John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference

April 7, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – The annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference will be held at Illinois Wesleyan University on Saturday, April 12 from 8:30 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. in the Center for Natural Science Learning and Research (CNS) (201 Beecher St., Bloomington). 

Presentations are free and open to the public.   

A unique opportunity for undergraduates to be recognized for their research endeavors, the 2008 conference program will include 85 poster presentations and 26 oral presentations from a broad range of disciplines including Economics, Environmental Studies, Greek and Roman Studies, Theatre, Biology, and Business Administration.   Research posters will be displayed in either the morning or afternoon according to the number each is assigned, while the 15-minute oral presentations are organized into ten sessions.   A numbered list of poster presentations is available at, and a schedule of oral presentations is available at    

The keynote address of the conference, titled “‘Who Goes There?’: Science and Belonging in Contemporary Antarctica,” will be delivered by Elena Glasberg from Princeton University. Glasberg was awarded an Antarctic Artists and Writers Program Grant by the National Science Foundation. An interdisciplinary humanist, Glasberg works in the fields of American studies, gender and sexuality studies, and her creative writing courses at Princeton focus on the Antarctic.

Glasberg has been director of the Program in the Study of Sexuality and of the New Beginnings Faculty Research Program at Duke University; a research affiliate at Gateway Antarctica, University of Canterbury, New Zealand; and a faculty affiliate at New York University’s Center for the History of the Production of Knowledge. 

She has published widely and is currently working on a book for the University of New England Press.  Another New World: Antarctica as Place and Symbol in the United States investigates the ways U.S. subjects since 1820 have projected onto Antarctica fantasies and beliefs about land, knowledge, and power that cannot be brought under national control. By placing discourse about Antarctica before, beside, and after that of the U.S., Another New World reconsiders American empire via its relations to a fantastic Antarctic that, through the accident of geophysical reality, seemed always—and still—to await explorers and colonizers.

Glasberg's appearance at the 2008 conference is timely in this International Polar Year.

An annual event since 1990, the research conference was named after explorer-geologist John Wesley Powell, a Civil War veteran and a founder of the National Geographic Society who joined IWU’s faculty in 1865. Powell was the first U.S. professor to use fieldwork to teach science, taking IWU students on an expedition to Colorado's mountains. Powell was later the first director of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of Ethnology.

    The schedule of conference events is as follows:

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.

Poster Presentations: Morning Session (Commons of CNS)

10:00 – 12:00 p.m.

Oral Presentations (CNS, various locations)

1:15 – 2:30 p.m.

Keynote Speech, “’Who Goes There?’: Science and Belonging in Contemporary Antarctica,” by Elena Glasberg, Adjunct Associate Professor, Barnard College

2:35 – 3:45 p.m.

Poster Presentations: Morning Session (Commons of CNS)

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Presentation by Senior Art Students

5:15 – 6:15 p.m.

Performances of Music Student Compositions

For additional information contact conference organizer Dan Terkla, director of humanities and professor of English, at or at (309) 556-3649. The conference Web site is available at

Contact: Renee K. Scherer,  ’08, (309) 556-3181