Creating and Resisting Meaning: Recalibrating the Identity and Agency of the Textual Consumer - University of Alaska Anchorage March 7-8 2014

Pacific Rim Conference
                      on literature and rhetoric

Creating and Resisting Meaning:
Recalibrating the Identity and
Agency of the Textual Consumer

   University of Alaska Anchorage
           March 7-8 2014
Welcome and Introduction
Welcome to the 19th annual Pacific Rim Conference on Linguistics and
Rhetoric. UAA graduate students and faculty from the Department of
English started the Pacific Rim Conference in 1996 as a forum to present
their work and ideas to their peers, faculty, visiting scholars, and the wider
Alaskan community. What began as a small project has grown to be a major
event sponsored by a number of organizations and enthusiastically supported
by many UAA departments. Remaining true to its roots, however, the
conference is still run by graduate students.
This year’s conference asks presenters and speakers to consider the role of
the contemporary textual consumer as well as the challenges associated with
locating oneself in and traversing through the landscapes of technology and
synchronicity. Nearly 30 years after the fictional events of George Orwell’s
1984, many scholars continue to ponder how the politics of technology
shape both our identities and our capacities to create or resist meaning. In
an age when information is becoming more present—textual experiences
replacing and overlapping each other with almost no time to digest them—
the identity and agency of the textual consumer have never been more at
stake. As Brooke Gladstone puts it, “The media landscape is so cluttered with
mirrors facing mirrors that we can’t tell where an image begins or ends” (The
Influencing Machine, p. xxi). Through various modes of communication, ranging
from those speculated in literature to the myriad offered by our booming
digital economy, many textual consumers have responded to this challenge in
innovative and captivating ways. This year’s theme seeks to examine not only
these responses but also the ways in which they define the textual consumer.
We are extremely grateful to everyone who has helped to make this year’s
conference possible, and we hope you enjoy the event.

Jathan Day
2014 Pac Rim Director
Keynote Speakers
We would like to welcome out keynote speakers for this year’s
conference, Mark Trahant and Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor.

Mark Trahant is the 20th Atwood Chair of Journalism at University
of Alaska Anchorage. Trahant is a member of the Shoshone-Bannock
Tribes and the former president of the Native American Journalists
Association, reporting on issues related to Native Americans since the
1970s. His most recent book is called The Last Great Battle of the Indian
Wars (2010). Most notably, Trahant reported for the PBS Frontline
series in a program called “The Silence,” which looks at sexual abuse
committed by priests in an Alaskan Native village. He was recently
awarded a fellowship to the Rockefeller Bellagio Center in Italy. Trahant
is also a self-published author and a composer of daily poems about
the news via Twitter.

Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor is an associate professor of English and
Women’s Studies at Penn State University. Wagner-Lawlor is the author
of four books and a number of articles on nineteenth and twentieth
century literature. Her most recent book is Postmodern Utopias and Feminist
Fictions (2013), which looks at contemporary feminist speculative fiction
through a utopian theoretical lens. She also co-edited The Scandal of
Susan Sontag (2009) with Barbara Ching. Her current research examines
the literature of climate change and creative theory in terms of the
STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) model.
The Dru Whitaker Prize
The Dru Whitaker Prize was created in 2007 in memory of Dru
Whitaker, a graduate student in the UAA English Department’s Masters
Program. The Prize recognizes a graduate student essay of outstanding
scholarship delivered at the annual Pacific Rim Conference.
At the 2007 Conference, UAA graduate student and conference director
Trygve Sandvik memorialized Dru on the occasion of awarding the
first prize:
  In 2006, UAA graduate student Dru Whitaker passed away. Her
  family, friends, teachers, and fellow students remember Dru for her
  wit, insight, and kindness. As a classmate, I remember Dru as a
  person with the courage to ask the questions I was afraid to ask and
  with the intellectual integrity to demand that we pay attention to
  the connections between our studies and the world that gives our
  studies meaning. She brought joy to the classroom. Moreover, she
  was a natural leader, who demonstrated compassion for the faculty
  and students with whom she celebrated learning for the love of
The 2014 Conference organizers look forward to continuing the
tradition of honoring a student-presenter who exemplifies the spirit
of connecting scholarship to humanity. We would like to express our
gratitude to the Whitaker family as we share in the memory of Dru’s
lasting impact on our lives. We are especially grateful to the Whitaker
family, whose generous support has made it possible to award the prize
again this year and for years to come.
To be eligible, students must be currently enrolled in UAA’s Masters
in English program and must present at the 2010 Conference. The
winning paper will be selected by a panel of English Department
faculty following the conference, and the recipient will receive $500.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
ADM 101         Graduate Student Workshop 5:30pm - 6:30pm
		              Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Penn State University

                       Friday, March 7, 2014
       All events will take place in the Administration Building.

