Updates from the English Department Office of Undergraduate Studies
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Click here to see this online

A note from the director...


Dear Students:

We were sad to learn of the death of Johnny Pacheco, a hugely influential musician and bandleader. You can read more about him and listen to some of his most famous and influential pieces here. If you are interested in music, you might follow a battle embroiling musicology and/or learn more about Daphne A. Brooks' Liner Notes for the Revolution: The Intellectual Life of Black Feminist Sound, an exciting new book that foregrounds Black women's contributions to American music. 

If you are one of the many who have had the opportunity to take a class with Professor Margena Christian, cheer for her as she receives the 2021 Black History Maker Award on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm. Click here for link. 

Looking for some practical advice about life after UIC? Email english@uic.edu for a recording of Wednesday's Careers Workshop. 

Finally, we are super-excited to announce the launch of The Write Stuff, our new online magazine focused entirely on student work. Scroll down to learn more about it and:

  • Professor Margena Christian named a 2021 Black History Maker!
  • New Online Literary Magazine
  • LAS' Internship Bootcamp
  • Support Group for COVID Loss
  • Share Your Research at the Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium
  • Penn State's "Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies" Summer Program
  • Internships, Scholarships, Fellowships & Jobs
  • Calls for Writing, etc.
  • Upcoming UGS Events

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies


Support Professor Margena Christian

 Professor Margena Christian
Tavon Sanders

UIC Department of English Professor Margena Christian has been named a 2021 Black History Maker. You can support her (and other winners) by joining the award ceremony on Monday, February 22, 2021 at 6:00 pm. Click here to join the award ceremony.


UGS Launches Online Magazine


UGS is launching The Write Stuff, a monthly, online magazine which is all about your written work. 

Managed and edited by intern Tavon Sanders, the launch of the magazine sees UIC join the ranks of many other colleges and universities with a department-based forum for undergraduate critical and creative work. 

Submissions are being accepted now through Friday, March 12, 2021. Submissions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Poetry
  • Creative fiction and short stories
  • Essays and other academic work
  • Speculative Essays
  • Drawing, painting, photography, etc.

We anticipate that we will publish the first edition March 19, 2021. Submissions are open to students in ALL majors and ALL colleges, so if you have friends in other academic departments who you feel may be interested, be sure to pass this call for submissions along to them. Please submit all work to WriteStuff@uic.edu with the subject line "Submission to 'The Write Stuff.'" 


Join LAS' Internship Bootcamp

Spark your internship success by joining the LAS Internship Bootcamp series designed to help you through every step of the internship search process to increase your chances of securing a future opportunity!
Space is limited!
Students must commit to the following Tuesdays at 10:00am:
  • March 2nd
  • March 9th
  • March 16th
Please complete the application below and you will be notified of your participation in the program!
Don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.
**DEADLINE TO APPLY IS February 26th! 
Click here for application.

COVID Loss Support Group

COVID Loss Support Group

Join Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 811 0056 5588
Passcode: 1d909s16


Share Your Research!

Author Anthony Doerr with his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "All the Light We Cannot See." 
2021 Macksey Keynote Anthony Doerr with his 2014 Pulitzer Prize-winning "All the Light We Cannot See." 

Do you - or your friends - have research in the humanities that is ready for a larger audience? If so, apply for Johns Hopkins University’s second annual Richard Macksey National Undergraduate Humanities Research Symposium. The symposium offers students across the country the chance to gather together and disseminate their humanities research on a national scale. COVID turned 2020's symposium into a virtual event, but that was a great success! There were 359 participants and more than 10,000 visits to the conference site to date. Held live on April 24 and 25, 2021, this year’s event will be virtual as well. The application portal is open through April 1, 2021

This symposium is open to undergraduate students from any two-year or four-year college or university who would like to present their original scholarship in the humanities. We hope to have 400 participants this year. In addition to the multiple panels of student papers and presentations (including original creative works), we will also have a wonderful keynote delivered by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anthony Doerr and multiple professional development panels featuring Johns Hopkins graduate students and faculty and editors from Johns Hopkins University Press. Students studying all areas of the humanities are welcome to attend. Attendees will also have the opportunity to work with our student editors to revise their presentation into a journal-length presentation for our journal of proceedings, the Macksey Journal.

For questions or to apply, click here.


Get Paid to Write for the UGS Newsletter


Do you qualify for Federal Work Study? If so, we can now pay you to write for us!

This is a great way to add to your portfolio and get paid experience writing. We are looking for writers interested in submitting weekly, monthly or occasional articles. For more information, contact english@uic.edu.


Penn State's "Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies" Summer Program

 Call for Applications: Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies

Are you considering graduate school for literary studies? Do you want to take your English studies to the next level, but don't know where to begin? Penn State is proud to announce the beginning of its “Mentoring for the Future of Literary Studies” project, a summer mentorship program specifically designed to aid black, indigenous and students of color who are interested in MA or PhD programs in literary studies! 

The program is free, and will be conducted online over two days, during which participants will learn all about advanced degree programs from graduate students at Penn State University. Participants will create and gather materials for the graduate school application process and even be able to schedule one-on-one meetings with faculty from Penn State to network and help foster long-lasting academic and professional relationships.

The program encourages not only those interested in English literature to apply, but also students interested in Spanish, French, Arabic, Slavic languages, gender and sexuality studies and more! Applications from recent BA graduates, students of Junior or Senior standing, terminal MA students, and students from diverse cultural, economic, geographic and ethnic groups are highly desired. 

To apply, submit a 1-page, single-spaced cover letter as a PDF document by Friday, February 26th to Kendra McDuffie (krm30@psu.edu) or Camila Gutiérrez-Fuentes (ckg5141@psu.edu) using the title “Mentoring 2021 application.” In this letter include:

  • Your academic interest in graduate studies or the kinds of programs you would be interested in applying to
  • Your interest in languages, literatures, and cultures
  • Any personal experiences you think might be relevant
  • Your commitment, interest, or experience with diversity in academic settings

Internships, Scholarships, Fellowships & Jobs


Summer Internships with Oak Park Festival Theatre

Oak Park Festival Theatre's 2021 Season 
Oak Park Festival Theatre
(Deadline: March 15, 2021)

At Oak Park Festival Theatre, our summer interns are the very lifeblood of our company. Every year, 10-15 young people from across the nation are accepted into the Internship Program at Oak Park Festival Theatre. These Theatre Arts majors and recent college graduates join us to learn first-hand about working for a professional outdoor theatre company. Interns:

  • participate in professional development workshops
  • perform their own Shakespeare scene study showcase
  • understudy our mainstage productions
  • work on every part of our summer production from set construction to assistant directing to box office and concessions to development.

In 2020 interns met virtually and built the core of our COVID-19 Action Plan which we will use to welcome artists and guests back to Austin Gardens this summer. 

Oak Park Festival Theatre provides a unique opportunity for burgeoning professionals. Deadline to apply is March 15, 2021. For more information and application, go to https://oakparkfestival.com/internship-program/ 


Calls for Writers, etc.


Collision Literary Magazine Call for Submissions

 Collision Literary Magazine
Collision is currently open for submissions of undergraduate fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and art, and we welcome you to submit! By submitting to the annual magazine, you will be considered for our writing and cover art contests.
Submissions for the annual magazine close Friday, February 19, but we read on a rolling basis. You can find more information about the magazine and our submission guidelines at https://www.collision.pitt.edu. If you have any questions, please contact collision.pitt@gmail.com.

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.


Other Upcoming UGS Events

Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Events:
  • 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.