Updates from the English Department Office of Undergraduate Studies
  ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌   ‌
A note from the director...

Dear Students:

Things seem to be settling down a bit after midterms. Enjoying the calm, we are making difficult pre-Halloween decisions. Should we incorporate Autumn Mix into our pretty much steady diet of chocolate? Or should we reach for the Twizzlers? Hmmmmmmm.

One thing about which we are certain is our continued excitement about our search for an editorial assistant. Please apply! The job description, as well as a link to the application (due by 5:00 pm Monday, December 1), are below.

We are also very excited for November. On Thursday, November 5, author of the wildly popular Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff, drops in to talk about writing and publishing with English students. On Monday, November 9 we host our Career Workshop for Graduating Seniors. After our workshop, the Office of Career Services is hosting a Non-Profit event on Wednesday, November 11 and a Virtual Government Career Fair from 2–3pm on Friday, November 13 from 1-4 pm. Keep reading for more information, including links to participate.

As you know, the election is right around the corner. Have you registered to vote? If not, click this link for more information Register to Vote. Make your voice heard this election! (And help dispel the myth that registering to vote increases the likelihood of being called for jury duty.)

Before ending this issue as usual with UGS' virtual office hours, we include several calls for writing or writers. Scroll down for more exciting news:

  • Call for Applications: UGS Editorial Assistant
  • Author Visit from Matt Ruff
  • Career Workshop for Graduating Seniors
  • Student Spotlight: Madeline Zuzevich 
  • Calls for writing and/or writers
  • Virtual Office hours for the week of October 26-30

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Call for Applications: UGS Editorial Assistant



The Office of Undergraduate Studies has a position for a work-study student. 


Job Description:

This is a one-semester editorial assistantship beginning in January 2021. The student will take an active role in the production and design of a variety of publications aimed at undergraduates in UIC's Department of English. This internship will allow you to build your professional Duties include but are not limited to:

  • Layout of weekly newsletter.
  • Writing content for weekly newsletter.
  • Copy-editing weekly newsletter.
  • Sending out weekly newsletter.
  • Learning and developing proficiency in Email+ and Adobe design suite.
  • Writing and design for department website and other promotional materials.
  • Other tasks as assigned.

Job Requirements:

  • Work-study eligibility.
  • Major or minor in English.
  • Junior standing.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills.
  • Ability to take direction.
  • Ability to learn and develop proficiency across a wide range of software.

To apply: Application for UGS' Editorial Assistant

For more information, contact english@uic.edu.

Application deadline: Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 5:00 pm.

Matt Ruff, Author of "Lovecraft Country," Talks Shop with UIC English Students!

The students in Margena Christian's Engl 382: Editing and Publishing course are in for a treat in November! Matt Ruff, author of Lovecraft Country, is dropping by to discuss writing, publishing, and the creative and professional aspects of being a writer. 

Ruff was an English major at Cornell University, where he wrote his first novel for his senior thesis. It was published soon after he graduated as Fool on the Hill. His wildly successful Lovecraft Country, set in Chicago a (and filmed in nearby Pilsen!) has been adapted as an HBO series by Jordan Peele, Misha Green, and J.J. Abrams. 

Ruff will be dropping in to chat with Prof. Christian's students on Thursday, November 5, from 9:30–10:45. There are a few extra spots available if you'd like to join the conversation, so R.S.V.P. to Prof. Christian if you are interested. 

Career Workshop! November 9th

So you're getting ready to graduate, and you're probably feeling that sense of panic and dread. What will you do next? The good news is that English majors fare quite well on the job market! 

Come hear from Jaime Velasquez, from UIC's Career Services. "Employers want English majors specifically," Velasquez says. "They need people who can write, and English majors can write!"

At the workshop on November 9th at 4pm, we'll focus on various aspects of finding a job after graduation. Learn how to navigate the virtual job market, how to prepare your interview materials, and how to translate "close reading of poetry" into a marketable job skill!

The workshop is timed to coordinate with 2 upcoming events at Career Services: The non-profit employer discussion with Peace Corps, City Year, SAGA & AUSL recruiters, and the government virtual job fair. Follow the links for more information and to register for these events. 

Jaime Velasquez is a proud UIC alumnus as well as the Director of Employee Relations. He organizes numerous job fairs every year, and is excited to begin working with English majors. Don't miss this important opportunity. 

Interested to attend? RSVP now!

The Freshwater Lab Gets New Funding! Exciting Internship Opportunities for Students!
There is good news for the Freshwater Lab 2021 Internship Program. In addition to funding from the Mott Foundation, the KBIH Foundation has extended a supporting grant.
The 2021 Freshwater Lab Internship Program will cover the major and ever shifting issues of water governance, law, and Climate Change; invite professionals like journalist Tony Briscoe of ProPublica and Marcella Bondie Keenan of the Center for Neighborhood Technology into the classroom to work with students; and place every motivated student in an internship. Internships will begin in March 2021 and can extend into the summer. The Freshwater Lab will provide summer internship stipends to upward of ten students. Students can be paid for transformative work on water and environmental issues.
English majors have much to contribute to the Freshwater Lab. This is a Humanities endeavor that focuses on storytelling, narrative, representation, and analysis of water in an era of floods and droughts.
For more information, please visit the Freshwater Lab website.
For descriptions of the Freshwater Lab Internship by students, please see our 2020 interns page.
Interested to hear more? Contact Professor Rachel Havrelock
The Women's Health Initiative at UIC Needs Writers! Apply Now

The Women's Health Initiative at UIC is looking for writers, editors, journalists, and content creators for the upcoming website. The WHI Blog seeks to elevate the voices of marginalized populations in healthcare through student narratives, interviews with professionals and community members, and research-based articles. 

