Call for Participation 2019

Call for Participation

The Examined Life

An Undergraduate Conference in the Liberal Arts

“Are You in a/the Good Place?”

Friday and Saturday, April 5–6 2019

Lebanon Valley College – Annville, PA 17025


This conference is a celebration of the Liberal Arts. It brings together traditional research presentations, creative works, and an art show and open mic to celebrate student work in the Liberal Arts. Participants may engage with the conference in a variety of ways: presenting their work within panel presentations (usually comprising 3 presenters whose work shares meaningful connection, whether by theme or genre), participating in a poster session showcasing their research, and/or performing during the conference’s art show and open mic night.


Friday evening will feature an art show and open mic. These events are separate from the panel presentations, and persons presenting material in a panel or during the poster sessions are welcome to present additional work during the art show and open mic. Spoken/sung/instrumental contributions presented at the open mic should be no more than 5 minutes long.


Submissions for panel presentations may include:

  • Academic essays tailored for a 15-20 minute oral presentation (1500-2000 words)
  • Creative works (creative writing, visual art, music, etc.) tailored for a 15-20 minute oral presentation, with a portion of the presentation dedicated to reflecting on the works’ connection to the conference theme and/or the idea of “the examined life” (1500-2000 words)
  • Poster presentations or similar visual representations of research


While proposals might address any theme and/or the idea under the rubric of “the examined life,” priority will be given to those related to this year’s theme, “Are You in a/the Good Place?” What does it mean to be good? Why does this particular place matter? Are you headed to the good place or the bad place? Is America in a good place, politically? How does literature construe goodness or place? How do we conjure images of good places? How do conceptions of race, class, gender, etc. influence our perception of goodness or place? How does popular culture expand our understandings of goodness or place? While our theme is inspired by the philosophically inspired sitcom, “The Good Place,” at our conference, the scope of the theme will be limited only by the imaginations of those who attend.


The conference will begin Friday evening with the keynote address by Steven Benko, Associate Professor of Religious & Ethical Studies at Meredith College, and reception. Presentations and poster displays will begin Saturday morning and conclude around 5:00pm. The conference will conclude with an awards ceremony where we will recognize top student performers with cash prizes.


Proposals for potential inclusion within a panel should be e-mailed to by February 14, 2019. Please include your name, contact information, institutional, affiliation, and contact information of a professor familiar with the project. Proposals should be between 250–500 words and should describe the work/its argument or focus and its connection to the conference theme and/or the idea of “the examined life.” A complete submission of the work to be presented must be submitted by March 21, 2019. Poster presenters and art show exhibitors should e-mail an image or narrative description of their work.


The conference is open to the public and free for presenter and non-presenters. For more information, please visit our website ( or contact Dr. Matthew Sayers (