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English students take ‘Trash Talkin’ to a new level

By Costa Maragos Posted: March 10, 2016 6:00 a.m.

Some members of the English Students’ Association (l-r) Carla Klein, Andrea Martineau, Avnee Paranjape  and Katelyn Smuk.
Some members of the English Students’ Association (l-r) Carla Klein, Andrea Martineau, Avnee Paranjape and Katelyn Smuk. Photo courtesy of Carla Klein.

The English Student’s Association invites to you to its annual popular culture conference ‘Trash Talkin.’

The event, March 11 and 12 at the U of R, features the keynote address by Arthur Slade, renowned author and winner of the Governor-General’s Award in Children’s Literature. Slade recently landed a movie deal for his book series The Hunchback Assignments. His talk, March 11, at 5:30 p.m. in RIC 119, is titled “From Hobbits to Hunger Games: An Inside Look at Children’s Lit.”

The English Students' Association (ESA) aims to promote the appreciation of literature, in all its diverse forms and adaptations. We spoke with student Avnee Paranjape, president of the ESA, about the conference and the thrill of having Slade give the keynote address.

Avnee, What’s ‘Trash Talkin’ all about?

Trash Talkin' is an annual student conference organized by the English Students' Association. Our focus is academic papers on not-typically-academic, popular culture topics, such as movies, TV shows, popular novels, even video games.

We also provide opportunities for student creative writers to present their work, because not only does the department have such a robust creative writing program, but interest in creative writing in particular extends far beyond the English Department.

Students from not only the U of R, but also the U of S, the University of Winnipeg, and Concordia submitted both critical papers on popular culture topics and creative writing pieces. Through our review processes, we have selected a fascinating group of papers.”


One of the papers presented has to do with the video game World of Warcraft. What can you tell us about that?

World of Warcraft is an extremely popular video game, but what the average player might not consider about it is how they themselves contribute to the development of the story.

In that case, who is the "author" of the story the video game tells: the developers, or the players who make up the world of the game through their interactions with each other? That's the idea behind one of the papers that will be presented.   

Tell us more about English Student’s Association  

Arthur Slade
Saskatoon-based Arthur Slade is the author of 17 novels for children and young adults. Go to arthurslade.com

I think the English Students’ Association is important because we don't just focus on putting together activities for our own students - we recognize how integral narrative is to everyone's lives, and we actively try to market our events as widely as possible, and solicit the participation of students from across the university.  

How do you feel about having Arthur Slade as the keynote speaker?

We’re thrilled. It will be fascinating to hear the perspective of an author on how one creates the books that we read as children that may become central to our lives - just ask any lawyer inspired by Atticus Finch. As academics, we're used to reading books from a particular perspective, but to have an author speak to us about the creative side of such a work will be interesting to not just the academics and creative writers, the usual suspects at any English event, but anyone who cares about books.  

Event:      Trash Talkin’ 2016
Date:       March 11 – Keynote: Arthur Slade
Location:  RIC 119
Time:       5:30 p.m.

Date:        March 12 – Writing Presentations
Location:   RIC 119
Time:        9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

For more information please contact: esaregina@gmail.com

The English Students’ Association is one of dozens of student clubs at the U of R. Find a club that suits you here.