Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Conference Presentation Opportunity

3rd Annual New Critics: Undergraduate Literature and Composition Conference 
Deadline March 2; conference April 21, 2012
Poster available here: http://goo.gl/m9u6R

Hi, all — here is an undergraduate research conference you might be interested in participating in. It’s a great line to have on your resume, especially if you are considering graduate school. It’s also the sort of thing where you will be able to meet and network with other undergraduate students from the area.

Oneonta is about 5 hours from Niagara Falls (all freeway); if you’re interested in going, you would probably want to get a hotel for Friday and Saturday nights, although you might write to the conference organizer to see if inexpensive dorm space is available, or to get recommendations. I note that this conference is free—most conferences have a registration fee which can be $100 or beyond, so this looks like a good deal!

You would very likely be able to select something you’ve written already for one of your classes, to be developed into a conference paper format—that is, revised for oral presentation, rather than written. Given the description supplied by the organizer, I would imagine something with a few references, on a reasonably well-known (not obscure) topic would be your best bet. You might very well be able to ask the professor for whom you wrote/are writing your work to give your abstract and your final paper a once-over.

Doing conferences is something you can expect to be involved in if you’re going on for a higher degree—and an undergrad conference is a great way to get your feet wet, see what it’s about, and take a practice run for the next level up. That this one is juried (that is, not everyone will be accepted), and that it’s not sponsored by your home university, both add weight to your appearance here.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, March 2—the day before we begin our spring break, and our “mid-term” date (the middle of the semester, so you’ll probably have exams the week or two before that). Hence you might want to think about developing your abstract now and submitting by about Feb. 17; and doing the majority of work writing the presentation piece during spring break. The conference date falls just before our last week of classes—so you’d actually likely have a lull in the frantic run up to final exams where this would be manageable.

Here is a link to a document I've drafted to help you offer a smooth, clearly-organized oral presentation: http://goo.gl/kJzUy 

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