Works of creative writing will be honored by invitation to winners of the following writing contests to read their pieces at the English Symposium. To submit, please see details at the links below (Deadline: January 15).

English+ A highlight of the BYU English Major for many students is extending their learning beyond the classroom walls in an English+ internship, study abroad, or Applied English course. We invite students to participate in an English+ Panel at the symposium by preparing a five-minute ignite-style presentation about their English+ Experience. Please contact Dr. Frank Christianson ( or Trina Harding ( by January 13 if you are interested in being part of this panel.

Questions? Contact Symposium Chair Dr. Makayla Steiner at