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Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Activities & Organizations

Graduate students to present on multicultural literature

A first-of-its-kind graduate conference will bring students together from various universities to focus on a variety of literature.

On March 19, UH English graduate students will be hosting a literary conference entitled “The American Tapestry — Multicultural Influences in Late American Literature.”

Guest speakers will include Bridget K. Gorman, sociology professor from Rice, and Robert Donahoo, English professor from Sam Houston State.

Graduate students from various universities such as UH, Rice, New Mexico State and Stephen F. Austin will be presenting their essays on multicultural inspirations in American literature.

“My paper is about young adult literature,” said UH grad student Bruce J. Martin, who will be presenting “Hearing Their Own Voice: Multicultural Young Adult Literature in the College Core.”

“Young adult literature is an important genre for young college students because they can interact more with literature written by people their own age versus literature written by some dead guy from last century,” Martin said.

“I’ve been teaching composition for a while, and I’ve been lucky to have minority students in my classes. I feel that these young minority students need to have a literature they can relate with.”

According to Martin, this is the first English graduate student conference to be held at UH. Topics to be discussed will include issues on Muslim, African-American, religious and women’s literatures.

The history, Martin said, is that the UH Graduate English Society wanted to showcase graduate work.

“Publication is very competitive, so we decided to hold our own conference,” Martin said.

The society had a call for submissions last November and received over 20 essays.

“We’re going to publish the papers as well. We’re going to create a digital journal for all the papers. We’ll do this again next year and we anticipate even more submissions,” Martin said.

A Vietnamese student from Houston Community College inspired Marting to write his essay.

“(The student) struggled with composition because he struggled with the English language,” Martin said.

After transferring to UH, the student took Gothic Literature and it just didn’t work for him, Martin said.

“I feel that if he had a choice to take young adult literature, he would have succeeded more because he would have been able to connect with that kind of work instead of Gothic.”

The conference will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Roy G. Cullen building. The conference is free to those who register, and a free lunch will also be provided.

For more information on the conference and to register for admission, visit

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