STUDENT NEWS: English Major Emily Parenti Reading at 16th Annual Citywide Undergraduate Poetry Festival, Thursday April 2

Hello Undergrounders!  We have exciting news! English major Emily Parenti has been selected to read at the 16th Annual Citywide Undergraduate Poetry Festival. Be sure to congratulate Emily, and see her read Thursday April 2 at 5:30 at Columbia College. More info here.


Spring Quarter Course Highlights

Hello, all! We’d like to interrupt your end-of-quarter whirlwind to turn your attention to some truly wonderful and exciting courses being offered by the English Department this Spring Quarter. All three of these courses are new to the catalog as of last week, and we hope you’ll consider them for a spot in your spring schedule. Please see the full catalog here and see below for details on each of the three courses.



This courses focuses on representations of families in modern drama. Modern playwrights from the late 19th and 20th centuries often sought to push the boundaries of acceptable subject matter presented on stage. Instead of presenting an ideal toward which the audience might aspire, playwrights began to explore the darker side of human relationships and asked their audiences to confront social problems or to recognize the absurdities of human existence. Playwrights shocked audiences, critics, and censors through their treatments of divorce, incest, controlling parents, and disobedient or disappointing children. These family problems are usually connected to larger social forces or metaphysical conditions. In addition to examining the subject matter of these plays, we will consider how modern playwrights experiment with form or technique in presenting the darker side of family life, first by attempting to bring audiences into private family spaces through the development of dramatic realism, and then by highlighting the strangeness of everyday family life through the influence of absurdism and other non-realist techniques. The reading list for the course includes several major modern plays from Europe, Britain, and America: Ibsen’s A Doll’s House; Strindberg’s Miss Julie; Bernard Shaw’s Mrs Warren’s Profession; Eugene O’Neill’s Desire Under the Elms; Lilian Hellman’s Little Foxes; Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof; Samuel Beckett’s Endgame; Edward Albee, American Dream; August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; and Martin McDonagh’s The Beauty Queen of Leenane.



This book production course examines our relationship with the book as a physical object: How do the material details of a book relate to the words on the page? How do the production choices a publisher makes impact the reader’s experience with the text? What are the steps, priorities, and challenges of book production? Using DePaul’s Big Shoulder project as a guide, students in this course will examine the book production process from the points of view of publisher, author, and editor. They will learn the vocabulary, methodologies, and practice of book production, examine different book production choices such as digital, DIY, and mass market, and become knowledgeable in contemporary book production culture and practice.


stack of magazines

In this course, students interested in a publishing career will explore the elements of good magazine writing and learn how to edit articles for print and on-line magazines. We will begin by considering a basic and all-important concept: What makes a good story? Students will sharpen their editing skills by first learning how to edit their own work. We will also consider story presentation, fact-checking, ethics, and line-editing. Readings from a variety of magazines will reinforce the ideas and themes discussed in class. We will read classics from the canon of great magazine writing and stories by new, young writers. The course will culminate in each student producing one story to be edited by the class in workshop.

From the Director….

Congratulations, English graduates!

As the year comes to a close, I’d like to send a special note of congratulations to our graduating seniors. I know that many of you have already made exciting plans for the next year, while others will be braving the job market at a very challenging time.  For those of you whose plans are not yet settled, remember that you can continue to take advantage of the Career Center’s services for years after you graduate – speak to career counselors, attend job fairs, and make use of the ASK network. You’re also more than welcome to stop by the department to speak to your former professors! I hope you will stay in touch — keep an eye on The Underground or join the Facebook group, Friends and Alumni of DePaul’s English programs, to find out about readings and other events.

On behalf of the department of English, I would like to wish you well in the next steps you take as you move on from your studies at DePaul. I hope that you are leaving this program not only with sharpened reading, writing, and analytical skills but also with an inventory of works of literature that you found moving, surprising, disturbing, or beautiful.

Best wishes,

Rebecca Cameron

Director of Undergraduate Studies


 I’ll sign off with a poem that seems appropriate for the occasion:

Poetry as Insurgent Art by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

I am signaling you through the flames.

The North Pole is not where it used to be.

Manifest Destiny is no longer manifest.

Civilization self-destructs.

Nemesis is knocking at the door.

What are poets for, in such an age?
What is the use of poetry?

The state of the world calls out for poetry to save it.

If you would be a poet, create works capable of answering the challenge of apocalyptic times, even if this meaning sounds apocalyptic.

You are Whitman, you are Poe, you are Mark Twain, you are Emily Dickinson and Edna St. Vincent Millay, you are Neruda and Mayakovsky and Pasolini, you are an American or a non-American, you can conquer the conquerors with words…