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Discussions of identity, heroism headline graduate scholars conference

“-isms, -ologies, and -istics: Conversations across the Disciplines”
February 08, 2013

A conversation in any academic discipline will likely include a lot of “-isms, -ologies, and -istics.” But what do these suffixes mean in the wider world, outside academic “silos”?

The Graduate Scholars of English Association in the Department of English will hold its 18th Southwest English Symposium, which ponders this and other questions, Feb. 15-16, in the Memorial Union on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. The conference “-isms, -ologies, and -istics: Conversations across the Disciplines” will highlight broad conversations about ideologies and ideas, and the “suffixes” of academic discourse. This conference is sponsored by the Department of English, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Graduate Professional Students Association, the Graduate College, and Project Humanities.

The symposium will feature panel sessions with graduate students from ASU as well as from universities in the Southwest and beyond, including California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin. Special events include a keynote address by English’s Paul Kei Matsuda, a faculty panel session with scholars from across ASU, and a closing keynote address with visiting scholar Costica Bradatan. The keynote speeches and faculty panel session are open to the public.

Matsuda, professor of English and director of second language writing at ASU, will give the opening keynote address, “Identity Matters: The Making of an Interdisciplinary Scholar” at 6 p.m., Feb. 15. Matsuda’s scholarship is multidisciplinary, spanning the areas of applied linguistics, creative writing, English education, journalism, formal linguistics, literacy and literary studies, rhetoric and composition, and teaching English to speakers of other languages. He has received a number of national awards for his publications, including the Outstanding Book Award and Richard Ohmann Award. A sought-after speaker, he has presented numerous keynote and plenary talks as well as lectures and workshops in countries across the globe.

Among the highlights of the symposium will be the Project Humanities faculty panel on “Heroism and the Body.” Panelists include Ron Broglio, associate professor in the Department of English, who specializes in posthumanism, animal studies and Romanticism; Michael Tueller, associate professor in the School of International Letters and Cultures, whose scholarly pursuits include Greek religion, literature and culture; and Marlene Tromp, director of the School of Humanities, Arts, and Cultural Studies, and professor of English, Women and Gender Studies at ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, whose research focuses on Victorian literature and culture and gender studies.

Bradatan will give the closing keynote address at 6 p.m., Feb. 16. An associate professor in the Honors College at Texas Tech University, he is also a spring 2013 visiting fellow with ASU’s Institute for Humanities Research. His talk is titled “Self-Creation.” Bradatan’s areas of expertise and teaching include history of philosophy, philosophy of religion, philosophy of literature and philosophy of film. His scholarship places special emphasis on the performative aspects of philosophizing, the literariness of philosophical texts, as well as the role played by the religious, cultural, political and intellectual contexts in their production. Bradatan is the author or editor of seven books, most recently “Philosophy, Society and The Cunning of History in Eastern Europe” (Routledge, 2012), as well as dozens of scholarly papers, essays, encyclopedia entries, book translations and book reviews.

More information can be found at or by emailing

The Department of English, the School of International Letters and Cultures and the Institute for Humanities Research are academic or research units of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Written by Kerri Linden

Media contact:
Kristen LaRue,
Department of English, CLAS