Opportunities Outside the Classroom for English Majors
1. Global and Off-Campus Education Programs
The purpose of Concordia’s Global and Off-Campus Education Programs is stated in The Catalog: “Concordia College is dedicated to enabling students to influence the affairs of the world. Future leaders need to develop an appreciation of other cultures, to become aware of the state of the planet, to understand how the world works, and to learn how to become effective and ethical agents of change in the world.” The department will provide opportunities for study abroad in May seminars and during the semester in Exploration seminars. English faculty also oversee a number of the college’s semester abroad programs.
May Seminars Abroad
Concordia English faculty lead groups abroad to explore a variety of topics related to literature and writing. Students from all of the four English majors are encouraged to take advantage of study abroad opportunities. May literature seminars have been connected to “British Heritage,” focusing on Shakespeare and the Renaissance or Ireland and Postcolonial Literature. Students are required to take a pre-seminar course to prepare them for the travel study experience. The May writing seminar has focused on Australia and New Zealand as a context for travel writing. A pre-seminar course is also required as preparation for the writing seminar abroad.
Exploration seminars take students to off-campus study locations during mid-semester break. These travel experiences are “nested” or “embedded” within a semester on-campus course. Exploration seminars have traveled to Dublin for “James Joyce’s Dubliners” (221), to Paris for “Americans in Paris” (355), to New England to study “Robert Frost: Context and Legacy” (410), to Hawaii for “Paradise Re-imagined: Hawaiian Literature and Culture” (451), to “The England of Chaucer and Shakespeare” (401 and 410), and to Ireland for “Irish Troubles and Writers’ Responses” (451). Each year at least one, and often more, Exploration Seminars are offered through our English courses.
Semester Study-Abroad programs
There are diverse programs available for a semester or a full year in a wide variety of countries, three of which are associated with English faculty. For instance, students may study for a semester in Galway, Ireland, a program overseen by Dawn Duncan and available any semester during your studies. Or they may take part in our abroad experiences in, among other countries, Crete, Italy, Malta, Tanzania, or India. Bill Snyder supervises the Tanzania program that is available each fall. In the Fall of both 2010 and 2012, a semester abroad program in India was led by a member of the English faculty. The International Education Office will assist with opportunities for full semester studies abroad.
Student Teaching Opportunities Overseas
Students may fulfill student teaching requirements at various sites in Europe and around the world. For details and procedure regarding these programs, contact the Education Department. For a detailed bibliography on study-abroad opportunities, see the Concordia College Library bulletin titled "Work, Study, Travel Abroad: Information Sources" available in the Library.
2. Campus Publications and Literary Magazines
The Concordian, the student-operated weekly newspaper, offers English majors practical experience in journalistic writing and editing, as well as in photography, graphic design, and business. Published weekly during the academic year, The Concordian seeks to reflect the concerns and happenings of the Concordia community. The student editor hires and supervises four section editors, each of whom work directly with writers in assigning, generating and editing copy.
Editors and section editors are paid a modest annual stipend. Weekly critique and brainstorming sessions are held with the newspaper advisor, and writers are assigned articles at weekly story meetings.
The Concordian offers the opportunity for considerable or minimal involvement: while section editors are asked to make a year-long commitment, writers can write every week or sporadically.
The greatest benefit of working for The Concordian--besides the obvious nuts-and-bolts experience--is that it enables students to compile portfolios of published works, which are invaluable in job searching, especially in the fields of journalism and publishing.
AfterWork, Concordia's student-operated literary magazine, is often the first venue in which fledgling writers have their work published. Published in the spring of the year, AfterWork is a literary review of fiction, poetry, essays, and art works. A student editor and his or her staff of literary and art editors solicit manuscripts and art works from the student body; selections for publication are chosen anonymously on their merits.
The selection process offers English students the opportunity to put to practical use some of the skills they've honed in English classes: reading critically, discussing a manuscript's merits and weaknesses, line editing, and creating an enticing anthology of works.
AfterWork also sponsors readings by student and faculty writers, which serve to help create a community of writers and readers at Concordia College.
New Voices should be heard! New Voices is Concordia’s journal of outstanding student academic essays from across the curriculum. The volume is printed and ready for an April distribution so that some of the best “new voices” may be shared with a larger audience.
English majors can get involved in New Voices by assisting as an editor. For more information, check in the English office.
Djembe is Concordia's intercultural affairs journal contributed to by both students and faculty. The purpose of this journal is to connect Concordia students with the outside world by publishing articles, poetry, and artwork from diverse locales.
3. Writing Award
This creative writing award is for the best original poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the Writing Seminar classes each year. Authors of the winning pieces receive cash awards.
4. Cooperative Education
This is a chance to try out writing or research in a particular business or non-profit environment. Check with your advisor or with the Cooperative Education Office. Recent participants have worked for radio stations, newspapers, advertising agencies, hotels, and law firms.
5. Concordia Student Lecture Series
This is an opportunity to take a class research paper or project and present the results to the college community. Papers for student lectures usually emerge out of projects or papers completed for regular course assignments. Preparing for the lecture involves working together on the paper or project under the mentorship of a professor and readying the material for oral delivery. In October 2009, Mackenzie Kane presented "Freedom within Historical Fiction: Disinventing History and Creating Truth in Malamud's The Fixer" with David Sprunger acting as faculty sponsor. And in the last few years, several other English students have presented lectures in this prestigious series. In 2008, Lisa Marquardt presented her paper, "Mobile Theatre: Postcolonial Influences on Australian Drama and Donal O'Kelly's Catalpa" with Dawn Duncan as sponsor. And in 2007, Erin Conley presented “The Act of Giving in Nadine Gordimer’s July’s People” with Affi Ingberg acting as faculty sponsor and Laura Fragodt presented “Humanity and Inhumanity: Postcolonial Perspectives of Pablo Neruda and Joseph Conrad” with Dawn Duncan acting as faculty sponsor. Applications to give a Student Lecture are processed through the Division of Humanities; applications consist of a proposal together with a supporting letter from the professor with whom you will work on preparing the lecture. Typically, students will apply by spring semester of their junior year to present a lecture in their senior year. Watch for announcements of application deadlines or contact your professor or advisor.