By Emily Nelson
Founded in 2004, the Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature, aka NUCL, has been a cornerstone event for the UP English Department each year. NUCL has offered countless English majors and literature enthusiasts from undergrad programs around the region a chance to share their work, engage in critical conversations, and connect with other lovers of writing. For UP students, the conference has also offered the unique opportunity to serve in a year-long internship position, working alongside professors to coordinate the conference, read and select essay submissions, and welcome visitors to campus. This year, NUCL co-chairs Dr. Brassard and Dr. Swidzinski announced that in a departure from years past, this year’s NUCL will be held on Seattle University’s campus. I asked Dr. Swidzinski for more details, and he explained what the location change would mean for this year’s conference, and how English majors can be involved:
For those who haven’t heard of it before, what is NUCL?
The Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature (NUCL) is a one-day gathering that draws 100+ attendees from the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Founded at UP in 2004, it offers college students (as well as some advanced high-school students) the opportunity to present their critical and creative work on literature (scholarly essays, creative non-fiction, and poetry) to a friendly audience of their peers.
Why is NUCL changing locations this year?
Over the past sixteen years, NUCL has grown remarkably and has evolved into a genuinely regional conference that regularly draws students and faculty members from across the country. It has been a joy to host the conference here at UP during that time. However, part of the joy of attending an academic conference is that it changes location every year, exposing participants to new cities, peoples, and contexts! In that spirit, we’ve agreed to share the conference this year with our friends at Seattle University (who have been very loyal NUCL participants throughout its history). Don’t worry – NUCL will return to UP in 2020.
What does this mean for how the conference will operate?
The conference will take place at the Seattle University campus on Saturday, March 23rd,
2019. Seattle’s English department and community have kindly agreed to shoulder the hosting duties. Meanwhile, we’ll organize a trip for participating UP students, who will get to experience traveling to a new city to attend an academic conference.
What will the role of the intern be for this year’s NUCL?
This is an entirely new venture for us and our friends at Seattle University, so there remains a lot of coordinating to do. This year’s NUCL intern will help us publicize the conference, read and evaluate submissions, organize travel plans, serve as a liaison with students here and at Seattle U., and (inevitably) troubleshoot. It should be fun!
What are you looking for in a potential NUCL intern?
A supremely reliable, detail-oriented, enthusiastic problem-solver who also happens to love literature.
If students are interested in applying to be interns and/or submitting papers, whom should they contact?
Those interested in applying for the internship should e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org;by Monday, Sept. 24th to discuss their interest in the position. Those interested in submitting something to the conference should expect a mid-January deadline and stay tuned for details!