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

Dear Students:

How's your brain? We are in a bit of a stupor. It appears that the way forward is Kanopy. What is Kanopy, you ask. It's a streaming service - as a UIC student you have free access via Daley Library - for an incredible array of feature films, documentaries and shorts. To restart cognition, we'll be watching Out in the Night (Doroshwalther 2014) and rewatching The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (Wiene 1920). Check out what else you can watch on Kanopy here. 

Did you catch UIC Theatre's Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost last week? Don't forget the post-show panel discussion featuring UIC English's Professor Jeffrey Gore on Sunday, December 6 at 2:00 pm. There's another not-to-miss event: UIC's Freshwater Lab's Media Lab Festival. Details are below. The two hour event which brings together change makers, culture creators, and community organizers from Chicago and the Great Lakes to explore the politics of freshwater and to reimagine its revolutionary potential kicks-off at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, December 1, 2020

There's still a bit of time to apply for UGS's Editorial Assistant. Hurry, though. Applications are due by 5:00 pm December 1, 2020. The job description, along with the link to the application, is below. You can also apply for a variety of other jobs, scholarships and fellowship. Plus, registration continues! The English department's course descriptions are available online. Scroll down for more information about our exciting course offerings. 

If you're looking for a new way to approach finals, consider the SKY Campus Happiness Retreat from December 4-6, 2020. Details and instructions for applying for a scholarship to the retreat are below. 

We are no longer holding office hours in these last crazy weeks but are more than happy to meet with you. Email english@uic.edu to make an appointment. Finally, don't miss the calls for writing or writers. Scroll down for more exciting news:

  • Spring 2021 Course Descriptions
  • Elite Lawyers Scholarship
  • PNA-Hugh Hill Scholarship
  • Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship
  • Student Affairs Scholarships Opportunities
  • Phi Beta Kappa Key into Public Service Scholarship
  • WTTW Fellowship
  • Call for Applications: UGS Editorial Assistant
  • PIRG jobs
  • Student Spotlight: Methal Hindi
  • SKY Campus Happiness Retreat
  • Calls for Writing and/or Writers

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Spring 2021 Courses

What is your plan for Spring 2021? Are you looking for an internship? Do you want to know more about literary and cultural theory? Perhaps you're interested in a specific topic? Whatever the case, the Department of English has a wide range of interesting and innovative offerings. See below for a sample.

English 200: Basic English Grammar
Prof. Jeffrey Kessler; Prof. Jeffrey Gore

ENGL 200 focuses on the foundation of English grammar and the underlying rules that shape our language. The goal is to use grammatical forms to make more stylistically informed choices. The course includes drills in order to recognize parts of speech in terms of their functions in sentences. You will demonstrate your mastery of these skills in your own writing. By the end of the semester, you should be able to use terms of grammar to discuss what makes writing more effective, and you should have enough practice with these grammatical forms that better writing will come more naturally to you. **Highly Recommended for Pre-Law, Education, and Professional Writing students**

CRN 19970: MWF 9:00-9:50; CRN 27465: MWF 11:00-11:50
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Jeffrey Kessler).

CRN 35294: TR 9:30-10:45
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Jeffrey Gore).

Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 202: Media and Professional Writing
Prof. Margena Christian; Prof. Karen Leick; Prof. Jeffrey Kessler

This course prepares you for print and online media along with professional writing. Multiple aspects of media and communications will be examined—from journalism to company PR—through writing, reading, researching, interviewing, and discussing how to analyze and construct work in these industries. A portfolio, presented via links on a personal web page, will be produced at the end of the course. The course prepares you for internship and employment opportunities in this field.

CRN 23683: TR 11:00-12:15
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Margena Christian).

CRN 41806: MWF 12:00-12:50; CRN 29938: MWF 1-1:50; CRN 14482: MWF 2:00-2:50

Interested to learn more? Email the Professor (Karen Leick).

CRN: 41805 TR 9:30-10:45
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Jeffrey Kessler).

Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 107: Introduction to Shakespeare
Prof. Jeffrey Gore, Instr. Ann-Marie McManaman

ENGL 107 focuses on the contemporaneity of Shakespeare’s work. Although we historicize the plays and sonnets, we emphasize the ways Shakespeare’s work resonates with daily life in the early 21st century. Special emphasis is placed on issues including but not limited to race, sexualities, gender, imperialism, embodiedness, and surveillance.

CRN 29790/29791: TR 2:00-3:15
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Jeffrey Gore).

CRN 25569/25568: MWF 8:00-8:50
Interested to learn more? Email the instructor (Ann-Marie McManaman).

Ready to enroll? Register now!


English 122: Understanding Rhetoric
Instr. Casey Corcoran, Prof. Doug Sheldon, Prof. Robin Reames

ENGL 122 explores general theories of rhetoric as a discipline and a practice. Seeking to understand rhetoric – both what it is and how we use it – we focus on how the power of language persuades us, determines our thoughts and beliefs, and dictates our actions. In this way, the study of rhetoric is meant to help us understand more about our place in the world. Examining how concepts like kairos, stasis, ethos, pathos, etc., function in contemporary and historical rhetorical events, we will gain a deeper understanding both of how persuasion works… and how it fails. Students will learn that understanding how persuasion works is empowering: it gives us the freedom and the power to be a critic in a dangerous time.

CRN 27463: TR 2:00-3:15
Interested to learn more? Email the instructor (Casey Corcoran).

CRN 42654: MWF 8:00-8:50
Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Doug Sheldon). 

CRN 24552: MWF 1:00–1:50 

Interested to learn more? Email the professor (Robin Reames). 

Ready to enroll? Register now! 

English 114: Introduction to Colonial and Post-colonial Literature
Instr. Corbin Hiday

Bringing together discourses of postcolonialism and environmentalism, the course explores the social and environmental legacies of colonial occupation. We move from India to the Congo and Niger Delta in Africa, from the Caribbean to Palestine. We examine how literary texts intervene in questions of historical development and progress, landscape alteration and extraction, and the production of “Otherness.” Potential authors may include: Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, Chinua Achebe, Ogaga Ifowodo, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Ben Okri, Amitav Ghosh, Indra Sinha, Jamaica Kincaid, and Ghassan Kanafani.

CRN 29792: MWF 1:00-1:50
Interested to learn more? Email the instructor (Corbin Hiday).

Ready to enroll? Register now!

Freshwater Media Lab Festival

Join UIC's Freshwater Lab for its Freshwater Media Festival on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 at 4:00 pm. The festival launches The Backward River, a digital storytelling website about the perspective of the Chicago River from behind the regulatory veil. The Backward River was produced by The Freshwater Lab at UIC, and uplifts notable Chicago talent. 

You can watch live at facebook.com/FreshwaterLab

Elite Lawyer Offers Scholarship

Elite Lawyer, a directory and rating service that recognizes high-achieving attorneys who have made significant contributions to their communities and the legal professionm, is offering a $500 scholarship for the Spring 2021 semester to support college students who have a similar passion for making a difference in their communities. Applications are open to students who:

  •  Are currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program at an accredited U.S. college or university
  • Are continuing their education through at least the Spring 2021 semester
  • Are at least 18 years old
  • Have a current GPA of at least 3.0

Applicants must submit either an original 500-word essay or 2-minute video presentation answering the question: “What positive change are you working to bring to your community in the new year?” The deadline to apply is February 14, 2021, at 11:59 p.m. CST. Click on https://www.elitelawyer.com/elite-lawyer-scholarship for additional information.

PNA-Hugh Hill Endowed Scholarship

PNA-Hugh Hill has a scholarship opportunity for undergraduates majoring in English or Communications. The estimated scholarship award is up to $5,000. The final award amount is determined by the Office of Financial Aid based on the student's unmet financial need for the 2021-22 academic year

Students may apply through SnAP, UIC's internal scholarship information system: http://snap.uic.edu

The criteria for the PNA-Hugh Hill Endowed Scholarship is as follows:

  • LAS undergraduate majoring in English or Communications
  • Past or current internship experience in electronic and/or print media at a television or radio station, magazine or newspaper
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA
  • Full-time enrollment
Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship Program

Established in 2020, the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Chicago Chapter's Michelle Flowers Diversity Fellowship is designed to attract, recruit and retain people of color to the practice of public relations and communications.

