Literary Festival

Previous Literary Festival Program Schedules:

Spring 2014 program
Spring 2013 program
Spring 2012 program
Spring 2011 program
Spring 2010 program
Spring 2009 program



Bold items are headlining events.


THU April 9

Jabara black box theatre, DeMattias building

7          Elizabeth Hand:  “‘Bellerophon’ and the Science of Crypto-Aviation”

            Book Table Provided by Eighth Day Books

            Art Provided by Newman Art Department


FRI April 10

Dugan-Gorges conference center, Dugan Library

9          A         Emily Harvey, “Dagoberto Gilb’s ‘Uncle Rock:’ Sacrifice for Success”

                        Becca Kopper, “‘Uncle Rock’ by Dagoberto Gilb: Breaking the Cycle”

                        Caleb Noller, “‘Uncle Rock’ by Dagoberto Gilb: The Choice Between Money and Love”


            B          Zombies:

                       Channing Kelley, “The American Zombie Student”

                       Kati Bush, “Mindless Interaction”

                       Alyssa Curtis, “They Are Us, That’s All”

                       Lucas Hanson, “A Zombie’s Sexual Preference”


10        A         Levy Hacker, “‘The Science of Flight:’ Analysis of Zichen”

                        Chris Campbell, “The Science of Life”

                        Nate Siple, “Yiyun Li’s ‘The Science of Flight:’ Defense through Isolation”

                        Trey Tucker, “The Science of Flight”


B         Corwin Nozari, “Response to ‘Hell-Heaven’”

                       Bethany Hausher, “‘Hell-Heaven’ by Jhumpa Lahiri: Life, Love, and Culture”

                       Emily Aird, “Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘Hell-Heaven’: Social and Cultural Differences”


11        A         Michelle Moore, “Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Birdsong:’ First Push of Feminism”

                       Megan Hemel, “‘Birdsong’ by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Feminism through a Love Affair”

                        Miriam Hawkins, “‘Birdsong:’ Adichie’s Lyrics of Love and Dissapointment”

                        Rocio Johnston, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘Birdsong:’ The Perils of a Hopeful Fool”


B          Utopias:

Morgan Monday, “The Negative Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Alcohol & Smoking”

Joshua Baalmann, “Common Core: Trying to Solve the Education Problem”

Ruth Tabler, “Flowers for Algernon”


12-1      Lunch


Dugan-Gorges conference center, Dugan Library


1          A         Science & Magic:

Kevin Rabas, “Layperson Science Writing: One Writer’s Way”

Megan Fields, “

David Shubert, “


            B          Elizabeth Hand Master Class (Alumni Boardroom, 2nd floor Dugan Library)


2          A         Marguerite Reed Reading


B          Literature:

Cynthia Barragan, “The Not-So-Love Song of a Lonely Old Man”

Tom Pappert, “Song of Everyone”

Sara Ast, “The Role of Victorian Mother Figures in Jane Eyre and others”

Tori Kunhardt, “Two Berthas, Two Madnesses: Jane Eyre & Wide Sargasso Sea”


Jabara black box theatre, DeMattias building


3          SF poetry reading by Bryan Dietrich

4          Roundtable SF Discussion with Elizabeth Hand, Bryan Dietrich, Bo Bonner, Sara Crow

5-7       Dinner

7          “Time Traveler,” a play by Mark Mannette

8          Latin/Greek Plays: Maureen Hogan, Christian Dye, Philip Pham, Gustavo Tersariol, David Reed

9          Space Prom (The DeVeils perform)

SAT April 11

Dugan-Gorges conference center, Dugan Library

9          A         Zombies:

Kiel McDiffett, “Chalmers, Dennett, and Thoughts on Consciousness”

Brandon Ediger, “Addiction: The True Monster”

Kelsey Jones, “The Rise of Abjection”


      B          Poetry & Pop Culture:

 Jessica Bliss, a poetry reading

Walton Pan, “Stargates, Battlestars, and Starships"


10         A         Round table discussion: The Displacement of Revelation: Chris Fox, Brandon Layton, David Reed


            B          Film:

Maureen Hogan, “Frailty, Thy Name is Male Ego”

Corbin Riley, “2001: The Prime Mover”

Sierra Skillen, “The Mystery of the Monolith”

Justin Ralph, “Gothic Kane and Psycho”


C          Utopias:

Brandon Le, “Twenty Pounds of High Explosive Ethics”

Katharina Helms, “Society in the Global Village”

Ruben Lerma, “Humans 2.0: A Discussion”

Megan MacGill, “The Real World Telescreen: The Internet”


11         A         Inferno: Kendall Anderson, Brandon Layton


            B          Poets George Smith and Dan Pohl Readings


12-1      Lunch

Dugan-Gorges conference center, Dugan Library

1          A         Brains & Brains:

Wendy Donaldson, “The Humanization of Asperger’s through Popular Media.”

