Weekly Round-Up

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Secondary Education Summer Application

The application for the Teacher Education Minor in Secondary School Teaching is open until August 31st. Information about the requirements for admission as well as the link to the application (APPLY button) can be found here.

This application period is for those hoping to start the professional course sequence in spring 2023 (so they can student teach and graduate in spring 2024). Students applying in this period should have junior status as of fall 2022. Students with sophomore status should apply to the minor in our next application period.

Please contact recordsofficer@education.illinois.edu if you have any questions.

Sigma tau delta honors society meeting

Wanting to connect with fellow English students, writers, and lovers of literature? Wanting to gain experience publishing, speaking as a panelist at conferences, and meeting English students from around the world? Come join our chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society for our new member info night, this Thursday (09/01) at 5 p.m.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 870 1300 3220
Password: 420070

If you have any questions, please contact sigmataudeltaillinois@gmail.com.

Double your advising, double your fun! (CORRECTED 8/31)

Ready to connect with our humanities professional development experts?  Beginning 9/22 you can stop by Greg Hall 105 any TUESDAY MORNING between 9:30 and noon or THURSDAY AFTERNOON between 1:00 and 4:00 to meet with Julie Higgs.  Starting September 24 Anna will be there Tuesday mornings as well so if you want some academic advising you can schedule an in-person appointment with her during that time and then talk to Julie before or afterwards. It’s one-stop shopping!

You can also connect with Julie in the English advising office during her drop-in hours: 1:30-4:00 every other Monday starting September 12.

Join the Student Advisory Board

The Office of the Provost is now accepting applications for appointment to the 2022-2023 Provost’s Undergraduate Student Advisory Board

The Advisory board is a group of diverse undergraduate students who volunteer to serve as advisors to the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs & Provost. They aim to accurately portray the current realities of the undergraduate experience by articulating the highlights and challenges of being a student at the university. As representatives of the undergraduate population at Illinois, their objective is to convey what could make a successful undergraduate student experience. 

The Application can be accessed here:  https://forms.illinois.edu/sec/683840983.

If selected to participate as a Board member, appointments will be for one full academic year. All applications are due Friday, September 9, 2022, at 11:59 PM CDT.

fab lab open house

Come see the new experiential space for book history and arts in the CU Community FabLab. They have three presses up and running and a new name, Skeuomorph Press. The press is on Twitter (https://twitter.com/skeuomorphpress/) and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/skeuomorphpress/), if you want to follow what they’re up to and hear about upcoming events. 

If you’d like to see the space, print a little something, and hear more about the goals for Skeuomorph you are welcome to attend the FabLab’s fall open house, on Friday, September 9 from 5-9pm and Saturday, September 10 from 10am-5pm. You can learn more here: http://cucfablab.org/. During the open house, they will have the presses set up to print a souvenir, and other materials on display for visitors to explore. The FabLab is at 1301 S. Goodwin Ave in Urbana. All English department students are welcome!

Fall Internship Course Available

LAS 199, Section JPM: Internships and Professional Experiences
This course develops career readiness competencies of LAS students as they engage in professional experiences (e.g., internship, service learning, volunteer, part-time job). Students make the most of their hands-on experience by engaging in active reflection, connecting experiences to both their academic journey and their next steps after Illinois. Students apply career development and design thinking strategies to address complex career decision-making and management tasks, developing skills that they will continue to use through their lifetime.

This is a hybrid, 1-credit hour course. Attendance and participation are required. You must have an identified professional experience that dedicates at least 60 hours of time over a prolonged engagement (e.g. a fall semester experience that spans at least 10 weeks, at a minimum of 6 hours/week).

Become a Peer Educator
MUSE Scholars Program for Prospective Graduate Students

The Department of English at Michigan State University is delighted to announce the 4th Annual MUSE Scholars Workshop, which will be held this fall in East Lansing, from October 19-22

The MUSE Scholars Program  is intended for prospective English graduate students from underrepresented groups, including students of African American, Latinx and Chicanx, Asian American, and Indigenous descent. 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 three 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 9. 

Research Opportunity for Pre-Teaching James Scholars

This research project focuses on developing a professional learning community with the common goal of understanding how to integrate sustainability into K-12 education. This project is a collaboration between preservice and inservice teachers working to develop a database of cross-disciplinary online teaching resources and unit outlines with a focus on sustainability from global perspectives. Other tasks will include, but are not limited to: developing criteria to screen resources, developing new unit outlines, and participating in professional development in local schools. To learn more about our project and team, visit our website here.

