Updates from the English Department Office of Undergraduate Studies
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A note from the director...


Dear Students:

We did it! We made it through Spring 2021 and a full year of online instruction! It's been a long and hard slog but we made it! Classes are done and soon finals will be as well. 

We'll be back at the end of next week to wrap things up but in this issue you will find the following:

  • Graduating Seniors
  • English Department Award Recipients
  • Summer 2021 Courses
  • Value Card Parking Program
  • Book of the Month: Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul by Bryan Allen Fierro
  • Faculty Profile: Professor Ainsworth Clarke
  • An updated list of internships and calls for writing, etc.

Keep reading, stay safe, and be in touch!


Prof. Robin Reames, Director of Undergraduate Studies


Congratulations to The Class of 2021!


The following students will graduate this May. We offer our sincere congratulations for their accomplishment and wish them all the best as they begin a new chapter life. Each and every one will be missed and we hope that they will come back for alumni events and keep us updated on life post-UIC.

Sarah Abuosba              Rebecca Egedus              Natalia Kostka                Delanie Preston
Crystal Adan                  Chelsea Ford                     Abigail Kremer               Katarina Ramirez
Sheccid Aguilar             C. J. Garrett                       Kenneth Labedz            Zuzu Ramirez
Jose Aguirre                  Chelsea Goddard              Ruben Lafontaine          Jasmine Roberson
Cristal Aranda               Edith Gonzalez                   Katlin Larson                 Hugo Romero
Melissa Arroyo              Daisy Gonzalez                   Dorina Lopez                 Salwa Sadiq
Meriam Aziz                  Wolfgang Goralski              Bianca Maldonado       Marcel Sanders
Olivia Baginski               Helenna Graham                Brenda Mateos             Katherine Scheidt
Regina Baker                  Marlen Granados               Nicolette Metoyer        Ashton Smith
Abdul Basheer               Ari Guerra                           Christine Milly               Nicole Solayman
Kristina Blagojev            Eddie Guzman                   Crystal Monsalud          Isabel Steger
Ashlyn Brenham             Emmanuel Henderson      Janet Montalvo              Augustas Tamavicius
Amy Bustos                     Vicente Hernandez          Jalynn Morrison             Ally Tomsik
Jai Caldwell                     Amy Hernandez                Zayd Muhammad          Alexis Trejo
Julio Cambron                 Danielle Hull                      Magaly Munoz               Amanda Valdez
Jaylen Cato                      Hafsa Hussaini                 Helen Munoz                  Piper Watt
Isaiah Chauhan                Jon Idrovo                        Robert Nicholson           Kinsey Williams
Samantha Chung            Grace Irving                     Jonah Nink                      James Wright
Matt Cuartero                  Sara Johnson                  Lance Nwokeji                Brianna Wright
Khenzy Cuyler-Caesar   Devin Kapusta                 Brooke Pable


Congratulations to English Department Award Winners!


Join us in congratulating the following students for receiving these end-of-year awards:

Paul Carroll Creative Writing Award (Fiction, Poetry or Non-fiction) $250
This award recognizes outstanding achievement in creative writing by undergraduate English majors.
C. J. Garrett

Anne Hopewell Selby Undergraduate Research Award ($500)
In honor of the late professor Anne Hopewell Selby, the English Department awards the Anne Hopewell Selby Award to an outstanding undergraduate student pursuing scholarly activities outside the classroom. 
Jadlyn Rogers

Anne Hopewell Selby Critical Essay Writing Award $500 (2 awards)
This award recognizes outstanding achievement in critical writing by undergraduate English majors.
Theo Donoghue, Marcel Sanders

Robert and Corinne Silver Award ($500)
This award offers
a prize for a continuing undergraduate English major concentrating in the study of literature.
Tristen Ortiz

Outstanding Sophomore in English Award: (Two winners, each receiving $500)
The Outstanding Sophomore in English Award is intended to highlight sophomore students who have demonstrated dedication to their studies in English through the breadth and depth of their coursework and have excelled in their studies within the major. 
Methal Hindi, Patryck Szcsepaniak

Raymond and Wilma Campion Award John and Jeanne Newton Scholarship ($1800 in tuition and books for each award) The Campion and the Newton Scholarships are awarded to outstanding English majors who have graduated from Chicago Public High Schools. 
Selena Santiago (Campion Award), Ashley O'Neill (Newton Award)

Donnellon Professional Writing
Madeline Zuzevich, Catherine Lin, Dillon Muth, Wes Sowers

Donnellon Creative Writing
Adrian Souwami, Ricky Rodriguez, Aqsa Mahmood

Special Recognition: 2020-2021 English Student of Distinction
Leah Frank

Ernest C. Van Keuren Award: $200
Each year, the faculty chooses one outstanding graduating senior for the Ernest C. Van Keuren award. The winner is chosen by the faculty from among those students who are graduating with highest distinction.
Abigail Kremer, Amy Hernandez



Summer 2021 - Session 2 - Courses


Wondering what to do this summer? Consider mixing work and pleasure and enrolling in one of these exciting summer courses.

