Brigham Young University 2023 English Symposium


Registration and Check-in

Thursday, March 2                                                             9:00 – 9:30am

Come pick up your name badge and swag bag at the registration table next to the Education in Zion auditorium (across from the bottom of the spiral staircase in the JFSB).

 Session A

Thursday, March 2                                                         9:30am-10:45am

Panel A1: The Evolution of a Sonnet

Room: 4186 JFSB

Chair: John Talbot

  • Zoe Ngan, Blazon in Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130
  • Emmalee Bass, Dante and Petrarch Meet Esther
  • Cutter Mendenhall, Expression in the Silent Center of Elizabeth Barret Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese
  • Lily Jensen, Claude McKay’s Protest Sonnets
  • Brennah Payne, Coleman’s Blues: Jazz Influence in the Sonnet
Panel A2: Perspectives on Anzia Yezierska’s Bread Givers

Room: B101 JFSB

Chair: Kristin Matthews

  • Sarah Petersen, Education Through the Lens of Great Works of Literature
  • Emma Swenson, Creating the New World: Yiddish Patriarchy, Assimilation, and the Hybrid Woman in Yezierska’s Bread Givers
  • Kathryn Mulligan, The Paralleled Identities of Sara Smolinsky and Eve of Eden
Panel A3: Submissions Divine and Domestic

Room: B105 JFSB

Chair: Trent Hickman

  • Kim Hansen, Henrietta Maria: Royalist Women’s Representations of the French Catholic Queen
  • Samuel Rather, “Parker’s Back”: A Story of Submission
  • Emi Yamazaki, Willa Cather’s My Ántonia: Whiteness, Patriarchy, and Domestic Femininity

Keynote Address: Finding Your Voice: The Virtue of Divine Persistence

Thursday, March 2                                                     11:00am-12:05pm

Room: B190 JFSB

Chaplain Jenna Carson currently serves as a chaplain in the United States Air Force. In 2022, after several years of petitioning church leadership, Carson became the first female military chaplain endorsed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Prior to serving in the Air Force, she worked as a chaplain in the federal prison system and in various hospitals. Chaplain Carson earned a BA in English from Brigham Young University and a Master of Divinity from Harvard Divinity School.

English Fair

Thursday, March 2                                                             12:15 – 1:00 pm

Room: B135 JFSB

Come learn more about the communities and opportunities that exist for students within the English Department. There will be snacks, games, and free English Department swag! The following clubs and programs will be represented at this year’s English Fair:

  • Academic Advisement   
  • Careers & Experiential Learning
  • Criterion
  • Diversity & Inclusion Committee
  • English MA Program
  • English Society
  • English+
  • Global Women’s Studies
  • Prestigious Scholarships
  • Professional Writing Minor
  • Research and Writing Center
  • Study Abroad Programs

Session B

Thursday, March 2                                                             1:15 – 2:15 pm

Panel B1: Shakespearian Economics

Room:  B103 JFSB

Chair: Brice Peterson

  • Emi Yamazaki, “‘Tis a commodity will lose the gloss with lying”: Women’s Agency in the Sexual Economy of All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Sara Garrett, A Matter of Choice: Astrology and Agency in Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well
  • Meg Sheffield, Lavinia’s Shame, Titus’s Sorrow: Rape as a Property Crime in Titus Andronicus
 Panel B2: King Lear’s Moral Reach

Room:  4186 JFSB

Chair: Gideon Burton

  • Benjamin Ure, Why Vice Saves Virtue
  • Brooke Mizell, King Lear: An In-Depth Study of Human Nature
  • Erin Thorley, Nor Far from the Tree: How Characters from As You Like It and King Lear Recover from the Fall
Panel B3: Guilt and Grace in 20th/21st Century Fiction

Room: 4188 JFSB

Chair: Emron Esplin

  • Eve Dixon, “I Know Who I Am”: Ancestral Identity, Guilt, and Grace in “Everything That Rises Must Converge”
  • Maddison Tenney, Holy Disobedience Through the Ethics of Care in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead
  • Jennifer Saldana, Guiltless Free Will: A Borges Perspective

Session C

Thursday, March 2                                                             2:30-3:45pm

Panel C1: Literature and the Body Politic

Room: B101 JFSB

Chair: Makayla Steiner

  • Jackson Howe, Michel de Montaigne’s Guide to Reading Fake News
  • Maddison Tenney, Politics and Belonging: Judith Butler and Bodies that Matter at BYU
  • Madilyn Abbe, “Hopelessly Crippled”: The Construction of Disability in Borges’s “Funes, His Memory”
Panel C2: Book Conservation and Repair

Room: 4116 JFSB

Chair: Jamie Horrocks

Though the language of a book is typically the foremost tool to understanding its culture, message, and perspective, the binding of a book can likewise reveal the author’s intended audience, the aesthetic culture of a place or time, and other interesting context to the text. This panel will focus on methods used to preserve books as artifacts for study, including live demonstrations of professional conservation methods. As the books are repaired, presenters will discuss preservation methods for books as well as the importance of bibliography to literary studies.

