IWU Holds Annual Undergraduate Research Conference April 21

Samridh Gupta ’19 presents his research at the 2017 conference.

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University students across all years and majors will have the opportunity to share their individual research projects at the 28th annual John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference on Saturday, April 21.

A full schedule with locations for each event can be found here. The conference is free and open to the public, except for the keynote address, which is limited to presenters and members of their families.

The John Wesley Powell Student Research Conference was established in 1990 as a means for the IWU community to highlight the academic achievements of its students by engaging with their research findings in a public forum. The conference features more than 100 undergraduates who showcase their research either in a poster session or a fifteen-minute oral presentation.

The keynote speaker for this year’s conference will be Aleksandar Hemon, distinguished writer in residence at Columbia College in Chicago. Granted political asylum in the United States when his home city of Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina fell under siege in 1992, he centers on Bosnia and the Yugoslav wars in many of his literary works. His keynote speech for the conference is titled “The Failure of Empathy.”

Hemon’s novels and short story collections, which have received several distinctions, include “The Lazarus Project,” “Nowhere Man” and “Love and Obstacles.” In recent years, he has also expanded into the nonfiction genre with his autobiography “The Book of My Lives” and oral history novel “How Did You Get Here?: Tales of Displacement.” Hemon was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004 and a PEN/Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History in 2017.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21