Students nationwide come to English Language & Literature Conference

Novelist Aleksandar Hemon

Novelist Aleksandar Hemon

Novelist Aleksandar Hemon, a Guggenheim Fellow and MacArthur “genius grant” recipient, will be the keynote speaker at the 23rd annual Undergraduate Conference on English Language and Literature Conference on Saturday, March 15 at the University of St. Francis (USF).

Hemon, born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, came to the United States in 1992 as part of a month-long cultural exchange program for journalists, but was granted political asylum as Sarajevo came under siege. “Islands,” one of the first stories he wrote in English appeared in the “Best American Short Stories” 1999 edition. He has since authored “The Question of Bruno,” “Nowhere Man,” “The Lazarus Project” and “Love and Obstacles.” His most recent work, a collection of autobiographical essays entitled “The Book of My Lives,” was published by Farrar Straus and Giroux in March 2013.

Hemon now lives in Chicago with his wife and two daughters.

The public is invited to Hemon’s keynote address at 9 a.m. in the Sexton Auditorium, Moser Performing Arts Center on USF’s main campus. A book signing will follow the presentation. Admission is $7. For information, contact or (815) 740-6444.

In its 23rd year, the English Language and Literature Conference draws students and professors from colleges and universities throughout the country to USF, including Barnard College, Harvard University, Northwestern University, Sarah Lawrence College and the University of Illinois. At the conference, undergraduates present their own scholarship to an audience of peers and professors. Students also compete to earn awards, including, among others, The Gertrude Stein (Best Essay on Gender and Sexuality), The Terry Eagleton (Best Use of Theory) and The Hemingway (Most Economical Use of Language).

This year’s participants include the University of St. Francis, Allegheny College, Beloit University, California State University – Fresno, Carthage College, Concordia University, Cornell College, Dominican University, Grand Valley State University, Illinois State University, Indiana University – South Bend, Indiana Wesleyan University, Knox College, Lesley University, Lewis University, Meredith College, St. Ambrose University, Trinity Christian College, University of Chicago, University of Houston, University of South Dakota and West Virginia University.

The University of St. Francis, at 500 Wilcox St. in Joliet, serves 45,000 alumni and 3,400 students nationwide. Undergraduate, graduate and doctoral programs are offered in arts and science, business, education, nursing, health care and social work. For information, call (800) 735-7500 or visit

Media Inquiries:
Nancy Pohlman, Executive Director of Community Relations
(815) 740-3379 |