Jon Albers, “


            B          Coelacanth Literary Journal Debut & Reading


2          A         Poetry:

Emily Simon, “Forget the Heart, Give the Scarecrow a Soul”

Philip Pham, “The Cinematography of Dystopia”

Hibah Ullah, “H.D. and Eliot”

Emily Aird, “Heaney and Thomas”


B          Panel on “Orientation” by Daniel Orozco

                         Allison Steiner, “‘Orientation:’ Drama of the 21st Century”

                         Joe McCormick, “A Typical Atypical Orientation”

Hunter Daigle, “Death by Cubicle: The Life and Times of the Modern, Not-so-ordinary Office Drone”     



Jabara black box theatre, DeMattias building

3          Mike Austin: “Rereading Job: What an Ancient Poem Tells us about Suffering Today.” 

4          Starry Joes Improv Group

5-7       Dinner

7          Shakespeare Scenes: Rachel Adducci, Emily Aird, Corbin Riley, Emily Simon, Mark Carlson, Alison Byrne,

Maureen Hogan, Philip Pham, Christian Dye, Anna Aniel, Sarah Balderas, Lauren Gardner, Trevor Farney, and

Josie Jenkins

8          Rebekah Valentine

9          C.L. Smet, Director: “Time Stands Still,” a play by Donald Margulies




April 9th, 10th, 11th 2015
Newman University campus
Wichita, KS

*Free and open to the public for attendees. A small fee for outside presenters.


Keynote Speaker: Elizabeth Hand

Internationally-acclaimed, multiple-award-winning, Science Fiction writer Elizabeth Hand will be joining us for a keynote speech, master class, and panel discussion.

Elizabeth Hand is the author of fourteen cross-genre novels and four collections of short fiction. Her work has received the World Fantasy Award (four times), the Nebula Award (twice), the Shirley Jackson Award (twice), and the James M. Tiptree Jr. and Mythopoeic Society Awards. With Paul Witcover, she created DC Comic’s Anima series, and she has written novelizations for several films, including Terry Gilliam's Twelve Monkeys, as well as a popular series of Star Wars books for middle-grade readers. She’s been a resident at the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Norton Island Residency Program, and is the recipient of an Individual Artist’s Fellowship from the Maine Arts Commission/NEA. She's also a longtime critic and contributor of essays for the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Salon, and the Village Voice, among others. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in cultual anthropology from Catholic University. She divides her time between the Maine coast and North London, setting for the third noir novel featuring Cass Neary, Hard Light, forthcoming in 2016. Her short novel Wylding Hall will be published this spring.

Elizabeth Hand’s keynote speech will be on Thursday, April 9th at 7 p.m. in the Jabara flexible theatre in the DeMattias Building.

Space Prom: featuring live music by The DeVeils



Call for Abstracts

Scholarly or creative approaches related to next year’s science and literature theme or other topics are welcome and encouraged.

Submit 250-word proposals to Dr. Susan Crane-Laracuente at by Monday, March 2nd, 2015. For more information, call 316-942-4291, ext. 2226.


Literary Festival Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What exactly is meant by "Scholarly or creative submissions on this [annual theme- this year “Science and Literature”] or other topics are welcome"?
    Participants may present about a wide range of topics and formats not restricted by the annual theme; some present papers/essays; some read from creative work, some display artwork, others play musical instruments or act out short plays, etc. See titles and subjects of past presentations by looking at programs from previous years below.
  2. How do I register for the event and is there a registration fee?
    Please register in advance if you are presenting; for presenters from outside the Newman University community, there is a modest $30 fee. Faculty, students, and participants from the wider community are encouraged and welcome to present: send us your abstracts/ presentation proposals on or before the listed deadline; if your proposal is accepted, we will confirm your place on the program and request you send in your presentation fee.
  3. 3. Is there a full schedule available or a list of conference topics and speakers?
    The full final schedule is available a week or two prior to the festival, after we have arranged all of the presentations.
  4. Are there masterclasses available?
    Keynote speakers most years do present master classes during the festival, and all are welcome to attend these.
  5. Is there a fee for attending any of the panels or presentations as an audience member only?
    No; the conference is free and open to public audience members; individuals and groups are welcome.

Thank you for your interest and we hope you can join us for the festival!