  • Louisa Eastley
  • Drew Conger
Panel C3: Teaching Grammar in Context within Writing Units

Room: 4186 JFSB

Chair: Debbie Dean

  • Claire Chandler, “This I Believe” essays for eighth grade
  • Jessie Hedrick, Semi-autobiographical short stories for tenth grade
  • Toni Aguiar, Short Scary Stories for tenth grade
  • Kathryn Mulligan, Creative Nonfiction for twelfth grade
Panel C4: Literary Divisions

Room: B103

Chair: Keith Lawrence

  • Gabrielle Shiozawa, Two to Tango: Narcissism and Maintenance in The Mosquito Coast
  • Samuel Cook, “This Last Farewell”: Election, Separation, and Death in the Poems of Anne Bradstreet
  • Tori Anderson, Bradstreet as a Romantic Poet: Her Personalization of Nature

Session D

Thursday, March 2                                                             4:00-5:00pm

Panel D1: Childhood Tricks and Tales

Room: B106 JFSB

Chair: Nick Mason

  • Eve Dixon, The Development of Identity Through Childhood Folklore
  • Luci Sullivan, Playing Pretend: Performativity in Victorian Children’s Literature
  • Moriah Weaver, Maintaining the Magic of The Polar Express
Panel D2: Words for Water

Room: Education in Zion Auditorium

Chair: Shelli Spotts

Words for water is a collaboration between undergraduate creative writers and contemporary dance choreographers who are working in pairs with the task of generating movement and language surrounding the issue of water conservation in Utah. Their collaborative works will be showcased in BYU DancEnsemble’s April concert. In a season of increasing scarcity and politicization of water within the state, Words for water seeks to advocate for a responsible stewardship through interdisciplinary collaboration.

  • Dramaturg: Thomas Jenson
  • Participants: Fleur Ban Woerkom, Grace Babcock, and Jennifer Saldana
Panel D3: Stories Shaped by Faith

Room: B092 JFSB

Chair: Chris Blythe

  • Holden d’Evegnee, “Legend Still Holds Secret the Key”: Animism and Dialogic Witnessing in Véronique Tadjo’s Queen Pokou and Toni Morrison’s Beloved
  • Zerin Wetzel, Heirs to the Covenant: Christian Supersessionism and the Fall of Jerusalem
  • Emma Fox, Exodus to Eden: Biblical Journey Narrative in My Ántonia


Registration and Check-in

Friday, March 3                                                             8:30 – 9:00am

Come pick up your name badge and swag bag at the registration table next to the Education in Zion auditorium (across from the bottom of the spiral staircase in the JFSB).

Session E

Friday, March 3                                                             9:00 – 9:50 am

Panel E1: Writing 150 Contest Winners

Room: Education in Zion Auditorium

Chair: Shelli Spotts

  • Kevyn Mausisa, Research: Predetermined Success: Immigrant Parents and the Academic Success of Children
  • Abigail Jones, OpEd: It’s Just a Game
  • Peter Holland, OpEd: Why Spider-Man Hit Home—My Experience with Representation in Media as a White Male
  • Samuel Charles, Essay: Forks that Bend
  • Eli Rothas, RA: Spotify is Killing Beethoven
Panel E2: Elsie C. Carroll Essay Contest Winners

Room: 4188 JFSB

Chair: Joey Franklin

  • First Place: Gabrielle Shiozawa
  • Second Place: Mia Shumway
  • Third Place: Lily Jensen (read by Lauren Jensen)
Panel E3: No More Strangers Contest Winners

Room: B150 JFSB

Chair: Meridith Reed

  • The first, second, and third place winners will read their essays during this session.
 Panel E4: Poetry Contest Winners

Room: B105 JFSB

Chair: Michael Lavers

  • First Place: Torrin Omokoh
  • Second Place: Paris Nilson
  • Third Place: Alanna Hess

Session F

Friday, March 3                                                             9:30 – 10:45 am

Panel F1: Performative and Political Rhetorics

Room: B103 JFSB

Chair: Amy Williams

  • Gretchen Picklesimer Kinney, The Doctor and the Bard: Examining How Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare Create New Words
  • Isaac Hamm, Iconicity in Athletics: Iconic Sports Moments as Rhetorical Performances
  • Kailey Harris, Apocalyptic Rhetoric as a Means of Expressing Political Anxieties in Jorge Luis Borges’s “Ragnarök”
Panel F2: Power at the Margins

Room: B135 JFSB

Chair: Keith Lawrence

  • Louisa Eastley, The Power of Servants in Wilkie Collins’s The Dead Secret
  • Brittney Hatchett, Havens and Covens: Pregnancy, Witchcraft, and Female Power in Cotton Mather’s “Retired Elizabeth”
  • Charity Ford, Tyrant v. Witch: Unlawful Order and Lawful Disorder in The Winter’s Tale
Panel F3: Accessing the Sonnets

Room: 4186 JFSB

Chair: Johnny Allred

  • Emmalee Bass, “Mountain Song”
  • Brennah Payne, “Portrait of Forgiving”
  • Cutter Mendenhall, “Nehor’s Sonnet”
  • Zoe Ngan, “Splat”
  • Lily Jensen, “Refracted Sonnet in the Voice of Anne Creager”
Panel F4: Transgressive Words

