Lit &… Conference postponed due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Photo credit: Archer Communications

Archer Communications created this logo for the 2020 Literature &... Conference, which was scheduled for March 12. Due to growing concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19), the conference was canceled the day before it was scheduled to occur.

By Lizette Gonzalez and Cadence Callahan

The Literature &… Conference was supposed to be held on March 12, but English Department Chair Brian Wogensen announced Wednesday that it will be postponed until further notice. Lit &… is an annual daylong conference where students from schools across LA discuss connections between literature and other mediums or topics.

“Many of the schools that were supposed to participate in the conference would no longer be able to send students because the schools themselves are closing,” senior Anna Brodsky, the student coordinator, said.

Another factor that played into the decisions of postponing the conference was the concern about the large number of people that were going to attend, Wogensen wrote in an email interview.

“Larger groups were clearly something that were being considered a cause for concern, [which] prompted us to postpone,” Wogensen wrote.

Brodsky is part of the leadership team for the conference, which also included seniors Isabella Silvers, Josie Gordon, Dylan Marmur and Kat Mackay, and said she was disappointed since the team has been organizing this event since last October.

The conference may take place later this year, but if it cannot happen, the leadership team is discussing an alternative way to showcase the work that would have been presented. As of Sunday night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that organizers cancel or postpone events with 50 people or more for the next two months.

“We can turn it into some kind of book that can then be distributed to presenters,” Brodsky said. “Or we can try to set up some sort of video thing that can somehow encapsulate what the conference would’ve been.”

According to Wogensen, the future of the conference is still uncertain due to not knowing when students will return to campus.

“We would love to hold the conference when we return to school, and simply need to wait and see what the future holds in terms of that timing,” he wrote.

Brodsky said she is confident about the leadership team’s abilities in still fulfilling the conference’s goal, which is facilitating discourse about literature.

“There’s so many things going on in the world right now,” Brodsky said. “I think it’s important that we mourn this and we turn our attention to other things that are happening in our community.”

See below for the planned program for the conference.