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2nd annual conference collaboration benefits NMSU & UTEP graduate students

The English departments at New Mexico State University and the University of Texas, El Paso are partnering for the second year with an interdisciplinary conference to share graduate student research with the community. The public is invited to join the conversation during "International Transactions: Crossing Borders in Literature, Pedagogy and Culture," scheduled from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, on the NMSU campus.

The English departments at New Mexico State University and the University of Texas, El Paso are inviting the public to join the conversation with international and border-related topics in English studies during an interdisciplinary graduate conference from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, on the NMSU campus. (Submitted photo)

The dual-university collaboration will include nine graduate student panel sessions in Clara Belle Williams Hall and two plenary talks in the College of Health and Social Services auditorium.

"The conference facilitates collaboration among students and faculty at our institutions," said Tracey Miller-Tomlinson, director of graduate studies in the English department in the College of Arts and Sciences at NMSU. "We have a lot to learn from one another."

NMSU President Barbara Couture and English Department Head Monica Torres will kick off the event with opening remarks in the CHSS auditorium.

Topics will range from transnational literacy and composition pedagogy on the border, to the study of more metaphorical border crossings, such as those found in vampire literature or writings on gender and sexuality. One panel will feature master of fine arts students reading original border poetry and prose.

Jennifer Holberg, a Victorianist and professor of English at Calvin College, will speak on "Imagining the Profession We Want," from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, in Room 101 of the CHSS annex auditorium.

She is a founding co-editor of the interdisciplinary journal "Pedagogy: Critical Approaches to Teaching Literature, Language, Composition and Culture." The journal was named "Best New Journal" by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in 2001. In addition to her plenary talk, she will speak the day before the conference about her experience as a journal editor in a workshop for students and faculty from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24, in Clara Belle Williams, Room 229.

The second speaker, Catriona Esquibel, an associate professor of Chicana/Chicano literature in the ethnic studies department at San Francisco State University, will give a talk on "A Different View of Tortilla Makers: from Codices to Agueda Martinez to Chicana Lesbian Writing," from 1-2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25, in the CHSS annex auditorium, Room 101.

Esquibel is the author of numerous articles and book chapters on Chicana/Chicano writing, as well as the acclaimed book, "With Her Machete in Her Hand: Reading Chicana Lesbians."

"On behalf of the conference directors?my co-director, Brian Yothers of UTEP, our assistant director Tyson Stolte of NMSU, and myself?I would like to thank the NMSU English Department, and particularly Department Head Monica Torres, for providing generous support for this event, " Miller-Tomlinson said.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Miller-Tomlinson at tomlin@nmsu.edu or Yothers at byothers@utep.edu. To see a schedule of events visit the conference website at http://english.nmsu.edu/conference/.