Undergraduate Research Conference


This is just a quick and final reminder that submissions for the Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature (NUCL) are due January 15. All the information you need—which we first sent you back in late October—is below. Please remind your students to get their submissions in!


Many thanks for your support, and happy new year,


Molly Hiro/Lars Larson

Co-chairs of NUCL

Associate Professors of English

University of Portland


Dear Colleague:


It’s that time of year again—when we begin spreading the word about the Northwest Undergraduate Conference on Literature (NUCL). The University of Portland English department is delighted to be hosting NUCL for a thirteenth time, and as in past years, we need your help in recruiting your best students for this year’s conference.


Attached is a flyer you may print, post, and/or circulate to promote NUCL. Hard copies of this flyer and bookmarks will arrive in your mailbox in the coming weeks.


Here are some highlights about NUCL 2016:

  • Conference date: Saturday, March 19th, 2016. [note: this is the first weekend of most schools’ spring break; alert your students early so they can make their travel plans accordingly.]
  • We are especially excited about this year’s keynote speaker, William Deresiewicz. You’ve probably come across his cogent critiques of the American college system, most recently in Excellent Sheep and, in Harper’s Magazine, “The Neoliberal Arts.” Dr. Deresiewicz is a compelling speaker sure to captivate the NUCL audience.
  • As in past years, we welcome submissions of research/analytical papers (max length 10 pages), personal essays, and collections of poems.  College and high-school students are equally encouraged to submit.
  • We have a rolling submission period: December 1, 2015 to January 15, 2016.  Because the deadline is so early in the new year, we’d appreciate you encouraging students to submit before they leave for winter break.
  • NUCL accepts both individual papers and full-panel submissions. For a panel submission, students should submit their papers separately, but include a brief description of the panel on the first page of the essay submission.
  • We also welcome the presentation of joint student/faculty research projects. If you are interested in presenting this sort of paper, please contact Molly Hiro at hiro@up.edu for special submission information.


The majority of past NUCL participants tell us that they submitted a paper at the behest of a trusted faculty member, so we request your help in both spreading the word widely and encouraging individual students to apply. Especially as you grade papers this term, please reach out to the authors of the best work you encounter and urge them to submit to NUCL.


Why should your students consider participating in NUCL?  For those who intend to pursue advanced degrees, presenting at a conference now can prepare them for their future careers.  But those who don’t intend to study literature beyond graduation also respond positively about their NUCL experiences.  Some say it builds public-speaking confidence; some mention the thrill of having a captive audience for their ideas.  Most frequently, however, students and faculty alike tell us that the opportunity to engage in rich intellectual discussion during the Q. and A. period (for which we ensure ample time) is for them the highlight. We also encourage faculty to attend the conference with their students, although it’s certainly not required.


Please visit the NUCL website for much more information and email us at nucl@up.edu with questions.  You can also “like” NUCL on Facebook and follow us on Twitter if you are so inclined!


With very best wishes,


Molly Hiro (hiro@up.edu ) and Lars Erik Larson (larson@up.edu )

Associate Professors and NUCL co-Chairs