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The Department of Comparative Literature begins another promising year of Nomad



The Comparative Literature department hosted its first Nomad meeting of the academic year Tuesday evening. Students and professors gathered for their common love of writing to hear what’s in store for the upcoming year of research, writing and revision.

Since 2007, the Nomad program has been pairing undergraduate students with graduate mentors. Over the course of one academic year, the mentee works closely with their mentor to develop a ten-page essay that will be published as part of the program’s journal, “Nomad”. The journal is released at the program’s pinnacle event, the Nomad Undergraduate Conference. This is where mentees are given the opportunity to present their work in a professional environment.

Each essay is centered on a common theme. The theme allows the individual essays to fit together cohesively within the journal. Past themes have ranged from words such as framed, secret and trick. “Outlaw” is this year’s theme.

“I’m really excited to see how the mentees approach this topic because I’m always pleasantly surprised and really caught off guard by how creative and beautiful their work can be,” “Nomad” editor Bess Myers said.

The program also involves a speaker series. Various guest speakers are invited to speak in front of mentors and mentees throughout the year to strengthen their understanding of the year’s theme.

“I think something that will be really rewarding will be interacting with the guest speakers. In a class setting approaching professors can be intimidating, but this is such a small group that I think I’ll be confident enough to ask questions,” Allie Lewis, a new mentee, said.

The program attracts students from all different academic background to share their love of writing. The mentors view this as proof that writing is an important skill in every facet of the professional world.

“It’s so rewarding to see how proud students are when the journal comes out and how excited they are to see their work. It’s really beautiful work and it’s truly theirs. They come up with it. The mentors are just here to guide them,” Myers said.

Though the mentors consider each year a success in its own right, with each new year and group of students the mentors attempt to strengthen and focus the program in different ways.

“Right now it all seems a little overwhelming, but I’m excited. This is an opportunity I’ve never had before,” Lewis said.

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Courtney Simich

Courtney Simich