Weekly Round-Up

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Remember that on Monday, November 7 Julie Higgs is in the house (the advising office, that is) for drop-in career counseling 1:30-4pm! Stop by to start (or continue) a conversation with Julie about your professional aspirations. No preparation required.

voice reading coming up soon!
call for volunteers!

We’ve sent out a bunch of different requests for volunteers lately, and we appreciate the responses we’ve gotten! We still need some more students for our focus groups, though; here’s the message we sent out earlier from Catharine Gray, Director of Undergraduate Studies:

I hope you are doing well! I’m writing because we would like to assess the English undergraduate program’s successes and areas for improvement, and we need your help to do that. We are looking for some volunteer English majors to participate in small focus groups of 6-12 students, who will be asked to talk about their general learning experience in the English program. The answers, which will remain anonymous, will help us gauge and strengthen the program’s goals and learning outcomes. We will aim to organize the focus groups around volunteers’ schedules. The groups will likely occur later in November. These meetings will include a meal!

If you are willing to help out with this, please do let us know. Just email englishadvising@illinois.edu by the end of the day on Monday, November 7th

registration guidelines redux (with honors info)

Students are assigned a time on or after October 31 according to the schedule found here. When you are ready to schedule an advising appointment (required for new students and students on academic probation, recommended for all others) call 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.

If you would like to sign up for an honors course, please email Nancy at nrahn@illinois.edu (include your full name and UIN) and tell her which seminar you hope to take this spring, including the title/topic and the CRN.  See ENGL 396 entries in Course Explorer for the information you’ll need to include.  Please allow one week to get a response. Once Nancy has given you permission to take the course, you must still go into the registration system and add it to your schedule. It’s first come, first served, so act now! If you want to take two seminars, then you may, but you must receive approval for the first before you can request a second. 

Eligibility rests on the following: a GPA of at least 3.33 in the major and overall, and completion of at least three ENGL courses, of which one must be ENGL 200 and another must be ENGL 301 or 350.  Most students begin honors coursework in their junior year, but eligible sophomores may sign up if they meet the basic requirements.

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, plus the “cheat sheet” that tells you which variable topics courses satisfy which requirements this spring. 
submit to montage

Montage Arts Journal, the undergraduate literary magazine of UIUC, still accepting submissions. All publishable forms of art—photography, paintings, sketches, digital art, collages, sculptures, poetry, prose, creative nonfiction, drama, and more—are welcome. This semester’s reading period closes December 15th, but submissions can be emailed to montagejournal@gmail.com any time before then. Please see https://montagejournal.wordpress.com for more information. 

English student association meetings and more

You are invited to attend the weekly ESA meetings: Wednesdays from 6-7 in the Mary Kay Peer Lounge (basement of the English building), for example. If you want to know more email esaillinois1867@gmail.com.

Or, get involved with Sigma Tau Delta, the English Honors Society if you want to connect with fellow English students, writers, and lovers of literature. You will have opportunities to gain experience publishing, speaking as a panelist at conferences, and/or meeting English students from around the world. For more information, email sigmataudeltaillinois@gmail.com.

Art @ the Y

Do you ever go across the street from Lincoln Hall to the University YMCA? They have an exhibition space and it’s worth checking out!

Coming up soon:

Michael Sherfield & Bennie L. Drake, Junior (1949 – 2014)
On view November 10, 2022- January 13, 2023

Exhibition opening Nov 10, 5-7pm (remarks at 5:30pm)
Murphy Gallery, YMCA, 1001 S. Wright St.

Art at the Y

Don’t Forget These!

udall scholarship:

The University of Illinois seeks to nominate sophomores and juniors for the Udall Scholarship. Udall awards $7,000 to sophomores or juniors in any field of study who are taking action to address environmental concerns and are committed to a career related to the environment. There are also special awards also for Native American students interested in Tribal policy or health care (no need for these interests to be related to the environment). Students must be US citizens, US nationals, or US permanent residents. A successful applicant will have a GPA of 3.0 or higher and demonstrate leadership and a commitment to service. The campus deadline is January 30, 2023 to be considered. 

If you are interested in applying, please plan to attend our Udall informational events:  

Udall Scholarship Information Session (In-person)
Date: Nov 10, 2022   3:30 – 4:30 pm  
Location: 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building (the entrance nearest Coble Hall)

Udall Scholarship Information Session (Online)
Date: Nov 11, 2022   9:00 – 10:00 am  
Zoom Registration link: https://illinois.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYuf-qvrTIvGN0XlEDXeuNZSkahoTHeVKaP 

Udall Scholarship Writing Workshop
Date: Nov 11, 2022   3:00 – 4:00 pm  
Location: 514 Illini Union Bookstore Building (the entrance nearest Coble Hall)

For more information, contact the scholarships office at topscholars@illinois.edu or visit our website.

CHLH + Peer Educator Positions:

Want to create positive change on campus? Interested in gaining a deeper understanding of how to prevent sexual violence in our community? Looking for a paid job?

Consider enrolling in CHLH 126: CARE next semester to become a paid peer educator in the Fall! All students are invited and encouraged to enroll. 

TR 3:30 – 4:50 PM | 3 credit hours | CRN 71651  Contact Associate Director Prevention, Nora Peterson (nepeters@illinois.edu) with any questions.

M.A. Research Assistantship in Cather Studies at UNL:

The Willa Cather Archive and Cather Project, both housed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, are offering a research assistantship to one incoming M.A. student each year. Interested students are invited to apply to the M.A. program at UNL, designating their interest in the assistantship. 

The department of English at the UNL welcomes applications not only from students with a particular interest in Willa Cather, but also from students interested in closely related areas– such as early twentieth-century women’s writing, LGBTQ+ literature, or Western American literature– as well as from students who study, or would like to acquire skills in, the digital humanities.

