Weekly Round-Up

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Calling December graduates!

Are you an English or Creative Writing major graduating this winter? @illinoisenglish want to honor you!

For the rest of the semester, @illinoisenglish will be posting senior spotlights every Wednesday. If you are willing to be featured in a post, please direct message the account or comment on their senior spotlight post.

Expect us to ask for your name, major/concentration (if applicable), favorite course or professor, and another unique question about your experience at the University of Illinois!

Library job opportunity, apply by dec 4

The library is seeking undergraduate students to work in the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections in the Main Library for the spring semester. English department students are strongly encouraged to apply!

Here is a link to a detailed description of the position: https://go.library.illinois.edu/ihlc-ugrad-sp24.

research assistantship, DEADLINE APPROACHING

Professor John Gallagher is seeking students who are interested in a research assistantship (RA) for the spring of 2024. These would be paid hourly positions of 5 hours/week for 8-12 weeks (depending on RAs availability).  He writes:

“I’m currently looking for RAs for three projects. The first two projects aren’t technical in nature (but will require detail-oriented work), whereas the third is related to web-scraping and requires computer programming.

  1. Watching YouTube and Tiktok videos around monetizing artificial intelligence (AI), likely around ChatGPT. The goal of this project would be to identify the strategies the creators argue the technologies can do and what kinds of argumentation do they use to describe these strategies (rhetorical, artistic, style, etc.). Part of this project would be to find the videos to watch.
  2. Watching YouTube and Tiktok videos about each platform’s algorithms and determining what figurative language the content creators use to describe the algorithm (analogies, metaphors, motifs, etc.)
  3. Web scraping a subreddit and a hastag from twitter.”

If you think you’d be a good match for some or all of these projects please send your resume and a cover letter consisting of a couple of paragraphs describing your interest and relevant experience to Professor Gallagher at johng@illinois.edu by December 6.  Any questions you might have should also be directed to Professor Gallagher at that address. 

FLAS Fellowships, fiNAL info session approaching soon!

The application cycle for Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowships will open Nov. 28, and the FLAS-granting centers will be holding info sessions on Nov. 28 and Dec. 4. This is a great fellowship for both undergrad and grad students who study languages other than French, German, or Spanish. FLAS fellows can apply for academic-year and/or summer fellowships, and they have the option to study abroad. The one caveat is that applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.

Students from all majors and programs are encouraged to apply, and although the application isn’t due until Jan. 26, the sooner they start thinking about their applications, the better. This is a prestigious fellowship that comes with generous tuition support and stipends.

2024 Summer Undergraduate Health Equity Research Experience at Mayo Clinic | Apply by Jan. 22

The Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute and Mayo Clinic & Illinois Alliance invite outstanding undergraduates across campus to apply for the 2024 Health Equity Research Experience at Mayo Clinic. This 10-week summer program gives undergrads the opportunity to examine health equity through hands-on research at Mayo Clinic. Selected students will be matched with a faculty mentor, receive a $6,000 stipend to cover living expenses, and be fully immersed in the research and culture of a major medical center with top-notch scientists. Learn more and apply by Jan. 22.

Eligibility and Preference

Illinois students in their sophomore or junior year, with a minimum 3.0 GPA, who are considering a research career focused on addressing health disparities are eligible to apply.

Preference is given to students whose background reflects a commitment to health equity.  


Job Title: Media and Communications Intern, LAS Career Services

Job Description: 

LAS Career Services is looking to hire a Media and Communications Intern for the Spring 2024 semester, with the potential for continued employment into the summer and/or 2024-25 school year based on mutual interest. 

This is a great opportunity for students who would like to explore their love of writing, creativity, communication, and/or social media in a professional setting. Gain valuable career-related experience in a supportive and high-energy environment.

The LAS Career Services Media and Communications Intern will contribute to initiatives to share with LAS undergraduate students the value of engaging in career exploration and development throughout your college experience. We are looking for help creating student-friendly messaging for digital displays, weekly e-newsletters, blogs, flyers, and Instagram posts. APPLY NOW!

great new spring courseS!

Here are a couple of courses hanging out under the generic “Topics in Lit & Culture” title that you might be interested in.  

The first is the relatively new “Art of Research” course, an advanced research methods course open to all junior and senior English majors.  It’s particularly geared toward students in the Topics concentration (for whom it serves as the capstone, so wait to take it once you’ve completed your four topical courses), and for students who expect to go on to write a senior thesis (this course cannot count as your thesis, but is excellent preparation for the semester-long honors independent study you will ultimately do).  It’s also just a great option for students who want to gain research skills that they can use in all their courses and in a variety of professional settings.  

The second is a 19thC lit course called “The Scandal of Aestheticism.”  This course can be used to satisfy the 19thC requirement in the general English concentration, but you’ll also find plenty of ways to apply what you learn in this course to other periods, texts, and issues.  

Read on for detailed descriptions of both courses!

