University of Northwestern English Department

University of Northwestern English Department This page is for past, current, and future English students at the University of Northwestern - St. Paul in St. Paul, Minnesota. Like our page to keep up with news, notes, and events!
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Our page exists to help connect current, former and prospective students to news and events happening in our department. We also want to celebrate all things English! Please direct any queries to Judith Hougen at [email protected]. Follow us on Twitter at @UNWSPEnglish!

Mission: In the University of Northwestern Department of English & Literature, we celebrate the power of words and their capacity to influence our lives and our world. Our desire is to ignite students’ love of words through the study of literature, writing, and linguistics and to honor Christ as the foundation for our teaching and learning. Want to learn more? Check out our English concentration options on the UNW website: Writing: https://unwsp.edu/program/english-writing-concentration Literature: https://unwsp.edu/program/english-literature-concentration Literature and Writing: https://unwsp.edu/program/english-literature-writing-concentration Linguistics: https://unwsp.edu/program/english-linguistics-concentration

Operating as usual

English Major Amanda Sixta worked as a communications and writing intern with Jonathan House, a ministry of the Internat...
10/22/2020

English Major Amanda Sixta worked as a communications and writing intern with Jonathan House, a ministry of the International Association for Refugees, which is a transitional home for new refugees. Amanda primarily worked on social media and the J House website.

She reflects: “I was uniquely blessed to witness the work that God has been doing during this strange season we find ourselves in. The staff and residents of Jonathan House have shown me that following Christ’s example of justice and compassion is more essential than ever. being an intern at Jonathan House has shown me that justice-seeking can be an everyday act, a simple output of living life faithfully in the day-to-day.

We love when internships can strengthen our interns skills as well as challenge their hearts. Even in this season of COVID, internships are possible!

From the page of the Alexandria-Monroe Public Library in Alexandria, MN: “We’d like to remind patrons to not at...
10/05/2020

From the page of the Alexandria-Monroe Public Library in Alexandria, MN: “We’d like to remind patrons to not attach googley eyes to books. It can cause damage to the cover and in this case haunt our nightmares for all eternity. Thank you.” The staff of the BRC would like you to take note. Happy Monday, everyone!

The deadline is almost here! Time to polish up your poems and prose and send them to Inkstone! We are excited to read th...
10/01/2020

The deadline is almost here! Time to polish up your poems and prose and send them to Inkstone! We are excited to read through all the great work created by UNW students.

University of Northwestern English Department's cover photo
09/30/2020

University of Northwestern English Department's cover photo

09/29/2020

This is Inkstone submission week! Get your poetry, prose, and 2-D art ready! Deadline is Friday, Oct 2, 4pm. More details in the video featuring our fabulous editors. They look forward to reading your work!

Have you gotten your hands on the spring issue of Inkstone? That’s right—spring 2020. The issue was almost ready during ...
09/03/2020

Have you gotten your hands on the spring issue of Inkstone? That’s right—spring 2020. The issue was almost ready during spring break, so the editors kept moving forward, and we were able to print limited copies. Pandemics can’t stop great writing! Pick up a copy this week in the Graham Commons. It’s a beauty!

Day one and they are ready for you. Their super power? Words—and how they can be used in truthful, powerful, and beautif...
08/26/2020

Day one and they are ready for you. Their super power? Words—and how they can be used in truthful, powerful, and beautiful ways to make the world a better place through stories, poems, and essays. Are they Marvel heroes? No, better: they are the English faculty of the University of Northwestern.

Have a blessed start to fall semester, everyone!

The English Department welcomes all the new students moving into UNW housing today! Beginnings are both hard and beautif...
08/21/2020

The English Department welcomes all the new students moving into UNW housing today! Beginnings are both hard and beautiful, and we are excited to meet all the new English majors on Tuesday.

Last spring, the department gave a journal to all the graduating seniors with a quote from C.S. Lewis on the cover. In the mix of so many emotions in this uncertain time, it seems an appropriate sentiment and prayer for this new beginning: “There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” (photo: Mantas Hesthaven)

We love that the UNW page did a spotlight featuring our fabulous English Writing alum Ari Tison! We applaud all that she...
08/18/2020

We love that the UNW page did a spotlight featuring our fabulous English Writing alum Ari Tison! We applaud all that she’s accomplished and can’t wait to see what’s next for her. We’re so glad to be a part of her writing journey!

