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


Dear Students:

One final note of congratulations on finishing a tough year. Next semester, fingers crossed, we'll be back on campus. Before we wish our graduating seniors a final goodbye and before we wish all of you a wonderful summer, we have a few final items. Scroll down for: 

  • The Mary Parson Donnellon Scholarship Recipients
  • Summer 2021 Courses
  • Furrow's Spring 2021 Issue
  • Job Opportunity: Peer Success Coach
  • An updated list of internships and calls for writing, etc.

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies


Congratulations to Donnellon Award Winners


Join us in congratulating the following students for receiving our inaugural Mary Parson Donnellon Scholarships. The Mary Parson Donnellon Scholarship is awarded to rising junior and senior English majors concentrating in creative or professional writing. Nominated by the faculty, recipients of this award, which totals $25,000, are recognized for their distinction and academic excellence, as well as their promising abilities in creative and professional writing. 

Mary Parson Donnellon Professional Writing Scholarship
Catherine Lin
Dillon Muth
Wes Sowers
Madeline Zuzevich 

Mary Parson Donnellon Creative Writing Scholarship
Aqsa Mahmood
Ricky Rodriguez
Adrian Souwami 


Summer 2021 - Session 2 - Courses


Wondering what to do this summer? Consider mixing work and pleasure and enrolling in one of these exciting summer courses.

English 240: Introduction to Literary Studies and Critical Methods
Instr. Thomas Moore

This course, which prepares English majors for upper-level study, centers around learning how to interpret literature and write criticism. Students will encounter numerous approaches to these literary pursuits through reading theoretical and critical texts alongside novels by Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and Samuel Beckett. In so doing, we will examine what counts as interpretation, why certain novels reward attention of perusal, and how novels make meaning.

Our synchronous, discussion-based seminar will meet twice a week on Zoom. Carefully reading the texts and actively participating in discussion is imperative. Additional coursework will consist of weekly response papers, a “close reading” presentation, and two critical analysis papers.

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 241: English Literature 1: Beginnings to 1660
Instr. Sybil Gallus-Price

This course seeks to move beyond the idea that studying early English literature means only difficult language and dusty artifacts. Instead we’ll consider how these early visions of the world inform the ways we currently understand literature and history. Though this survey is meant to cover nearly 1000 years of textual production, our task will be accomplished by focusing on a select group of works that significantly shaped the period. We will take time for close reading and analysis to understand how each work contributed to an expanding textual landscape in light of ongoing social, economic, and political developments. Whether addressing the visions of an illiterate cowherd in “Caedmon’s Hymn,” the epic saga of the heroic Beowulf, the romantic love of Tristan and Isolde, or the maneuvers of the metaphysical poets, we are reminded how these forms and narratives are not just foundational to English literature but to the stories we continue to tell.

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 242: English Literature II: 1660-1900
Instr. Carla Barger

This course surveys British literature from the Restoration through the Victorian periods. We will read poetry, novels, and plays with an eye toward the cultural and historical forces that helped guide each author’s hand, and we will hone our close reading skills so that we may discern all the author is trying to tell us. The reading load will be heavy, but it won’t be dull; our list is full of scandal, adventure, “madness,” and visitations from the other side. Authors may include John Milton, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Emily Bronte, Mary Shelley, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, and Virginia Woolf.

Students will discuss works in class and provide responses in short classroom writing assignments. Regular attendance and classroom participation are required. There will be at least one short quiz and a final exam.

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 109: American Literature and Culture: Black Queer Experience
Instr. Deziree Brown

Though slavery in the United States technically ended in 1865 and the LGBTQ community was granted the right to marry in 2015, both of these groups still face devastating amounts of oppression and violence across the country. When a person is both Black and queer, this vulnerability is only heightened, and their ostracization from other social movements (e.g. homophobia in the Civil Rights Movements) highlights their unique struggle for equality and social justice.

In this course, we will examine a range of genres, including novels, short stories, essays, plays, and poems written by Black queer people over the last 60 years that examine their specific experiences in the United States and globally. Using an intersectional analysis, we will read works written by James Baldwin, Lorraine Hansberry, Roxane Gay, Danez Smith, Saeed Jones, Audre Lorde, and more.

Questions? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 111: Women and Literature: Stories of Water
Instr. Kathleen Blackburn

In this course, we will explore nonfiction literature on water authored by women. Among several texts, our readings will include Sarah Broom’s The Yellow House, a memoir about urban water, race, and Hurricane Katrina, as well as Anna Clark’s Poisoned City, about the water crisis in Flint, Michigan. Thinking with and through course texts, we will analyze the colonialist drivers of climate change and better understand the roles of women and feminist critique in environmental justice. We will consider the political possibilities for varying forms of narrative. Students will practice close-reading to produce two brief analyses, one class presentation, and one personal essay. By the end of the course, each student will be familiar with some eco-feminist and indigenous frameworks; students will also have a deepened understanding of how literature and writing can help us re-think our relationship to water.

Have a question? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here


Furrow's Spring 2021 Issue


Join undergraduates from 20 different universities for a virtual celebration of Furrow's Spring 2021 issue.

There will be short readings from authors, conversations with artists, and trivia questions with prizes.

The event takes place on Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 5:00 pm CDT. Click here to register for Zoom link.

Click here for more information on Furrow: An Undergraduate Literary Journal from UW-Milwaukee.

This event is highly recommended for creative writers and those interested in writing for/working on The Write Stuff.


Peer Mentoring Jobs


Are you someone who likes to help others? Are you interested in sharing your college experience with new students and helping them navigate college? If so, submit your application to become a Peer Success Coach. Click here for more information on requirements and the application process. 


Internships, Scholarships, Fellowships & Jobs


LAS Career Development and Internships Office


LAS Office of Career Development and Internships has the following opportunities:


Job Opportunities:

Calls for Writers, etc.


Black Lawrence Press Seeks Submissions

 Black Lawrence Call for Submissions

Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You've Been Told about Black Women revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women's perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women's humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women's experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community.

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for a new anthology of essays. Writers and scholars living in the United States and abroad are invited to submit essays of between 700-5000 words for the anthology on any of the following broad themes. (Other themes will be considered.)

  1. Black Women and Justice
  2. Black Women and Self-Care
  3. Black Women and Spirituality
  4. Black Women at Work and at Home
  5. Black Women and Sex (and Sexuality)

Essays can be creative or academic. However, essays have to be accessible since the anthology is for a general audience.

Drs. Jan Boulware, Rondrea Mathis, Clarissa West-White, and Kideste Yusef of Bethune-Cookman University will serve as editors.

Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2021. Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology as payment.

Previously published essays are welcome. Please contact Dr. Clarissa West-White at whitec@cookman.edu with questions.


Finally ...


Have a wonderful summer! We'll be back at the end of August with our first issue of AY 2021-2022. In the meantime, if you have any questions, email english@uic.edu


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