Professor Chris Solis Green will be hosting ten of the best undergrad poets from Chicago-area universities at a reading Friday, April 28, 7:00, DePaul’s Cortelyou Commons. Readers include our own Halli Carpender and Maia Palomar!
Category: The Underground
(Tentative) Autumn 2023 Courses Have Been Posted
As always, updated course schedules can be found under the Courses menu tab on the front page of the blog.
Call For Submissions: The Underground!
The Underground is taking submissions! We are looking to feature book reviews and interviews with alumni and faculty, written by current students. Have an idea, or a piece already written? Email Zach Sharp @ email@example.com.
Check For Updated Course Listings Under Winter 2023:
A few edits to course listings and descriptions were made due to my own oversight. Make sure to look into the newly listed courses in Comparative Literature:
ENG 389/ Russian Short Story/ In Person/ Liza Ginzburg
The study of a representative selection of Russian short fiction
concentrating on the great 19th-century masters such as Pushkin,
Gogol, Turgenev, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Gorky, and Korolenko.
ENG 389/ Japanese Women’s Literary Masterpieces/ In Person/ Heather Bowen-Struyk
The course begins over 1000 years ago with masterpieces of world
literature including The Tale of Genii and classical poetry, traverses
through the modern period of New Women Bluestocking and arrive
in the 21st century to reflect on the richness of Japanese women’s
writings across time and space. * No prior knowledge of Japanese
language, history or culture necessary.
EXTENDED DEADLINE: Spring English Conference
The deadline to submit to the 11th annual Spring English conference has been extended to this Friday, May 15th!
Initially, the department intended to host the conference through a website featuring video panels that could be accessed any time. After further consideration and discussion with students, however, the English department has decided to shift to synchronous panels to be held on Friday, June 5, 1-5pm via Zoom. The sessions will be recorded and posted to the conference website so that individuals who aren’t able to attend can later access the content. This approach will come closest to generating the energy and intellectual engagement of our annual event.
Call for Self-Nominations to the English Distinction Program
The English Department is seeking self-nominations from students who would like to be considered for the Distinction Program. Students who are invited to the Distinction Program are eligible to take Master’s-level courses in the English Department and can earn “Distinction in English”; those who earn Distinction will be honored with a certificate in June of the year in which they graduate, and will have “Distinction in English” noted on their final transcript. To earn Distinction, students in the program must complete three activities that demonstrate excellence in Creative Writing or Literary Studies beyond what is expected in the ordinary curriculum; such activities might include taking graduate-level courses, presenting papers or creative work at conferences, publishing work in competitive journals, or participating in the Newberry Library Undergraduate Seminar.
Students who would like to be considered for the program must:
· Have a minimum of a 3.7 GPA or be in the University Honors Program.
· Be English majors.
· Plan to graduate by March 2021.
· Email Professor Conary (firstname.lastname@example.org) expressing interest in the program.
The faculty of the English Department will invite students from among those who self-nominate and those who meet the basic GPA and credit hour requirements based on the students’ academic performance within upper-level English courses; only students who have demonstrated an exceptional level of intellectual and creative engagement, a strong work ethic, and a high level of maturity will be invited to the program.
Self-nominations should be submitted to Professor Conary at email@example.com by noon on Friday, May 1st. Please include your student ID number and your concentration within the major (Literary Studies or Creative Writing), along with a few sentences explaining why you would like to be considered for the program. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Professor Conary.
Alum Profile: Amar Krad
Underground student contributor Sara Shahein caught up with DePaul English and MEd alum Amar Krad and asked her about her experiences at DePaul, life after graduation, and her advice for graduating students. Read the full profile here.
Book Review: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Diversity Can Exist in America, and In Romance Novels Too
By Morgan Kail-Ackerman
Contributor to The Underground
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang is a 2019 contemporary romance novel book that is sure to melt your heart, and keep you excited the entire time. Although this is the second book in the series, you can follow characters and plot without reading The Kiss Quotient, the first book in Hoang’s universe.
This beautiful love story is a modern Cinderella retelling, but this time the story is told with diversity and equality. It follows Esme, a Vietnamese woman, who is given the opportunity to live in America by Cô Nga, the mother of our romantic male hero, as long as she tries to seduce Khai into marriage. Khai, on the other hand, is dealing with the death of his best friend, Andy. As someone who is told over and over that he cannot feel emotions due to his autism, Khai believes he has a heart of stone and blames himself for Andy’s death.
The Bride Test has a perfect balance of everything you will want. It is a well-written story, gives fully dimensional characters, and keeps you interested with every page. On the whole, it is a romance novel that makes you fall in love with these characters, root for their relationship, and believe in everything they are fighting for.
In addition to being a solid romance novel, the story pushes diversity in the romance genre. Both of the romantic leads are people of color, and one is not American. Throughout the novel, Esme speaks in Vietnamese or choppy English. In fact, the last line of the novel is in Vietnamese.
The book also features a positive, well-written representation of autism from Helen Hoang, who is autistic herself. We learn from and support Khai as he figures out his autism and emotions. Esme is likewise not well-educated, and spends parts of the novel trying to find herself while seeking higher education. These aspects are not generally seen in a mainstream romance novel, so Helen Hoang’s novel brings a gorgeous new story to the landscape of the modern romance genre.
Nevertheless, The Bride Test can be a little predictable. It is a Cinderella-retelling and the plot is straightforward, so maybe that is where the predictability lies. Yet it is a positive predictability. You can guess where the novel is going, but that does not mean you will not enjoy the ride.
If you are looking for a contemporary and diverse romance novel, look no further! The Bride Test is for anyone who is looking for a beautiful and sexy love story.
Event Review: Bilingualism Unpacked
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.