Meet UNW alumna, Ari Tison ’16! Ari graduated UNW with an English degree. Now she is a creative writer and adjunct at North Central University. Some of her work is featured in the literary journals Rock & Sling, Yellow Medicine Review, and The Under Review. Her novel manuscript was also recently awarded the Vaunda Micheaux Nelson Award for a person of color/Indigenous writer showing exceptional promise from Lerner Publishing.

“I love to try new things and write in many genres for different audiences. My book that is in process now with my amazing agent, Sara Crowe, is a hybrid verse young adult novel. I came to UNW writing fiction, but I fell in love with poetry and creative nonfiction after taking classes with Judith Hougen and others at Northwestern. They introduced me to literary works, but more importantly the heart of why we create. Without meaning, a story, a poem, an essay can only work so far. With meaning and depth, well, you’ve got the whole world and beyond ahead of you.” - Ari

Check out more of her work at AriTison.com

Who’s ready to be inspired, challenged, and broadened by our great literature classes during fall semester? African Lite...
08/13/2020

Who’s ready to be inspired, challenged, and broadened by our great literature classes during fall semester? African Literature, C.S. Lewis And Friends, Literature of the 1960s, Shakespeare, British Literature, and more! It’s going to be a great semester, and the English Department can’t wait to welcome our new and returning students!

The English Department is pleased to announce the winners of the Inkstone Creative Writing Contest. All work published i...
08/07/2020

The English Department is pleased to announce the winners of the Inkstone Creative Writing Contest. All work published in the fall and spring issues is eligible for consideration, and the winners receive gift cards to Amazon. This year’s judge was Emma Sweere Kaiser, an English Writing alum who is currently in the MFA program at the University of Minnesota. Congratulations to all the winners on their fine work! We are so proud of the great writing our students are creating!

08/04/2020
Want to ask questions about our department’s fab writing program? Or to just say hello and hang out with YA novelist and...
07/25/2020

Want to ask questions about our department’s fab writing program? Or to just say hello and hang out with YA novelist and admissions rep Jackie Sommers and Professor Hougen? Drop by during their Instagram live meet-up at 11:45 on Saturday. They will be discussing all things writing. They’d love to see you—good conversation will be had!

Join us in congratulating Shania Lovelace on her internship with Minnesota Public Radio! Shania has officially graduated...
07/05/2020

Join us in congratulating Shania Lovelace on her internship with Minnesota Public Radio!

Shania has officially graduated from UNW, and she plans to attend St. Mary’s University of Minnesota Twin Cities this fall to receive her MBA.

06/26/2020
FLANNERY | Official Trailer | New Documentary | Flannery O'Connor

Any Flannery O'Connor fans out there? This looks like a great documentary on her life and work.

Coming to Virtual Cinemas beginning July 17! Winner of the first-ever Library of Congress Lavine/Ken Burns Prize for Film, FLANNERY is the lyrical, intimate ...

UNW Music
06/19/2020

UNW Music

JUNETEENTH, a time for celebration and prayer 🙏 June 19, 1865, General Order Number 3

Join us in congratulating Emily Smith on her editorial internship at Beaver’s Pond Press! We know the value and impact t...
06/12/2020

Join us in congratulating Emily Smith on her editorial internship at Beaver’s Pond Press!

We know the value and impact that internship experience can provide our students as they seek jobs after graduation. The English Department works closely with Career Development to encourage students toward professional preparation. Hands-on experience and networking are invaluable assets, and could serve as a big leap toward landing that dream job!

One last 2020 graduate highlight. Thanks for all the love and support you’ve shown these students in this difficult seas...
05/22/2020

One last 2020 graduate highlight. Thanks for all the love and support you’ve shown these students in this difficult season!

Also, we celebrate with John and Bella as they prepare to be married next month!

Senior reflection: John Aase and Bella Higgins

This is a favorite photo. We love Professor Hougen’s photobomb—it reminds us of all the people who have given us behind-the-scenes support.

The English Department has helped us grow our knowledge, skills, and faith these short years. While recent months have toppled post-graduation plans for many, the tribe of English majors are a first-rate sort of human being. We are glad for these friendships, and we hope the good experiences of this college season reverberate throughout our lives.

Best wishes to all fellow graduates—may your days be filled with jubilant peace and job interviews.

