Join two of our very own DePaul English professors, Richard Jones and Chris Green, on Monday, November 4 at 6pm in Arts & Letters 414 for a reading and conversation!
By Sara Shahein
Contributor to The Underground
On Wednesday, October 9th DePaul’s Office of Multicultural Student Success teamed up with the Latinx Center and Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority to host “Bilingualism Unpacked.” During the event, attendees listened to a panel of DePaul students and advisors answer questions about multilingualism – the panel’s languages ranged from Spanish to Serbian.
Each of the panelists were asked about their backgrounds and how they learned the languages they know today. Some learned their respective language when they were children, others learned the language in high school and college, and a few spoke the language first and learned English later. The panel noted that they switch languages when speaking with an adult whose native language is not English as a sign of respect and to make the individual feel more comfortable. They likewise discussed the importance of knowing another language and how it allows people to learn more about other cultures or even their own native cultures.
Each panelist was also asked if they had ever traveled abroad, if they spoke a native language abroad, and how were they perceived. A few panelists spoke about being seen as a local and felt more comfortable to take initiative and start up a conversation with locals.
Yet, when asked about the stigma that may arise from being bilingual, one panelist shared an example about having a conversation with someone in Serbian and mentioning that she was from Chicago. The opposite person immediately stopped speaking Serbian and switched to English. In response, the panelist said that she felt disappointed that the gentleman she was speaking to didn’t think she could continue to carry on the conversation if it was in Serbian, despite it being her first language. Other panelists explained that many non-English speakers or struggling English speakers tend to be looked down upon in society, instead of being given translators, assistance, or guidance to encourage them to continue trying to learn English.
The final question posed to the panelists asked whether they had ever denied being bilingual. Much to the surprise of the audience, a few panelists confirmed they had denied their ability to speak another language to others. One panelist explained that she worked in a law firm and it became known that she spoke and understood Spanish. She was quickly asked to translate and interpret, but she did not feel confident enough because she was still in the process of learning Spanish. She told the audience that, when it comes to work, she denies she is bilingual until she feels confident enough in her abilities.
Altogether, “Bilingualism Unpacked” showcased the reasons why someone would want to learn another language. It also taught other multilingual people in the audience how to deal with certain stigmas, present yourself when abroad, appreciate different cultures, and advocate for non-English speakers.
By Olivia Muran
Contributor to The Underground
On Friday, September 27, DePaul celebrated Banned Books Week by hosting Books on the Chopping Block, a live performance by the City Lit Theater Company. The event kicked off at 1 p.m. in the John T. Richardson Library on DePaul’s Lincoln Park campus. Banned Books Week is an annual event hosted by the Office for Intellectual Freedom at the American Library Association. The event raises awareness of the censorship that seeks to dull the intellectual flame of readers across the nation. Regarding the dulling of said figurative flame, the theme of the event this year was “Censorship Leaves Us in the Dark,” urging everyone to “Keep the Light On.”
At DePaul, four members of the City Lit Theater Company performed selections from the Top 10 Banned Books on 2018’s list, including the Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, and Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher. The list also featured many children’s picture books, such as Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner and A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo by Jill Twiss. In order to make it on the Banned Books list, these titles must have multiple formal complaints or ‘challenges’ filed against them in an effort to remove access in libraries and schools nationwide. Six out of the ten books on the list were banned because of LGBTQIA+ content, while others were banned for addressing teen suicide or political viewpoints.
The performance selections featured a mix of comedy and serious content. Many of the passages read showcased the importance of the book at hand, advocating accessibility as well as removal from banned lists nationwide. For example, the number one challenged book of 2018 was George by Alex Gino, which tells the story of a transgender character during adolescence. The passage performed at DePaul showcased the book’s child-like innocence of George’s experience, though the topic is controversial among certain book communities. As a result, Gino’s George has been banned, challenged, and relocated from libraries and schools.
The Top Banned Books list serves to call our attention to the censorship that books face when the content presents controversial topics. By filing formal complaints, censors restrict access to diverse communities and decide which books can and cannot be read. In turn, participation and awareness of events like Books on the Chopping Block during Banned Books Week continues to defend these restricted books and works to “Keep the Light On” when “Censorship Keeps Us in the Dark.”
Want to know what it’s like to be a working editor? Come and listen to professional editors Donna Seaman, Todd Stocke, and Marcy Posner discuss their careers and offer job advice on Tuesday, October 15 from 6:30-7:30pm in Arts and Letters room 306. There will be snacks and drinks!
The DePaul Career Center will host their annual Fall Career Fair on Wednesday, October 2nd and Thursday, October 3rd from 3:00 – 6:00 pm in the Lincoln Park Student Center 120AB. This 2-day all majors fair is a great opportunity to interact with top employers recruiting for both jobs and internships. Over 100 employers from a wide variety of industries will be seeking qualified candidates of all majors and experience levels. Different employers will be attending each day! Students can view the employer list located here.
Join Dorothy Kim on October 1st as she discusses Critical Race Studies & the Middle Ages.
Dorothy Kim is Assistant Professor of English at Brandeis University where she teaches Medieval Literature. Her research focuses on race, gender, Jewish/Christian difference, the digital humanities, and the disciplinary history of medievalism.
If interested, please email email@example.com to save a seat at the event.
October 1, 6-7pm
Richardson Library, Rm 115
Join Tim Hillegonds on September 26th as he reads and discusses his new memoir at DePaul. Before the reading, also take advantage of the opportunity to talk with the alum about life after DePaul, publishing your first book, writing tips, and more in the library’s Rosati Room.
The Distance Between chronicles how Hillegonds’s plan to leave his mounting rage and frustration behind with a one-way ticket from Chicago to Colorado goes awry as he jumps headfirst into a turbulent relationship with April, a Denny’s coworker and single parent. More than just a harrowing story of addiction and abuse or a simple mea culpa, The Distance Between is a finely wrought exploration of, and reckoning with, absent fathers, fatherhood, violence, adolescent rage, white male privilege, and Hillegonds’s own toxic masculinity. With nuance and urgency, The Distance Between takes readers through the grit of life on the margins while grappling with the problematic nature of one man’s existence.
Tim Hillegonds is a DePaul MAWP alum and author of the new memoir The Distance Between (Nebraska, 2019). His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Rumpus, Assay, Fourth Genre: Explorations in Nonfiction, River Teeth, Baltimore Review, Brevity, Under the Gum Tree, Hippocampus Magazine, The Fourth River, Midway Journal, RHINO, Bluestem Magazine, r.k.v.r.y. quarterly, and others. He was nominated for a 2015 Illinois Arts Council Literary Award. In 2019, Tim was named by the Guild Literary Complex as one of their thirty “Writers to Watch.” He currently serves as a contributing editor for Slag Glass City, a digital journal of the urban essay arts.
Thursday, September 26, 2019 – 4:30-5:30pm
Richardson Library Room 300
Thursday, September 26, 2019 – 6:00-7:00pm
McGowan South 104
1110 West Belden Avenue