Many English Department courses offer students the chance to conduct independent research projects that are designed to enhance the skills needed to conduct primary research and that may result, in many cases, in the production of an Honors thesis, a conference presentation, or publication. While specific examples are laid out in the paragraphs that follow, students should feel free to approach any English Department faculty member about the possibility of conducting research in an area of mutual interest.
Many English Department faculty also have students do archival research of some kind, providing them with a fuller context for the times they are studying. They can visit local archives, use Internet materials, or explore our own collections. As one example, students in Dr. Susan Ryan's class on the history of reading have undertaken such research projects as using the university archives to examine nineteenth-century magazines and their modes of addressing an imagined readership. Students may also be assigned parcels of research as part of the preparation of an annotated edition, either print or web-based, under the direction of a faculty member, and have the opportunity to learn web-authoring in a number of English Department courses.
For other research opportunities available at the University of Louisville visit http://research.louisville.edu/students/.
Students also may wish to know of several journals that publish work by undergraduate students. Thirdspace is a feminist journal for emerging scholars that publishes work by undergraduates. Thirdspace has published essays that are literary analysis of specific texts, such as James Baldwin's Giovanni's Room or Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
The journal Young Scholars in Writing seeks theory-driven and/or research-based submissions from undergraduates on the following topics: writing, rhetoric, composition, professional writing, technical writing, business writing, discourse analysis, writing technologies, peer tutoring in writing, writing process, writing in the disciplines, and related topics.