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Graduate Students in English Host NEXUS Conference

On March 6-8, 2014, UT’s Graduate Student in English will host NEXUS: An Interdisciplinary Conference.  NEXUS is a a biennial, graduate-student-run conference. NEXUS, which began in 2004 as a speaker’s symposium organized by then President of the Graduate Students in English Brian Gempp, aims to bring together scholars, creative writers, and educators from a broad range of disciplines in order to provide a space to share the myriad ways that humans communicate about an endangered environment and recommend avenues for future research. This conference also seeks to expand the ways in which scholars link discussions about communication and the environment such that the natural world becomes one environment among many which shapes our ideas about communication.

This year’s theme, “Greenways: The Interconnected Pathways of Communication and the Environment” features a broad range of keynotes, creative presentations, papers, and posters that will foster an invigorating exploration into the myriad ways that humans communicate about the environment and recommend avenues for future research.

The conference will kick off on Thursday at 5:00 pm in the Great Room of the International House with a presentation by keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Peeples. Dr. Peeples is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Utah State University. Her area of research is environmental rhetoric with a focus on the persuasive strategies used to construct identity and place in community-level environmental disputes. Her talk is titled “The Toxic Sublime: Imagining Contaminated Landscapes.” Light refreshments will be provided.

On Friday at 11:30 am in Hodges Auditorium, Dr. Mark Pedelty will give a talk titled “Sound Ecology: Music, Noise, Sonic Conflict in the Salish Sea.” Dr. Pedelty is an associate professor of Communication Studies and Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Pedelty teaches courses in music as communication, ethnographic methods, and environmental communication and is currently researching environmentalist musicians and the role of music in environmental movements.

Friday evening at 7:00 pm, award-winning poet Sandra Alcosser will give a poetry reading at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Alcosser has published seven books of poetry and was the National Endowment for the Arts’ first Conservation Poet for the Wildlife Conservation Society and Poets House, New York, as well as Montana’s first poet laureate and recipient of the Merriam Award for Distinguished Contribution to Montana Literature. A catered reception will follow the plenary.

Concurrent panels will also be running throughout Friday morning, afternoon, and Saturday morning.

If you have any questions about NEXUS events, please contact Jacqueline Kerr at

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