Jennifer Ashton

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    College: Liberal Arts and Sciences Department: English
    Title: Associate Professor

    Participating in the Chancellor’s Undergraduate Research Awards program: Yes

    Research Interest:
    American literature and specifically American poetry, history of poetr and poetics, literary theory, aesthetic theory, modernism, postmodernism, art history, architectural history

    Minimum time commitment in hours per week: 6

    Qualifications of a Student:
    High-performing humanities or arts majors with strong academic records (minimum 3.5 GPA) preferred, ideally with some upper-division (300- or 400-level) coursework in literary studies, art history, or architecture. Students will need to be: highly responsible, detail-oriented, consistent and reliable with follow-through for time-sensitive tasks, quick to respond to requests (this means checking email and messages several times throughout the day), polite and professional in all communications as well as knowledgeable about the expected standards for professional communication, and good at understanding and following directions carefully. Spreadsheet (Excel) skills are *not* a prerequisite, but could be very helpful. The next step, for students whose inquiries are accepted for further consideration, will be an interview.

    Brief Summary of what is expected from the student:
    Students will be expected to work with me and with my collaborators from Northwestern and the University of Chicago in helping with planning tasks for the next annual conference of the Modernist Studies Association, which is slated to take place (if pandemic conditions allow) here in Chicago at the famous Drake Hotel on the lakefront in November 2021. This is an especially good opportunity for high-performing advanced undergraduates interested in pursuing careers as academics (applying to graduate programs, for example), and participants will benefit from seeing how a professional literary studies conference comes together. That being said, I should warn everyone potentially interested in this opportunity that some of the work could be rather tedious (filling in spreadsheets, scheduling panels, assigning rooms, matching volunteer panel chairs to sessions in need of chairs, assisting with registration, etc.). Nevertheless, the work will have a useful intellectual component as well, as students will be exposed to the kinds of proposals academics make for presenting their work publicly and for creating opportunities for collegiality, scholarly growth, and vigorous debate.

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