English 240: Introduction to Literary Studies and Critical Methods
Instr. Thomas Moore

Introduction on how to read and write critically about literature and other cultural productions, includes methods of literary and cultural theory and criticism, issues of form and interpretation, rhetorical analysis. Course Information: Recommended background: Completion of ENGL 161 and 3 hours from ENGL 101-125. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion.

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 241: English Literature 1: Beginnings to 1660
Instr. Sybil Gallus-Price

A survey of significant works of English literature, beginnings to 1660, their historical, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions, from a number of critical perpectives. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Completion of the University Writing requirement or concurrent registration in ENGL 161 or ENGL 171. Recommended background: 3 hours of English from ENGL 101-123. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion. 

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 242: English Literature II: 1660-1900
Instr. Carla Barger

A survey of significant works of English Literature, 1660 - 1900, their historical, cultural, and aesthetic dimensions, from a number of critical perspectives. Course Information: Prerequisite(s): Completion of the University Writing requirement or concurrent registration in ENGL 161 or ENGL 171. Recommended background: 3 hours of English from ENGL 101-123. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture-Discussion. 

Interested to learn more? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 109: American Literature and Culture: Black Queer Experience
Instr. Deziree Brown

Analysis of American novels, plays and poems from the colonial period to the present that reflect key developments and events in American history and culture. Course Information: May not be repeated for credit. Class Schedule Information: To be properly registered, students must enroll in one Discussion/Recitation and one Lecture.

Questions? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here.

English 111: Women and Literature: Stories of Water
Instr. Kathleen Blackburn

Introduction to reading English and American literature with a focus on gender, genre and women's roles. Course Information: Same as GWS 111. 

Have a question? Email the instructor.
Ready to enroll? Click here


Value Card Parking Program

Want to Save Money on Parking?
Sara Johnson

Do you drive a car to get to campus? Are you interested in saving money on parking? If so, you’ll want to hear about the value card parking program UIC offers.

UIC’s parking services offers the value card parking program for those who occasionally commute and need to park on campus. The program allows you to pay for parking on a per-use basis, as opposed to having to purchase a parking assignment. Parking assignments can cost anywhere from $40 - $300, depending on the pass. The value card parking program allows students to buy individual parking tickets at a discounted rate of $3.50. This ticket allows you to park for up to 24 hours. The original price for parking at UIC for 24 hours is $15!! 

So, if you want to save on parking, you can purchase these tickets at Student Center West (SCW), 828 S. Wolcott, Rm. B5A.


Book of the Month

Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul
Katia Aguilar

A month ago I had the opportunity to meet with author Bryan Fierro to talk about his book Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul. Speaking with him on his personal work was in a sense formative as I was better able to hear the author's perspective on what inspired his work for the book and what personal themes and cultural perspectives influenced the characters and stories within this book. 

Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul, follows frangible and melancholic stories from residents in the East Los Angeles community as characters learn life lessons such as loss, love, finding identity, and purpose. The thread of commonality connecting each of the relationships showcased in Dodger Blue is the challenges of life that all must eventually overcome.  

One of the  stories highlights a father with a love for baseball that is only matched by the disconnect in the relationship he has with his son. Another follows a husband reminiscing on his wedding day after the loss of his wife.

This is a book that will have readers reflect on aspects of one's personal lives and situations that they have come across in life. As well, it is a book which touches on real aspects that come with family. 

After having read the book I personally enjoyed the messages of cultural persistence and perseverance and the hazy confusion that comes with growing up in a minority community. I was able to connect with the emotions of wanting to associate with yourself and others more culturally yet feeling slightly detached. Perhaps other readers will also be able to experience a similar bond with themes which I felt shone through the stories in Dodger Blue.

During my brief conversation with Fierro on his collection of short stories, I was able to get not only a personal perspective on the book from him as the author but I was also able to see that Dodger Blue is a book full of human experiences that readers will be able to enjoy. 

I highly recommend Dodger Blue Will Fill Your Soul if you are looking for a book with personal touches and real-life stories. 


Faculty Profile: Ainsworth Clarke


Are you interested in Black Studies and English? Do you have a passion for teaching African American Literature? Are you interested in research in Black Studies along with critical theory? This week I had an opportunity to interview Associate Professor Ainsworth Clarke, who specializes in Black Studies and English as well as teaching African American literary modernism, nineteenth and twentieth century African American intellectual history, race, and the production of disciplinary knowledge, and contemporary theories of cosmopolitanism.

Dr. Clarke started off attending McGill University for his undergrad where he enrolled for a Bachelors Degree in History and Political Science before switching to English. Later, he decided to attend Cornell University earning first a Masters Degree in the Department of Comparative Literature, then receiving a Ph.D in the same field.

As to developing his skills as a writer, Dr. Clarke says, “Things just started to gravitate towards certain kinds of questions, reading a lot, taking classes that were profoundly influential for me. I think my key turning point is when I audited a graduate course as an undergrad.” There was a speaker there who was a well-known African American critical theorist. Clarke stated, “When I saw him, the presentation, what he was talking about, the kind of work he was doing, what he was thinking…this presentation made me move forward and go to graduate school to become a professor.” This is when Dr. Clarke realized what he wanted to do.

