Melancholy & Memes

3 Dec

Students, are you feeling isolated, overwhelmed, swamped with reading, and even a little depressed?  Robert Burton, a seventeenth-century writer, working in what he called a “scribbling age,” wrote a massive tome, The Anatomy of Melancholy, to cure his own depression.  His send-up of students and scholars who sit and sit and read and read, neglecting worldly affairs and their own health, only to wind up with no job after years of study will seem all too familiar to today’s English major.  If you don’t have time to check out Burton’s work at the moment, Bethany Hickey, in a very smart essay, makes connections between Burton’s “melancholizing” and millenials’ meme-making in ways that highlight similarities in the ways human beings, past and present, have used their creativity to combat mental distress.

Melancholy Memes
by Bethany Hickey

            As long as history continues to repeat itself, humor will follow. In “The Anatomy of Melancholy” by Robert Burton, originally published in 1621, he explores the depression of students, the degradation of the art and literary world, and attempts to discover the root of his own melancholy. Burton discusses how the literary world is only rehashing old ideas and how scholars are underappreciated and unpaid; all in a humorous, smart, and self-hating style. He also writes how the tragedies of his time bombard him, and how writing this piece is an attempt to work through his own madness. Today, using the Internet, Millennials, and even the younger generations, are criticizing their own discontent in an extremely diverse way in a simpler form: memes. Memes are used to explain complicated feelings, and often one meme contains many levels. Each level is built by years of internet culture, pop culture, and some awkwardly taken photos. They are quick and an effective way to convey thoughts, so several ideas are being conveyed in an instant. Common themes for memes are existential dread, depression, anxiety, and the hypocrisy of society. Burton’s piece could be viewed as complicated, artistic, and thoughtful, and you could argue the same for memes. Millennials are feeling the same melancholy that Burton felt while writing about his depression, and there are many parallels between his writing and current meme culture today.

            By using current pop culture references, illustrations from history, or even candid pictures of everyday people, memes come in all shapes and sizes. They can represent frustration, depression, or even anti-humor. The top definition of “meme” on Urban Dictionary is, “The cure of depression”, which is a joke itself. Many Millennials say memes are used to depict depression while simultaneously curing it. By posting a meme about depression, and laughing at it, the punchline is that the joke itself has temporarily lifted the feeling of hopelessness and sadness. A perfect example of the joke, “memes cured my depression”, is figure 1.
This snapshot is from a Japanese anime in the 1990s, and the format is commonly referred to as “Is this a pigeon”. In the original context, the character is asking if the butterfly in the picture is a pigeon. The question is laughable, because it is obviously a butterfly. People started using the screenshot to write in their own obviously wrong questions, such as “Is this a cure for depression?”, or just as a way to express confusion. By posting this on social media, the poster is making fun of their own coping mechanisms. In a way, Burton does the same in “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. He writes about his depression and laughs at himself, all in an attempt to cure his own melancholy. He writes, “…melancholy, whence it proceeds, and how it was engendered in men’s bodies, to the intent he might better cure it in himself, by his writings and observations, teach others how to prevent and avoid it” (Burton 192). Burton wishes to find the root of his depression by writing through his feelings and the sorting out the reasons, all in an effort to prevent it for further generations. He describes his intentions best here, “If any man except against the matter or manner of treating of this my subject, and will demand a reason of it, I can allege more than one, I write of melancholy, by being busy to avoid melancholy” (192). To avoid sinking further into depression, Burton writes about his unhappiness.

            Meme culture does the same and can temporarily lift the spirits of those who view the joke. Burton pokes fun at himself and this piece, knowing that others will judge him for writing something that will most likely not cure depression or melancholy. He says, “…thou canst not think worse of me than I do of myself. ‘Tis not worth the reading, I yield it. I desire thee not to lose time in perusing so vain a subject, I should be peradventure loath myself to read him or thee, so writing, ‘tis not opera pretium [worthwhile]” (Burton 196). After describing the reasoning for why he is writing this piece, he then turns around and calls this very same piece unworthy of being read or considered. This could be viewed as a way to protect himself from criticism that he knows will come after publishing this piece. There is also self-hatred in the above quote, a common theme in memes. An example of this self-deprecating format is figure 2. A skeleton is a common picture used to depict how someone is ‘dead inside’ and nothing can hurt them any longer in meme and overall internet culture. Another example of how people use memes as a way to express how insults can no longer hurt them is depicted in figure 3. Here, we see a candid picture of two people playing with light sabers with inserted writing on the swords and the people. The key in this picture is not the context, but the expression of the person marked ‘Me’. They have a blank expression and appear to be effortlessly blocking ‘insults’ from others, as though they are used to this behavior and have long ago learned how to cope with verbal abuse or ridicule. Burton seem to be saying all of this when he states “…thou canst not think worse of me than I do myself” (196). He says to the readers that they can criticize his work all they wish; it will not hurt him because he already thinks so horribly of himself, and he could not possibly sink any lower into depression. In fact, he urges his readers to judge his writing, “Go now, censure, criticize, scoff, and rail” (Burton 196).

