Department of English and Modern Languages

Join a Nationally Ranked Program.

The UIS Department of English and Modern Languages offers majors in English on campus and in English online with minors in English and Spanish. We also offer a professionalized M.A. in English with two concentrations: digital pedagogy and digital publishing.


Our Spring 2018 newsletter (PDF) catches up with alumnus Courtney Cox, who belonged to the first cohort of our revised M.A. in digital publishing and digital pedagogies. We also learn how long-distance online students participated in the Student Technology, Arts, and Research Symposium, and how Dr. Lan Dong began the new year with an extraordinary award.


What’s New:

Sarah Webb headshotUIS English welcomes new faculty member Dr. Sarah Webb to campus Fall 2018! Dr. Webb, assistant professor of English, holds a doctorate in English from Louisiana State University. She also runs the website and social initiative Colorism Healing “to raise critical awareness, promote healing, and find solutions to colorism through creative and critical work.” Meet Dr. Webb at Poets in the Parlor on Sunday, September 30.


Upcoming Events:

The Shelterbelt Reading Series will welcome fiction writer and editor Megan Giddings to the University of Illinois Springfield on October 29! Visit our Facebook event and stay tuned for more details.


Past Events:

Campus tech allowed online English student Michelle Ver Hagen’s presentation at the Student Technology, Arts and Research Symposium. STARS will accept student proposals in the new year.


Competitive Degree Programs

Student presents research at STARS SymposiumOur department prioritizes a personalized education experience for English and Modern Languages students. We offer small class sizes to encourage one-on-one communication between students and faculty. Currently we offer a Bachelor of Arts in English on-campus and online; a Master of Arts in English with an emphasis in digital publishing or digital pedagogy; a graduate certificate in teaching English; and a minor in English or Spanish. Our program facilitates strong written and verbal communication while emphasizing communication, genre writing, literary analysis, and emergent digital technologies.


Student Involvement Opportunities

The English and Modern Languages Department at UIS offers a number of hands-on community engagement opportunities that extend student learning beyond the classroom.Alchemist Review Cover

Undergraduate students can gain publishing experience through The Alchemist Review, an undergraduate student-run journal of fiction, poetry, and visual arts, or present their own research at STARS: the Student Technology, Arts, and Research Symposium.

The Shelterbelt Press and Reading Series offers students a unique opportunity to meet nationally-known authors and participate in the publishing process, while digital publishing graduate students manage Uproot, a literary journal dedicated to publishing quality work about experiences of place and movement.

Learn more about our student clubs and organizations.


English Department Scholarships

Frank and Linda Kopecky Scholarship

Based on merit and demonstrated financial need
Awarded to a full time junior or senior
Renewable until the degree is completed
Award: $1000

Alfred and Mildred Roese Memorial Scholarship

GPA of 3.75 or higher
Recipient must display financial need
Preferred female recipient
Award: $500

 

To apply, please complete the UIS Institutional Scholarship Application

John and Barb Blackburn Scholarship

Awarded to an English or Education major in good academic standing
Award: $1000

U of I President Diversity Travel Award

Awarded to graduates and undergraduates students  presenting papers, posters, or creative works at conferences between Oct. 1, 2018, and March 31, 2019. The topic must be related to issues of diversity or identity, such as those involving race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin.

Award: $600


Feature Stories:

Dr. Cordell and online student Tammy Hollo discuss online learning


Digital Humanities Research at UIS

Digital Humanities, one of the humanities’ (and English studies’) burgeoning fields, uses digital tech to expand the potential of humanistic study. At UIS, students explore this field through ENG 501: Digital Humanities with Dr. Donna Bussell.

At UIS, ENG 501 teaches digital humanities theories and methods. Digital humanities (DH), a relatively recent emergence in humanistic inquiry (and English studies more specifically) uses developing technology to study literature, art, history, and other humanistic subjects in new ways.

Word frequency map from Voyant Tools softwareNo two digital humanists are quite alike. A DH scholar might work with HTML or Java, analyze narrative patterns in video games, interpret data points on a virtual interactive map, track large quantities of data through complex coding processes, or create digital versions of texts. In English studies, DH scholars often use computer textual analysis software to analyze hundreds or thousands of texts at one time.

Most DH content is born-digital, that is, composed for web publishing. Open-access (free to the public) and multimodal (incorporating pictures, video, and sound), such projects expand the discipline’s knowledge base in innovative ways.

In the last section of ENG 501 at UIS, students engaged topics as disparate as 17th century legal documents, reflection writing assignments, and Harry Potter characters. Although varied, each project connected to the course’s unifying theme: digital humanities research.

Amanda Dinardo, digital pedagogy student and English and Modern Languages Graduate Assistant, used Voyant Tools Shea Sims and Amanda Dinardoto analyze critical reflection examples in old composition textbooks. Using word frequency analysis tools, Amanda uncovered how each example text prioritized different writing features. Amanda published her project on Scalar.com.

Susan McGrath, digital pedagogies certificate student, used Voyant Tools to analyze 17th and 18th century  wills in New York state. Susan found that the wills, influenced in part by Dutch law, portrayed men and woman as equal in many respects. Susan published her project on Microsoft Sway.

Shea Sims, digital publishing graduate student, used CATMA (Computer Assisted Textual Markup and Analysis) to trace Neville Longbottom’s character development in the Harry Potter series. By isolating text that included Neville performing significant actions, Shea traced his hero’s journey through two Harry Potter texts. Shea published her project on Microsoft Sway.

 

-Written by Amanda Dinardo

 


To learn more about our department, our mission, and what we offer our students, check out our About section.