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

Dear Students:

How was the second week of classes? One of the stars of yesterday's inauguration was the youngest ever poet laureate Amanda Gorman. Did you catch her reciting her poem, "The Hill We Climb"? Here's a link to the National Youth Poet Laureate's performance.

In case you are still putting the finishing touches on your course selections for this semester, be sure to check out some of the English department's terrific course offerings, which still have a few seats available

Scroll down for more exciting news:

  • Spring 2021 Courses
  • Website Survey
  • DePaul's MA in Journalism Program
  • Intern Update: Melissa Ann Quidang
  • Scholarships, Fellowships, and Jobs
  • Calls for Writing, etc.
  • Upcoming UGS Events

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Spring 2021 Courses

Still looking for that perfect class? The Department of English has a wide range of interesting and innovative offerings with a few seats still remaining. Drop/add closes tomorrow! 

English 240: Introduction to Literary Studies and Critical Methods
Prof. Terrence Whalen

This course gives students the tools they need to understand the power of the written (and spoken) word. In this course, students will dissect the works of writers such as Emily Dickinson, Michael Hardt, Antonio Negri, Cary Wolfe and many others to hone their critical writing skills. Students will examine literary essays as well as poetry as they strive towards developing a deeper understanding of the literary works that spurred many developments in contemporary thought.

Interested to learn more? Email the professor. Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 327: Contemporary American Lit. 1980-Present: Toni Morrison
Prof. Madhu Dubey

This class will focus on one of the most widely read American writers of the twentieth century. Course readings will include: six of Toni Morrison’s novels (The Bluest Eye, Sula, Song of Solomon, Beloved, Paradise, A Mercy), a chapter from her critical study of race in American literature (Playing in the Dark), and a selection of her most influential essays and speeches.

Interested to learn more? Email the professor. Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 242: English Literature 1660-1900
Prof. Nicholas Brown

This course undertakes the inspiring task of surveying over two hundred years of English literature in fifteen weeks. From allegory to lyric, from essay to novel, from ballad to dramatic monologue; from the scandalous affairs of Restoration comedy to the chaste attachments of Victorian verse; from the origins of the English novel with Daniel Defoe to its apotheosis in George Eliot (and to its transformation in Joseph Conrad): this 240-year stretch of literary history is crowded with new forms and new thematic and narrative material. The reading load for this course will therefore be heavy. Since this course is designed for English majors, it is presumed that students will arrange their semester to enable them to devote sufficient time to it. The payoff will be worth the effort. This semester will provide a solid backbone to the study of the period and a strong basis on which to begin a study of twentieth-century literature.

Interested to learn more? Email the professor. Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 104: English and American Drama
Prof. Aaron Krall

How do plays represent the world? How do they produce new worlds? This course will examine the form and content of English and American drama from the end of the nineteenth century, the beginning of “modern drama,” to the contemporary stage. We will focus on strategies for critically reading and writing about plays through an analysis of works by playwrights including Glaspell, O’Neill, Beckett, Churchill, Soyinka, and Parks, and we will see and review productions by the UIC Theatre. Our reading will be supported by an exploration of the relationships between written texts and live performances through projects involving acting, directing, and design, as well as literary criticism. We will also explore the social contexts for plays by reading theatre history and dramatic theory, including pieces by Aristotle, Shaw, Artaud, and Brecht. In this way, the literary texts and techniques of playwrights will be complemented and complicated by the theatre artists, theatre companies, critics, and audiences that shaped their production.

Interested to learn more? Email the professor. Ready to enroll? Register now!

English 351: Topics in Black Art & Lit.: The African Novel in the 21st C.
Prof. Nicholas Brown

The past two decades have seen a renaissance in ambitious African fiction, even as its responsibility to the African context has at times been questioned. This course will offer the opportunity to read some of the most important texts of the past twenty years, from Anglophone, Francophone, and Lusophone contexts, as well as to evaluate the current state of the field.

Interested to learn more? Email the professor.

Ready to enroll? Register now!

Take Our Survey!

In order to better serve students, we are updating our website. You can help us by taking a short survey and letting us know what you need from our website.

