Summer Round-Up

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Ninth Letter Launch Party

Ninth Letter will be holding a public release party reading over Zoom this Thursday, July 15 at 6:00 CT. The reading will feature several authors from the latest edition, including Anurag Andra, Caryn Cardello, Esther Lin, Michael Martone, and Dennison Schultz, as well as past contributor Diane Seuss. We hope you will join us in celebrating the new issue!

Join Zoom Meeting:
Meeting ID: 886 3400 6382
Password: 9L

Congratulations to Undergraduate Researchers!

The Office of Undergraduate Research is proud to showcase the award winners for outstanding presentations as well as honorable mentions

Let’s give a shout-out to one of our own recent graduates, English major Issy Marquez, whose project Reggaeton’s Resistance: Bad Bunny & the Aesthetics & Politics of Perreo was deemed outstanding!  Issy’s research mentor for this project was Professor Sandra Ruiz (Department of Latina/Latino Studies and Department of English). 

For more news on undergraduate research opportunities see  Following is one in particular that some of you might want to check out: 

Congressional Internship Program — CIP provides Latina/o undergraduates of all majors with paid placement in congressional offices for a period of 10 weeks. Interns will learn how the legislative system works, respond to constituent inquiries, write policy briefs, gain work experience, and participate in community service. Spring 2022 Internship deadline is October 1, 2021.

message from the HPRC: a great job opportunity!
This job opening just appeared on the U of I Research Park job board, and it would be a great opportunity for an English or Creative Writing major (yes, those are “related majors”). 
Don’t let the words “digital” and “communications” scare you off! There are currently lots of English/CW alumni working in these areas — and a job like this is a great way to get experience relevant to a career. 
And yes, while AbbVie will probably never ask a student for an analysis of Othello or their most recent poem, the courses where English/CW majors write those things teach skills that will help you succeed in a job like this. Check out the list of “Preferred Qualifications” in the job ad. 
If you are interested, but unsure how to put together the resume and writing sample that will make you a compelling candidate, the HPRC can help! You can just email OR make an appointment at
save the date: Careers in Publishing event

English alumna Dominique Moore, Acquisitions Editor at the University of Illinois Press, will be speaking about her experience in the world of publishing on September 29 at 5pm.  More details will follow, but for those of you looking toward a career in publishing/editing, get this on your calendar now!

An opportunity for prospective graduate students

The MUSE Scholars Program  is intended for prospective English graduate students from underrepresented groups, including African American, Latinx and Chicanx, Asian American, and Indigenous peoples. It aims to introduce students to a robust culture of mentoring essential for a rewarding graduate school experience, and a thriving life in academia. You can read more about our first two cohorts of MUSE scholars here.

The all-expenses paid workshop will allow students to learn more about the English department, visit graduate classes, meet faculty and graduate students, receive feedback on their application materials for graduate school, and present their research to faculty.

Students can learn more about the workshop and submit an application here.  The deadline for applications is September 3.

pre-health chats

The Pre-Health Team will be hosting four sessions of “Illini Pre-Health Chats: What is Pre-Health?” for incoming students the end of July/early August. These will be led by the Pre-Health Ambassadors and one of the Pre-Health advisors will be available as well. This is a great opportunity for new students in any major who are interested in a health-related career to ask questions regarding pre-reqs, clinical experience, research, volunteering and more before they arrive on campus this August. Below are the dates/times and zoom info.

Tuesday, July 20 at 5 pm
Meeting ID: 835 6999 3140
Passcode: 269971

Friday, July 23 at noon
Meeting ID: 862 2672 1771
Passcode: 145657

Friday, July 30 at 4 pm
Meeting ID: 824 6652 0950
Passcode: 537066

Thursday, August 5 at noon
Meeting ID: 833 6782 4870
Passcode: 724864

I STAR positions open

After a 15 month hiatus, the Office of Undergraduate Admissions is planning to provide in-person tours again this fall 2021 semester! They are currently seeking to hire new student representatives to serve as I STARs, campus tour guides. The application for this position is now open: The deadline to apply is Wednesday, July 21st and a short job description can be found on the application as well.

courses of interest

CW 199: Mind Music–Writing the Lyric Essay
The lyric essay is a highly flexible hybrid form that blends the musical, imagistic impulses of poetry with the ranging, exploratory mode of creative nonfiction. We’ll read and examine an array of contemporary authors who write in this shape-shifting form, including Eula Biss, Anne Carson, and Claudia Rankine, among others. And you’ll practice the form yourself by writing your own original lyric essays.  Learn more about the course in Professor Hassinger’s video introduction here:

INFO 199:  Intro to Video Game Industry
This class will review the video game industry over the last 35 years with a focus on how it has evolved and where it is heading in terms of genres, development methods, products, and monetization.  We will review how personalities, technology, and design came together to create some of the most impactful games and biggest entertainment products in history. We will use game play sessions to review some of these key games of the past and discuss their impact.  Additionally we will review the industry positions and learn effective ways to prepare and showcase talent for those that are interested in a career in the industry.  A key element will be a focus on the social and humanitarian issues faced by the industry over time and how they are being handled going forward. A video promo is at this website:

HIST 207: Digital Documentary Publishing
SourceLab is a digital humanities research collective, and students who want to learn about digital documentary publishing and research are invited to sign up for HIST 207.  The course serves as an introduction to the craft of publishing historical materials, with a special focus on how to publish the past in the digital age. Assignments will include historical and methodological readings, as well as hands-on instruction in digital publishing techniques. Skills taught include historical research, content development, project management, and copyright analysis. Check out some of the published editions produced by undergraduates: 

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