The requirements for this James Scholar Research Project/Independent Study Course are: 

  • Attend our weekly meetings
  • Make meaningful contributions to unit development, database expansion, and/or community collaborations
  • Be willing to be flexible and creative in a team setting (some weeks might require additional individual work)
  • Contribute a reflection of your experiences to the project website.

Why be a part of the Sustainable World Collaborative?

  • Gain valuable research experience
  • Earn a James Scholar credit
  • Collaborate with educators in the Champaign-Urbana community
  • Present at conferences, research fairs, and professional development days
  • Familiarize yourself with resources for integrating sustainability into K-12 education

There will be a no-commitment information session on September 1st, 2022 from 5:00-6:00pm. Please fill out this brief form to show your interest. https://forms.gle/d1mEqR2Pkp6B7GRn9 

All years (undergraduate or graduate) are welcome to apply. 
Please email the team at sustainableworld@illinois.edu with any further questions.

Getting Started with Research

The Office of Undergraduate Research has developed several resources and has programs happening now that are designed to prepare you for the process of getting started with research!

Attend OUR’s “Planning Your Research Journey” and “Getting Started in Undergraduate Research” Workshops. If you are limited on time and enjoy coffee, tea, and cookies, attend the 15-minute Research Bites workshop titled “A Quick Overview of How to Begin your Research Journey at Illinois.”  Find out more and register for our workshops here.

You can also schedule a one-on-one advising meeting with an Undergraduate Research Ambassador.  Learn how to schedule a meeting here.

OUR has created a simple and easy 10-step guide to help aspiring researchers start their undergraduate research journey! Browse this resource at your leisure and establish a plan and timeline for locating opportunities.

Apply to the Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program. The Undergraduate Research Apprenticeship Program, organized by OUR and the Graduate College, provides undergraduate students with little or no research experience the opportunity to work with advanced graduate students and post-doctoral scholars on their research projects in the Spring semester. The application portal will be open August 29 – October 6, 2022. 

If you still have questions, please schedule a meeting by visiting the ASK OUR Page. 

Speaking of Research . . .
Mark Your Calendars Now!

Welcome to Fall 2022!


We are asking all new students to check in with an advisor in some way during the first two weeks of the semester. This is to let us know how you’re doing, whether you’re satisfied with your schedule, and (crucially) whether there are any problems we might be able to help you solve. Even if everything seems fine, please do your check-in (at least send an email) so that we know you’re settled in. A good time to do this is once you’ve attended the first meeting of each of your classes (i.e. toward the end of the first week).  The last day to add a semester class to your schedule (in case you do want to swap a class you don’t like out for something else) is Friday, September 2, so you must complete your check-in by then. 

You can connect with us in the following ways:

  • You can email your questions and concerns, and we will email you back. If you have already worked with a particular advisor and would like to email her directly you may, or you can email englishadvising@illinois.edu in which case Anna, Keshia, and Nancy will all see your message and the first person available to reply will do so.
  • If you want to talk to an advisor in real time, please schedule an appointment by calling the office at 217-333-4346 (we do not schedule appointments via email). If you have to leave a message, please include your name, UIN, the reason for the appointment, and your preferred advisor (if any). Someone will get back to you as soon as possible. Depending on the urgency of your questions and our availability you may need to schedule a virtual appointment, but if you prefer to meet in person please let us know.

That’s it for now!  Let us know if you have questions or need help, and we wish you all a happy and safe fall semester!


Anna, Keshia, & Nancy

Course Round-Up Summer Edition

CW 199
Latinx Underworlds: Border-crossings and Migration Narratives in Latinx Literature

Drawing from katabasis, this course will examine how several texts of Latinx literature have employed the descent to and ascent from the underworld as a complex metaphor to describe border-crossings and migration narratives. Moving beyond our common understanding of the underworld as a place where the dead reside, this course and the selected readings will further complicate how migrant protagonists who cross all manner of borders must also contend with the underworld as a space of illegality, imagination, criminality, insanity, and outsider status. Drawing between the intersections of identity and the intersections of race, ethnicity, gender, class, and immigrant status, this course will take an interdisciplinary and cross-genre approach to our understanding of Latinx underworlds.

This is a non-workshop course that counts in the new CW major requirements in the “Writing and Literature” category.  It counts as a department elective in the English major (and could be used to satisfy the Difference & Diaspora requirement if needed). 

