By Mike Downing

Undergraduate Conference Participants

On Friday, April 1, 2016, ten members of the KU English department traveled north to Mansfield University of Pennsylvania for the annual English Association of Pennsylvania State Universities spring undergraduate conference.

The conference title was “Against the Current.” KU students included Sarah Horvath, Brooke Day, Kayla Woodington, Justin Hirthler, Stefani Benrubi, Jeanine Kleist and Kevin Kelley.

Sarah Horvath presented “Ignorance and Blindness: Simon Stimson and Modernism in Our Town.”

Brooke Day presented “Girl Stuff,” and Kayla Woodington presented “Lovecrafting the Uncanny: An Adaptive Approach.”

Justin Hirthler presented “The Importance of Inverting Authority: Wilde Women and Incompetent Men,” and Stefani Benrubi presented “Love Poem for Anybody.”

Jeanine Kleist presented “Always,” and Kevin Kelley presented “Muse.”

KU faculty attendees included Carl Seiple, Patrick Walters and Mike Downing. Downing chaired a panel, titled “Against the Current: Identity.”

Conference attendee Ellen Foster of Clarion’s English department said, “It’s exciting. Our undergrads are doing simply astonishingly good work, both creatively and critically.”

Jimmy Guignard, chair of the Mansfield English department, coordinated the conference.

See conference highlights on Storify:

EAPSU is a regional professional organization whose members come from the faculty and students of the 14 state university English departments in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.

EAPSU has been in existence since 1980 as an organization dedicated to excellence in English studies. Conferences showcase the best in many disciplines within English studies: composition, creative writing, literature, film, technical/scientific writing and pedagogy.

EAPSU sponsors an annual fall conference for faculty and an annual spring conference for undergraduate English majors. Visit for details.

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