Patricia Foster

MUSE Literature Conference at IWU

September 22, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. –Illinois Wesleyan’s Alpha Eta Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the national honor society for English majors and minors, will present its first MUSE Literature Conference in conjunction with Illinois State’s Sigma Tau Delta, Lambda Delta chapter.  The conference, which will begin on Friday, Sept. 30 with registration at 3 p.m., will run until Saturday, Oct. 1. 

The keynote speaker at the event will be creative non-fiction author Patricia Foster, the author of two nonfiction books, Just Beneath My Skin and Minding the Body: Women Writers on Body and Soul, and the editor of three anthologies of nonfiction prose.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the Center for Natural Science (201 Beecher St., Bloomington).

MUSE, the name of the conference, was inspired by the Greek mythological sisters, the Muses who were known to provide insight and inspiration to those who excelled in the arts or sciences.  The Muses’ name, akin to the Latin word mens which means mind, denotes “memory” or “reminder.”

The idea for the conference, which will feature multiple sessions of student paper presentations throughout the day, came from Assistant Professor of English Michael Theune, who said he saw potential in the literary honor society at IWU and decided to propose the idea to the group.

The group agreed.  “We felt like this was the next step for us; it was time for us to move on to bigger endeavors,” said Megan Mondi, president of Sigma Tau Delta.

Hoping for a large turnout, the group invited literature departments from every Midwestern college to attend the conference. 

Sigma Tau Delta, founded in 1924 by Judson Q. Owen, a 1913 graduate of IWU, is one of the largest members of the Association of College Honor Societies with over 600 active chapters.  The society, which has had a chapter at IWU since 1998, strives to bring distinction to collegiate students of English language and literature who have made outstanding achievements, and also recognizes the accomplishments of professional writers who have significantly contributed to the literary world.

For additional information, contact Megan Mondi, president of the Alpha Eta Pi chapter of Sigma Tau Delta at (309) 556-2215 or visit the conference Web site at

 Contact: Taylar Kuzniar, (309) 556-3181