ENGL 461: Adv. Topics in Lit & Culture

TOPIC: The Art of Research

Professor Siobhan Somerville

In this writing-intensive capstone course, students will spend the semester developing a major research project of their own design (such as a research paper, an interactive website, or a connected portfolio of related projects). These projects will use the knowledge and skills gained in previous study as English majors to explore a new research problem unique to each individual student. Our work together will be organized as a collaborative workshop focusing on key practices of writing and research, such as: developing research questions; finding and evaluating primary and secondary sources; drafting and revising; participating in peer review; defining an audience; and crafting a public presentation. Assignments will include shared readings and exercises, as well as research and writing assignments geared toward the development of individual projects. Juniors and Seniors only. Students should have completed English 301 and 350.

ENGL 461: Adv. Topics in Lit & Culture

TOPIC: The Scandal of Aestheticism

Professor Eleanor Courtemanche

In the late 19th century, bohemian artists rallied around the slogan of “art for art’s sake” to attack the moral conventions of the Victorian age. This class will examine the Aesthetic Movement in Victorian and early 20th century British literature, ranging from the lingering importance of Keats and Shelley in the poetic works of Tennyson and the pre-Raphaelites to Oscar Wilde’s fusion of aristocratic and queer elegance and Henry James’s theories of the novel. It will also consider some contemporary discussions of aesthetic “autonomy,” the still-controversial declaration that art can transcend its historical context or social utility. Works will include philosophy by Plato, poetry by John Keats, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Alfred Tennyson, Robert Browning, Algernon Swinburne, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Christina Rossetti, fiction by Oscar Wilde, the New Women, George Du Maurier, and Henry James, and cultural criticism by Walter Pater, Oscar Wilde, Queenie Leavis, Sianne Ngai, Linda Dowling, and Dustin Friedman.

spring 2024 courses for neurodivergent students

Is your differently-wired brain causing extra stress, frustration, and difficulty surrounding your academic work? Consider signing up for HDFS 199, Section JK (Academic Strategies) this spring. This course will use the assignments from your current classes to teach executive function strategies that will promote success this semester and throughout the rest of your academic and professional career. You will learn effective strategies to improve difficulty getting started, staying organized, remembering due dates, paying attention, planning projects, managing stress, study skills, and more. Lab time will be used to complete course assignments, build social networks, and provide a quiet study space with structured accountability. This course is for students who have or suspect they have a neurodiverse brain. Instructor approval required. Contact Dr. Jeanne Kramer (jjkramer@illinois.edu) for approval to register.

And for neurodivergent students who are preparing for work after college:

for advanced English and CW majors interested in linguistics

LING 490: Narrative Analysis
This course is an advanced sociolinguistic qualitative research methodology course with three components. The first is on conducting narrative interviews (face-to-face or on Zoom) and analyzing interactional positioning. The second is on analysis of narratives in everyday talk (e.g., classrooms, lunch rooms, or any public space). The third unit is about online discourse analysis of narratives on social media, community forums, comment threads, etc. The aim is to have students conduct an empirical study that can be expanded into a publishable article.

Course objectives:

1. To understand the social constructivist epistemologies underlying narrative analysis.
2. To gain familiarity with sociolinguistic analysis of narratives in talk and in online platforms.
3. To engage in empirical data collection and analysis using this research methodology.

List of topics:

Evolution of narrative studies in applied linguistics
Narrative inquiry vs narrative analysis
Interviews as a social accomplishment
Sequential analysis of positioning
“Small stories” in everyday talk
Participation frameworks for analyzing narratives
Narratives co-constructed in online discourse

Questions? annamend@illinois.edu



CRN 55552

W 5-6:50pm

This course will be open to students from any major and will serve as a foundational hands-on exploration of DJing practice in Hip-Hop and other musical traditions. USB controllers will be provided, but students must bring their own laptop or tablet capable of connecting to the controller as well as their own headphones.

scholarship opportunity

To learn more or apply, visit:


For questions regarding the scholarship criteria that are not answered on the website above, please contact Kasey Umland at umland@illinois.edu.

Don’t Forget These!

How to schedule a registration appointment

Here’s an abbreviated version of the email we recently sent out about advising processes during the registration period. If you didn’t read the email, please read this!

First-semester students (whether first years or transfers) are required to meet with us. Continuing students are not required to meet with us but we certainly recommend that you check in one way or another; email is fine for quick questions or confirmation of your plans, but longer conversations are best had in real time either in person or over zoom.

When you are ready to schedule your appointment call 217-333-4346 during the hours 8:30-noon or 1:00-4:30 to request an appointment (we do not schedule via email).

Here are some things you can do ahead of time to make your registration appointment more productive: 

  • Run your degree audit and see what you can make of it. Even if you find it a little confusing, try to get a sense of what requirements you have left to fulfill, and then when we do your registration appointment we can confirm (or correct) your interpretation of the audit and help explain anything that’s confusing. 
  • Think about what you want to accomplish in the spring. What major/minor/Gen Ed requirements would you like to complete, and what other areas would you like to explore?   
  • If you are thinking of adding a major or a minor, do you know what you need to do to get started? If you’ve already begun, can you figure out the next step?  You can explore major and minor requirements listed here: http://catalog.illinois.edu/undergraduate/
  • Consult Course Explorer and be sure to read the course descriptions in full.  Remember that if a course is called “Topics in X” then you must click through to see the individual sections and find out what topics are available. It’s also worth clicking through on any 199 (usually called Undergraduate Open Seminar) because there you may find some interesting and unusual topics being piloted, and they’re usually unrestricted. 
  • Consult the resources available on the Planning Coursework section of the advising site.  You’ll find checklists of major requirements and a “cheat sheet” that tells you which variable topics courses satisfy which requirements in the coming semester.
We need just two more focus group participants!

