The Ball State English Department’s annual Practical Criticism Midwest conferences will be held this Saturday and will have panels open to undergraduates and the public for the first time.

The conference includes 8 different panels discussing aspects of English from “Digital Impact” to “Gender and Language.” 

The final discussion will be over career possibilities for English students, something that conference assistant-chair Megumi Hamada says is important to show to students.

“We started hearing a lot of questions like, ‘What can you do with English degrees?’ because there is no English job,” Hamada said.

This conference will also be the first time that panels have been opened up to undergraduates of all majors with some also to all of the public.

“We wanted to open up to all people to show that skills you gain from English degrees are needed in every field,” Hamada said. “Anybody can come, bring your family members, even your dog … maybe.”

Though participants shouldn’t bring dogs, the conference will be capped off by the Doggerel poetry competition. 

Entries into the competition are limited to students, but the event is open for everyone to view for the first time. Prizes include $50 for undergraduate entries and $100 for graduate entries. 

Hamada says around 40 entries have been submitted so far. Applications are still being accepted.

Practical Criticism Midwest will be held on Saturday on the third floor of the Student Center. First panels begin at 11:15 a.m. with the Doggerel capping off the event at 4:15 p.m.