Room: B101 JFSB

Chair: Juliana Chapman

  • Isabelle Wolfer, Doctor Faustus, Homoeroticism, and the Transgression of Language
  • Abigail Fielding, The Value of a Female Language as Seen in Science Fiction
  • Sophia Snyder, The Weight of Words and Gender: Intersectionality in Chaucer’s “the Man of Law’s Tale”

 Session G

Friday, March 3                                                             10:00 – 10:50 am

 Panel G1: Writing 150 Contest Winners

Room: Education in Zion Auditorium

Chair: Shelli Spotts

  • Kristen Evans, OpEd: A Midwinter’s Nap
  • Kevyn Mausisa, Essay: Allegro, Andante, Adagio
  • Molly McMaster, Research: Songs that Stamp; RA: 2022 or 1942
  • Layla Young, Research: Starting the Race Conversation
  • Jacob Liljenquist, Essay: Blank Space
 Panel G2: Ann Doty Fiction Contest

Room: B150 JFSB

Chair: Spencer Hyde

  • First Place: Tanner Burke
  • Second Place: Alanna Hess
  • Third Place: Ilse Eskelsen
Panel G3: Graduate Multigenre Award Winners

Room: B105 JFSB

Chair: Steve Tuttle

  • Fiction: Shayla Frandsen
  • Poetry: Ruth Arce
  • Essay: Mauri Pollard

Brandie R. Siegfried Women in Academia Panel

Friday, March 3                                                             11:00 – 11:50 am

Room: Education in Zion Auditorium

Chair: Sharon Harris

The Women in Academia panel has been named to honor BYU English professor Brandie R. Siegfried, who passed away in February of 2021. The college remembers her as an advocate for women’s education. The panel began seven years ago as a means of informing students about the variety of work available in academia. The panel is a question-and-answer event where female and male students can ask female faculty within the English department about their experiences as women in academia. We welcome this year’s panelists:

  • Karen Brown
  • Ann Dee Ellis
  • Katie Palfreyman
  • Makayla Steiner

English Reading Series

Friday, March 3                                                             12:00 – 12:50 pm

Room: B092 JFSB

Taylor Brorby is the author of Boys and Oil: Growing up gay in a fractured land, Crude: Poems, Coming Alive: Action and Civil Disobedience, and co-editor of Fracture: Essays, Poems, and Stories on Fracking in America. Taylor’s work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Orion Magazine, The Arkansas International, Southern Humanities Review, North Dakota Quarterly, and in numerous anthologies. He is the Annie Tanner Clark Fellow in Environmental Humanities and Environmental Justice at the Tanner Humanities Center at the University of Utah.

Plenary: English+

Friday, March 3                                                             1:00 – 2:15 pm

Room: Education in Zion Auditorium

Chairs: Trina Harding

We invite you to hear from your peers about the English+ experiences they’ve had as part of the English program at BYU.

  • Meg Sheffield
  • Mariah Fry
  • Hannah Anderson
  • Sydney Zundel
  • Mattea Gygi
  • Julia Dixon
  • Logan Johnson

Session H

Friday, March 3                                                             2:30 – 3:45 pm

Panel H1: The Wordsworth’s and the Worth of Words

Room: B032 JFSB

Chair: Paul Westover

  • Gabbie Schwartz, “William Wordsworth and the Philosophy of Becoming”
  • Julia Dixon, “Dorothy’s Decisions: An Examination of Dorothy Wordsworth and DCMS 120”
  • Madison Maloney, “Beyond the Daffodils: Teaching Dorothy Wordsworth in Her Own Right”
Panel H2: Fraught Masculinity in Hemingway’s In Our Time

Room: B103 JFSB

Chair: Joseph Darowski

  • Christian Bowcutt, “The Old Feeling”: Hemingway’s Symbolic Use of Trout Fishing and Rivers in In Our Time
  • Alex Marshall, Genre as Literary Weaponry: War and Trauma in Ernest Hemingway’s In Our Time
  • Zach Stevenson, “I don’t know what to say”: Complicated and Combative Masculinities in In Our Time
Panel H3: Women Writing Trauma

Room: B101 JFSB

Chair: Brian Jackson

  • Kathryn Mulligan, “She couldn’t write the name of what she was”: trauma caused by female relationships in Lydia Davis’s minimalist fiction
  • Keola Quereto, “Both Soul and Body”: Why Mary Rowlandson’s Two Voices Tell a Unified Story
  • Emily Angell, Trauma and Dissociation in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God
Panel H4: The Reading Self

Room: B042 JFSB

Chair: Ann Dee Ellis

  • Taryn Evans, Not a Window, but a Mirror: Reading as Self-Discovery
  • Alanna Hess, Seeing Ourselves in the Text: Analyzing Adaptations of Fairy Tales to Young Adult Novels in the Context of a Modern Audience
  • Brianna Gee, The Need for Exposing Ourselves: Feedback’s Role in the ELA Classroom