Registration    Administration Lobby		                   9:00am - 9:30am
		              Breakfast available in room 143B

Invocation      Dr. Jeane Breinig, Room 148        9:30am - 9:45am
		              Associate Dean for Humanities, CAS
		              University of Alaska Anchorage

Silent Auction Room 102                                  9:30am - 5:00pm

Session One					                                 10:00am - 11:15am
Panel I (Room 146): “Personal Journeys: Shaping Identities Through
Pedagogy and Conflict Resolution”
  Pam Simmons, University of Alaska Anchorage
  Shiosha McDonald, University of Alaska Anchorage
		          “Constructing Cinderella: Conflict Resolution Across Cultures”
  Jessie Nixon and Heather Caldwell, University of Alaska Anchorage
		          “ Remixing the Self: Don’t Tell Me Who I Am”

Panel II (Room 145): “A New Era of Textual Consumption”
  Chair TBD
  Brice Ezell, George Fox University
		         “A (Singular) Concept Wrapped in Skin and Chemicals: A
		         Kolakian Reading of The Raw Shark Texts”
  Kate Partridge, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Consumption as Creation: Collage and Inter-textual Forms in
		Contemporary Poetry”
  Alyse Knorr, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “POETRY REMIXED: Innovations in Hybrid and Multi-Modal
Panel III (Room 142): “Considering the Power of Natural Resources,
Online Conceptualizations of Nature, and Portrayals of Race and
  Cameron Nay, Chair
  Jathan Day, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Transforming the Water Cycle: An Ecocritical Examination of
		         Water as Power in Frank Herber’s Dune”
  Laine Parish, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Voices from the Mountain: Online Discourse, Nature, and
  Thomas McIntyre, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Wrestling with Morality: A Narrative Analysis of the WWE’s
		         Portrayal of Race and Gender”

Lunch		         Food provided in 143B                   11:30am - 12:30pm

Room 148        Workshop                       12:45pm - 1:45pm
		              Mark Trahant, UAA Atwood Chair

Roundtable Discussion (Room 148)                 2:00pm - 3:15pm
      “Breadth and Depth: The Place of Writing in General
      Education and Throughout the Curriculum”

Session Two					                                 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Panel I (Room 146): “Where has all the Tekhné Gone, and Can
Utopians Find it?”
        Toby Widdicombe, Chair
        Featuring Graduate Students from English 636: Utopianism
        University of Alaska Anchorage

Panel II (Room 145): “The Role of Social Media in Forming the
Textual Consumer: Identity and Social Meaning-Making in Digital
        Jim Rudkin, Chair
        Featuring: Shanna Allen, September V. Reynaga, LaVon Shearer-Ihrig
        University of Alaska Anchorage
Panel III (Room 142): “Examining the Discourses of Textual
  Suzanne Forster, Chair
  Heather Adams, University of Alaska Anchorage
		        “What is Our #femfuture?: Discourses of Sexual Shame in
		Digital Environments”
  Anna Keefe, University of British Columbia
		        “Dominant Discourse and Aboriginal Counter-Narrative in
		        Canada: (Re)defining Identities Through Text and Digital

Room 143B      Reception                             5:00pm - 5:30pm

Room 141       Keynote Presentation           5:30pm - 6:45pm
		             Mark Trahant, UAA Atwood Chair

                    Saturday, March 8, 2014
      All events will take place in the Administration Building.

Breakfast      Room 143B		                           9:30am - 10:00am

Silent Auction Room 102                               9:30am - 1:45pm

Session One					                               10:00am - 11:15am
Panel I (Room 148): “Unpacking Alaskan Experiences”
  Jennifer Stone, Chair
  Beth Waetjen, University of Alaska Anchorage
		          “Educational Spaces: A Comparison Study of Three Alaskan
		          Women and their Educational Experiences”
  LaVon Shearer-Ihrig, University of Alaska Anchorage
		          “Women on the Slope: Pathways to Economic Opportunity”
  Jennifer Stone, University of Alaska Anchorage
		          “Language Ideologies in Action: A Case Comparison of Two
		          Alaska Native Men”
Panel II (Room 145): “Utopian Vision of Textual Consumption”
  Toby Widdicombe, Chair
  Toby Widdicombe, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “The Death of the Reader on the Operating Table: Technology,
		         Textual Consumption, and Utopia”
  Megan Kolendo, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “The Birth of Utopia: The ‘Moment of Truth’ in Cormac
		McCarthy’s The Road”
  Rachelle Branstetter, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Louis Althusser and Reality Television: An Application of
		Neo-Marxism to The Hunger Games”

Panel III (Room 142): “Mass Media Tendencies in 19th Century
        Jackie Cason, Chair
        Featuring: Craig Sanders, Eric Notaro, Regan Campbell
        University of Alaska Fairbanks

Session Two					                               11:30am - 12:45pm
Panel I (Room 148): “Observations of Language in Context?”
  Clare Dannenberg, Chair
  David Bowie, University of Alaska Anchorage
		        “Sampling Strategies for a Low-Density Population:
		        The Case of Alaska”
  Brianna Dym, University of Alaska Anchorage
		        “Peer Review Goes Public: Meaning-Making Through Online

Panel II (Room 142): “‘Busy World’ Print Periodicals”
        Heather Caldwell, Chair
        Featuring: Danny Dyer, Ann Lewis, Victoria Avery, Jonnell Liebl
        University of Alaska Fairbanks

Lunch		          Food provided in 143B                     12:45pm - 1:45pm
Roundtable Discussion (Room 148)                2:00pm - 3:15pm
      “Considering Recent Changes to Placement: What’s Working?
      What’s Not?”