Photo: Jenny Cvek

We know our graduates are prepared for great things!Senior Reflection: Gabrielle SchliesmannI transferred into UNW after...
05/21/2020

We know our graduates are prepared for great things!

Senior Reflection: Gabrielle Schliesmann

I transferred into UNW after getting my associates through a community college. The Northwestern English department faculty helped me grow so much in my craft and helped me develop a deeper appreciation for language and the emotional impact it can have if used correctly. We each have an obligation to share truth through words, and because of my education at UNW, I feel confident in my ability to do so.

Thank you to my professors and fellow classmates who showed me the love of Christ every day in the classroom, and who are still doing the same during this difficult season of courses online.

We continue to recognize the great work of our graduating seniors!Senior Reflection: Shania LovelaceI can’t believe how ...
05/19/2020

We continue to recognize the great work of our graduating seniors!

Senior Reflection: Shania Lovelace

I can’t believe how much I grew in four years at UNW. The English Department has taught me how to read closer, think deeper, and understand more about the world we live in. I’m so grateful that I went to a school with dedicated, passionate professors who invest everything into their students’ learning.

If I had any advice for other students, I’d say to enjoy your time in the classroom everyday. COVID-19 and being a senior have shown me how much I’ll truly miss the way being a student on campus feels, and although this isn’t how I wanted to end my degree, it has taught me a lot about appreciating things I tend to take for granted.

Today’s graduating senior spotlight: Jessica Thomas!I'm a Professional Writing major, and although I haven't had as much...
05/18/2020

Today’s graduating senior spotlight: Jessica Thomas!

I'm a Professional Writing major, and although I haven't had as much time in the English department as many of my fellow seniors (thanks, late major changes), I love its community and atmosphere.

I know senior year is a "blink and it's over" situation under normal circumstances, but that was especially true for those of us graduating this May. I'm mourning the loss of the end of my time as a student but looking forward to new opportunities.

To the underclassmen: make the most of your time at school and say yes to the opportunities that come your way! Oh, and if you're anything like me, don't panic too much about finding an internship. I've been there, and I get it, but I believe in you.

Today would have been commencement day for our spring 2020 graduates. Though the ceremony has been postponed, they are s...
05/16/2020

Today would have been commencement day for our spring 2020 graduates. Though the ceremony has been postponed, they are still in our thoughts and in our hearts. Yesterday morning, the English Department held a Zoom party for the graduates, complete with strange hats and noise makers. All the professors participated, sharing Scripture or a reflection, and the graduates were invited to reflect on their time at UNW. Each student opened a gift mailed to them from the department--a journal. The quote on the cover says it all: "There are far, far better things before us than any we leave behind" (C.S. Lewis). Congratulations, class of May 2020. We are so proud of you!

We are honoring another May graduate! Senior Reflection: Emily Smith, Professional WritingThe English department was a w...
05/15/2020

We are honoring another May graduate!

Senior Reflection: Emily Smith, Professional Writing

The English department was a wonderful blessing to me during my time at Northwestern. Being surrounded by book nerds made me feel as though I had finally found my people. I enjoyed my classes as well as conversations with students and all the kind professors.

As I look forward past graduation, I plan to continue freelance editing before hopefully moving into full-time work in publishing. UNW helped me to realize and achieve my calling, and I am forever grateful.

As we move toward UNW’s originally scheduled graduation day, we want to celebrate our May 2020 graduates and hear from t...
05/13/2020

As we move toward UNW’s originally scheduled graduation day, we want to celebrate our May 2020 graduates and hear from them. We bless them as they finish the journey!

Senior Reflection: Jami Nickele

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the UNW English department. The people and academia have challenged and shaped me in ways I can’t even begin to describe.

From video game tournaments in friends’ dorms to participating on the Inkstone staff, it’s impossible to pick a favorite moment. They’re all my favorite, and looking back on them is bittersweet just because it’s hard to imagine not coming back to something that means so much to me.

Although my time here was shorter than I expected, it was truly the best time I could have ever had.

The English Department is so proud of Elaina Tverberg as she celebrates the publication of her senior capstone literatur...
04/22/2020

The English Department is so proud of Elaina Tverberg as she celebrates the publication of her senior capstone literature paper from last spring! The literature capstone course is designed to create scholarly papers suitable for graduate school applications or possible publication. Congratulations Elaina! We invite you to Zoom into this spring’s capstone presentations (students, check your email for details). Celebrate the good work of your fellow students!

