First-year MA literature concentration student, Sarah Nollenberger, presented at the 31st Annual Online EGSA Mardi Gras Conference at LSU: “Uncertain Futures: Exploring Ambiguities, Hopes and Anxieties” which ran from February 10th to the 12th of 2021.
Nollenberger’s presentation was titled, “‘To donate to the world a good Maud Martha’: Gwendolyn Brooks’s Romantic Imagination” and she argued “the genre liminality of Maud Martha and the text’s focus on interiority, imagination, and individualism creates new possibilities for classifying the literary movement to which Brooks’s novella (and the rest of her work) belong. Through these textual features, I argue that Brooks is best understood as a modern Romanticist. Aligning Brooks as a writer within the Romantic tradition creates important implications for understanding Romanticism and the literary tradition of writing the African American experience.”
In regards to her experience, she shared, “Like many first-time presenters, I was nervous about my experience! However, I was fortunate enough to present on the last day of the conference, which gave me plenty of opportunities to observe other presentations. The conference community was incredibly welcoming and I think attending a graduate student association-sponsored and facilitated event contributed to that impression. Everyone in attendance was there to learn. I had the opportunity to explore topics I was already interested in (such as the future of higher ed) and ideas that were completely new (such as an exploration of monsters and the gothic in children’s media), and receive valuable feedback on my own ideas.”
Despite COVID affecting many conference attendance and formats, Nollenberger presented her topic so well that one of the conference organizers and an LSU faculty strongly encouraged more applications from our English department for their conference next year!
Congratulations to Sarah on her achievement and representing us so well! #ThinkandDo #GoPack