            Burton does more than just criticize his own depression and writing. He discusses how the tragedies of everyday life affects him and how mixed the news can be, “I hear new news every day, and those ordinary rumors of war, plagues, fires, inundations, thefts, murders, massacres, meteors, comets, spectrums…” (Burton 191). He goes on describing all of the different forms of news and media, “New books every day, pamphlets, currantoes, stories, doxes, opinions, schisms, heresies, controversies in philosophy, religion” (Burton 191). Then, almost as if he is annoyed, goes on to explain how good things are also spread through the news, “Now come tidings of weddings, maskings, mummeries, entertainments, jubilees, embassies, tilts, and tournaments” (Burton 191). Burton appears to be overwhelmed by the tragedies of the world, and the distractions posed to keep everyone is good spirits:

            Thus I daily hear, and suchlike, both private, and public news, amidst the gallantry and misery of the world; jollity, pride, perplexities and cares, simplicity and villainy; subtlety, knavery, candor and integrity, mutually mixed and offering themselves (Burton 191).

            He decides to continue to live a solitary life, overwhelmed by the daily news of misfortune and happiness, mixed together nonchalantly.

            Memes have also reflected this overwhelming feeling of watching or reading the news and the distractions posed by the media. A variety of internet users share Burton’s discontent for society. Most memes have a small amount of text, because they are traditionally meant be read quickly. A meme that has multiple levels or tiers can be used to describe the complex frustration of the poster. In Figure 4, we see three tiers of meme culture in one: Arthur’s Fist, “When you…”, and size of the text. Figure 4 is referred to as an ‘Arthur’s Fist’ meme, and the screenshot comes from the kid’s TV show, Arthur, an episode where Arthur punches his sister D.W., who breaks his model plane. This meme, of course, is not about Arthur punching his sister, or even about the poster wanting to punch anyone. The screenshot of the fist is used here to describe how someone clenches their fist in anger or frustration. In a traditional Arthur’s Fist meme, we would not normally see that much text, as shown in figure 4.  The amount of text is a joke on the meme format itself and is self-mockery. The meme is mocking memes for being a distraction from depression, and how the meme doesn’t actually do anything to help with that depression. It represents helplessness, frustration, and discontent with the social media’s meme culture; a satire of satire. The “When you…” format is very common, and immediately puts the reader in a position of self-reflection, and helps the reader understand that the meme is going to be relatable at first glance. Relatability is arguably the most important factor of a meme’s popularity. Figure 4 is playing on that format, since the “When you…” format is usually a single, specific reference that most people will understand. However, the long paragraph of text above Arthur’s Fist starts with “When you…”, then goes on to rant about something not commonly thought about, is not light-hearted, and is very intricate. This adds another layer to the satire. Burton’s work is the same in that regard in the way he writes his own satirical style of this piece. He writes this satire as a way to work through his depression but understands that his work will most likely do nothing to help with society’s issues, but he writes because he feels it is all he can do to avoid his own melancholy. Memes and Burton’s work use multiple layers of satire to explain depression, while simultaneously making fun of themselves and the format itself.

            Satire of depression seems to be rooted in self-deprecating, self-hatred humor. With the feeling of helplessness, a writer will do anything in an attempt to understand their own depression and anxiety. Burton understands his piece does nothing to cure his own depression, only delay it, just as meme creators and sharers understand that memes will not help with existential dread. It can, perhaps, help us alleviate the isolation that comes with depression by sharing or writing these satires, and having others read and understand them. Relating to memes is the driving force in their popularity, and if no one relates to the format, it will not become mainstream or rehashed into another joke. One could argue that the same goes for Burton’s work, that it has survived because so many relate to his feelings of isolation that comes with being a scholar, his feelings of depression, and his feelings of being overwhelmed by society. Burton had stated he wanted to help teach others how to prevent depression, but perhaps he was only looking for someone to read his work and relate to his own melancholy.