ENGL 122
The Middle Ages in Popular Culture        

Many of us first encounter the Middle Ages through film: from Robin Hood to Tristan and Isolde, The Lion in Winter to Game of Thrones, movies about the Middle Ages enchant and excite us. In this course, we will survey a wide range of films about the Middle Ages, placing them in conversation with medieval source material, historical contexts, and contemporary political issues. Why does Games of Thrones appeal to such a wide audience? What makes the legends of Robin Hood and King Arthur so enduring across historical periods and narrative formats? How does experiencing these stories through film differ from experiencing them through poems, plays, or novels?

This course counts as a department elective in the general English major, and a Media Cultures cluster course for those doing the English Topics concentration.  

ENGL 245
The Gothic Short Story

This course will primarily focus on Gothic short fiction of the 19th century—authors like Edgar Allen Poe, Oscar Wilde, E. Nesbit, and others. We will read the stories of these authors in depth and explore the influence they had upon later authors of the 20th and 21st centuries like H.P. Lovecraft, Steven King, Neil Gaiman, and Ray Bradbury; as well as on other modern mediums including podcasts, short film, and television. Our driving questions will seem relatively simple: What is the Gothic? What are short stories? Why do the two go so well together? And what makes the Gothic short story so scary and enticing? As we read, however, we will discover that these questions evade simple answers. Each week, exploring a different theme and discussing how these stories create their atmospheres of dread, we will analyze how the use of short story to depict our deepest fears has changed over time in both European and American settings. More importantly, we will dissect each thematic fear to discover common undercurrents which often intersect with or replicate some of humanity’s oldest prejudices.

This course counts as a department elective in any of the ENGL concentrations, and as a literature course in the CW major. 

CW 463
Screenwriting Workshop

This is a Part of Term A (aka “first 8-week”) class

This course is an introduction to writing for the screen. Students will explore the fundamental theory and skills of story structure, character development, conflict, and scene writing. Students will then apply these principles to develop their own material, from initial premise and character, to a basic outline and a draft of a first act of a feature screenplay. The course will emphasize active participation and discussion with an emphasis on workshopping student writing.

This course will count toward the “12 hours of workshop” in the CW major, and toward your advanced hour total in the major.  It’s a department elective for ENGL majors. 

ENGL 350 M–Writing about literature
Happiness and the Enlightenment

In 2011, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 65/309 (Happiness: Towards a Holistic Definition of Development), calling on member countries to make happiness an index of national prosperity. This led, in 2012, to the publication of the first ever World Happiness Report and a global convention on happiness—hosted, appropriately, by Bhutan, a country that had long prioritized “Gross National Happiness” over “Gross National Product.” In 2018, Psychology Professor Laurie Santos made history at Yale University when a quarter of Yale’s undergraduate student body signed up for her new course, “Happiness and the Good Life” (Professor Santos’s Happiness Lab podcast has been downloaded by more than 35 million people worldwide). In 2021, the global wellness industry was valued at over $1.3 trillion, and the COVID19 pandemic is expected to spur further growth of the industry. Clearly, today, we are deeply preoccupied with happiness as a goal, and have been, arguably, ever since the Declaration of Independence of 1776 identified “the pursuit of happiness,” in addition to life and liberty, as an inalienable right. This course seeks to situate our modern interest in—and for some, our elitist and counter-productive obsession with—happiness in a larger cultural and intellectual history that began in the century preceding the Declaration of Independence, at the beginning of the period we call the Enlightenment. In England, this was a time when new “mechanical” philosophies of human nature were transforming earlier Christian conceptions of both happiness and human nature, away from the idea that we are immortal souls, whose happiness lies in a union with God in the afterlife, to the modern understanding that human animals are driven by the pursuit of this-worldly happiness, with happiness incorporating physical and material well-being. The good or happy life, it was increasingly argued, requires something more than being good; it also entails feeling good. Indeed, according to John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), a crucial influence on the Declaration of Independence, it is virtually impossible to be good unless you feel good about being good. This course considers how “being good” and “feeling good,” virtue and pleasure, interacted in Enlightenment literature and philosophy to enable the late eighteenth-century codification of a fundamental right to happiness. Readings include works (in whole or part) such as Margaret Cavendish’s The Convent of Pleasure (1668), Locke’s Essay, Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, or Virtue Rewarded (1740), Samuel Johnson’s The History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia (1759), Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative (1789), and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (1813). English 350 seeks at once to place the modern idea of happiness in a wider historical context and to bring into focus the writing process that is such an integral part of your happiness or misery as undergraduates. Through workshops, revisions, and peer review, the course aims to help you build the skills required for doing research in English, including developing strong argumentative theses and paper topics, constructing a cogent and current bibliography, and situating your work in a wider scholarly conversation.

