Learning is an inherently social activity, and the UNM English Department understands the value of student organizations to a well-rounded and complete education. There are a number of vibrant, active groups hosted in our department, providing students with an opportunity to socialize with and learn from others with similar interests and (often) a wide breadth of professional and disciplinary experience.
Blue Mesa Review
Although not technically a student organization, Blue Mesa Review has a long history of English student leadership and involvement. Founded by author Rudolfo Anaya, BMR is celebrating its 26th year as national literary magazine. Students from the UNM Master of Fine Arts in creative writing program run the magazine, selecting the best fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from diverse and unique voices nationwide (and sometimes internationally).
BMR also runs the Works in Progress reading series. This monthly series is an opportunity for the campus and larger Albuquerque communities to hear MFA students, staff, and faculty read from their own creative work. Works in Progress is currently held on the first Friday of the month at Tortuga Art Gallery. The event is free and open to the public.
The Hobbit Society
The UNM Hobbit Society was founded in the summer of 2003 during Dr. Leslie Donovan's Spring 2003 University Honors Program course, "J.R.R. Tolkien: Writings, Myths, and Sources." That Fall, the group officially chartered through the University Student Activities Council. The group seeks to promote the understanding and appreciation of fantasy and science fiction literature and the rich and varied contributions these genres have made, and meets regularly for "Hobbit Moot" for this purpose.
In Spring of 2009, the Hobbit Society began its long-running Intellectual Hooliganism Colloquium, where undergraduate and graduate students alike can present on topics of fantasy, science fiction, and popular culture and engage in the scholarly conversations surrounding these topics. Many members have then taken these papers and presented them at various popular culture conferences throughout the southwest. Additionally, in May of 2010, the group became a chartered group of the Mythopoiec Society, the scholarly society devoted to the study of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Charles Williams.
Hobbit Society Website: http://www.unm.edu/~tolkien/
Medieval Studies Student Association
The Medieval Studies Student Association (MSSA) is a multidisciplinary group dedicated to the study and understanding of the Middle Ages in all its forms, from Anglo-Saxon England to Byzantium and beyond. Although many of the MSSA's members come from the English and History departments, the group welcomes students from any major or discipline, and values their perspectives on the medieval period.
The MSSA hosts a number of events every year, ranging from receptions and social events to the Student Colloquium, where graduate and undergraduate presenters share their work with one another in a supportive academic environment with the aim of improving the scholarship and eventually preparing it for conferences and publication. The group has been one of the most active on campus in recent years, hosting workshops and hands-on events, as well as supporting the Institute for Medieval Studies' various presentations and lecture series. The group maintains an active ListServ and social media presence, as well.
Sigma Tau Delta
As the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta is an organization dedicated to the advancement of the study of English, both writing and reading, throughout the globe. The Alpha Epsilon Pi chapter, based at the University of New Mexico, reflects that dedication through its activities and student involvement.
Recently re-chartered after a 4-year hiatus, Alpha Epsilon Pi helped to successfully host the International Sigma Tau Delta Congress in the Spring of 2015. As an Honor Society, admission into the group is limited to those with a history of outstanding academic work, but its members benefit from a close interaction with faculty and graduate students in the English department, as well as students with similar interests.
Sigma Tau Delta Website: http://sigmatau.unm.edu/
Victorian Studies Student Association
Founded in 2015, the Victorian Studies Student Association seeks to promote understanding of the literature and culture of the 19th and early 20th centuries. To that end, they sponsor varous events, including readings and movie nights.
VSSA Website: http://vssa.unm.edu
For more information on the various groups listed here, see the individual web pages for each, or see the English Department Student Organizations bulletin board in the North hall of the 2nd floor of the Humanities Building. If you represent a student group and would like to have it listed here, e-mail the English Department GA at firstname.lastname@example.org.