09 October 2018


Works Cited

Burton, Robert. “The Anatomy of Melancholy”. The Broadview Anthology of Seventeenth-Century Verse & Prose, Alan Rudrum, Joseph Black, Holly Faith Nelson, Broadview Press, Ltd., 2000, pp.188-217.

DepressedMemer. “Is this a pigeon”. Imgflip., 2018. Accessed 04 Oct. 2018.

Domers_. “Arthur’s Fist”. Dorkly., 2018. Accessed 04 Oct. 2018. “Skeleton”. Animo., 2018. Accessed 05 Oct. 2018

Memebase. “Insults”. CHEEZburger., 2018. Accessed 04 Oct. 2018

sodium-chloride. “Memes”. Urban Dictionary. 08 June 2018. Accessed 05 Oct. 2018.

Amy Hartwig, 1980-2018

17 Oct

The English Department at the University of Michigan-Flint mourns the sudden loss of a dear colleague and friend: Amy Hartwig.

There is an acute pain to this loss as Amy majored in English with a specialization in literature. Before she went on to do great things for the College, she was, in a sense, “ours.” And so much about Amy made the department (among others) want to claim her as their own. According to Dr. Mary Jo Kietzman, Amy was “a joy—always positive, very smart, and determined to have a real and meaningful conversation in every class.” And while Dr. James Schirmer never had the pleasure of a class with Amy, he served with her on search and strategic planning committees. Amy’s influence will continue to be felt through the many pieces she composed as part of her official duties as CAS Communications Specialist as well as through official documents integral to the future of the College.

She believed in and followed through on the power of storytelling. She shaped how and what the College thinks and values about itself. And she embodied what’s possible to do with an English degree.

Amy Hartwig was one of our very best and we will miss her.

Two Books in Spring

3 May

Professors Mary Jo Kietzman and Fred Svoboda have new books out this year. They are The Biblical Covenant in Shakespeare (Palgrave Macmillan) and Understanding John Updike (U of South Carolina).

It’s Summer Reading Time! (if summer ever comes)

10 Apr

Once upon a time there was a series of blog posts that demonstrated that English Department faculty did other things besides write syllabi and take too long returning student work.  Now, after far too long a break, Who Are These People, Anyway? returns with shocking revelations about what we plan to read this summer as well as, in some cases, what we hope you’ll peruse.  If this doesn’t slake your thirst for faculty peculiarities, feel free to read back over the entire WATPA? archive – if you dare!

Scott Atkinson
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit, by Michael Finkel
A fantastic nonfiction book that follows a man who spoke a total of one syllable over the course of 27 years while he hid in the main woods. In that time he became a living urban legend, a master thief who subsisted on the groceries he stole from local vacation cabins. After being caught, one reporter delved into his story and found that he might have been the most alone human being on the planet. A great read for anyone going camping–it will make them tempted to never come back.

The Heather Blazing, by Colm Toibin
Almost done with this, and I love it. It’s tough to say why. Not much happens. People die. The protagonist, if I heard about him on the news, would be someone I would probably hate. And yet I keep following him around these pages. A quiet, beautiful novel.

Planning to read
King of the World, by David Remnick
Combine my weird passion for combat sports with my huge journalism crush on New Yorker editor David Remnick (his Talk of the Town essays might be the only thing getting me through the Trump era) and I’m looking forward to reading this.

One of Charles Yu’s story collections. I don’t even know what they’re titled, but I’ve been meaning to ever since I read his story “Fable” in the New Yorker, and almost fell out of my chair laughing, then crying.

James Schirmer
For the summer

  • Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi
  • The Water Will Come by Jeff Goodell
  • Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
  • An Unkindness of Ghosts by Rivers Solomon
  • Every Word Is a Bird We Teach to Sing by Daniel Tammet
  • Educated by Tara Westover

For students

  • Field Notes From a Catastrophe by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
  • Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  • I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong

Kazuko Hiramatsu
This summer, I’m planning to read Amy Tan’s Where the Past Begins and Angie Thomas’s The Hate U Give.