ENGL 350 is a required course in the English major; this section is online and synchronous.  It counts toward the literature requirement in the CW major, and toward the advanced hour total in any English department major.  ENGL 350 is repeatable as long as the topics are different; if taking 350 for the second time this section can be used to satisfy the pre-1800 requirement in the ENGL major (long 18thC sub-category).

ENGL 482
Learning and Teaching Literacy in a Digital Age

This section of the course will focus on digital literacy instruction grounded in NCTE’s “Definition of Literacy in a Digital Age,” particularly their assertion that literacies include “a wide range of skills, competencies, and dispositions” and that “[t]hese literacies are interconnected, dynamic, and malleable,” and offer a complement to traditional, print-based writing technologies. Students will explore ways to integrate digital reading and writing in composition by applying reading theories, design principles, and rhetorical concepts to digital literacy instruction. The class will consider: questions of changes in writing and written genres in relationship with emerging technologies; critical perspectives on integrating technology into writing and writing instruction; ways that emerging technologies impact writing teachers, courses, and institution; and the role of emergent technologies in empowering student writers and instructors and increasing equity.

This counts as a “Language/writing/pedagogy” course in the English Teaching concentration, or as an elective for those in the general or Topics concentrations.  It also counts toward your advanced hour total in any English department major.  

Weekly Round-Up

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ESA Reading Day Table

MFA Graduation Reading


Students graduating from the MFA Program in Creative Writing will read from their final projects this Saturday, April 30 from 1:00-3:30pm in Illini Union Room 314-B.

Fall Honors thesis registration FORMs due 4/29

For FALL 2022 theses, the deadline to return this form is Friday APRIL 29. If for any reason you cannot meet this deadline, notify Catharine Gray: cathgray@illinois.edu.

A message for our spring and summer graduates!

In case you missed the recent email . . . 

We ask that ALL spring and summer graduates, including those who are not participating in the ceremony, please complete this short Exit Survey about your experience in the English department at your earliest convenience (if you are registered for the ceremony please complete this survey BEFORE you pick up your tickets).  Everyone who completes the survey before May 12 will be entered into a random prize drawing, and five lucky winners will be chosen to receive a gift card!  

Only the aggregate results will be distributed to the department for assessment purposes; individual participants will not be identified.  Your feedback is greatly appreciated and will be used to improve our programs and services. 


You may pick up your tickets in Room 200 of the English Building between May 2 and May 12 (hours for pick-up are 8:30 to noon and 1 to 4).  Please budget at least 10 minutes for the pick-up because you will need to fill out your reader card at the same time (this card ensures that your name is read correctly as you cross the stage).

If you are out of town or cannot come into the office in person for some other reason, then your guests may pick up their tickets at the Will Call booth in Smith Hall when they arrive for the ceremony (doors open at 4pm).  In that case you will fill out your reader card when you check in for the ceremony at 4pm (first floor of the English Building) but we will be reaching out ahead of time to get clarification about pronunciation of your name (we give our readers an annotated guide ahead of time, just to maximize the chances that they’ll get the names right). 

a letter from your friendly neighborhood HPRC

Dear Humanities Majors,

Register here by May 9 if you would like to take part in one of the HPRC Summer Break 2022 externships during the last week in May.

Externships (also known as “job shadowing”) give you the opportunity to spend part of a day in a workplace, learning more about what the organization does, meeting people working in a variety of roles, and exploring how the skills you develop in your classes are relevant to the workplace.

Participating organizations:

Some frequently asked questions:

Why take part in an externship?

  • Because you’re not sure where to start. An externship is a low-stakes point-of-entry to the whole business of figuring out how your skills connect to the workplace. 
  • Because you know you need to start networking but don’t know what that means. An externship gives you the opportunity to talk to working professionals ranging from recent grads to experienced leaders and to start building professional relationships. 
  • Because you don’t know what you don’t know. The reality of many workplaces is very different from what many students assume. Some first-hand knowledge will help you imagine your future more productively and realistically.

Should I apply when there aren’t that many organizations and probably a lot of students wanting to do it? The answer to the question “Should I Apply?” is usually “YES!” We were able to place all the humanities majors who applied to our winter break externship program, though a couple did not get one of their top choices.

None of these opportunities connect to my major. How can one of them help me? Your major is a way of learning skills and developing intellectual capacities that are relevant to a wide array of fields — it’s not a ticket to a narrow choice of careers. If an opportunity sounds interesting, don’t let your major stop you from pursuing it.