Two individual awards, each in the amount of $3,000, will be presented to talented communications students of African-American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Native American, Alaskan Native or Pacific Islander ancestry who are juniors. The award will include a paid summer internship at a Chicago agency affiliated with PRSA Chicago between the Diversity Fellow’s junior and senior year. The award is renewable for the Fellow’s senior year based on attaining a 3.0 GPA.

Applications and all materials are due December 31, 2020. For more information or to apply for the fellowship, go to michelleflowersfellowship.com

Student Affairs Scholarships Opportunities
UIC Student Affairs is accepting applications for more than 30 competitive scholarships available to students across all colleges and academic disciplines. Students are currently receiving over $300,000 in financial support from these scholarships. Students may log in to UIC SnAP at https://uic.academicworks.com to review specific requirements of each scholarship that will support the 2021-2022 academic year. A general application must be submitted before addressing criteria specific to each scholarship. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, January 20, 2021. It is recommended that students visit UIC SnAP soon to participate in this scholarship process.

The scholarship opportunities include, but are not limited to:

• Hassan Mustafa Abdallah Memorial Scholarship
• Lorilyn E. Aquino Award
• Dr. Thomas Beckham Memorial Scholarship
• UIC Ethel Bohlen Scholarships
• UIC Eleanor Daley Scholarship
• Gordon J. Flesch Memorial Scholarship
• UIC Fred Garcia Award
• UIC Hearst Foundation Scholarship
• Noveline Delk Kennedy Scholarship
• Graduate - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current graduate level students)
• Professional - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current professional level
• Undergraduate - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholarship (for current undergraduate level students)
• UIC Donald and Patricia Langenberg Award
• UIC Michael J Lewis Scholarship
• Wensel Morava Scholarship
• La Verne Noyes Scholarship
• UIC Jim’s Original Scholarship
• UIC Navy Pier Scholarship
• Rundgren Foundation Scholarship
• UIC Salinas-Chapa Family Memorial Scholarship
• Officer Brian T. Strouse Memorial Scholarship
• Supporting Excellence Endowment (S.E.E.) Scholarship
• UIC Eileen and Michael Tanner Scholarship Award
• Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Scholarship

If you have questions about the scholarships or the application process, contact the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships office at scholarshiphelp@uic.edu.
Phi Beta Kappa

The Society invites online applications for our Key into Public Service scholarship. The gola is to connect promising liberal arts and sciences students with opportunities in local, state, and federal public service careers and award $5,000 undergraduate scholarships to successful applicants. Membership is not required, but students must attend a Phi Beta Kappa chapter institution and participate in a virtual public service conference in June 2021 that will provide training, mentoring, and resfources. 

Characteristics of ideal recipients include intellectual curiousity, breadth and depth in arts and sciences coursework, leadership propensity, and service to otehrs. Interested students can learn more and apply online unitl January 15, 2021 at pbk.org/ServiceScholarsApp

WTTW Paid Fellowship

WTTW is currently searching for potential candidates to assist on a new documentary about Ida B. Wells, as part of our series called Chicago Stories.

We are looking for undergraduate, graduate students or recent grads with a strong knowledge of and interest in history. WTTW has a fellowship called The Judy and John McCarter Family Fellowship which pays $15/hr and the time commitment is 3-5 days per week from approximately 10/19/20-4/16/21. The position would be 100 percent remote. This fellowship is offered to individuals from under-resourced backgrounds who seek to build their media and research skills.

Interested candidates can apply directly through the WTTW website here.

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  Deadline: 5:00 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2020.

For more information, contact english@uic.edu.

Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Looking to Hire English Majors
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group is looking to hire Campaign Associates who will lead a campaign fighting for an issue such as clean water, renewable energy, zero waste, or consumer protection. PIRG’s role is to find common ground around the common-sense solutions that will make that future a reality. The job provides an opportunity to use the writing skills developed in undergraduate education
Some of the campaign positions open that might be of particular interest include the Zero Waste, Drive Less, Live More and the End the Nicotine Trap Campaign Associate positions.
All of the positions available right now are at this link: https://jobs.uspirg.org/index.html#jobs
Student Spotlight: Methal Hindi
By Jennah Owda

What has been your favorite English course so far?

Such a hard question, as each course has its own path and uniqueness. This semester I really enjoyed taking English 459 and English 240. Both of these courses go past literature and dig deeper into real issues that are happening around the world. In English 240, we are applying philosophies from Aristotle, to Edward Said, to Bronte and connecting them to current events. So it is always interesting to apply a modern view on Aristotle, or to see if Edward Said's claims of Orientalism still exist today. In English 459, we are learning more about the classroom aspect and how to incorporate real-world issues in a classroom setting. 

What are you reading for pleasure?

I recently finished reading The Silent Patient! It was actually my first psychological-thriller novel and I definitely recommend it. I started reading The Kite Runner to ease my way into finals week. 

As a teaching of English major, what pieces of literature are you looking forward to teaching in a classroom? 
There are so many hidden gems in literature! I would love to do a few classics like A Tale of Two Cities or A Raisin in the Sun, but I am really looking forward to teaching young adult books that project modern day issues like The Hate You Give, All American Boys, or A Thousand Splendid Suns

What does life look like after UIC? 

After UIC, I hope I can pursue my teaching of English degree at a high school. I would love to teach in the city. I also plan on teaching abroad through different internships to gain a new perspective and to challenge myself. What’s amazing about the English Education program at UIC is the endless opportunities you have. From teaching, to interning, to managing, you can experience different things after graduation.
Sky Happiness Wellness Retreat

Feeling stressed? Isolated? SKY Campus Happiness UIC is offering scholarships for its virtual wellness retreat on December 4-6, 2020

To find out more about the retreat or to apply for a scholarship, go to SKY Campus Happiness Retreat. For questions about the retreat, please email iastra2@uic.edu.

Calls for Writers and Writing
RipRap Journal

RipRap Literary Journal Volume 43 would like to offer our humble invitation to talented writers and artists of all genres for our CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS! We are currently accepting submissions for Artwork, Poetry, Short Fiction, Flash Fiction, Creative Nonfiction, and Plays. There is no fee to submit. 

We will be accepting submissions until December 18, 2020

RipRap is a literary journal designed and produced annually by students in the Master of Fine Arts, Creative Writing program at California State University Long Beach (CSULB). RipRap highlights new and emerging writers from across the country as well as enlightening interviews of award-winning, published writers who are featured in the CSULB English Department’s Visiting Writers Series or from the known writing community. New editions of the journal are published each May. As always with all our submissions, we seek out work that is innovative, forward-thinking, and as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. 

To submit, please visit Riprapliteraryjournal.submittable.com/submit.

*All submissions are blind-read by our editing staff and editorial panels. Your manuscript may not include any identifying information. Any pieces submitted containing personal information that reveals the identity of the author will not be considered for publication.*

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram @Riprapjournal for updates and more information. In addition, visit our RipRap CSULB site to check out last year's issue Riprap 42. If you wish to contact us, please send us a query at riprapjournal@gmail.com. We look forward to receiving your work!

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.

Black Lawrence Press Seeks Submissions
Black Lawrence Press seeks innovative, electrifying, and thoroughly intoxicating manuscripts that ensnare themselves in our hearts and minds and won’t let go. During our June and November Open Reading Periods, we accept submissions in the following categories: novel, novella, short story collection (full-length and chapbook), poetry (full-length and chapbook), biography & cultural studies, translation (from the German), and creative nonfiction. We are now also accepting proposals for anthologies.

Black Lawrence Press accepts submissions exclusively through our online submission manager, Submittable. We are not able to accept submissions via email or postal mail. Click here to submit.
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.


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.