The UBC English Students' Association. Whether you're Lit or Lang, a Major or Minor, we're here for you.
Coping with an Alien Lifestyle

Coping with an Alien Lifestyle

UNCERTAINTY. ALIEN. COPE. Three words float continuously in Lilith Iyapo’s mind when she awakens in a living alien ship: uncertainty, alien, and cope. She struggles to adjust to her new housemates, the Oankali, who claims to have rescued the “best” humans from earth to preserve humanity after a nuclear world...
More Than Fairy Tales: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Brilliance of Children’s Literature

More Than Fairy Tales: The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Brilliance of Children’s Literature

C.S. Lewis, the author of the well-loved Chronicles of Narnia, once said that “a children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” There are books that we fall in love with during childhood, which, upon returning to, seem almost lifeless compared...
"It's Not Just a Dream, it Could be Our Reality"

“It’s Not Just a Dream, it Could be Our Reality”

The little things make a difference in the bigger picture. Global warming and climate change are not new concerns, but why do some of us continue to treat it as if they are topics not worth being proactive about? In Chris Van Allsburg’s Just A Dream (1990), Van Allsburg places the readers...
5 Books to Rejuvenate Your Reading List for the Springtime

5 Books to Rejuvenate Your Reading List for the Springtime

A few terms synonymous with spring would include sunshine, bloom, allergy season, and here in Vancouver: cherry blossoms. Along with spring also comes the dreaded (for some) task of spring cleaning. So get out those dusters and open the blinds. Perhaps you’ll stumble upon your bookcase as you power down...
6 TIPS TO BEAT YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK!

6 TIPS TO BEAT YOUR WRITER’S BLOCK!

We are approaching that time of the term when we scramble to find the perfect words to use for our term papers. It could also be the moment when you’re struggling to find a way to silence the cursor on your screen that continuously taunts you every time it pulses on the...
“Is this your buying China?”: Luxury consumerism and superficiality in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife

“Is this your buying China?”: Luxury consumerism and superficiality in William Wycherley’s The Country Wife

Following increased maritime trade and a reliance on foreign goods, the commercial revolution that swept through England in the late sixteenth century resulted in an intensified desire for new and hitherto inaccessible luxury commodities. One such commodity, china porcelain, resulted in a “china fever” that continued well into the eighteenth...
Writing Might Save Your Life

Writing Might Save Your Life

Why do we watch movies, listen to audiobooks, and write poetry, songs, and stories?! What makes storytelling compelling to all of us regardless of our knowledge, social classes, and our wide variety of interests? In Jen Sincero’s book, You Are A Badass (2013), she shares personal anecdotes reflecting on her journey to...
Analyzing the Fahrenheit 451 Films by Truffaut and Bahrani

Analyzing the Fahrenheit 451 Films by Truffaut and Bahrani

Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury is one of my favourite books for a multitude of reasons, such as Bradbury’s use of poetic language and its’ timeless, universal themes. Although Fahrenheit 451 was originally published in 1953, over 60 years ago, many themes are still relevant today; specifically censorship, and the loss of...
"Why Does Everyone Like Joe Goldberg?" - Strangership and Privilege in Netflix's You

“Why Does Everyone Like Joe Goldberg?” – Strangership and Privilege in Netflix’s You

The popularity of the Netflix thriller You is garnering increasing media attention from critics, theorists, and fans alike after the second season was released at the beginning of January 2020. Falling under fire for the obsessive attention that the psychopathic protagonist, Joe Goldberg, has gotten from young fans, the depictions of stalking,...
Creating a Story Without Words: Parallels in Story and Music-making

Creating a Story Without Words: Parallels in Story and Music-making

Music and writing have a lot in common. You may have even heard stories themselves be described in terms of music- like beats of action, the rhythm of words, and the melody, or a voice, of an author. Throughout the years, these two disciplines have helped each other to both...
“Such dread as only children can feel”: Childhood trauma in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

“Such dread as only children can feel”: Childhood trauma in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre

“For me,” Jane begins, following the incident in the red room, “the watches of that long night passed in ghastly wakefulness; ear, eye, and mind alike strained by dread: such dread as children only can feel” (Brontë 20). Saturated as Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre is with unnerving or unsettling sensations, what...
The Power of Texts and Images in My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade

