College of Arts and Sciences

English at Play: A Conference on Language and Literature

November 7, 2015

English Graduate Organization & Sigma Tau Delta, Western Illinois University


The English Graduate Organization (EGO) and the Sigma Tau Delta (STD) chapter of Western Illinois University are currently seeking both individual papers and panel proposals from graduate and undergraduate students for our twelfth annual conference in Macomb, IL on Saturday, November 7, 2015.

Literature is far from static. It is always changing and evolving. Authors take it upon themselves to alter the ways in which we perceive stories and ideas. In that way, English is always at play, be it characters playing mind games, authors playing with stereotypes, theorists challenging gender roles, or fans playing board games based on favorite books. We encourage papers focused on the more playful, less stringent roles of language and literature in our lives.

Though we are particularly interested in papers about play and literature, any topics within English Studies will be welcomed. The EGO/STD conference intends to explore all areas within English Studies, including but not limited to writing studies, pedagogy, cultural studies, creative writing, literary studies, film studies, linguistics, and critical/literary theory. We welcome interdisciplinary interest and participation, and encourage graduate and undergraduate scholars from all areas of the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences who have an interest in play to submit proposals.

  Paper topics may include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Play in Literature
  • Literature as Play
  • Playing with Language
  • Games
  • Sports
  • Playing with Gender
  • Adaptations
  • Game Theory
  • New Media
  • Queer Theory
  • Theater
  • Popular Culture
  • Playing and Pedagogy
  • Subversion of the Expected

Please send 250-word abstracts (and any questions) to by October 1, 2015.

We also welcome submissions by post: English Graduate Organization, Department of English & Journalism, 1 University Circle, Macomb IL 61455-1390.

Keynote Lecture

Dr. William Kuskin, Associate Vice Provost for Education Innovation and professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, will be our keynote speaker. His work includes a three-part series on the history of printing from the Late Middle Ages to the Early Modern Period, a popular Online Course on Comic Books and Graphic Novels, and several works-in-progress relating to modern comics culture.

STD Workshop

The Midwestern Student Representatives for Sigma Tau Delta will be running a special workshop for members of Sigma Tau Delta. For questions specific to Sigma Tau Delta’s participation in “English at Play: A Conference of Language and Literature,” please contact chapter faculty advisor Dr. Timothy Helwig at

Hotel Information:

A block of rooms has been set aside at the Comfort Inn and the University Union Hotel. The Comfort Inn is located on Route 67 and the Union Hotel is located on campus. The University Union Hotel is recommended for those traveling to Macomb without a car so that you can walk rather than drive to the conference.

Comfort Inn:

A block of rooms with two double beds has been set aside at the Comfort Inn for the conference at a reduced rate of $60 per night. When reserving your room, inform them that you are with EGO/STD.

Comfort Inn
1646 N Lafayette St
Macomb, IL, US, 61455
(309) 837-2220

 Campus Map and Directions to Campus:

Directions to Western Illinois University can be found here

Articles Written About Conference

from The Mirror and the Lamp:


2015 ego conference   2015 ego conference