Applications for spring 2018 UPREPs will be accepted until November 10, 2017.
The English Department is offering five (5) Undergraduate Professional and Research Experience Program (UPREP) projects for spring 2018.
UPREPs are only for ENGL majors with a 2.5+ GPA (overall/major). The application deadline is 5:00pm, November 10, 2017.
Students selected will do the following:
- receive $750
- serve as a research or project assistant for a faculty member for up to 100 hours
- submit an evaluation report of his/her experience at the end of the term, or develop an ENGL 485 in conjunction with the project.
To apply please complete the online application here and submit to firstname.lastname@example.org by the deadline. Students may apply to more than one professor, but will need to complete an application for each one.
The spring 2018 opportunities:
Dr. Donald Dickson, Editorial Assistant for Seventeenth-Century News
Dr. Laura Estill, Shakespearean Performance History (World Shakespeare Bibliography)
Dr. Jessica Howell, Promotion of Health Humanities Initiatives
Dr. Ira Dworkin, “Imperfectly Known:” Nicholas Said and the Routes of African American Narrative
Dr. Britt Mize, Beowulf’s Afterlives
Dr. Donald Dickson: Editorial Assistant, Seventeenth-Century News
Description: Seventeenth-Century News is a book review journal sponsored by the Milton Society of America, though it seeks to keep its international readership abreast of the best new scholarship in all fields of seventeenth-century studies—art, history, literature, including continental and American, music, and philosophy. Reviews run usually about one thousand words. Seventeenth-Century News is now published digitally <journals.tdl.org/scn>. The editorial assistant would help edit reviews to make them conform to our house style as well as conduct regular correspondence with contributors. The student would also assist me in laying out the issue with InDesign and then uploading the issue to the Texas Digital Libraries site. He or she would gain valuable practical experience.
Student Involvement: Working on this project would help the student gain valuable practical experience as a magazine or journal editor, while helping me substantially with my research. The editorial assistant would help edit reviews to make them conform to our house style as well as conduct regular correspondence with contributors. The student would also assist me in laying out the issue with InDesign and then uploading the issue on-line.
As time allows, the student would also help me work on the Oxford edition of the Prose Letters of John Donne. A student assistant who would like to learn something about scholarly editing could (1) help me establish the copy-text and verify it against the first printed editions, and (2) help track down material in the library for the notes and annotations.
Required Skills & Interest: Basic computer skills are required, such as familiarity with Microsoft Word. Knowledge of InDesign would be helpful. A background in seventeenth-century literature is also helpful. This is an opportunity for a student to learn—through hands-on experience—about editing.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: Working on this project would help the student gain valuable practical experience as a magazine or journal editor, while helping me substantially with my research.
Dr. Laura Estill: Shakespearean Performance History (World Shakespeare Bibliography)
Description: The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online (WSB Online) contains entries for professional Shakespearean performances (plays, mixed media performances, musical performances, films, opera and ballet premiers, recorded music, radio broadcasts, and staged and recorded readings) from all over the world. Performance entries in the WSB Online include information about where and when the plays are produced, theatre companies, key personnel (director, dramaturg, translator, adapter, set design, costume design, etc.), production languages, and reviews. The student selected for the Shakespearean Performance History project will learn about all these production aspects and will also learn how to create entries for the World Shakespeare Bibliography.
Student Involvement: The student selected for the Shakespearean Performance History project will gather data through theatre company websites, occasional correspondence with theatre companies, books, theatre publications and databases, performance reviews, and articles; will determine what data needs to be included in the WSB Online; will research histories of particular productions; and will compose and submit entries to the WSB’s editors. The student will be guided through each stage of this process and will also get to see the entries published to the WSB Online.
Required Skills & Interest: The student should be interested in Shakespearean performances and researching these performances. The student should be familiar with searching for items using electronic databases and Evans Library’s LibCat and Get It For Me systems. The student needs to be able to use Microsoft Word and Google Drive (including spreadsheets). Although reading knowledge of a foreign language isn’t required, it’s useful for this project. A detail-oriented, intellectually curious student would be best for this position.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The student will develop skills in research and bibliography and will learn a great deal about Shakespearean performances, as well as trends in production techniques and performance scholarship, from all over the world. Additionally, the student will benefit from involvement in an ongoing and well-established digital project that is crucial to early modern and Shakespearean scholarship. This could help prepare the student for a career in editing or publishing as well as provide training that will be useful in graduate school. The meticulous research and analytic skills gained by participating in this digital project, not to mention the exposure to arts and culture around the world, will stand this student in good stead.