Interested in Journalism?
Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at 12:00 pm

Are you considering a career in journalism? Just wondering what graduate work in journalism is like? Join us at noon on February 3, 2021 when Rick Brown visits to talk about DePaul University's Graduate Journalism Program

Zoom link: https://depaul.zoom.us/j/93292434Image441?pwd=KzgyRHRxMjJMK1JwTDl0Zkc2UEZUdz09

About Rick Brown
Rick Brown is a television journalism instructor at the DePaul University College of Communication in Chicago. He also works as a freelance field producer for the NBC Network News Midwest Bureau.

Before coming to DePaul, Brown was the primary field producer for NBC News in New England. He traveled throughout the northeast covering stories like the World Trade Center disaster in New York, the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal in Boston, the fatal night club fire in Rhode Island, and the New Hampshire primary.

Earlier in his career, Brown was the news director at WITI-TV in Milwaukee and a field producer and bureau manager for CBS Network News in Chicago.

Intern Update

The Department of English's Internship Program has gone global! Professor Linda Landis Andrews, who directs the program, reports that interns are working across the country and the world at posts in Denver and Ho Chi Minh City

Not only do interns have the opportunity to work outside Chicago but they are excelling at their work. Take Melissa Ann Quidang for instance. An intern at Classic Chicago Magazine, Melissa Ann has just published "Love is Patient: A COVID Wedding." And that's not all. Classic Chicago has been so impressed by the English major who graduated in December 2020 that they've hired her to stay on this summer and train two new interns.

If you are interested in getting real life experience, email Linda Landis Andrews for more information about UIC English's Internship Program. 

Scholarships, Fellowships and Jobs
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.

Calls for Writers, etc.
Intern or Volunteer with PIRG

Get Involved!

Join Illinois PIRG this semester to make a difference on issues that you care about. Apply now to learn more about internship programs.

This past fall, students across the state worked to prepare our campus for the elections coming up in elections. As the largest and most diverse demographic in the country, we needed to make sure our voices are heard. Through meetings with the Civic Engagement office, student government, and other key people on campus, we were able to spread the word to students about the importance of voting and help our peers register to vote. Through these efforts and those of countless other organizations and individuals, youth voting was at historically high levels.

Our top priority this semester is to tackle climate change and our systematic reliance on fossil fuels by passing statewide legislation for 100% Renewable Energy.  We'll be working completely virtually! From gathering petitions and other grassroots product to hosting meetings with our legislators, we need to act fast to prevent the worst effects of climate change and make IL a leader in the Midwest.

IllinoisPIRG is a statewide student-run non-profit that works to protect the public interest and recruit and train student activists. Partnered with other state chapters, we have a 45-year track record of making social change in the US through our organizing efforts on college campuses across the state.

IllinoisPIRG interns learn valuable organizing skills, like building a team of volunteers, taking on leadership within a campaign, organizing events on campus, lobbying elected officials, and working with the media. In addition to building skills and adding to a resume, our interns work to create tangible policy changes on behalf of the public interest. Interns work between 5-10hrs per week.

Too busy for an internship but still want to help? You can still fill out this form to volunteer.

For more information, visit our internship application page & apply today! You may also email Max Ciarlone at mciarlone@illinoispirgstudents.org.

Other Upcoming UGS Events
Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Events:
  • Career Workshop
    February 17, 2021 from 3:00 - 4:00 pm
    Join this workshop to learn how to get a jumpstart on getting a job
    Click here for Zoom link


  • Open Mic 
    March 31, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm
    Share your creative work and hear your peers' creative work
    Click here for Zoom link  


  • Grad School Workshop
    April 14, 2021 from 4:00-5:00 pm
    Current grad students talk about what grad school is really like and how to get into the program of your dreams
    Click here for Zoom link


  • Thesis Presentations
    April 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    Hear what students in ENGL 398 and ENGL 399 have been working on all semester
    Click here for Zoom link
Finally ...

Do you have questions or feel like chatting with UGS? Email english@uic.edu to schedule an appointment.