Session Three					                                3:30pm - 4:45pm
Panel I (Room 148): “New Interpretations of Narrative Structures”
  Dan Kline, Chair
  Zebadiah Kraft, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Rethinking the Paradox of Narrative Structure in Gulliver’s
  Hannah Johnson, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “‘This Face With That Mask’: Jane Eyre, Bertha, and the Mirror”
  Jacklyn Elizabeth Martin, University of Memphis
		         “The Archaeology of Incest: How Authorship and
		         Intersectional Identities Preface the Narrative of Trauma”

Panel II (Room 145): “Creating Identity: Early American Literature
and Beyond”
  Jervette Ward, Chair
  Jay Baldwin, University of Alaska Anchorage
		         “Huckleberry Finn: The Question of Morality through an
		         Emersonian Lens”
  Beth Kronz, University of Alaska Anchroage
		         “Six Degrees of Mark Twain”
  Molly Bailey, University of Alaska Anchroage
		         “Healing a Nation: Walt Whitman’s Roles as Healer and Poet”
  Iris Chong, University of Alaska Anchroage
		         “Edgar Allan Poe: He Who Saw Death with Different Eyes”

Room 143B       Reception                               4:45pm - 5:30pm

Room 141        Awards Ceremony                         5:00pm - 5:30pm

Room 141        Keynote Presentation                5:30pm - 6:45pm
		              Jennifer Wagner-Lawlor, Penn State University
Donors and Sponsors
We are extremely grateful for the support of the following individuals
and organizations, and also for the support of our other donors who
wish to remain anonymous (listed alphabetically):
            Alaska Aces                       Kate Partridge
    Aleutian Housing Authority               Kris Keays-Gant
           Alyse Knorr                         Leah Rawlins
           Andrea Miller                       Mark Trahant
           Anna Martin                          Mark Weber
    Bear Tooth/Moose’s Tooth             Plastic Pollution Coalition
         Café Amsterdam                       Rebecca Baker
           Clay Nunnaly                      Sabrina Haverfield
    College of Arts and Sciences          Seward Windsong Lodge
             Dan Kline                        Shannon Huber
          Deborah Bryner                     Shannon Reynaga
           Dr. Pairmore                     Shiosha McDonald
         Emily Brackman                       Suzanne Forster
Galina Houston/The UAA Bookstore              Teresa Kimmel
    Harry Need c/o University                    The Look
                                             Toby Widdicombe
          Heather Adams
                                               Trish Jenkins
         Heather Caldwell
                                              UAA Athletics
           Jackie Cason
                                            UAA Culinary ARts
           Jennifer Stone
                                           UAA Parking Services
           Jessie Nixon
                                          University Advancement
The 2014 Pacific Rim Conference would not have been possible without
the help of the following people (in alphabetical order):
          Heather Adams                            Harry Need
           Melissa Boyce                           Jessie Nixon
          Dianna Cohen                              Jim Rudkin
           Brianna Dym                             Maria Steele
          Rachel Epstein                        Sigma Tau Delta
         Paula Feldhacker                     Christina Talbott-Clark
          Deb Ginsburg                     UAA Emglish Graduate Students
        Brenda Henderson                            Julie Varee
           Trish Jenkins                           Beth Waetjen
         Kris Keays-Gant                          Jervette Ward
           Michael Lamb                         Toby Widdicome
      Kathleen McCoy/KRUA                       Kathy Woodhead

If there is anyone who has donated to or assisted the Pacific Rim Conference
and is not on the list, we apologize for not including you, and we extend our
greatest thanks for your support.


Director: Jathan Day

Assistant Director: September V. Reynaga

Communications Director: Shanna Allen

Faculty Advisors: Trish Jenkins and Jessie Nixon

Poster Design: Brianna Dym

Sigma Tau Delta President: Shiosha McDonald
Fundraising in the Humanities: Securing
the Future of the Pacific Rim Conference
It is becoming harder and harder to secure funding
for events such as the Pacific Rim Conference, as
more and more organizations in the humanities
pursue ever-decreasing amounts of money.
Conference directors have worked together with
UAA University Advancement to create financial
sustainability for Pacific Rim.
They created the UAA Foundation Account, which
is dedicated to the Pacific Rim Conference. If you
would like to help us secure the financial future of the
Conference, gift forms are available at the registration
table. Alternatively, you can donate online by going
to If you donate online,
please be sure to specify “Pacific Rim Conference
Foundation Account” in the “other” box when asked
where you would like your money to go.
We would like to thank UAA University Advancement
for their help with the Foundation Account.

                   Department of English
                University of Alaska Anchorage
                   3211 Providence Drive
                    Anchorage, AK 99508
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