EGSS Newsletter (Dec. 2016 – Feb. 2017)

In December, we said a sad goodbye to Colleen Donnelly, the English department’s graduate secretary for twenty-five years. We wish Colleen a happy retirement and best wishes on behalf of all the graduate students and held a surprise party in her honour. Colleen’s shoes will be hard to fill but we would also like to extend a warm welcome to Dailyn Ramirez, our new graduate secretary.

missyoucolleen

We also said goodbye to Angie Park, our Vice President and MA rep for the Fall term. We had a great term under Angie and Bassam’s leadership and Angie will be sorely missed. Thanks and congratulations to Angie for all her hard work and on completing her MA. Congratulations, too, to Conrad Leibel, who will be stepping in as Vice President and MA rep for the Winter term.

missyouangie

January saw some troubling events both in Canada and abroad. UVic President Jamie Cassels issued a statement regarding both the shooting at the Islamic Cultural Centre in Quebec, as well as the United States executive order issued on Jan. 27, which bans entry to the US by citizens of 7 majority muslim countries as well as refugees. Our own EGSS president, Bassam, also wrote a letter to Dean Goto-Jones on behalf of English grad students asking for UVic to mobilize and collaborate in support of those affected. Students at the University of Toronto also created this collaborative, customizable letter and instructions for those looking to contact their MPs with concerns and calls to action. (Note that some aspects of the letter itself specifically mention U of T but can easily be modified or removed.) In February, the UVic President appointed a working group to assess the impacts of the bans on our university and to propose effective and appropriate action.

Despite the challenging times, the EGSS collectively looks forward to representing the interests of its students as well as welcoming the new year and new initiatives.

Good News

Congrats to PhD student, Lindsey Seatter, for winning a SSHRC award and Bombardier scholarship!

Congrats to all winners of 2016/17 donor awards, including Tiffany Chan, Bassam Chiblak, Jennifer Doyle, Denae Dyck, Stephanie Lahey, Hector Lopez Segarra, Sam MacFarlane, Lindsey Seatter, Amy Tang, Brandon Taylor, and Caroline Winter!

Congrats to Tiffany Chan and Amy Tang for presenting at the MLA conference in January!

Congrats to those stepping into new roles in the EGSS, including Conrad Leibel and Reuben Copley (Conference and Colloquia Chair)!

Monthly Meetings

The minutes for December and January’s meetings are posted here and here respectively.  Of note, the Pomodoro sessions were a great success and we hope to continue them, formally or informally, in the coming semester. There is also a proposal for a new committee to represent and support students from minoritized groups, which has been put forward to the EGSS and is in its beginning phases.

There’s lots to look forward to this term, including the English department colloquium, “Discussions of Cohortly Love,” a “Digital Drop-In” event (for working on academic social media profiles) — and other social events and opportunities besides!

Student Blog

Alana Sayers published a post based on her talk in December, titled “Unseen Governance: the Impact of Settler Colonialism on Indigenous Literature.”

Rachelle Tan published a post based her talk at FYI (in turn based on a talk at Congress in the Humanities) on “It’s a (Mis)match! What Tinder Taught me About Swiping Right on Academia.”

Tinderization
Photo by Francisco Osorio, licensed under Creative Commons.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the blog so far! If you would like to contribute, see the “Want to Contribute?” page for more.

Tool Tip: Saving webpages as PDFs

You can save webpages as PDFs in Google Chrome without downloading an extension (similar features in browsers such as Firefox might also exist). To do so, right click and select “Print.” Click on the option to select a printer (“Destination”) — but instead of selecting a printer, select Save as PDF and select the page range and location on your computer you want to save to.

You can use this trick for saving documents to work on offline later, or to save job ads to remember the qualifications they ask for. For more tips like this, see the page for the recent Pro D session on digital research tools.

If you have a suggestion for a tool tip, let us know or consider writing a blog post about it.

