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Mark Your Calendars For The Masters in English Regional Conference (MERC)

Interview by the Center For Research and Creative Activities

The Masters in English Regional Conference (MERC) is a new annual academic conference for English graduate students and recent degree-recipients in its second year. It is sponsored by Salem State and Bridgewater State, and this year, Salem State is hosting. The conference will take place this Spring on March 26 and is a great opportunity to learn about our MA in English candidates’ research, as well as to get a taste for the process of presenting at academic conferences.

MERC is a great place for students to “get their feet wet” with conference presenting and is the ideal starting point for graduate students who may have never previously presented. One benefit of attending this conference is that no panel sessions overlap which means you don’t have to make any hard decisions about missing a presentation you’re interested in!

This conference has an amazing array of papers that are being presented and we know the caliber will be excellent. Panels included are:

  • Session 1: Close Readings: Postmodernism, Performativity and Liminality in Literature
  • Session 2: Honing Your Craft: Original Creative Compositions
  • Session 3: Stories of Survivance: Indigenous Literary Perspectives
  • Session 4: The Pen is Politic: Political Readings of Literary Works
  • Session 5: Mirrors and Windows: Considerations of Race, Gender and Identity in Literature

As is clear, there is a large range between the panels and there is an even greater range between the content to be explored in papers researchers will be presenting! Find the full conference schedule and list of paper titles.

Students this year are representative of five schools; Salem State and Bridgewater State, alongside Boston College, UMass Boston, and Southern Connecticut State, and overall, there are 14 presenters.

Mark your calendars for March 26 because this is sure to be an excellent day of delving into literary theory, literary history, creative writing, the politics of writing, and more. Great work to the organizers for pulling off what we know will be surely be a success!

Chantelle Escobar Leswell
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