Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference (AAUEC) 2018

The Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference was held on March 2 – 3, 2018, at Mount Saint Vincent University.

For more information, please visit the AAUEC 2018 conference website.

AAUEC: Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference – A Brief History

The Annual Atlantic Undergraduate English Conference (AAUEC) includes a mix of faculty members and students from almost every university across the Atlantic provinces, creating a small but rich intellectual community for new and seasoned scholars of English for a few days each year. Students present academic papers and creative projects, giving them and their professors a chance to see the impressive work being done at the undergraduate level at neighbouring institutions.

The AAUEC began as a student-centred initiative at Mount Saint Vincent University in 1980. The brainchild of English student Kelly Ryan, the conference first took place in the winter of 1981 at the Mount, and it has rotated through virtually every Atlantic university since then (and included universities in Maine for a few years). The first AAUEC was organized by MSVU English faculty Dr. John Morgenstern and Dr. Peter Schwenger, along with Ryan and a very active, enthusiastic student English Society, and it concluded with conference proceedings, which provided students a chance to publish work.

Ryan, now a freelance writer, who has worked with the CBC, shared this post on the Facebook page of the AAUEC 2014 in a post dated 14 March 2014:

33 years ago I started this conference at Mount Saint Vincent University because I wanted a date with a boy studying English in New Brunswick. This is true – ask my colleagues back in the day. But I also believed undergrads put real work into their papers, and deserve to share their knowledge and enjoy the discoveries they’ve made. I am astounded at the continued success – congratulations, have fun, and maybe I’ll come visit you next year.

– Kelly Ryan – former national reporter, CBC Radio and current student at The Writer’s Studio – SFU Vancouver.

The fact that the conference has continued for almost four decades is an incredible feat accomplished by the commitment and passion of numerous students and faculty at several institutions on the east coast, sustaining a vision of undergraduate excellence and exchange and fostering a rare opportunity among English departments across the country. Indeed, it has been only in the last ten years that other institutions from other regions have initiated similar ventures. Yet what makes the AAUEC unique is its regional focus, providing undergraduate students in the east a chance to participate in and help organize an academic conference, more often the purview of faculty and graduate students. The AAUEC helps English students (and faculty) forge relationships and networks and furnishes them with a chance to participate in a fruitful dialogue with their peers, giving them firsthand experience of how their intellectual work can have an impact beyond the walls of the classroom.