Conferences Empowering Undergrads
Dr. Ann Martin was approached to host the Twenty-Second Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf held June 7-10, 2012 in Saskatoon at the University of Saskatchewan. More than 130 participants from around the world converged on the University of Saskatchewan including members from local community organizations, academics and undergraduate students who played a special role. Formal coursework was integrated into the conference showcasing undergraduate and graduate student work in the forms of papers, studio art projects, and research posters presented as well as a drama production directed by an undergraduate student, Charlie Peters.
Not only was Interdisciplinary / Multidisciplinary Woolf: Selected Papers from the Twenty-Second Annual International Conference on Virginia Woolf published by Clemson University Digital Press but the conference led to a project on the scholarship of teaching and learning, particularly how someone learns from community speakers. Receiving support from the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness and the Interdisciplinary Centre for Culture and Creativity (ICCC), the project examines how research is disseminated from conference activities, both at academic levels among scholars as well as at undergraduate levels.
Examining the unintended consequences of a conference as a learning space is an exciting new research area for Dr. Martin who is eager to discover how conference situations can be used to increase social awareness – whether leading participants to social activism, political activism or community engagement. This research focuses on how a conference may create the necessary channels for students to creatively construct something new – not just for academic purposes but contributing to society in unique ways.
Dr. Martin and colleague Dr. Kathryn Holland from MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta presented a paper regarding their research at the 3rd Annual Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Symposium in Saskatoon in April 2013. They are currently revising their presentation to develop a larger article and project.