W. Kamau Bell

For students:
A few books that I’ve read in the past few months that I enjoyed include:
The Awkward Thoughts of W. Kamau Bell
Hunger by Roxane Gay
Endurance by Scott Kelly

D. J. Trela
One of the first stories that made me cry was E. B. White’s Charlotte’s Web. I still admire this book more than fifty years after I first read it. So I’m looking forward to reading the book about the book, Michael Sims’ The Story of Charlotte’s Web. White was fascinated by nature from an early age, lived much of his adult life in the countryside on a working farm, and invested his animals with both natural characteristics and human neuroses.

In preparation for development of an introductory course on science fiction, I also expect to read broadly in this genre, from originating works by Jules Verne, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, H. G. Wells, War of the Worlds, Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, and George Orwell, 1984, as well as more recent authors like Asimov, Foundation, Ursula LeGuin, The Left Hand of Darkness, and Octavia Butler, Kindred.

Stephanie Roach
A good portion of my summer reading happens when I can sit in a beach chair at the ocean.  I take a yearly trip to Maryland with my cousin and our entire agenda is soaking in the restorative salt and sand of the ocean—and racking up as many hours of uninterrupted reading as we can.  Friends and family who know that I tend to read six to eight hours at a time when I’m at the beach, gift me books throughout the year so that I build up quite a stack of options.  They know I’m always on the lookout for smart and witty reads and that I’m a sucker for a debut novel.  That current stack has books like The Dry (Jane Harper), The Gunners (Rebecca Kauffman), and Woman #17 (Edan Lepucki).  I can hardly wait to put my toes in the sand and start poring through the stack.

Dave Larsen
If I get to half of these, I’ll be happy.  I have big hopes. The Tom McGuane thing is just me getting around to an author I’ve been curious about for a while.

Thomas McGuane

Tom McGuane Books (some essays, some short stories, a novel):
Longest Silence: A Life in Fishing
Outside Chance
Sporting Club
Crow Fair

John Gierach, A Fly Rod of Your Own

Habit of Rivers, edited by Ted Leeson
Astream: American Writers on Fly Fishing, edited by Robert DeMott.

I don’t have a particular reading recommendation for students. I  recommend finding an author and diving in.  See what they’re about. Find someone new to you.  If, after reading some of their work, you don’t like it, move on.

Steve Bernstein
Two years ago I got rid of hundreds of books, but in the time since I’ve amassed a small pile of (mercifully) short new ones to taunt me.  These are gifts or recommendations, though I couldn’t necessarily tell you who or what pointed me toward each one.  I hope I get through the whole stack:

Tarjei Vesaas – The Birds
Lisa Halliday – Asymmetry
Ian McEwan – On Chesil Beach
Natasha Pulley – The Watchmaker of Filigree Street
Claire-Louise Bennett – pond
Mathias Énard – Compass
Rachel Cusk – Kudos  (not in my stack, but out June 5; the conclusion of the fascinating Outline trilogy)

Short Stories
Peter Orner – Last Car Over the Sagamore Bridge
Stephanie Carpenter – Missing Persons

Jana Prikryl – The After Party
Mai Der Vang – Afterland

James Elkins – What Heaven Looks Like
Kassia St. Clair – The Secret Lives of Color
Alexander Nehamas – Only a Promise of Happiness: The Place of Beauty in a World of Art


And recommended:
Emil Ferris, My Favorite Thing is Monsters, Vol. 1
The most amazing graphic novel in years.  Hurry up, because the concluding second volume is coming this October.

George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
A beautiful, funny, and moving novel about grief.  What’s not to like?

Kathleen Graber, The Eternal City: Poems
Graber is a conversational poet whose poems thrive on juxtaposition and connection.  Here’s one of them.  This is a stellar collection – just read her!

Mary Jo Kietzman
Summer reading (for fun):
George Eliot, Adam Bede
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (again)
Orhan Pamuk, A Strangeness in My Mind
Owen Lattimore, The Desert Road to TurkestanTerence
O’Donnell, Garden of the Brave in War:  Recollections of Iran

Recommendations for students:
Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon, and one book of poetry … Elizabeth Bishop’s Geography III or James Fenton’s Out of Danger

On behalf of the UM-Flint English Department,
Happy Reading, and Have a Great Summer!

A Different Kind of Book-Burning

16 Nov

Chair’s note: The following is a guest post by Brian Gebhart, one of our majors. I think he makes a strong case for taking English Studies seriously. It is my hope that you, dear reader, will agree. 


