A 4th Annual UVU Conference

About the Conference

The Conference

Mission Statement

UVU's annual Conference on Writing for Social Change challenges students and community members to effect positive change in the world through the power of writing. Our mission is to empower students and community members with the writing skills and experience they need to effect positive social change in the world. The conference provides students and other presenters with an audience for their research, writing, and other social change project presentations. Each presenter also receives invaluable, confidence–building experience by sharing their work in a formal, academic setting.

Diane Raptosh

Keynote Speaker

A graduate of the University of Michigan MFA Program, Diane Raptosh serves as the Idaho Writer-in-Residence (2013-2016) and the Boise Poet Laureate (2013). Her most recent book of poems, American Amnesiac (Etruscan Press), was Longlisted for the 2013 National Book Award. The recipient of three fellowships in literature from the Idaho Commission on the Arts, she holds the Eyck-Berringer Endowed Chair in English at The College of Idaho, where she teaches literature and creative writing as well as directs the program in criminal justice/prison studies.

Torben Bernhard

Documentary Filmmaker

Torben Bernhard is an American documentary filmmaker and rap artist. Bernhard has written and directed documentary films and has additionally worked as a producer and cinematographer. Bernhard’s films include the feature-length documentary on polyartist Alex Caldiero entitled The Sonosopher: Alex Caldiero in Life...in Sound, which was an official selection at the 2010 Cinequest Film Festival. He is also the director behind Transmormon, a short documentary featuring Eri Hayward. Hayward, a Mormon, originally identified as a gay man before realizing she was, as she puts it, ""a woman trapped in a man's body."

Utah Valley University

The Campus

Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah and is home to more than 30,000 students. UVU began as a vocational school during World War II, and in the seven decades since has evolved into a technical school, community school, state college and, finally a comprehensive regional teaching university. UVU is one of Utah's largest institutions of higher learning and offers programs ranging from career training to high–demand master degrees, with emphasis on undergraduate education.


The submission date has passed. We look forward to seeing you at the conference!


night time view of Utah Valley

Thursday November 12th

9:00am - 10:00am   Conference Registration | Outside Centre Stage

10:00am - 11:15am   Keynote Address with Diane Raptosh: The Password Primeval: Poetry as Emblem of Democracy | Centre Stage

11:30am - 12:45pm   Lunch for Student Presenters | Lakeview Room of LI

1:00pm - 4:00pm   State Your Change: Audience Participation Workshop | Centre Stage

1:00pm - 4:00pm   Conference Registration | Outside Centre Stage

1:00pm - 2:15pm   Concurrent Panels

  • Religious Traditions & The Female Body | SC 213B
  • Technology, Citizenship, and the Future | SC 206H
  • Your Story Matters: Mental Health Awareness | SC 213A
  • Isolation, Incarceration, and Imperialism: an Application of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness | SC 206G

2:30pm - 3:45pm | Concurrent Panels

  • Social Change in the Legal System | SC 213B
  • The Language of Social Change | SC 206H
  • Raising Healthy Children | SC 213A
  • Social Change for Public Health | SC 206G

4:00pm - 5:00pm   Linebreak/Newbreak: Composing Poems from the World of Information (workshop with Diane Raptosh) | Writing Center

Friday November 13th

9:00am - 10:00am   Conference Registration | Outside LI 120

9:00am - 9:00pm   Digital Media & Poster Session | SB Atrium

9:00am - 9:50am   Education for Change (panel) | Writing Center

9:00am - 10:30am   Identity Intersection in the LGBTQIA + Community (panel) | LI 120

10:00 - 10:50am   Illness & Identity (panel)| Writing Center

11:00am - 12:45pm   TransMormon Film Presentation & Discussion with Director Torben Bernhard | LI 120

1:00pm - 1:50pm   Concurrent Panels

  • That's Not Ladylike: How Gender Advice Shapes Society | LI 120
  • International Communities Under Siege | Writing Center

2:00pm - 2:50pm   Identities in Transition (panel) | Writing Center

3:00pm - 3:50pm   Household Representations of Gender (panel) | LI 120

4:00pm - 4:50pm   Growing Grassroots: Writing the Fight to Protect American Fork Canyon (panel) | Writing Center

5:00pm - 5:50pm   Missions, Marriage, and Femininity in the Mormon Culture (panel) | Writing Center

7:00pm - 9:00pm   See It, Hear It, Change It   A performance featuring award-winning SLAM artists, Rebeca Mae and Gray Thomas, plus UVU student writers and musicians | LI 120


Utah Valley University is located in Orem, Utah, just off I-15 and approximately 45 minutes south of Salt Lake City.

From I-15 North or South bound, follow these directions:

  • Take University Parkway (Exit 272) and head east
  • Turn left into campus at the first light on University Parkway (Sandhill Rd.)
  • Turn right at the roundabout onto College Drive.
  • Signs are posted directing you to the visitor parking lots.

Download a campus map here

Main Campus
Utah Valley University
800 W University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
We're on social networks

Please tweet the conference with the hashtag: #uvusocialchange