The launch party for issue three of the Elsewhere magazine kicked off with student rock band, Garbled, who performed ‘Coming Up Roses’ on 2 December. Elsewhere is a magazine that is put together by the students of English Language and Literature Studies (ELLS) Programme. The magazine and launch party received support from, the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, senior management, along with the students’ teachers.

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Students and Dr Ben Barber at the launch party for the Elsewhere magazine

Issue three of Elsewhere is given the theme of ‘Communication and Connectivity’, because most of the editing and publishing works occurred online during the COVID-19 pandemic. The magazine consists of a variety of students’ work composed by talented writers from ELLS and features subtle observation, unique perspectives, and multiple reflections upon communication and connectivity in various contexts.

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The audience at the launch party

After Garbled’s performance, the MCs for the event, fourth-year ELLS students, Bao Xingyu and Ye Liting, took to the stage to welcome everyone and introduce Vice President (Research and Development) Prof Jia Weijia.

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Ye Liting (left) and Bao Xingyu (right) welcoming everyone to the launch party

Prof Jia said “Though the launch of this issue is a notable achievement, we must not forget that all the applied knowledge and actions of those who worked on it bolster the development and future thriving of each individual involved, including those many readers who will look into the pages of this new issue. The ultimate purpose that animates UIC, the Division of Humanities and Social Sciences, and the English Language and Literature Studies programme is the development and growth of the whole person of each contributor, editor, and reader.”

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Prof Jia giving a speech

After Prof Jia, Associate Vice President (Internationalization) and the Dean of DHSS, Prof Adrian Bailey, made a speech. He began by welcoming everyone and explained how the launch of this new issue coincides with UIC’s 15th anniversary and remarked how the magazine is a kind of birthday gift for the university.

Prof Bailey went into detail about how DHSS is incredibly proud to show what the students of this programme are doing, before thanking everyone who was involved in the creation of this magazine.

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Prof Bailey expresses how proud he is of the students

Associate Professor and Acting Programme Director of ELLS, Dr Edith Yan, was invited on to the stage to give a speech about the magazine. She began by explaining the history of the magazine by showing the evolution and how it has progressed over the three issues.

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Dr Edith Yan explains the reason for the name of the magazine

DHSS Assistant Professor and the instructor of Editing and Publishing Practicums I & II of this magazine, Dr Ben Barber, gave his perspective as the magazine is also an assignment for these student-editors, an assignment upon which I am evaluating their performance. He explained in depth how and what he had assigned the students to complete this magazine.

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Dr Barber explains the assignment that he had set the students

“My hope is that the students of both Practicums have had many valuable learning experiences and that these experiences have equipped them with the knowledge and confidence to begin a career in editing and publishing or other related fields.”

Song Qiyu and Chen Ruxuan are both fourth-year ELLS students and are also both Editors-in-Chief for the Elsewhere magazine project. Chen Ruxuan was invited to says some words about the Elsewhere magazine. She explained the choice of design and why they had chosen it.

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Chen Ruxuan explaining the design of the magazine

Following Chen Ruxuan, Ma Xiao, another fourth-year ELLS students gave a violin performance. He followed up his violin performance to explain that he had written about his experience with learning how to play the instrument and where his love of music began. His full story was written and published within the latest Elsewhere magazine.

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Ma Xiao giving a violin performance

After the speeches, there was a drama performance called ‘When I become You’ conducted by some of the students. It was a short part of a play that they acted out on stage with costume, props, and sound effects. ELLS student, Xu Ziyi gave a singing performance followed by the MCs hosting a trivia game lucky prize draw.

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Students giving a drama performance

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Students explaining their drama

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Xu Ziyi singing

 

The following is from Song Qiyu and Chen Ruxuan as they explain their experiences with the Elsewhere magazine project.

Creating the magazine

Last semester was an extraordinary time that we all were attending courses online via zoom and WeChat. Hence, the procedure of producing this issue of Elsewhere was a little bit different from the previous ones. We started with the main topic and theme, communication and connectivity, which were proposed by our instructor, Dr Benjamin Barber. The pandemic circumstance at that time certainly had a powerful influence on everyone both mentally and physically, and calling for communication and strengthening our connections seemed to be an excellent cognition that we would like to deliver to the readers. After collecting literary works from ELLS students and photographs from UIC students contributed via the e-mail of contribution, we began to sign the contracts with the author to get the authority of article editing and image processing and then bringing these works to the digital version by creatively designing the style and typesetting the layout.

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In this semester, we had to bring this issue to print and prepare for the launch party. When the creative and layout department was going to re-design and re-typeset the digital version of the third issue, members in the legal department started to find the sponsors. We immediately decided to find the educational agencies near the campus, which aim at teaching IELTS and helping students, apply for graduate university because they were more likely to support us and promote their brands to UIC students. After about one week of detailed negotiations online, we signed the contracts with Global Education and Easy Education. The final phase was to find the printer. We needed to keep the quality of our magazine in terms of the paper and colour quality, and also consider the budget we have. Finally, we chose one printer which offered better quality and reasonable price.

 

Both semesters are valuable to us from the beginning stage to the printed version, and setting up the launch party also fosters our ability of planning and management. Though many problems occurred during this whole practicum, we still managed to solve all of them, and we coordinated, cooperated as a team, bringing the third issue of Elsewhere to launch successfully. As editors-in-chief, we are very proud and feel gratitude for this unique experience.

From MPRO and ELLS
Photographer: Zhang Fan
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Song Qiyu