As part of our ongoing assessment of the undergraduate program in English, we are hoping to conduct another small focus group at some point in the coming month. Participants will be asked to talk about their general learning experience in the major and their answers, which will remain anonymous, will help us gauge and strengthen the program’s goals and learning outcomes. Students who participated in the last focus group are not eligible this time around (but we thank you once again for the feedback you gave us).  We plan to hold this meeting at lunchtime (noon to 1pm), and will provide lunch in the form of empanadas from Manolo’s!

If you are willing to help out with this, please do let us know. Just email englishadvising@illinois.edu ASAP.  

Social Group for Neurodiverse Students meets every wed!
new tutoring resource

Here’s a message from Brian Becker (academic outreach specialist at OMSA and an alum of our department!):

On behalf of the Office of Minority Student Affairs, I am thrilled to share our new partnership with NetTutor®! Through this partnership, the OMSA now provides FREE 24/7, 1:1 online tutoring across over 350+ subjects and disciplines. Each tutoring session is facilitated by professionally trained, degree-holding NetTutor staff who are committed to providing a welcoming, accessible virtual learning experience! Thanks to our integration with the NetTutor platform, students can conveniently log in using their Illinois credentials at: 

NetTutor Student Log-In: https://go.illinois.edu/OMSANetTutor

All of the information pertaining to our partnership with NetTutor, including a comprehensive User Guidequick Log-in button, and accessibility options can be found on our dedicated OMSA Online Tutoring landing page.

critical language scholarship program

The Critical Language Scholarship, provided by the U.S. Department of State, is a fully funded, intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for undergraduate and graduate students.  A list of eligible languages is available here.

The CLS institutes cover one academic year of university-level language coursework in 8 to 10 weeks over the summer, and include cultural programming, local language partners, and excursions. Participants receive academic credit at their U.S. institutions.  Applicants must be U.S. citizens at least 18 years of age and enrolled in a degree-granting program at the undergraduate or graduate level. For more information about this scholarship, please visit: http://www.clscholarship.org/

If you’d like to talk to an advisor about preparing your application, contact the National and International Scholarships Program at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website at www.topscholars.illinois.edu

get involved with montage
new RSO

There’s a new RSO in town and it’s called Uplift! Uplift’s mission is to foster a community of pre-professional students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign dedicated to collaboration, unity, and mutual support. Our RSO will serve as a hub for students of all backgrounds. We are committed to fostering an environment wherein members feel seen, heard, and empowered to pursue their goals. The RSO will provide resources for pre-professional students to prepare for their future careers and professional or graduate schools. We will also enable students to pursue their goals through study hours and access to review resources. Check out their site and sign up for email notifications if you’re interested.

apply now to be a golden apple scholar!
Prospective Secondary Education minors can apply by Dec 1 for priority acceptance.
Resource for our LGBTQIA+ Students 
Lisnek Hub

The Hub  is open again! Stop by Tuesday- Thursdays from 10 am to 3 pm. Under the Lincoln Hall theater is the Lisnek Hub where you can chat with peer mentors.

find a workshop for you!

If you’re struggling in one or more of your STEM courses, perhaps there’s a workshop that could help. Check out the LAS Success Workshop Schedule, and be sure to click on “see more” at the bottom for the full list of options.

Tuesday@7 Workshops

Each week, undergraduate Counseling Center paraprofessionals offer interactive workshops on various topics. Please visit our website for login information and upcoming topics.

writers workshop

Writers Workshop drop-ins are available beginning 4-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 100b Main Library. These sessions are best for brainstorming, specific questions, or shorter documents (1-3 page papers, application materials, etc.). These sessions are first-come, first-serve.


Want to keep up with research-related opportunities and events hosted by the Office of Undergraduate Research (OUA)? Subscribe to OUA’s monthly newsletter and you won’t miss a thing!

You might also want to learn more about the Humanities Research Institute (HRI), particularly opportunities for undergraduates (did you know that they hire student interns and that some of them are English or creative writing majors?) in which case you should check out the Undergraduate section on the HRI website.


It can be hard to take the first step when you’re in need of counseling, so for ease of access the College of LAS has its own embedded counselor, Andy Novinska and you can contact him directly to schedule an appointment at anovinsk@illinois.edu.

Students can also access Counseling Center services by calling 217-333-3704 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday – Friday to set up an appointment via the same-day scheduling system. There is also an online scheduling system (please note that appointments are limited via this option so if you try to schedule online and cannot find anything that works please call the office or email Andy).

Workshops for Test Anxiety, ADHD Symptoms, Perfectionism, Body Image, etc. can be found here.


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