Symposium 2017

Celebrating Student Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity

Symposium coverThe University of Central Oklahoma's College of Liberal Arts will host its annual symposium from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017, offering students the opportunity to present their exemplary writing and research and to participate in other academic and creative activities. Classes in the College of Liberal Arts are redirected during the event to allow students to participate and to give classmates the chance to experience the scholarly and creative work of their fellow students.

Keynote Speaker Bruce Plante
Pegasus Theatre
Noon - 1:00 p.m.

Bruce PlanteBruce Plante is the editorial cartoonist for the Tulsa World and the creator of Plante Ink syndicate, which distributes his editorial cartoons to 40 subscribers throughout the United States and the world. His cartoons have appeared in The New York TimesUSA TodayThe Washington Post,The Wall Street JournalThe Los Angeles TimesNewsweekNewsweek International (Europe), Newsweek JapanPlayboySports Illustrated,Discover, CBS, CNN, college and high school textbooks, and even the Iowa Achievement Test.

Plante won the 2002-2003 Fischetti Award for best national editorial cartoon and the Silver Gavel Award for Public Service from the American Bar Association. He has been a guest panelist at the Harvard University Institute of Politics.

In 2015, he was named a public fellow (studying humor) for the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at the University of Tulsa. Plante also served as the president of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists. He was the founding Chairman of the Editorial Cartooning Initiative and is currently serving as Vice President.

Keynote Speaker John Granger
Pegasus Theatre
5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.

John GrangerTagged "The Dean of Harry Potter Scholars" by TIME magazine's Lev Grossman, John Granger has been the leading expert on the subject of the artistry and meaning of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels since the publication of his first book on the subject in 2002.

The author or editor of eight books, “The Hogwarts Professor” has been a Keynote and Featured Speaker at more than twenty academic and fan conferences, and has spoken at twenty-five major universities and colleges.

Granger has a Bachelor's degree in Classics from the University of Chicago, a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing, and is working on his Ph.D. thesis at UCO and Swansea University (Wales). He blogs at and podcasts at MuggleNet Academia.

The Liberal Arts are becoming more important every day, and in our college we teach our students to ask the right questions, to study their past and to analyze their present. In the Liberal Arts differ from other disciplines because our objects of study many times are not in front of us and the result of our experiments might be mere hypothesis. But those ideas are the starting point for UCO students to begin to understand the community they live in. The Liberal Arts and the Humanities overall have been criticized because at the end of their careers our students do not produce a finalized object with exchange value. However, what we teach them are intellectual and critical skills that shall have value in any career, project, or activity they decide to develop in the future. But above all, we hope we can help make them better citizens in an always changing world.

UCO Students: To apply online to Liberal Arts Symposium, visit the following webpage. Please note application deadlines of February 3rd for individual submissions and February 17th for group submissions.

Individual submission form:

Group submission form:

For additional information, contact faculty representatives to the Liberal Arts Symposium committee:

Modern Languages

Guillermo Martínez, Chair / x5857

Dean’s Office

Brandon Laughlin / x5348


Kate Huber / x5631

Sociology, SAS, Gero

Nina Michalikova / x5535

Brooke Montoya / x5622

Political Science

Brett Sharp / x5526

Humanities & Philosophy

Eva Dadlez / x5636

Mass Communication

Jesse Miller / x5124

History & Geography

Michael Springer / x3416

Modern Languages

Karen Manna / x5661

Criminal Justice

Matt Jones / x5613 

This is an official STLR event.STLR logo