From Dirty Realism to Marvelous Reality

AWC's English Sytmposium

Bree McGregor couldn’t find a babysitter the morning she was to present at AWC’s English Symposium. So the AWC adjunct professor of English brought her infant daughter, Esme (named after a character from J.D. Salinger) and lectured, presented a PowerPoint and answered questions about online composition while rocking Esme in her carriage.

Academic conferences all have their personalities. Some are big and pompous, others prestigious but tedious. AWC’s is small, informal and friendly – not to mention eclectic, as when Luis Martinez presented on Renaissance mathematics (because math is a language, too).

The presenters on Nov. 17 covered a range of topics: Mizaba Abedi on the N-word in Huckleberry Finn, Donna Taylor on Polynesian students, Dave Hanna on online composition, Daniel Herrera on Magical Realism and Marvelous Reality, and David Kern on Dirty Realism and the poetics of discomfort.

Next year, the English Symposium will be on Friday, Nov. 16, from 9-12. Anyone who has an idea for a presentation or who would like a link to this year’s Symposium video when it becomes available may contact

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