When I applied to college, I had to write a number of essays. It comes with the territory, I suppose: the nature of applying to university in our present day requires students to pen some sort of “statement,” often in response a question of some sort. “What does education mean to you?”“What do plan to achieve at such-and-such university?” ”How will such-and-such degree help you attain this goal?”“How have you been influenced by this factor or thing?” “Name a world problem and how you plan to solve it.”And these are all fine and dandy, one could argue: at best, what they’re trying to do is prompt some sort of response out of their would-be responders, and, sometimes, they are the only real window into the character of the soul behind the GPA and the letters of recommendation. It’s one thing to have others vouch for you; it’s quite another to vouch for yourself.

At any rate, my application essay burned a hole in my computer. I jest, of course, but the idiom is appropriate because of its underlying metaphor: fire. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher that spent a few weeks in my junior year going over the application essay, and what to expect; and I was even more fortunate that she had just spent the past half-year going over American literature. For me, Edith Wharton, Mark Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and J. D. Salinger were hot off the presses – what is more, I loved those writers. I tried aping their style in my own writing; I would make notes and mark up words and lines and phrases that captured my interest, and then try to incorporate those same phrases into my own writing (often about those same writers, no less, and with varying success). Regardless, my teacher had revealed to me the benefits of extended metaphors (among other rhetorical tricks and tools) – of taking an idea or image and stretching it throughout a piece of writing, so as to uses its powers for a new purpose. In any case, I knew enough about writing by that point to know that metaphors, when used consistently and repeatedly, make for easily remembered writing, and extended metaphors can help to make up for writing that is otherwise quite bland or boring. (And what is the college application essay, if not a boring topic, made to dress up like an interesting one?)

And so I played with fire. In my application essay, I spoke of a flame that had begun somewhere in my education, probably in middle school – a spark that flickered and ignited out of my own teachers’ passion for literature. This is significant if only because I used to despise English – in elementary school, I thought reading and writing were wastes of time. Even though I loved stories, I saw reading and writing as burdens to bear, as these ugly little beasts that needed to be slain and burnt to a crisp, immediately.

And it might have stayed like this – with me preferring to doodle mindlessly in my spare time than to read. But something changed. Somewhere over the years I began to see literature not as a useless chore, but as a powerful means of escape. I’m not quite sure exactly when and where that change took place, but it did. And, beyond that, I started to see that reading didn’t just have to be an escape, either – it could also be a means of learning, and growing, and expanding the mind. It took me some time to realize, but I owe that first change to my parents; I owe the second change to my teachers. Especially my middle and high school teachers. These strange people had a love for reading and writing (and a knack for teaching) that, to me, was infectious. As I put it in my application essay, “they had a spark, a zest for the written word.” How could I resist these teachers who could recite poems and lines from memory, and speak to the power of stories by telling those stories and asking us (their students) about them? As I wrote elsewhere in my (brief) application essay, “With that flame, they [my English teachers] taught me how to understand the themes in storytelling, to glean the morals and the lessons, to illuminate the dark caverns of character and make it better, bit by bit.” Somewhere along the line of my own education, I saw books for what they were: portals into other worlds, harboring a host of contradicting worldviews, out of which I would have to assemble and develop my own. To keep the metaphor going, I learned how to take some of the fire of others (both my teachers and the writers they taught) and start my own with it.

And while my time here is not yet quite over, I think it is safe to say that, at the University of Michigan-Flint, that fire has only grown larger and burned brighter. I remember my most influential teachers from school not just by their personality, but by what they taught – I can tell you whom I read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn or The Things They Carried with, or who introduced me to Fahrenheit 451 and 1984 and A Clockwork Orange, or who assigned Night and A Brave New World and All Quiet on the Western Front as summer reading.

I could say the same of UM-Flint. While here, I’ve had the opportunity to read no less than Yeats, Byron, Eco, Ibsen, Garcia Marquez, Homer, Frost, Soseki, Heaney, Gaines, Milton, Mishima, Borges, Eliots T. S. and George, both Shelleys, both Rossettis, and more Shakespeare than I can shake a stick at (to say nothing of scholarly work and articles). Not a bad bunch, if I do say so myself. And there are many others, to be sure – I mention only the ones that jump to my mind immediately. But the point is this: I have a name I could attach each of these writers to. And I have my English professors at UM-Flint to thank for that. I’m not going to say that I never would have read any of these writers without my professors (who can know when he or she may end up reading a particular author at a certain point in life?), but, because I did read these writers with certain people, my perceptions of their (the writers’) works will be forever colored by their (my teachers’) presence.