Dr. Clarke chose writing because of the questions that he wants to explore as a person of color. Dr. Clarke wonders, “What does it mean to be invested in a certain type of politics as a person of color?” Clarke also expressed, “Working in African American Literature and culture seemed to be a natural extension of what it meant for me to be in the world.”

Dr. Clarke explained how his proudest achievements were being able to help the students at UIC reach their professional and academic goals. Dr. Clarke emphasized the value of mentorship and coaching. In his words, “Those moments when I help students craft their writing and see them succeed in getting into a graduate school, great law school, or top professional program, even when they didn’t think they were able to do it, and showing them how to do it and what kind of writing it required. I was able to help open up a sense of possibility for the future.”

Dr. Clarke eventually was brought to UIC by first applying to junior faculty positions and having spent a year teaching in Dakar, Senegal. He had to choose between UIC and other universities. He decided to visit UIC and met different graduate students and faculty. From there he stated, “I knew this was the ideal place based on the kind of faculty, the way in which they ask their questions. They were fantastic, diverse, and interesting.” Most importantly, Dr. Clarke expressed, “UIC is a place I can grow, and my work will grow.”

Dr. Clarke currently teaches Black Studies 263: Black Intellectual History. This course involves key debates and contributions of black thought to national and global politics and culture from the mid- 19th century to late 20th century. In order to register, students will need to complete Black Studies 100: Introduction to Black Studies that captures black experiences in relation to African culture, slavery, and emancipation in America, 20th and 21st century social relations, and struggles for civil rights. In Dr. Clarke’s words, he believes Black Studies 263: Black Intellectual History helps students by exposing them "to an intellectual tradition which they are unfamiliar with. It also allows students to tackle questions they've had for a long time. It shows students the long history of how the issues in their lives have been engaged.”

For closing remarks, Dr. Clarke gave advice to writers at UIC. “Students should take courses through your undergraduate career that will help you get to the outcome you want. I would suggest to pursue finding yourself in the Writing Center. Take advantage of the resources that will help improve your writing and take it to the next level to get a position after UIC.”

Interested in reading Dr. Clarke's scholarship? Check out:
a) "W.E.B. DuBois, World Literature and the Problem of Method"

b)"W.E.B. DuBois's Fugitive Writing, or Sociology at the Turn of the Twentieth Century."


Internships, Scholarships, Fellowships & Jobs


LAS Career Development and Internships Office


LAS Office of Career Development and Internships has the following opportunities:


Job Opportunities:

Intuit Summer Fellowship

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art is hiring for its first summer fellowship program.

The Intuit Summer Fellow will be introduced to all facets of museum work, including curation, collections, education, marketing, development and executive leadership. They will work closely with Intuit’s senior management team and meaningfully contribute to ongoing museum projects. In addition to their participation in staff professional development, educational and public programs, and special events, the Intuit Summer Fellow will learn about contemporary issues in the museum field.

Eligible applicants are BIPOC Chicago state, city or community college students or recent graduates interested in a career in museums and the arts. The fellowship will be primarily remote, with some on-site work depending on projects. Fully remote applicants will be considered. 
This is an 8-week, 20 hour a week commitment and pays $3,000. Deadline to apply is May 2. 
For more information and to apply, click here

Calls for Writers, etc.


Black Lawrence Press Seeks Submissions

 Black Lawrence Call for Submissions

Mamas, Martyrs, and Jezebels: Myths, Legends, and Other Lies You've Been Told about Black Women revisits notions of Black womanhood to include the ways in which Black women's perceived strength can function as a dangerous denial of Black women's humanity. This collection addresses the stigma of this extraordinary endurance in professional and personal spaces, the Black church, in interpersonal partnerships, and within the justice arena, while also giving voice and value to Black women's experiences as the backbone of the Black family and community.

Black Lawrence Press is now accepting submissions for a new anthology of essays. Writers and scholars living in the United States and abroad are invited to submit essays of between 700-5000 words for the anthology on any of the following broad themes. (Other themes will be considered.)

  1. Black Women and Justice
  2. Black Women and Self-Care
  3. Black Women and Spirituality
  4. Black Women at Work and at Home
  5. Black Women and Sex (and Sexuality)

Essays can be creative or academic. However, essays have to be accessible since the anthology is for a general audience.

Drs. Jan Boulware, Rondrea Mathis, Clarissa West-White, and Kideste Yusef of Bethune-Cookman University will serve as editors.

Submissions will be accepted through June 30, 2021. Contributors will receive a copy of the anthology as payment.

Previously published essays are welcome. Please contact Dr. Clarissa West-White at whitec@cookman.edu with questions.


Other Upcoming UGS Events

Mark Your Calendar for these Upcoming Events:

Thesis Presentations
April 30, 2021 at 3:00 pm

Hear what students in ENGL398 have been working on all semester
Click here for Zoom link


Finally ...


Do you have questions or feel like chatting with UGS? Email english@uic.edu to schedule an appointment. 


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