The very end of fall semester 2016 saw the introduction of a little co-lab conference known as Storyfest. The purpose of Storyfest was to bring professors and students together to discuss the question: “what makes a good story?” Over the course of November 30th to December 2nd, lectures, group panels and films aimed to answer just that. Storyfest 2016 was filled to the brim with beautiful and intelligent student work—some projects even having developed over the entirety of the fall semester. This year’s Storyfest even featured well-beloved author Aminatta Forna (The Hired Man and several other works) along with filmmakers Scott MacLeod and Mike Burns (The Water of Life).
In my opinion, one of the largest benefits of Storyfest (and similar conferences) is that it allows the English major—along with other creative majors—into the public eye. I think it is fair to say that while class discussions bring the majority of students together, being an English major is a fairly solitary major. Storyfest remarkably brings both majors and non-English majors into the same room and opens up a conversation via lectures or group panels. By doing so, it creates a cross current of opportunity and understanding.
With each co-lab, the end of semester conferences continue to grow and improve. I look forward to what may come in the spring (potentially another Storyfest?) and I hope to see you all there—whether it be to present or part of the audience.