Applications are due December 1st.

All Undergraduate Students Welcome to Apply to 2023 NYU Creative Writing Summer Intensives:

New York University’s College of Arts and Science invites visiting undergraduate students to participate in their short-term summer programs. The month-long creative writing retreats in Florence and Paris may be of particular interest to students. The Writers in Florence and Writers in Paris programs are only offered during the summer, and students are encouraged to immerse themselves in their host city through both reading and writing assignments. Participants focus on one of three genres—poetry, fiction, or creative nonfiction—and attend daily writing workshops and craft seminars. 2023 faculty will include Catherine Barnett, Raven Leilani, Jonathan Safran Foer, Katie Kitamura, Ken Chen, Mark Bibbins, and Matthew Rohrer, among many other acclaimed writers. All coursework receives a NYU transcript, transferable to other institutions. 

Interested students are encouraged to join a virtual information session to learn more:

Applications will open December 1, 2022 with a priority deadline of February 1, 2023. For more information, contact cas.summerabroad@nyu.edu

Apply for CLA’s Caroll Mills Young Study Abroad Scholarship:

The CLA Caroll Mills Young Study Abroad Scholarship is designed to support students at member institutions who want to participate in a study abroad program.  The scholarship is open to any student who meets eligibility requirements and is presently attending a CLA college or university.  A CLA college or university is one where a member of the College Language Association is presently employed or is a retiree. 

Each application must be verified and signed by a faculty sponsor who is a current financial member of the College Language Association.  Complete applications must be RECEIVED by 5 p.m. EST on Friday, February 10, 2023 for study abroad in summer or fall 2023.

For more information contact the English advising office and we will supply the full document (it’s not available online and it’s too long to reproduce here).

Exp”LER”ing HR Careers:

If you are interested in pursuing a Master’s degree and career in Human Resources / Industrial Relations, consider attending ExpLERing HR. See the flyer.

Embedded Confidential Advisors

The Women’s Resources Center (WRC) is the designated confidential campus resource related to sexual assault/rape, sexual harassment, stalking and abuse within a relationship (sometimes called dating or domestic violence). There are several Confidential Advisors at the WRC who can provide you – or someone looking to support you – with support and advocacy services.

Embedded Advocate Hours: 
TU/WED: 10 am – 5 pm @ BNAACC
M/TH: 11 am – 5 pm @ La Casa

Advising available by appointment | Monday – Friday @ the WRC
Hours may vary. Walk-in appointments offered as available.
Learn more about Advocacy & Support Services, here

Opening of the Speaking Center:

The University Library is excited to announce the opening of the Speaking Center this fall! Beginning October 18th, students will be able to receive free and personalized public speaking assistance for any presentation and at any stage in the preparation process.

Students can work one-on-one with a trained Speaking Consultant to improve presentations and speeches, attend workshops focused on building lasting speaking skills, or participate in language sessions to build foreign language skills. Students can sign up by visiting https://www.library.illinois.edu/tlas/speaking-center/. At this time, graduate and professional students may only register for Wednesday appointments. Undergraduate students may register for any available appointment. 

Volunteer opportunity

The university YMCA is looking for tutors for K-12 students this semester. It’s a wonderful opportunity for anyone who likes working with children or wants to get more connected to the immigrant community in CU.

If interested, please contact nawctutoring@universityymca.org.

Call For Applications: Funded MA/PhD, Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies:

The Hudson Strode Program in Renaissance Studies at the University of Alabama is currently accepting applications for MA and PhD admissions for Fall of 2023.

  • The Strode MA program offers students the unique opportunity to specialize in Renaissance studies at the master’s level. Students admitted to the Strode MA program receive enhanced graduate stipends, and they are fully funded for two years (the current MA stipend is $19,500 per year)..
  • The Strode PhD program offers advanced training in Renaissance studies for a select cohort of students who pursue their research interests through an individually tailored plan of study. Students admitted to the Strode PhD program receive enhanced graduate stipends, and they are fully funded for five years (the current PhD stipend is $21,500 per year).
  • All MA and PhD students can also take full advantage of the resources of the Strode Program, including travel funding, summer support, and access to a range of programming, such as the Alabama Shakespeare Project, Shakespeare in performance workshops, and lectures by distinguished guest speakers. The University of Alabama is also a member of The Folger Institute. Students and faculty in early modern studies at The University of Alabama are eligible to participate in the Institute’s many cross-cultural and multi-disciplinary workshops and seminars, designed to enhance participants’ research interests.
  • The Strode Program works closely with the Alabama Digital Humanities Center (ADHC) and co-sponsors of the University of Alabama’s international Digital Humanities conference, Digitorium (https://apps.lib.ua.edu/blogs/digitorium/). Strode students have access to the ADHC for support with digital techniques for their research and teaching,

Please note that the deadline for applying for admission to either the MA or the PhD program for the Fall term is December 1.

For more details about the program and the application process visit  https://strode.english.ua.edu/

FLAS Fellowships for English Majors:

Do you study a less commonly taught language (any language except French, German, and Spanish)? Are you a U.S. citizen or permanent resident? If so, consider applying for a Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship for summer 2023 or academic year 2023-24. FLAS fellowships support both undergraduate and graduate study in modern foreign languages in combination with global or area studies. The purpose of the FLAS program is to train students to integrate global knowledge into a future career in areas of national need like cyber security and business, where knowledge of additional languages is crucial. Learn more about FLAS fellowship opportunities through the European Union Center here, and learn more about FLAS opportunities across campus here. Please look out for the FLAS information session in November. Applications will be due in late January.

More help with research:

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 (note that these times have changed since last spring).  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.

fall workshops:

Weekly Round-Up

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RSVP so we’ll know how much pizza to order!

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.