And that, I think, is the inevitable byproduct of the profession of the English teacher – whatever books he or she teaches you will invariably become linked with them in your mind. Or, at least, I think so. It’s something I try to be aware of in my own path toward becoming an English teacher, in any case. I know that one day I will be teaching my own class of students, and I may just introduce to them an author whose name means nothing to them – an author whom, by association, I will bond with in their heads (along with all the other attachments I may give them, from test to essays to homework to presentations: the real package deal).

Even so, my real hope is that I can keep that flame going, and – if possible – pass the torch along to my own students. I hope that I can show my students that reading is a lifelong joy as well as a constant source of paradox, worldview, and knowledge. I hope that I can show my students how their thinking will only improve through and with reading. My favorite part of school has been, and always will be, reading. Discovering new writers, rereading and relearning old ones – I just love to read. If nothing else, I want my kids to see that a love of reading can spark fires and enlarge the mind – that knowledge can warm as easily as it can burn, and can provide both a certain kind of defense and light in their lives. I am fortunate in that my English professors at UM-Flint have only reinforced my understanding of literature, even as they have challenged and expanded it. What else can I say? I’ve had some great classes here.

In short, in my original application essay to this college, I spoke of a flame that had been sparked by good teaching and great reading. I like to think that flame has only been fanned here at UM-Flint.  My only hope is that I can one day help others see that playing with that fire – the fire of literature, that blaze of knowledge, those embers of other worlds – is worth the effort.


New Scholarship by Prof. Feuerherm!

21 Apr

Loring & Ramanathan Discount Flyer

New: Earn a TESOL Certificate!

10 Mar

This fall the Linguistics Program will begin offering a new 15-hour certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.  Now you can earn this valuable and highly portable credential right here at UM-Flint, and in only four classes!

TESOL Certificate purple handout


Professor Emily Feuerherm has co-edited a new book!

17 Dec

Feuerherm BookCongratulations to our colleague on an important publication!  This volume brings together scholars from various disciplines to discuss how language is used by, for and about refugees in the United States in order to deepen our understanding of what ‘refugee’ and ‘resettlement’ mean. The book will be of interest to researchers of applied linguistics and sociolinguistics, anthropology and cultural studies.

“In an era of unprecedented forced migration, this book provides valuable and timely insights into how refugees in the US are impacted by the discourses, policy and education practices they encounter. The research-based chapters offer ways to rethink assumptions and ideologies surrounding refugees, so often positioned as victims and a burden on institutions. A readable and important book.” – Jenny Miller, Monash University, Australia

For a limited time you may order this title at a discount – using the form you can download here.

Call for Papers: Clement S. Stacy Undergraduate Research Conference

7 Dec

The College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences of Purdue University Calumet is pleased to announce the 24th Annual Clement S. Stacy Memorial Undergraduate Research Conference, which will take place on Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, 2016 at Courtyard Marriott Hotel, near the campus in Hammond Indiana.

The conference’s goal is to provide a forum for undergraduate Humanities and Social Sciences scholars from across the upper Midwest to present their projects and discuss the results of their research with fellow students and faculty mentors.  Information about the abstract submission guidelines, deadline, and conference details can be found at our Clement S. Stacy Memorial Undergraduate Research Conference web page. UM-Flint English majors are likely writing and preparing course-related projects this month which would be excellent material to submit for inclusion in this spring’s conference.

Enter the Mochila Review’s MoRe Prize Writing Contest

12 Nov

The Mochila Review, a national undergraduate literary journal published by Missouri Western State University, is hosting its annual writers’ contest for undergraduate students, called the Undergraduate MoRe Prize.

This year, the contest will be open to short fiction (up to 3,000 words) submissions only. Contest submissions will be accepted through the journal’s website ( from October 1 to December 1. The winning writer, selected by guest judge, author Ellen Hopkins, will be announced January 1. He/she will receive a $50 prize and publication in the journal’s 2016 issue. The Undergraduate MoRe Prize is separate from the journal’s regular submissions and there is an entry fee of $5.