Students of all majors and backgrounds are welcome to apply for these positions. If you are interested in applying or would like to submit an article, please fill out the WHI UIC Website Interest Form. 

Questions? Contact Madeline Zuzevich.

Mantis (Stanford University) Seeks Poetry for 2020 Issue

Mantis, the journal of poetry, criticism, and translation based at Stanford University, is seeking submissions for its 2020 issue.

To date, Mantis has produced 18 issues featuring work by both prominent and emerging poets and establishing itself as an important venue for writers and readers of poetry from around the globe. Recent contributors have included Rae Armantrout, Forrest Gander, Kelsi Vanada, Carrie Noland, Anne Boyer, Alice Notley, Alicia Ostriker, Bernadette Meyer, Javier Etchevarren (Uruguay), Camila Charry Noreiga (Colombia), Andrea Cote-Botero (Colombia), Ken-ichi Saso (Japan), as well as new poetry from Macedonia by Afrodita Nikolova, Toni Popov, Svonko Taneski, and more!

We are currently accepting submissions in four categories: New PoetryPoetry and Multilingualism2020: Poetry of Protest, and Poetry in Translation. Additional details may be found on our Submittable page. Submissions close on October 31.

Write for UIC's OneWorld Journal
OneWorld Journal is a UIC student publication centered around articles addressing intricate international issues and geopolitical affairs. Through annual publications, OneWorld strives to heighten the visibility of important global issues in order to promote a more expansive worldview and instill an appreciation for the diverse cultures represented on our campus. 
The article submission period for the 2021 issue has now opened! OneWorld accepts submissions in the following categories: World News & Affairs, Opinion, and Study Abroad/Travel Experiences. Students of any major can write for OneWorld by submitting an article to the following form: https://forms.gle/ntxg1TDKVPbyMAwEA. The deadline for submitting an article is October 31, 2020 at 11:59pm. 
More information about submission guidelines and the publication process can be found on the form or  https://sites.google.com/view/uiconeworld/home. However, if you have any additional questions, please email OneWorld at oneworld.uic@gmail.com
Looking to publish your research and theoretical work?
Enter Breakwater Review's 2021 Fiction Contest


Announcing Breakwater Review’s 2021 Fiction Contest

$1000 PRIZE!

We are seeking submissions for our annual fiction contest, to be judged by Porochista Khakpour

The winner receives $1,000 and publication in Breakwater Review

  • All finalists considered for publication
  • A submission fee of $10
  • Deadline is December 1, 2020
  • Finalists announced in January 2021

Full guidelines available at breakwaterreview.com

Breakwater Review is an online literary journal published twice a year by the MFA Program at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. For our fiction contest, we invite writers of all levels to submit their original previously unpublished work of fresh short fiction, no more than 4,000 words.


Porochista Khakpour is the author of four critically acclaimed books, most recently Brown Album: Essays on Exile and Identity (Vintage Books, 2020), which Ploughshares called “fearless.” In 2018 she published the memoir Sick (HarperCollins), which Kirkus Reviews praised as “lucid, eloquent, and unflinchingly honest.” Among her many fellowships is a National Endowment for the Arts award. Currently, she is a guest faculty member at Vermont College of Fine Arts (VCFA) and Stonecoast's MFA programs, as well as Contributing Editor at The Evergreen Review.


Student Spotlight: Madeline Zuzevich
What has been your favorite English course and why? 
My favorite English class is ENGL 243 with Professor Ashton. This is an online asynchronous course with a backward timeline that covers poetry, short stories and novellas by famous American authors. I recommend this course to anyone interested in covering an expansive range of literature! This week we are reading short stories by Edgar Allan Poe and Herman Melville. 
What are you reading for pleasure?
I enjoy reading Maggie Nelson and I recently finished The Argonauts. Nelson's memoir explores themes of identity, gender theory and motherhood. In 2015, The Argonauts won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Criticism. I also recommend Nelson's earlier works like Something Bright, Then Holes and Bluets.
How has being an English major prepared you for life beyond UIC?
I have access to a variety of writing opportunities as an English major at UIC. I am a writer and editor for student-centered publications like The Ampersand and OneWorld magazine. I also write for The Borgen Project, a national nonprofit that fights global poverty. Writing opportunties and internships allow me to explore different careers within my English major and concentration. I encourage all English majors to pursue writing opportunities within their area of interest! 
Other Upcoming UGS Events

The Office of Undergraduate Studies is also hosting the following event: 

  • Independent Study/Senior Thesis Presentations: Friday, December 4, 2020 at 3:00 pm

Perhaps you're interested in what your fellow English majors' work. Perhaps you're considering taking an independent study. Join us as this semester's ENGL 398/399 students present their work.

We'll have more details in future newsletters.

Would you like to see the Office of Undergraduate Studies host a specific event? If so, let us know. It is our mission to provide programming that meets the needs of our students.

Office of Undergraduate Studies Fall 2020 Drop-in Hours

Have a question? Stop by the Office of Undergraduate Studies Drop-in Hours and ask us! While we are terrible at chemistry, we would be delighted to advise on classes, help plan for an independent study or chat about what we are binge watching and what we'll do once COVID-19 is gone.

The Office is open:

Monday 12:00 - 1:00 pm


Thursday 11:00 - 12:00 pm


If these hours don't suit, just email english@uic.edu to make an appointment.