Upcoming Events

craftsnight
Photo by Alyssa Currie

Bookish Bouquets Fundraiser (TBA): The EGSS is holding a fundraiser for the grad student travel fund with bookish bouquets and wreaths (see above) available for pre-order by suggested donation of $10 and $12 respectively. If you or someone you know would like to pre-order a bouquet or wreath, email uvicegss[at]gmail[dot]com and we can drop them off in your mailbox!

Weekly on Tuesdays at 10:30am: Pro D Workshops. See CourseSpaces for more and to register. This term, there are sessions on the academic CV, the academic job market, publishing your research and many more.

Feb 12, 11am-2pm: Stolen Sisters Memorial March. A march downtown “to remember and honour Indigenous women, girls, and 2spirit people who have gone missing and been murdered.” See the link for more details.

Feb 14, 6-9pm: Decolonial Love: Indigenous Writer’s Night. If you’re looking for something to do on Valentine’s Day (aka Singles Awareness Day), come feel the decolonial love at the Indigenous Writer’s Night, featuring readings by MA student Alana Sayers.

decoloniallove
Poster by Alana Sayers

Feb 16, 6-8pm: GSS Reading Break Board Games Night. Staying in town over reading break and looking for something to do? Try a relaxing board games night at the grad house.

Feb 17: CFP Deadline for English grad students colloquium. The English grad students colloquium, “Discussions of Cohortly Love,” scheduled for the afternoon of March 10th, is looking for student papers. All topics are welcome and students can develop a paper they wrote for a seminar.

colloquiumposter

Feb 20 at 10am-12pm in CLE314: Digital Drop-In. This event, organized by the Academic and Professional Committee, will offer an opportunity to work on that academic social media profile that you keep meaning to set up but never seem to find time for. It will also be a chance to solicit advice and feedback from your peers.

Feb 21 at 5pm: EGSS Meeting. Because of Reading Break, our monthly meeting has been pushed back to the Tuesday immediately following. Meetings are open to any English grad student — not just the exec! Please bring your ideas and enthusiasm.

Feb 28: CFP Deadline for Indeterminacy. Another chance to get your work out there: the UVic CSPT (Cultural, Social, and Political Thought) program is also holding a graduate conference this year on the theme of “Indeterminacy: Un/knowing a Body in a Space.”

A friendly reminder that the EGSS is also happy to help promote (through Twitter and this website) any events organized by or involving English graduate students (i.e. not limited to official EGSS events). If you have events or good news to share, tweet to @uvicegss or email uvicegss[at]gmail.com so that they can be included in future newsletters. Posters, images, tips, announcements, CFPs, or links are all welcome!

EGSS Newsletter (Nov. 2016)

We’re more than halfway through the term already! The EGSS would like to thank everyone who came out to the Halloween Social — it was great to see so many new and returning students there. We hope to see many more of you at future events, especially the EGSS Pomodoro Night on Nov. 21! It will be both a productive and fun evening in equal measure.

The EGSS is also happy to help promote (through Twitter and this website) any events organized by or involving English graduate students (i.e. not limited to official EGSS events). If you have events or good news to share, tweet to @uvicegss or email uvicegss[at]gmail.com so that they can be included in future newsletters. Posters, images, tips, announcements, CFPs, or links are all welcome!

Consider contributing to our student blog! See below (“Student Blog”) for examples or see the “Want to Contribute?” page for more.

Good news, everyone!

Congrats to all PhD students who wrote and/or defended their comprehensive exams — and best of luck for those defending soon!

Congrats to Danny Martin (1st-year MA), who is now the Director of Communications for the GSS (Graduate Student Society).

Congrats to Heidi Rennert (1st-year MA), who is now the co-chair of the EGSS Academic and Professional Committee.

Congrats to all students whose proposals were accepted to VSAWC/VISAWUS 2017, the annual conference of the Victorian Studies Association of Western Canada.

