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 are due on September 3, 2021. Students will be notified of a decision by mid-September.
Description: This project will continue the work begun in Spring 2021 of adopting, adapting, and creating materials for an English 203 OER (to be piloted in Fall 2021), as well as the continued accumulation of ancillary learning and teaching materials, all of which will be used in training instructors of 203 and will be made accessible to them for use in their courses, as they are interested in doing so. This project will also continue the work of editing and revising the English 203 in preparation for external review in Spring 2022.
Student Involvement: Student(s) will be asked to assist in locating, reading, and evaluating literary materials for inclusion in the revised edition of the English 203 OER.
Student(s) will also be asked to write 1-2 short (3-4 page-) essays on assigned topics analyzing various literary themes and genres. These essays may serve as examples of writing about literature, for inclusion in either the English 203 OER or course template/syllabus or both, depending on issues of copyright/licensing.
Required Skills & Interest: Student(s) should be interested in fostering issues of inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility in learning and teaching materials, and have good organizational and writing skills.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: Students will benefit from learning the motivations for and methods of adopting, adapting, and creating OER materials for a literature course, as well as having the opportunity to practice and hone reading, writing, and critical thinking skills. Student may certainly choose to design an ENGL 485 (Directed Studies) if interested and if the Department allows.
I will benefit from having undergraduate perspective(s) on our new 203 OER and template/syllabus, as well as having help in editing, revising, and writing for the new 203 OER (set to pilot in the Fall 2021).
Description: I am requesting a UPREP student for Fall 2021 to help me edit Seventeenth-Century News. 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.
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>. My 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 invaluable practical experience.
Student Involvement: 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 notes and annotations.
The student would learn about copy-editing, laying out the issue with InDesign, and uploading to the Texas Digital Libraries site. He or she would gain invaluable practical experience. The student would also learn something about scholarly editing.
Required Skills & Interest: Basic computer skills are required, such as familiarity with Microsoft Word. Knowledge of InDesign would be helpful. This is an opportunity for a student to learn—through hands-on experience—about editing.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: In the past seven years, all of my former UPREPs have found employment as editors or technical writers in part through the experience they gained with me.
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 it 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: Horror - as a genre - is a field of hybridity. The narratives within the genre cross with science fiction, the Western, folklore, and other - each with a rich investment of scholars to provide critical discussion and analysis of their contributions to the comprehension of the genre's breadth. One area ripe for critical study is the horror musical. This subgenre, niche label directly connects to narratives such as The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) and Little Shop of Horrors (1986); however, the growth and development of this sector remains untraced and somewhat ignored by scholarly criticism. The international appeal and production of the narratives exist within the Hindi horror musical 3 A.M. (2014), the Polish horror musical The Lure (2015), and Anna and the Apocalypse (2017) in the states. Such a burgeoning line of horror narratives demands academic underpinning to situate its importance in cinema. "The Horror Musical" proposal represents the opportunity to perform scholarly research and writing toward a monograph publication on the subject matter; the proposal seeks a research assistant to help develop and complete the project. Students with an interest in genre (horror and/or musical) studies who wish to gain valuable research and writing skills - along with learning the publication process - are encouraged to apply.
Student Involvement: The selected student will work with me to locate all relevant film narratives and their associated connections (possible original texts in novel, comic book, or short fiction forms) to establish and document the subgenre's canon. They will help locate secondary research written about the narratives and possible contacts for cast/crew interviews regarding the films. Involvement will also include reviewing monograph content for editing, proofing, and possible writing contributions. Other general research practices (organizing materials, communication with each other via email/Zoom, bi-weekly update meetings, etc.) would be included as standard protocol.
Required Skills & Interest: The selected student should have an interest in genre studies, particularly horror and/or the musical, but are not required to have any specific expertise in the subject matter. Basic research methodologies (using online databases, conducting personal interviews, performing Internet searches, etc.) are required.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The efforts of the student assistant yield benefits that include: acquiring and/or enhancing research skills, learning the academic publication process for monographs, and earning editing/writing credits on completed publication toward the building of their professional curriculum vitae. I would benefit from the assistance in locating materials for the project, creating an archive of the texts, chronicling previous research on the subject matter, and having a second reader for editing and proofing.
Student Involvement: UPREP student would assist in social media promotion and digital and print media advertising, as well as assistance in communication with relevant participants and audiences. To help facilitate better communication with audiences for creative writing event--including students, faculty, staff, and members of the regional community--a UPREP student would effectively build and enhance social media and other forms of communication and advertising, such as Facebook, Twitter, email, posters, website content, communication with student clubs regarding events and contests, and other relevant aspects of assistance to creative writing publicity that might evolve.
Required Skills & Interest: Social media familiarity, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. Interest and enthusiasm for helping to build audience awareness of creative writing events.
Benefits to Student & Faculty: The UPREP student would have the benefit of interaction with faculty as to planning and would help the communication of creative writing events--the UPREP student would also have the opportunity to express suggestions for events, helping to offer insights into student community's interest in particular events (perhaps by doing polls as well as maintaining ties with relevant clubs with creative writing agendas).
Description: This project works at the intersection of game studies and Latinx studies. This stage will focus on Latinidad (conceptions of what it means to be Latinx) in video games. I plan to explore how Latinx identity and peoples have been represented by non-Latinx video creators as well as how a growing number of Latinx game developers are creating their own stories. How are characters represented? What experiences do creators attempt to simulate? How do developers 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.
Student Involvement: Student would continue to build a database of Latinx video game creators (both independent creators as well those who work in design for larger game developers), video games with Latinx characters, and narratives marked as "Latinx." Student will, if willing, play and take notes in this database on common tropes, narratives, what Latinx cultures are represented, etc. The student may also be asked to help initiate contact with game developers or engage with archives that could mail game materials from the Learning Games Initiative Research Archive.
Required Skills & Interest: Ability to research, ability to write emails of inquiry, interest in video games and an awareness of the industry, general comfort playing games, willingness to play games of a variety of genres