Keynote Speaker

Keynote Speaker 2024

Devin PhilbrickDevEn Philbrick '16

Deven Philbrick is a writer of poetry, fiction, and literary criticism. His work in all three genres is influenced by process studies, a broad field of inquiry encompassing several academic disciplines unified by the recognition that the inherent dynamism of all things is ontologically prior to what Western philosophy has tended to think of as the things themselves. As a doctoral candidate at the University of Michigan, he is at work upon a dissertation entitled From Being to Becoming, From Text to Writing: Process Metaphysics in the Poetry of Williams, Olson, Duncan, and Mackey, in which he investigates how this quartet of poets was influenced by process philosophy, and mobilizes those findings toward re-imagining aspects of our critical practice. Drawing on the ideas of such thinkers as Alfred North Whitehead and Édouard Glissant, the project proposes a model of literary interpretation that neither reduces the written arts to their socio-histories, nor figures them as metaphysically Other. Philbrick's scholarship proceeds from the supposition that critics must expand the range of imaginative possibilities literary works offer, rather than explaining them away as either ideology or craft. His debut poetry collection, Snow Drifts, is forthcoming from Spuyten Duyvil Publishing. He holds a BA in English/Communications and Philosophy from MCLA, an MFA in creative writing from the University of Washington, and is completing his PhD at the University of Michigan.

URC Keynote Speakers from Recent Years

2023 Jenna McElroy ’16

2022 Elsa "Rose" Mastico '18

2021 Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu '15

2020 Ama Bemma Adwetewa-Badu '15 - Canceled due to COVID19 pandemic

2019 Alexandra Nichipor '12

2018 James Chapman '15

2017 Kaitlin Hallet '10

2016 Chloe McGrath '13

2015 Alicia Girgenti, Ph.D '07

2014 Victoria Welch '09

2013 Evan Hermann '07

2012 Jarrod Abbott-Washburn '08

2011 Brendan Gaesser '07

2010 Maura Mills '05

2009 Trisha Farco '04

2008 Gerol Petruzella '01

2007 Bonnie Beal '01