The Power of Texts and Images in My Chemical Romance’s The Black Parade

NB: The metaphors are shown in capital letters as indicated by Barbara Dancygier and Eve Sweetser’s Figurative Language (2014) text. For every song a musical artist publishes, the artist creates an album cover art to represent the theme and messages conveyed in the music. In The Black Parade (2006) album, written and sung by the American...
Be Still: Slowing Down to Savour Life

Be Still: Slowing Down to Savour Life

“When we lose our sense of wonder we become dissatisfied with who we are,” Madeleine L’Engle says in her book on creation and human identity (Madeleine 51). When I came back to her words this month, I connected just as strongly to them as I had the first time I...
The Polar Express: The Train You Need to Ride Every Year

The Polar Express: The Train You Need to Ride Every Year

Many of Chris Van Allsburg’s books have been projected into a motion picture film such as Zathura (2005) and Jumanji (1995). Van Allsburg’s most memorable book to film project is The Polar Express(1985) which has gained the status of being a Christmas film played each year like Frosty the Snowman (1969) and Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964). But...
“You, Who Have Devastated the Souls of the Living”: Heroes, Hubris, and the Victorian Gothic in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

“You, Who Have Devastated the Souls of the Living”: Heroes, Hubris, and the Victorian Gothic in Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas and Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Although Christmas time and ghost stories seem to us strange bedfellows, the two were commonly found lying together in the nineteenth century. Ghouls and ghosts, seances and mystics, changelings and revenants were all immensely popular among the Victorians – and their presence was felt year-round in high society. Christmas was...
The 2020 Colloquium!

The 2020 Colloquium!

The English Students’ Association is hosting our sixth annual academic conference, The Colloquium! This conference features presentations from English undergraduate students and faculty members. The Colloquium offers the opportunity to share your work and discuss ideas with other students and faculty members in the English Department. Please see below for...
Latest entries

ESA Annual Colloquium 2021

The English Students’ Association is now calling for submissions to our seventh annual conference, the Colloquium! The conference features presentations from English undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty members, and will be held virtually on Thursday, March 11, 2021. Our submission deadline is currently Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 at 11:59 pmIf you don’t have a...

The End of the Road: Escaping through Privilege in My Own Private Idaho

“I’ve been tasting roads all my life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world.”-Mike Waters  Mike Waters is a tragic character. Played by the late River Phoenix, he’s a young gay sex worker whose life is perceived as a fun escape to his best friend, Scott Favor. Mike’s situation was...
“Overthinking: Am I Doing Enough? Or, Too Much?”

“Overthinking: Am I Doing Enough? Or, Too Much?”

We all have had a lot to think about in 2020.  We are all juggling classes, work, extra-curricular activities, clubs, mental and physical health, and human connection while staying extremely cautious about our outings since the pandemic outbreak. The combination of all these stresses could cause us to feel overwhelmed—I know I felt that.  In...
That Distant Black Flag: The Intricacies of Familial Love in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life

That Distant Black Flag: The Intricacies of Familial Love in Chang-rae Lee’s A Gesture Life

“Japan” by YoTuT on Creative Commons “Let me simply bear my flesh, and blood, and bones. I will fly a flag.”(Lee 356) Chang-rae Lee’s novel, A Gesture Life, is a slow, emotional exploration of the complications that arise in the diasporic communities of the globalized last century. Chang’s quiet narrative hints at the darker complications...
Becoming a Global Citizen

Becoming a Global Citizen

Throughout my childhood I was never a person who liked to take risks, preferring to stay within my comfort zone. Two years ago I had never left the country without my parents. However, despite the unfamiliarity, I decided to embark upon a journey to a foreign place where I did not speak the language and...
Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

Spring Will Come Again: Story, Song, and Sorrow in Anaïs Mitchell’s Hadestown

“Orpheus with his lute made trees    And the mountain tops that freeze      Bow themselves when he did sing:    To his music plants and flowers    Ever sprung; as sun and showers    There had made a lasting spring.    Every thing that heard him play,    Even the billows of the...