UD to Host Streamlines Conference

Oct 21, 2013 | Kristi Lynch

On Saturday, November 9, The University of Dubuque will host the sixth annual Streamlines: An Undergraduate Conference Celebrating Language, Literature, and Writing.  The event will be held in the new Heritage Center on the University of Dubuque campus. Iowa’s Poet Laureate, Mary Swander, will deliver this year’s keynote address, beginning at 1:30 p.m. in Butler Hall. The keynote address will be free and open to the public for the first time in Streamlines history.

A collaborative venture founded by the language and literature departments at Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque, Streamlines was designed to give undergraduate students of language and literature the opportunity to share their scholarly and creative work.  Past conferences have featured a variety of paper presentations and workshop sessions by dozens of undergraduate students from more than twenty colleges and universities from all over the US, including travelers from as far away as Nebraska, Arizona, and North Carolina.

“The interest in, and success of, this conference shows that we have tapped into a growing need of our undergraduate students,” commented Jonathan Barz, English department chair and co-organizer of the conference. “There are very few conferences like this across the nation, conferences which allow undergraduates the opportunity to meet other students from throughout the region – and increasingly across the nation – and share the work that they have done. We have had students traveling almost 1,200 miles to present their papers. That speaks volumes about how much students value an opportunity like Streamlines.”

The conference will feature numerous panel discussions, including two faculty panels: discussing job prospects and graduate school preparation for college students majoring in language and/or literature; and presenting the scholarly work of one faculty member from each of the tri-colleges – giving students a rare opportunity to see what their professors do when they write the kinds of critical literary essays students are regularly asked to write.

“For some students, this is an important stepping stone on the way to graduate school, enabling them both to test their work against that of their peers from other colleges, and to add an impressive item to their application,” commented Barz.

This year, a Pre-Conference Poetry Reading and Open Mic session will be held on Friday evening, November 8, in UD’s Alumni Hall at 8:00 p.m., organized by UD’s Poet-in-Residence Lauren Alleyne and co-sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta (UD’s English honor society) and the Black Student Union. The conference location rotates between Clarke University, Loras College, and the University of Dubuque.  The past two years were hosted by Clarke and Loras respectively.