Each semester, the Department of English offers 5-7 UPREP projects for undergraduate English majors. The Undergraduate Professional and Research Experience Program (UPREP) allows students the opportunity to work alongside a faculty member on a research project outside of the classroom. Student involvement can range from working as an editorial or research assistant to aiding in the preparation for an academic conference.
Students who are selected to work on a UPREP project will:
- serve as a project assistant for a faculty member for up to 100 hours throughout the semester
- gain invaluable practical experience in an area of interest for future academic or career plans
- submit an evaluation report of her/his experience at the end of the term
- have the opportunity to earn academic credit in the form of an ENGL 485 contract
- receive a $750 stipend at the end of the semester when all duties are completed
In order to apply, please complete the UPREP Application and email to firstname.lastname@example.org or drop off a hard copy of your application to LAAH 352 by the deadline. Students may apply to more than one project, but will need to complete a separate application for each one.
All student applications for Fall 2022 are due on August 17, 2022 by 5:00pm. Students will be notified of a decision by August 24.
Description: This project continues the work begun with UPREP awards during AY
2021-2022 in terms of evaluating and improving the 203 OER and introducing an
undergraduate student to the profession of English, specifically concerning
student-centered pedagogy, mentorship, and implementing equitable, accessible, and
inclusive practices in the teaching of English 203.
Student Involvement: Student will meet with me to discuss revisions to the 203 OER
and the use of ungrading in an Engl 203 Honors section; student will attend the course
occasionally as prearranged (course meets on MWF, 10:20-11:10am); student will assist
with the gathering and curating of ancillary course materials for English 203 instructors.
Student may also serve as a peer mentor to English 203 students in the gathering of
feedback on ungrading practices and student honest reception of these practices.
Attendance at weekly English 203 committee meetings where the preceding subjects
will be discussed and actions to implement them will be decided upon and put into
action. Student will assist in research in OER use and ungrading practice with the
potential for writing and submitting this research for conference presentation and/or
Required Skills & Interest: Student should be interested in attending professional
conferences and the Engl 203 Honors section, and should be interested in reading the
203 OER and providing feedback for improvement. Student should also be interested in
creating and implementing more equitable assessment practices in the classroom.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: Student will have the opportunity to observe
professional at work in the field of English and specifically with regard to creating more
equitable class materials and assessment and grading practices/methods.
--I will benefit from gaining an undergraduate student's perspective on teaching 203,
using the 203 OER and how it might be improved, and on reactions to and input in
ungrading, a practice that relies on student input in order to achieve its purpose.
Description: Student will engage in promotion on social media and internal A&M
communications to help spread the word on creative writing activities--from craft talks to
contests to literary magazine opportunities to speaking events, including help with
Brazos Valley Reads.
Student Involvement: The student will be in communication with Dr. Harris to help
establish a timeline and strategies to foster more effective promotion for English Dept.
creative writing events, including how to best network with student clubs, A&M students
and faculty and staff, and the larger community.
Required Skills & Interest: Adept with social media (twitter, Facebook, instagram,
etc.); interest in the creative writing program and reaching out to the A&M and larger
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The position will help to strengthen awareness of
English department events involving creative writing.
Description: The World Shakespeare Bibliography (WSB) 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
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; 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.
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.
Faculty members will benefit from the student's work because it will directly impact the
number of performances added to the WSB, which will make the WSB a better research
tool for faculty. The WSB's workload is always high, and there is a backlog of
performances to be entered into the WSB.
Description: On August 30, 2021, U.S. military forces withdrew from Afghanistan after
a nearly twenty-year war. As the last military planes carried Americans out of Kabul, the
Taliban had taken control of the city, and the democratically elected president had fled.
The U.S. lost 2,461 military service members, thirteen during that withdrawal. But how
many Afghan lives were lost during this lengthy occupation, civil war, and insurgency?
Three hundred thousand Afghans had joined the Army and police to combat the Taliban,
and sixty-six thousand of them died in the effort. In a country of 40 million suffering
through twenty years of insurgent warfare, nearly every citizen was affected by death,
loosing loved ones, witnessing mass killing, sheltering through air raids, waiting at
armed checkpoints. What has the 21st century been like for Afghans? With so many
serving in auxiliary positions for the American occupation and over 70,000 relocating to
the U.S. their experiences are now becoming available, and in English. What is the
story of war from the Afghan perspective? If journalism is the first draft of history,
narrative is the first witness.
Student Involvement: A student researcher will assist in gathering an archive of
material from the existing record.
Required Skills & Interest: None
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The student will learn more about Afghanistan and
develop research skills in collecting narrative from a variety of sources.