Before spring break, the Inkstone magazine editors discovered the third-floor door to the Nazareth Chapel balcony was op...
04/03/2020

Before spring break, the Inkstone magazine editors discovered the third-floor door to the Nazareth Chapel balcony was open and decided to explore. It was so beautiful to see the ceiling tiles up close and to view the chapel from a new angle. Just a reminder of simple pleasures in the familiar place we all shared and miss. English faculty are thinking of you all. Take care of yourselves today.

Our faithful, servant leader, Dr. Jeremy Kolwinska, Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, unexpectedly passed away l...
03/24/2020

Our faithful, servant leader, Dr. Jeremy Kolwinska, Dean of the College of Arts & Humanities, unexpectedly passed away last week.
—————————
Remembering Jeremy: A UNW live-stream gathering

A time to connect virtually, read Scripture, pray, and sing. Please save the date.

View the live-stream service, which took place Tuesday, March 24: https://vimeo.com/399169079/94483469de

English students and faculty will be serving Books for Africa this Saturday! We will be sorting donated books for reader...
02/13/2020

English students and faculty will be serving Books for Africa this Saturday! We will be sorting donated books for readers in Africa. It’s a fun group activity to support the cause of knowledge and literacy for those whose access to books is limited. Join us on Saturday! Let Abbey know if you need a ride—she’s happy to help get you there.

Got some creative writing squirreled away in your computer files? Don’t be shy! The Inkstone editors want to see it. Dea...
02/12/2020

Got some creative writing squirreled away in your computer files? Don’t be shy! The Inkstone editors want to see it. Deadline is this Friday, so don’t delay!

Our recent game night at Dr. Peterson’s home was a completely enjoyable evening! Students played word-related games at d...
02/08/2020

Our recent game night at Dr. Peterson’s home was a completely enjoyable evening! Students played word-related games at different stations, enjoying snacks and a lot of laughs. Even the professors’ kids got into the game spirit. We love our English community!

The English Department Game Night is always a lot of laughs and is a great chance to hang out with English faculty and f...
01/30/2020

The English Department Game Night is always a lot of laughs and is a great chance to hang out with English faculty and fellow students! Plan on joining us tomorrow, Friday, 7:00, at Professor Peterson‘s home (see email for address) for this winter’s Game Night! Bring a snack to share and any word-related games you might have. We hope to see you there!

Hey, everyone, the annual mid-winter department game night is coming up (featuring all manner of word-related games)! Ge...
01/22/2020

Hey, everyone, the annual mid-winter department game night is coming up (featuring all manner of word-related games)! Get your word-nerd on and join us at Dr. Peterson’s home on the 31st. Watch your school email for more details! Hope to see you there!

Still looking for stocking-stuffers? Inkstone is the perfect way to say, “Hey, you should read more great literature!” T...
12/17/2019

Still looking for stocking-stuffers? Inkstone is the perfect way to say, “Hey, you should read more great literature!” The fall issue is available NOW in the Billy. Pick one up before you leave for home and enjoy your peers’ beautiful and thoughtful work!

Last night, English faculty and students gathered for the annual department Christmas party, complete with carol singing...
12/14/2019

Last night, English faculty and students gathered for the annual department Christmas party, complete with carol singing, pulled pork sandwiches, and a white elephant gift exchange. We also appreciated the students who came dressed for the CS Lewis theme! It was a wonderful time to be together at the semester’s close. Thanks to all who came.

Hey, everyone, celebrate the end of the semester with some warm Christmas cheer at the English Department Christmas part...
12/10/2019

Hey, everyone, celebrate the end of the semester with some warm Christmas cheer at the English Department Christmas party! The potluck will be tasty, and we will have lots of laughs at the white elephant gift exchange. It’s a great tradition in our department, so don’t miss out this Friday!

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3003 Snelling Ave N
Saint Paul, MN
55113

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Our page exists to help connect current, former and prospective students to news and events happening in our department. We also want to celebrate all things English! Please direct any queries to Judith Hougen at [email protected]. Follow us on Instagram and Twitter at @UNW_English!


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I am an administrator for a homeschool group of gifted and talented kids (as well as a '92 English grad!) We are looking for instructors interested in teaching literature, writing, etc. We meet in Bloomington on Wednesdays. If you are interested, please PM me. (You do not need a teaching certificate or education degree to teach.)