Monthly Meeting

The EGSS President and Vice-President welcome suggestions, feedback, or concerns about course offerings for the 2017-2018 academic year. Any comments or concerns can be directed, confidentially, to Angie (MA Rep; Vice-President) or Bassam (PhD Rep; President), either in-person or by email.

The EGSS team is hard at work planning several events, both professional and social activities, for the rest of the term: a Pomodoro night, a launch party for a creative journal, and a Christmas party! See the minutes for more info.

STUDENT BLOG

Catriona wrote a post based on her talk for the ETCL’s Nuts and Bolts series. There, she spoke about her work on the Map of Early Modern London.

Natalie and Heidi compiled a list of resources for those looking to submit a paper to a conference, or just to get the lay of their scholarly field.

Natalie also wrote a post based on her experience presenting at her first conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Thanks to all who have contributed to the blog so far! If you would like to contribute, see the “Want to Contribute?” page for more.

tip of the Month: NOISLI

Assignment season is upon us…For those looking for the right background noise environment, consider Noisli, a background noise generator/mixer and productivity tool in your browser. There are also apps for iPhone and Android (with some paid features) and a Google Chrome extension.

  • Clean interface that lets you mix and adjust volume of different sounds
  • With free login, you can save favourite mixes, set a timer (useful for Pomodoro!)
  • With free login, a distraction-free editor that lets you preview in Markdown, save as a .txt file, or save/upload to Dropbox or Google Drive

If you have a suggestion for a tool tip, let us know or consider writing a blog post about it.

Upcoming Events

Weekly on Tuesdays at 10:30am: Pro D Workshops. See CourseSpaces for more and to register. This month, there are sessions on Writing Your Dissertation, Peer Skill Swap, and Social Media.

Nov. 21st at 6:00pm: Pomodoro NightJoin us for a few hours of group essay writing (using the pomodoro technique), replete with coffee and treats. All are welcome and free to come and go as they please.

Nov. 22-25th at various times: UVic De-Stress Fest. There will be a number of events on campus to help people de-stress during this busy period, including free massages, puppy playtime, and morning yoga. (Be warned, though, that the line-up for the puppy playtime may itself be stressful.)

Nov. 23rd at 6:00pm: Trivia Night. A group of the English graduate students go to GSS monthly trivia (and wing night) as a fun way to catch up and de-stress. We’ve won two certificates and bragging rights. Come out for a chance at a free pitcher of beer and help us improve our record!

Nov. 23rd at 7:30pm: P. K. Page at 100. A tribute to and celebration of Victoria P. K. Page’s life and work, featuring readings and a panel discussion. Organized by The Malahat Review.

Nov. 24th at 4:30pm: “Victorian Agnostic Networks,” part of the CSRS Public Lecture Series. Bassam Chiblak, our current EGSS president and CSRS Ian H. Stewart Graduate Student Fellow, will be giving a talk on the influence of agnostic literary networks on the reception of Victorian periodical fiction.

Dec. 5-9th: Journal Article Writing Bootcamp. Alison Chapman (Grad Advisor) is holding a weeklong bootcamp for turning a paper into a polished article. Check your email for more info and to state your interest no later than Nov. 18. PhD students have priority.

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Poster by Natalie Boldt.

First Meeting of 2016-17

At it’s first meeting of the 2016-17 academic year, the EGSS elected its new executive team and gained some new members for each committee (for results and current list of members, see the “People” page). The meeting minutes are also now available online. Congratulations to all new executive members. Thank you to everyone who came out to the meeting and to last year’s executive for their hard work!

If you’d still like to contribute to the EGSS, it’s never too late to join a committee or start a new initiative. To do so, you can show up in person at the next meeting or contact us by email (uvicegss[at]gmail.com). You can also contribute to our student blog. Stay tuned for more news, updates, and events.

To students both new and returning, a hearty welcome to the academic year — the EGSS has many exciting things in store!