As a faculty member, I will benefit from the student’s work because it will directly impact the number of performances added to the WSB Online. The WSB’s workload is always high, and there is a backlog of performances to be entered into the WSB Online. This will also allow me to catch up on other areas of WSB work, including database searching, dissertation entering, foreign-language edition chasing, and editing entries. Students would be welcome to undertake an ENGL 485 independent study in conjunction with this UPREP, focusing on any area of Shakespeare in performance, Global Shakespeare, or early modern English drama.
Dr. Jessica Howell – Promotion of Health Humanities Initiatives
Description: Dr. Howell is working on several Health Humanities initiatives on campus, including curriculum development, a speaker series, and a Glasscock Seminar. During Fall 2017, a new website will be launched that provides more information these initiatives. In Spring 2018, the UPREP student will help to regularly update this website. He or she will also help design and distribute promotional materials and schedule bookings for upcoming events. This student will work closely with Dr. Howell in order to raise the visibility of Health Humanities initiatives on campus.
Student Involvement: The student will work on website updating, flyer design and distribution, room bookings and event planning. He or she will also provide in-person assistance with the one-day Health Humanities Symposium (currently scheduled for April 20th, 2018).
Required Skills & Interest: Familiarity with WordPress is desirable but not required. Good follow-through, communication and organizational skills are important.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The student will gain valuable experience in professional networking and website maintenance. In addition, he or she will learn about a developing interdisciplinary field of study, the Health Humanities. The faculty member will benefit from the assistance in order to dedicate time to long-range planning and goals.
Dr. Ira Dworkin – “Imperfectly Known” Nicholas Said and the Routes of the African American Narrative
Description: “’Imperfectly Known’: Nicholas Said and the Routes of African American Narrative,” will examine the literary career of Said, a Muslim from Bornu in present-day northeastern Nigeria, who published two autobiographies, one in the “Atlantic Monthly” in 1867 and another by subscription in Memphis in 1873. Said was captured and enslaved in Africa, Europe, and Asia, and soon after arriving in the United States in 1860 as a free person, he volunteered for the Massachusetts 55th Regiment in the Civil War. Two autobiographies he published following his military service recount his childhood and education in Africa, his enslavement, his conversion to Christianity, and his international travels, thereby illuminating the centrality of particular African and Islamic cultures to a broader American literary community.
Student Involvement: For this multidisciplinary research project, I would like to involve an undergraduate student in the process of organizing my research materials and references, including archival and secondary sources.
Required Skills & Interest: General computer skills and familiarity with research citation practices are expected. Knowledge of Zotero is welcome but not required; I am willing to teach the student as part of the UPREP. Students who are interested in the African Diaspora, the 19th-century United States, Islam, and interdisciplinary methodologies will find this project of interest.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: This project will give a student a deep understanding of a range of research practices, the opportunity to work with archival materials, and experience with Zotero, an open-source research and data management tool. The UPREP will enable me to organize research materials necessary for my book manuscript.
Dr. Britt Mize – Beowulf’s Afterlives
Description: In the spring of 2018 I will continue revision, complete updating, and further development of a database of all Beowulf adaptations (there are several hundred), begun by Dr. Marijane Osborn but not maintained since 2000 and recently handed off to me. The eventual outcome will be an online resource that will supersede Osborn’s website. In addition to its value as a general resource, this database will directly support two essay collections I am co-editing on the subject.
Student Involvement: The work will include exploratory information-gathering, fact-checking, and possibly basic website editing. If the selected student happens to have the suitable skill set, his or her assignment may be shifted to include XML or XHTML markup and design improvements for the database.
Required Skills & Interest: The minimum qualifications are diligence and attentiveness to detail, and all who have these characteristics are encouraged to apply. Prior interest in medieval literature or medievalism is helpful but not necessary. Enhancing qualifications might include competence in one or more non-English languages and experience with web design.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The benefit to me is help with aspects of this project that I can share out and manage while I focus primarily on other aspects that require more advanced academic expertise. The student will benefit from direct engagement with ongoing research, gaining a firsthand look at a type of faculty work that is not always readily visible from a student perspective, and will also have an inside view of advance preparation to teach a graduate seminar.