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Siue Essay


Volume 54, Number 2, 2018



GRZEGORZ KOSC, “Robert Lowell’s Onionskin Aesthetic”

ABSTRACT:This essay traces Robert Lowell’s complex and abstract reflection on the physical properties of his onionskin typing paper. It does so through a close and extended reading of one sonnet in particular—“Onion Skin” from Notebook 1967–68. The paper’s translucence became—in connection with related characteristics of onion pocket watches—an important metaphor for the conundrum of Lowell’s late modernist aesthetics: it visualized his poetics as mediating between the reflective and constructionist functions of language. In addition, an analysis of the sonnet’s manuscript drafts demonstrates that this translucence guided Lowell’s revisions. The poet’s acceptance for the semitransparency of his medium shows him—against all conventional maps of American poetry—to be associated with, and participating in, the postmodern poetics.

RASA REZANIA and HOSSEIN PIRNAJMUDDIN, “The Angel in the Dump: ‘Liquid’ Modern Waste in Don DeLillo's ‘The Angel Esmeralda’”

ABSTRACT: Zygmunt Bauman has offered a new understanding toward what we may call the redundant and wasteful. Waste, he maintains, is the sight of the city that rises from the ground, but not the city that its citizens believe they know. There is an untold tale to the history of consumerist societies. He notes that today those 'superfluous' groups of people such as the ghetto-dwellers, asylum-seekers, refugees and what he calls the 'vagabonds' are also treated as rubbish; they are excluded from society, ‘dumped.’  Don DeLillo's short story “The Angel Esmeralda” abounds in images of waste and garbage. Yet to understand these images as plain physical and environmental reflections of the crisis of waste in modernity is to underestimate the subtlety and insightfulness of the story. This essay is an attempt to read the story in the light of Bauman's discussion of wasted lives, to reflect on how DeLillo has recycled and made visible "the liquid" modern waste.

ROBERT LANCE SNYDER, “‘Arabesques of the Final Pattern’: Len Deighton’s Hard-Boiled Espionage Fiction”

ABSTRACT: Len Deighton’s indebtedness in his early espionage novels—The Ipcress File (1962), Horse under Water (1963), Funeral in Berlin (1964), The Billion Dollar Brain (1966), and An Expensive Place to Die (1967)—to Raymond Chandler’s hard-boiled crime fiction raises two questions about this case of literary adaptation. First, why did Chandler’s celebrated private detective of the 1940s, Philip Marlowe, appeal to Deighton as a prototype for his unnamed spy during the Cold War’s most volatile period of ideological conflict? Second, how did Chandler’s oblique plots in The Big Sleep (1939) and Farewell, My Lovely (1940) influence Deighton’s predilection for weaving intricately elliptical narratives? Addressing these questions in reverse order, this essay proposes that certain parallels between American and British culture predisposed such literary modeling in the aftermath of World War II. When assimilated into the espionage framework of Deighton’s novels, the typical hallmarks of Chandler’s hard-boiled fiction undergo a transformation that reflects an underlying homology related to transatlantic modernism.

Book Reviews

GEOFF SCHMIDT reviews Drawing the Line: Comics Studies and INKS, 1994-1997, ed. Lucy Shelton Caswell and Jared Gardner

REBECCA NESVET reviews The Legacy of the Grand Tour: New Essays on Travel, Literature, and Culture, ed. Lisa Colletta


Eligibility for the University Honors Program

The University Honors Program accepts applications from first-time students who are currently in high school, from SIUE students who are already in attendance, and from students at other colleges and universities who are planning to transfer to SIUE. All students must be admitted to the University before they can apply for the University Honors Program.

For students currently in high school

  • Applications for high school students are only available for fall entry.
  • ACT composite score of 25 or higher or SAT
  • High school GPA of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale

Note: Students who have earned an ACT score of 27 or higher or an SAT score of () may want to consider also applying for the University’s Meridian Scholarship. Meridian Scholars are automatically admitted to the University. The Scholarship application can be found here:

For college-level students

  • Applications for college-level students are available for fall entry and spring entry.
  • Completion of less than 60 credit hours (not counting any college credits earned in high school through dual enrollment, AP credits, etc.)
  • College cumulative GPA of 3.5


Important note: Any student, whether in high school or in college, who does not meet the exact criteria, yet is interested in the University Honors Program, should apply. As part of the application, you should explain any extenuating circumstances that should be considered and why the Program is still a good fit for you and the University. The Director will consider these applications on a case-by-case basis.


  • For high school seniors entering in Fall 2018: PRIORITY CONSIDERATION – WEDNESDAY, 28 MARCH 2018. 
  • For current SIUE and transfer students entering in Fall 2018: PRIORITY CONSIDERATION – TUESDAY, 1 MAY 2018

Applications after these dates will be reviewed on a space-available basis. If the link below is still active, we are still receiving and reviewing applications.



The University Honors Program uses an on-line application in order to make the application process straightforward and intuitive. Using the information below, you can work on your application off-line before doing the on-line submission. If you work ahead, the actual application should only take you 15 minutes.

  1. A list of accomplishments that highlight your involvement in your school and community. The application includes the following areas (although you do not have accomplishments in each area).
    • Academic Achievements & Recognition
    • Organizations & Activities
    • Athletic & Artistic Endeavors
    • Community Activities
    • Volunteering & Community Service
    • Work & Internship Activities
    • Other Activities Not Listed

       2. A prepared essay answering one of the questions listed below. Please follow these guidelines:

    • The essay will be uploaded through the on-line application process.
    • The essay must be submitted as a Microsoft Word document.
    • The essay should be double spaced.
    • Please be sure that your name is on the essay.
    • The essay has a maximum word count of 1,000 (approximately 2-3 pages). While there is no minimum requirement, you should be sure that your essay is complete, answers the question, and takes a creative approach to the question.
    • Please save the essay format as Last Name, First Name. For example, if your name were Rose Smith, you would save the essay as “Smith, Rose.

      3. The name and contact information of an academic reference. If you are currently in high school, it should come from someone who has taught you or had other academic contact with you during your junior or senior years. If you are a current college student, it MUST come from a person who has taught you at the collegiate level.

Essay Topics

A. What makes you unique? Discuss the personal qualities that make you stand out from others and the experiences that have helped to shape you. How have these unique qualities led you to be interested in attending SIUE and how do you anticipate harnessing them to contribute to the SIUE community, the nation, and the world.

B. Red, blue, or green? 

C. The deepest human impulse is poetic. Humans create categories to make the world meaningful experience -- the experience of the world and our actions. Such categories (idea/matter; physical/spiritual; form/substance; proper/sketchy/whack; productive/wasteful; divine/human/animal) allow us to navigate the world and order our relationship with our companions. For this essay, create, explain, and apply (give examples) of YOUR basic categories for navigating the world.

Application for the University Honors Program

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