Info and Tips for New Students

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to join the UVic Graduate English Facebook group and follow the UVic EGSS Twitter account (@UVicEGSS) to stay in the know. You may also want to check out Caroline Winter’s blog post on “Gearing Up For the New Academic Year” for some helpful advice and tips.

Still getting used to buses running on “island time” and don’t have data on your phone? You can find out when the next bus is coming by texting the 6-digit Stop ID (at the top of the bus stop sign) to 11111. You’ll receive a text from BC Transit with arrival times for the next 4 buses. See the BC Transit page for more info. (Unfortunately, the Next Bus SMS Service cannot help you sort out Victoria’s confusing lack of a consistent grid system.)

Upcoming Campus Events

Weekly on Tuesdays at 10:30am: Pro D Workshops. The Graduate Advisor runs professional development workshops almost every week on Tuesday mornings in the Department Meeting Room. The next one (Oct. 11) is on “Conference Papers: From Proposal to Delivery and Afterwards.” Remember to register through CourseSpaces if you haven’t already!

Oct. 19th at 9:00am: GSS Welcome Breakfast. The GSS (Graduate Student Society) is hosting a free pancakes-and-more breakfast at the Grad House. Don’t forget about free coffee, tea, muffins, and fruit every Wednesday morning from 9-10am for grad students.

Oct. 19th at 6:00pm: Trivia Night. A group of the English graduate students go to GSS monthly trivia (and wing night) as a fun way to catch up and de-stress. We’ve won two certificates and bragging rights. Come out for a chance at a free pitcher of beer and help us improve our record!

Oct. 19th (12:30pm) & 20th (3:30pm): Bystander Intervention Workshops. The Office of Student Life is offering 3-hour workshops and training programs on how to overcome resistance to checking in and intervening when faced with the potential for sexualized violence.

Oct. 27th at 4:30pm: Special Collections Event, Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar, Letters, and Archives. UVic Special Collections and Archives is hosting a public lecture by archivist and scholar Peter Steinberg on Sylvia Plath’s life and work — especially her only novel, The Bell Jar. See here for more info on this and other Special Collection events.

Happy New Academic Year!

Come celebrate the start of the 2014–2015 academic year with the EGSS!

New and returning English grad students are welcome to join us for coffee, tea, and snacks. We’ll also have meet-and-greet games and some fabulous giveaways from our on-campus sponsors. RSVP below.

When: Friday, September 5, from 2–4 pm

Where: The Boardrooms at the Halpern Centre (down the hall from the Grad House restaurant)

Welcome to a New Year!

Hello English Grad Students!

It’s October already and the EGSS website is back! I have updated all of the information on the website and we will be using this site semi-regularly to convey information, in conjunction with the department’s private Facebook group for the graduate program.

This website will primarily be used to convey information that would otherwise be more inconvenient to post on the Facebook group (such as, for example, minutes of EGSS meetings). It is also a permanent source of basic information about the EGSS. Lastly, we recognize that not all of the graduate students in the program are connected to the Facebook group, so this website is of particular use for them.

Check back often! I’ve already posted the minutes from the most recent EGSS meeting (below), so you can keep up to date of what’s been happening in the EGSS.

Lastly, congratulations to all of our new committee chairpersons and our new secretary (please view the respective pages for people and committees). We look forward to a productive and awesome year!

Go English!

Kevin, EGSS Vice-President

A few updates…

The beginning of term is upon us! It may be a new year and a new term, but some old habits should still remain. So please look forward to our continuing Pub Nights at Canoe Club – Wednesday nights at 8pm.

Additionally, the Colloquia & Conference Committee has been busy organizing more colloquia events for English graduate students to promote their work this term. Please stay tuned for more specific dates and times!

The Social Committee is collaborating with faculty this term to organize the annual fundraiser which provides English graduate students with supplementary travel funding. More details to come!

While the details for this term remain somewhat sketchy, we’ll be in touch every week or so, so please visit regularly for more information!

Signing off,

your EGSS team!