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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Southampton Helps Bring the Non-Science Stony Brook Up to Par

    Frank McCourt, Jules Feiffer, Billy Collins, Amy Tan. These are only a few of the distinguished authors and writers who will be attending the annual Stony Brook Southampton Writer’s Conference, a five-day event to be held from July 26-30. The event will be in the format of a lecture-reading-discussion series where attendees will have the opportunity to hear from various authors about their works and engage in question and answer as well as panel-based discussions.

    According to Dr. Robert Reeves, a professor of English and Director of the Stony Brook Southampton Writer’s Conference, “The event has been going on for the past 30 years at Southampton University.” The Writer’s Conference has been, according to Reeves, “an event that lasts for 2 weeks.” However, as the dust hasn’t yet settled from the recent takeover of the Southampton campus by Stony Brook, the event was decidedly abbreviated to five days.

    Reeves emphatically stated that he would love for Stony Brook students to attend the event, that too at a severely discounted price. A ticket that normally costs 250 dollars will be sold to undergraduate students at 25 dollars and graduate students at 50 dollars. Any students interested in attending the event should write an e-mail to the following address requesting the discount: [email protected].

    On Friday, July 28th, the Writer’s Conference will join with Stony Brook Film Festival in a continuing tradition to celebrate, what Reeves calls, “the union of word and image.” The special guest for that Friday evening is Alan Alda, the famed American writer, actor, and director, who will speak about his recent memoir.

    Aside from the Writer’s Conference, Reeves did make several comments about the recent acquiring of the Southampton campus. According to Reeves, “The marine sciences program and the programs in the humanities, originally from Southampton University, are two programs that will contribute the most to the Stony Brook.” Reeves noted the Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program as an elite program in the humanities, something that will undoubtedly “enrich the campus.”

    While this program is primarily for graduate students, Reeves did mention that the program maybe open to qualified undergraduate students. Reeves, who will be teaching EGL285 at Stony Brook this fall, Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop, stressed that the nationally prominent programs of the Southampton campus will serve not only complement the established programs in Music and the Arts at Stony Brook, but also to bring the level of the humanities at Stony Brook up to par with the already strong science programs. Reeves noted that even science and engineering students on campus, should not disregard the humanities as unnecessary, but rather a tool for effective communication, emphasizing such problems students in the sciences sometimes have with diction, style, and overall presentation of argument.

    According to Reeves, steps towards this goal of “balancing the campus” have already been taken by President Shirley Strum Kenny with the new humanities building. The Stony Brook Southampton Writer’s Conference should be taken, according to Reeves, as a way of introducing the Southampton to Stony Brook. All-in-all, as Reeves summed up, “Southampton and Stony Brook?it’s a natural fit.”

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