College of Arts and Sciences

Conference Theme: Who is responsible for the Village? 

The Western English Graduate Organization and the Western Illinois University English and journalism department will sponsor the inaugural English Graduate Organization Conference Friday, April 1 and Saturday, April 2. The conference, “Who is Responsible for the Village,” is organized by Kendra Crede, an English graduate student from Aledo, IL.

The conference appeals to writers, teachers and critics of texts to define today’s villages. Some of these villages are represented by Marshall McLuhan’s “Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man,” which predicts the impact of technology on the village. Other points of reference the conference considers are Hillary Clinton’s, as she gives a human face to inhabitants of a global village and M. Night Shyamalan’s 2004 film “The Village” as he explores the psychology of its citizens and audience.

Participants will discuss how the sense of these villages influence, enrage or inspire society. They will also explore the definitions of a village during two workshops at the conference. The workshops will ask questions such as “what are the conditions in our villages” and “are we being effective in a cosmopolitan neighborhood?”

According to Crede, “We will be talking about how we see our position as students and educators affecting our discipline of study and also how we are affecting -- or not -- the University as an institution and as an organization made of individuals.”

The panel presentations will begin at 3:30 p.m. Friday followed by keynote speaker Jason Peters, a professor at Augustana College and a Wendell Berry Scholar. His presentation will be at 7 p.m. Friday in Simpkins Hall 027.

On Saturday there will be an artist hour in which any Western student can bring a piece of his or her art, poetry or a short section from a creative piece and discuss it. The artist hour will be in Simpkins Hall 343 from 9-10 a.m. Panel presentations will follow at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The conference will close at 2 p.m. Saturday with a meeting in Simpkins Hall 343.

All conference events are open free to the public. Room assignments for panel presentations will be posted in Simpkins Hall and programs will be distributed at the beginning of each day. For more information contact Kendra Crede at or call 309/298-2814.