Description: This project works at the intersection of game studies and Latinx studies.
The assistant would support progress toward my second book project. This project
would look at how Latinidad (conceptions of what it means to be Latinx) are constructed
games, with a focus on video games, table-top, and card games. I plan to explore how
Latinx identity and peoples have been represented by non-Latinx creators as well as
how a growing number of Latinx game developers and designers are creating their own
How are characters represented? What experiences do creators attempt to simulate or
role-play? How do developers and designers employ and subvert stereotypes and
tropes? How do Latinx games engage with Latin America and increasingly transnational
conceptions of Latinidad? This would be the first book length work on Latinx video
games, following up on Phillip Penix-Tadsen's (2016) recent work on Latin America and
the video game industry. So far, the UPREP has helped to lead to one publication, two
publications being submitted in May and June 2022, and multiple conference
presentations. The student may have the opportunity to attend a conference related to
games or game studies.
Student Involvement:Student would add to a database of Latinx video games and
game creators (both independent creators as well those who work in design for larger
developers), video games with Latinx characters, and narratives marked as "Latinx."
They would expand the database by adding analog games like table-top games and
The student may also be asked to help initiate contact with game developers in the
hopes or getting an interview or engage with archives, such as the Strong Museum of
Play and the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive.
Required Skills & Interest: Time management, ability to research (in library databases
and internet search browers), ability to write emails of inquiry, interest in games (digital
or analog) and an awareness of the industry, general comfort playing games,
willingness to play games of a variety of genres.
expand beyond digital games and help create a foundation for interviewing Latinx game
developers, finding games and developers that are lesser known so that the research
project can discuss games that have not yet been
discussed. I am in contact with Adrienne Shaw, the founder of the LGBTQ Archive, who
has offered to help me in looking at the possibilities of making a website to house the
archive. Ultimately, this would help me move along a second book project on Games
and Latinidad and continue the conference papers and publications that UPREP has
generated so far.
Student Benefit: Students would get experience in the burgeoning field of Latinx digital
humanities, as well as game studies and Latinx studies in general. Students interested
in entering the games industry or writing for games, TV, film, or social media would
benefit from considering issues of diversity and inclusion in new media and analog
games (such as Dungeons and Dragons or Pathfinder). Student may also want to take
up the possibility of co-authoring a popular press piece or an academic publication.
Description: I am Co-Editor of the Maria Edgeworth Letters digital humanities project
(https://mariaedgeworth.org/ --this is our beta site). This is a multi-year, multi-institution
(TAMU. Wake Forest, Xavier University of Louisiana, and University of Tennessee)
project to collect manuscript images of Edgeworth’s copious correspondence (we
believe more than 10,000 pages are extant), transcribe the correspondence and TEI
encode it to create an open-access searchable database. We now have permissions
and images from more than thirty archives/institutions. We have built a site on the
the site just finished beta testing) to crowdsource much of the transcription work with
Student Involvement: We are looking for an undergraduate student interested in
working on the second phase of the project; in this phase the student would be working
with the Edgeworth Letters Project team on compiling metadata (correspondent, date,
holding archive, etc.) for the manuscript images, preparing images for upload to our
Zooniverse site, and working with the four editors to check the crowdsourced aggregate
transcriptions against the manuscript images for accuracy. There may also be
opportunities for TEI coding of the transcribed letters. The student would meet monthly
with the project team and also work with our metadata librarians and digital humanities
Required Skills & Interest: Interest in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century women’s
writing and/or Irish literature would be welcome. The student does not need experience
with TEI coding but should be willing to learn (we will provide TEI template and any
support needed). Good research skills and interest in transcription of manuscript letters
would be a plus. We have a transcription field guide for Edgeworth's manuscript hand
and will work with the student on transcription.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The student would get extensive practice in
transcription (and possibly TEI coding), learn a great deal about an important late-18th -
and early-19th -century author and her social and political contexts. The student would
also learn about crowdsourcing practices and be in on decisions contributing to website
design and data searching. The student would also get the experience of working with
the extended Edgeworth Team (editors, librarians and digital humanists at Wake Forest
University, University of Tennessee, Xavier University, and TAMU) and attending our
monthly meetings. All student researchers will be credited for their work on the Project
website; short bios of our graduate student and undergraduate students who have
worked on the Project will become part of the history of the project.
I would benefit by having assistance in the transcription of Edgeworth’s manuscript
letters. Whatever we are able to accomplish in Fall 2022 will enhance the site as a
resource for researchers at every level of scholarship.