Graduate English Symposium 2017

The 2017 Writing/Image/Text (or W.I.T) Graduate English Symposium will be held this year on Tuesday May 16th, the day before Commencement, in Maher Hall on the Dobbs Ferry Campus of Mercy College. You can read about last year’s symposium here on the blog.

The symposium is just a casual mini-conference at which interested MA English students or alumni gather to read aloud a scholarly paper (a paper that you’ve written for any of your MA courses will do just fine, though it must be edited to no longer than 10 pages), as well as to meet some fellow grad students and program professors. Family and friends are welcome to attend too. Graduate students and professional scholars often attend and read at local, regional, and national conferences, so this symposium provides a friendly small-scale introduction to the conference experience. And for anyone who reads a paper, it becomes a line-item you can list under the scholarship section on your CV (click here to read more about the CV).

We call it “Writing/Image/Text” not just because it makes for a neat acronym, but because it signals that you can present on pretty much any topic, including on topics that involve visual texts and other types of texts.

Anyone interested in attending, and in reading a paper, please let me know by sending a note to I won’t need to establish the final list of readers and attendees until the end of April, but now is a good time to start figuring out if you think you can be there. By the end of April I’ll need to know who all is reading, so that I can then schedule the actual start-time and length of the symposium. And I’ll need a fairly good total attendee list by then so that I can order enough catering for everyone (food provided courtesy of the MA program). More info below image…



Anyone traveling from afar might consider either staying in a hotel near campus, or staying in New York City and taking the Metro North Hudson Line train up from Grand Central Station (there’s a train station right by the campus, and it’s a common train route that many of our faculty, staff, and students take everyday; takes about 45 minutes or so). For those traveling to walk at Commencement, it’s worth noting that if you’re staying in NYC you can take the Metro North Harlem line from Grand Central to the White Plains station which is right near the Westchester County Center, where Commencement is held (our graduation ceremony outgrew our Dobbs Ferry campus some time ago). It’s about a ten minute walk from the train station to the venue, and the majority of that ten minutes is just walking the length of the convention center’s parking lot.

Hotels in the area range from boutique (such as The Castle), to a range of nice chain hotels (such as the Doubletree or The Marriot Springhill Suites). There’s rather a ton of hotel options about three or four miles north of Dobbs Ferry in Tarrytown. Do note that if you’re staying in any local hotel you would need some sort of vehicle to get to campus, and to get to Commencement if that’s part of your trip.

The symposium was a lot of fun last year, and I expect it will be again this year. Think about coming. I’ve already heard from several of you who definitely want to read a paper, and that’s great. I hope to hear from more at