Click here for most recent updates




Campbellsville University hosts Kentucky Philological Association’s 47th annual conference

Campbellsville University hosts Kentucky Philological Association’s 47th annual conference
Dr. Donna Hedgepath, provost and vice president for academic affairs, speaks at the 47th annual KPA conference at Campbellsville University. (Campbellsville University Photo by Alexandria D. Swanger)

By Matthew Taylor, student news writer, Office of University Communications

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Dr. Matt Oliver, associate professor of English, and Dr. Susan Wright, also an associate professor of English, both of Campbellsville University, presented their works at the Kentucky Philological Association’s (KPA) 47th annual conference that was at the university recently.

This was Campbellsville University’s first time to host a KPA conference.

The KPA is an organization of teachers, scholars and others who study language and literature. KPA holds its annual conference in the Commonwealth every March for the presentation of scholarly and creative work by members. The organization also publishes an annual literary journal, The Kentucky Philological Review (KPR).

Wright presented her scholarly work, that she has been working on since December 2016, called, “Parents and Children in Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away: A Psychological Examination of Japanese Parenthood.” In her work, Wright used psychological criticism in literary theory to analyze Hayao Miyazaki’s portrayal of under-parenting and over-parenting in the film “Spirited Away.”

Oliver presented an excerpt from his book-length project called, “The Mundane Fantastic: Stylistic Magic and the Distrust of Language in David Gemmell and Fritz Leiber.” His work examines the form and style of epic fantasy novels.

The excerpt Oliver presented focused on writers who don’t use magic, but instead, focus on the mundane, everyday aspects of these fantasy worlds. Oliver said writers David Gemmell and Fritz Leiber are cynical about language’s ability to accurately represent reality, but still think it is important for creating group bonds between people.

“Rebecca Brockman, the executive director of KPA, approached me a several years ago asking if we would be willing to host the conference,” Dr. Justy Engle, assistant professor of English and past president of KPA, said.

KPA also provided members with volume 33 and 34 of the KPR at the conference.

Engle’s presidential speech, “Love and Knowledge form the Beginning of Wisdom: The Academic, Monastic Life,” can be found in KPR volume 34.

“The conference attendees were delighted by the catering and the quality of the presentations,” Engle said.

Catering was provided by Pioneer College Caterers Inc., and there were a total of 46 presentations during KPA’s 47th annual conference.

KPR is published annually in the spring; its articles are chosen by the Editorial Committee from papers from the previous year’s meeting. Papers named “best of session” at the KPA conference are considered.

The KPR is indexed in the annual MLA Bibliography in print and online.

KPA has had past conferences at University of Pikeville, Union College, Eastern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University, Bluegrass Community and Technical College and many other universities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Their next conference will be held at Kentucky State University in March 2021.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 11,900 students offering over 100 programs of study including Ph.D., master, baccalaureate, associate, pre-professional and certification programs. The university has Kentucky based off-campus centers in Louisville, Harrodsburg, Somerset, Hodgenville and Liberty with instructional sites in Elizabethtown, Owensboro and Summersville. Out-of-state centers include two in California at Los Angeles and Lathrop, located in the San Francisco Bay region. The website for complete information is

Campbellsville University is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award certificates, associate, baccalaureate, masters and doctoral degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the status of Campbellsville University.