Lauren Peterson, B.A. English ’15, says Digital Humanities opens up “a whole new world of possibilities that are waiting to be uncovered in the English realm.”

The Underground reached out to DePaul English alum Lauren Peterson to learn a bit more about what led her to the Digital Humanities and undertaking her Senior Capstone project, which explores the intersection of technology and the humanities.

On her background and undertaking the study of literature:

“I am a DePaul University alum and majored in English with a concentration in creative writing. I became interested in writing my senior year of high school and by the end of my sophomore year of college, I knew that writing was a craft I was passionate about and semi-okay at. I enjoyed most of my experience in the world of an English major, whether it was creating stories and the complexities of coming up with fictional characters or delving into the structural side of English literature. But it wasn’t until the last quarter of my senior year that I discovered a new dimension to this field that I thought I knew so well. Just as in my studies of English, I am constantly surprised by this city and the new areas I have yet to explore, despite growing up on the South Side of Chicago and living in Lincoln Park for the past four years. So I had the idea to learn more about the two and how they intersect. In creating this project, I learned new skills and that I could push myself to go beyond boundaries. I learned more about the city I have called home for the past twenty-two years, and I learned how literature could intersect across space and time to influence new generations.”

On becoming familiar with digital humanities:

“In April of this year, I enrolled in Professor Shanahan’s Senior Capstone course, which portrays the English sphere in what was for me a new light: it merged literature with technology, resulting in a field known as the digital humanities. Throughout the course, we discussed how famous texts from great authors like Jane Austen are transformed in how we perceive, manipulate, and understand these materials with the modern applications we have access to today, making connections to authors that implement these developing uses of technology for literature, like Jennifer Egan does.

On being inspired to think deeper:

“The more I thought about it, I wondered how authors of the past would utilize such devices, questioning what kind of new platforms they may use to reach their audience or what kind of media presence they might have within our technologically driven society. One idea that sparked my interest from the very beginning of the quarter was this concept of showing literature through a video format, even though I knew nothing about editing videos or using Adobe applications. But I was set on it. I also knew that I wanted to utilize the city I had in front of me–the city I had grown up in–and started to realize the multi-faceted roles one person can have within a city, and how it can offer benefits to others today. In the case of Jane Austen, this includes groups such as Stone Cold Austen, a woman’s arm wrestling team, and Jane-athon, an Austen related hacking event, both of which are based in Chicago. But it doesn’t end with Jane Austen. There are numerous topics to be touched on, technologies that are being developed, texts that are being reinvented in new formats, and continuing the process of transforming literature to reach others. There’s a whole new world of possibilities that are waiting to be uncovered in the English realm.”

Lauren Peterson

Outstanding Senior Spotlight: Emily Parenti

The Outstanding Seniors are students who have been commended by the faculty of the English Department for their excellent academic work, commitment to English studies, and involvement in Department programming and publications. We are proud of how well they represent our department and wish to congratulate them on their successful completion of Bachelor’s degrees in English!


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Name: Emily Parenti

Hometown: Bloomingdale, Illinois

Major/Minor(s) at DePaul: Major: English (Literary Studies), Minor: Professional Writing

Graduation Quarter: March 2015

Post-graduation plans: In the long term, I hope to find writing/communications work at a nonprofit.

A favorite/memorable class(es) you took in the English Department, and why: For my capstone, I took “One Poem One Quarter” with Professor Selinger, and I loved it. We spent ten weeks on just fourteen lines, but because Professor Selinger gave us the freedom to direct our own study, it never once felt tedious.

Favorite DePaul Professors, and why: Professor Barrie Jean Borich–without question! I got to know her by working together on Crook & Folly, and since then, I’ve taken her American Literary Magazine class and contributed to a few of her own extracurricular writing projects. She’s understanding, creative, generous, and she’s become a true mentor to me!

Interests: Reading and writing (of course), spending time with my baby niece, practicing yoga, going to concerts and music festivals

Favorite Book/Poem/Play/other work of literature: Seymour–an Introduction by JD Salinger (I know. I’m sorry.)

Did you receive any awards, accomplishments, present at any conferences, or have work published in any DePaul or non-DePaul publications?? During the 2013-2014 academic year, I was one of the Co-Editors-in-Chief of Crook & Folly. Since then, I’ve contributed as an editorial board member and copy editor to Slag Glass City.

Outstanding Senior Spotlight: Jordan Weber

The Outstanding Seniors are students who have been commended by the faculty of the English Department for their excellent academic work, commitment to English studies, and involvement in Department programming and publications. We are proud of how well they represent our department and wish to congratulate them on their successful completion of Bachelor’s degrees in English!


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Name: Jordan Weber

Hometown: LeGrand, IA

Major/Minor(s) at DePaul: English Literature and Philosophy Double Major

Graduation Quarter: Spring 2015

Post-graduation plans: Returning to DePaul as a Graduate Assistant to pursue a Master’s degree in English Literature.

A favorite or memorable class(es) you took in the English Department, and why: Newberry Library Seminar, though not technically in the English department. It was taught by the wonderful Prof. Marcy Dinius. It was an amazing multi-disciplinary course on the American Civil War and extremely formative
for my academic career at one of the greatest research libraries in the world.

Favorite DePaul Professors, and why: I have had so many wonderful English professors the last four
years that picking favorites would be a disservice to their phenomenal work. However, since this likely
will not make it across departments, I will say Rick Lee is my favorite philosophy Professor. He is a mad
genius.
Interests:  Chicago’s DIY music scene, watching T.V. instead of doing homework, and beer.

Favorite Book/Poem/Play/other work of literature: Waiting for Godot or Endgame by Samuel Beckett

Did you receive any awards, accomplishments, present at any conferences, or have work published in
any DePaul or non-DePaul publications??
I presented twice at DePaul’s Spring English Conference. I am a distinction student. I was published twice in DePaul’s humanities journal Creating Knowledge, once for the English Department and once for the Philosophy Department. The latter essay was also awarded The David Farrell Krell Outstanding Philosophy Paper Award.

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.

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Student Spotlight: Dana Alsamsam to be Published in Undergraduate Journal Sun & Sandstone!

Happy March, everyone! I don’t know about you but the air seems a little less tense, a bit less biting, now that February is behind us. We hope the sunshine makes as big a difference to you as it does to us!

Today, we have great news and would like to draw your attention to our amazing students. We got word recently that one of our English: Creative Writing majors, Dana Alsamsam, will have two poems published in this year’s Sun & Sandstone, a national and local annual print literary journal for undergraduate students. 70% of the journal features work by students from across the United States, and is published out of Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT.

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Dana is a second-year student at DePaul majoring in English-Creative Writing and minoring in French. She also works as the Undergraduate Research Assistant to Editor and Professor Richard Jones and Poetry Eastwhere she has been instrumental in indexing the journal’s extensive backlist and helping develop the source library for The Poet’s Almanac app. Congrats, Dana!


*Undergrads! Please send your publication notes and news, as well as any other noteworthy accomplishments, to the Editor, Anastasia Sasewich. We would love to mention it on the blog!