English Graduate Organization Hosts First Annual Conference

January 7, 2015
Photo of EGO Steering Committee

Originally published October 17, 2014

October 11, 2014: The 2014-15 steering committee (Torsa Ghosal, Colleen Morrissey, Zachary Harvat, and Joey Kim) of the English Graduate Organization (EGO) organized the 1st-annual graduate student conference of the Department of English at Ohio State. The thematic focus of the conference was “Broken Narratives.” The eclectic nature and the many avatars of “broken narratives,” which include serialized literary works, comics, serial television, fragmented novels, and shuffle literature make them valuable sites for comparative studies. Thus, the theme was chosen in keeping with contemporary scholarly and popular interest in “brokenness” as a storytelling strategy.

The conference received an overwhelming number of abstract submissions. In order to maintain a healthy balance between internal and external presenters, without losing sight of the fact that EGO represents the graduate students of the Department of English, EGO selected 9 submissions from Ohio State and 12 submissions of graduate students, across the country, from universities of California, Michigan, Florida, Massachusetts, and so on. The resulting five panels focused on temporality, embodiment, televisual, textual, and multimodal platforms in the context of how these afford or undermine “brokenness.” The aim was to cover as much ground as possible in terms of method, period, genre, and media. EGO steering committee also recognized two best presentations from non-Ohio State students: Anne-Charlotte Mecklenburg (U of Michigan, Ann Arbor) and Rieke Jordan (Freie Universität Berlin) won the prizes for their papers, “What’s the Plural of Apocalypse?: Television Seriality and the Ends of the World” and “Cut Outs and Paper Cuts – Chris Ware's Breakable Narratives,” respectively.

Professor Sean O’Sullivan delivered the keynote address, entitled “Five Elements of Seriality” in which he created “a conversation across the broad range of serial forms—including but not limited to television, cinema, book fiction, and comics.”

Graduate students and faculty from Ohio State attended the conference, facilitating collegial discussions, and thinking together about the possibilities and challenges posed by “broken narratives.”

Please visit the conference website for more information about proceedings.