Kuwait City, xx April 2015: Gulf University of Science and Technology (GUST) launched the second GUST English Language and Literature (GELL) conference on the 21st of April 2015. The conference explored the theme “The Challenges of Teaching Foreign Languages and Literatures”, with a particular focus on teaching the English language in the Middle East and North Africa. The event was covered by the span of 3 days, and was largely funded by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), with sponsorship also from Naseej Arabian Advanced Systems and That Al-Salasil Retail Company.
The conference was arranged around scholarly panel discussions, literary readings from novels and poetry; and creative writing and pedagogical workshops. The panel discussions with explore topics such as creative writing poetry for university teachers of English Studies students, translation and language pedagogy, linguistics & meaning-making, among other subjects. There was also keynote speeches on cultural imperialism in the MENA countries, ethics in translation, and one on the advantages and cognitive gains of bilingualism.
Among the featured guests were poet James Sutherland-Smith, the Middle East literary scholar; novelist Robert Irwin, the philosopher and cultural theorist; Costica Bradaton, the translation scholar Mona Baker.
Dr. Ikram Elsherif, chairwoman of the Conference Organizing Committee said, “This event offers GUST students as well as the Kuwaiti community with great opportunities of academic exposure, as GUST students got the chance to meet scholars”.
This conference was open to the public, and attendance of presentation sessions was free. However, attendees’ of the opening and closing ceremonies who received a conference package had to pay a small fee of KD 20.