Will an externship lead to an internship or job opportunity? Probably not — that’s not what it’s for. However, your externship experience will expand your knowledge of the paths that are available to you and it will help you identify directions to go in. It will also give you opportunities to talk to lots of working professionals and start building the relationships that can lead to opportunities.

None of these things appeal to me. Now what? Your major gives you an abundance of options. Come talk to us here in the HPRC about how to identify the future directions that DO speak to you! It’s what we’re here for. 

Email us at humanitiesprc@illinois.edu if you have questions!


Don’t forget to register for your fall courses! If you need help with that, schedule an appointment to discuss your plans with an advisor by calling 217-333-4346 during the hours 8:30-noon or 1:00-4:30. As always, you may request a particular advisor or ask for the first person available. For students who feel comfortable with the registration process and would prefer to do advising via email, you may contact an advisor with your questions, and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.


summer internships
Need a summer internship and don’t know where to look? Apply to the ATLAS Internship program for Summer and/or Fall 2022. Interviews start soon. Apply here.


2022 Q Magazine writing contest

The Janelle Joseph Environmental Writing Award gives students a chance to have their work published in Q Magazine, a publication of the Certificate for Environmental Writing (CEW) at Illinois. The top awards also carry a cash prize. The contest is open to all Illinois undergraduates of any major, geared toward those with an interest in environmental writing.

Winners will have their work published in an upcoming issue of Q. The top prize is $1,000, and $500 prizes will be available in five categories this year: feature, memoir, op-ed, Q&A, and “At Illinois” (see the below link and attached flyer for descriptions and examples of each category). Submissions accepted between July 1 and September 30, 2022.

The Life + Career Design Scholarship

Apply today for up to $5,000 to support an unpaid internship, research experience, or volunteer work this summer. You must be a full-time LAS student who is not getting course credit for the experience. Check out the website for eligibility and FAQs to apply!  Priority deadline: May 1.
summer 2022 courses

INFO/WRIT 303: Writing Across Media

This class carries Advanced Composition Gen Ed credit and will be taught online. It also counts as an elective for either the Informatics minor or the Game Studies & Design minor.






Art 499: Special Topics in Art–Intro to Manga Production
Online synchronous. In this course students will learn the basics of manga production which include the traditional Japanese plot structure, rendering of visual effects and sound effects used in manga, tools of the trade, a history of the form, and printing standards used in Japanese magazines. The course also covers basics of comic drawing such as composition, paneling, cartooning, and images as narrative tools. At the end of the course, students will be confident in their understanding of manga as a unique iteration of sequential art and will be equipped with the resources to continue improving on their own.

HPRC advising

Ready to connect with our humanities professional development experts?  Come by Greg Hall 105 any Thursday morning between 9:30 and 11:30 to meet with Julie Higgs and start a conversation about careers.  Anna hangs out there Thursday mornings as well so if you want some academic advising you can schedule an in-person appointment with her during that time.  It’s one-stop shopping!


And don’t forget . . .

do you have good news to share?

If you are a recently-published undergraduate or graduate student in the English department, DM @illinoisenglish on Instagram with the details so our social media team can create a kudos post to celebrate your accomplishment!

Creative writing cluB

Do you know about Creative Writing Club?  Open to students in all majors, this group meets weekly on Tuesdays from 6:30pm-7:45pm in room 259 of the English Building.  If you would like to be kept apprised of upcoming meetings and other activities, send a message to creativewritingclubatuiuc@gmail.com  and ask to be added to the mailing list.  You can also follow CWC on Facebook/Instagram, both @creativewritingclubuiuc.

ATLAS Social Media Intern Weekly Meetings

Come join social media interns from the ATLAS Internship Program to discuss things all social media! We meet every Friday at 4 pm on Zoom. Some potential topics include Canva, Airtable, data analytics, and even hearing from speakers!

Topic: Social Media & Digital Content  Weekly Meeting


Meeting ID: 817 1650 6306
Password: 710945

text anxiety workshops

Could you benefit from a workshop that provides strategies for managing anxiety around taking tests? The Counseling Center hosts drop-in workshops throughout the semester with tips on:

  • Remaining calm during tests and exams
  • Getting the most from your study time
  • Preparing effectively for tests and exams

To find out more about individual workshops and to register, please visit counselingcenter.illinois.edu/TestAnxiety. There are simple, effective ways that can help you perform well on tests and not let anxiety get the best of you! These workshops are free for students. If you have any questions about this group, please contact Dr. Kathy Wierzchowski at wierzch1@illinois.edu.