Department of Languages and Literatures

The Department of Languages and Literatures at the University of Northern Iowa



North American Review to celebrate 50 years at UNI with writing conference


UNI NEWS SERVICES – The North American Review (NAR), the oldest and one of the most well-regarded literary magazines in the United States, will host a writing conference April 19-21 to celebrate the magazine's 50 years on the University of Northern Iowa campus and a redesign of the magazine’s​ format.

Writers, teachers and scholars from around the country will share their work and participate in generative writing workshops led by prominent featured writers. The conference will be launched with a keynote reading by NAR contributing editor Terry Tempest Williams at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 19, in Lang Hall Auditorium. A reception and book signing will follow.

Williams is an American author, conservationist and activist. Her writing is influenced by Mormon culture and the beautiful landscape of her home state, Utah. Her work explores ecology, wilderness preservation, women's health, and human relationships between culture and nature. Williams has received the highest honor given to an American citizen, the Robert Marshall Award. She has also received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Western American Literature Association, the Wallace Stegner Award and the Community of Christ International Peace Award.

The North American Review's summer issue will also be launched at the writing conference. A new, recently discovered poem by Allen Ginsberg, one of the most important 20th-century American poets, will be published and featured in the magazine along with an original portrait by artist Gary Kelley.

Featured writers, including award-winning essayist and poet Taylor Brorby, American writer of fantasy Kij Johnson and poet Martín Espada, will host workshops, readings and lectures throughout the day on Saturday, April 20 and Sunday, April 21.

This conference is free and open to the public. For more information about the North American Review's writing conference, including a full schedule and how to register, visit


Jeremy Schraffenberger, associate professor of English and editor of the North American Review, 319-273-3879,


Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761


Terry Tempest Williams

American author Terry Tempest Williams will give a keynote
reading during the North American Review writing conference.






The Department of Languages & Literatures offers undergraduate programs in EnglishSpanishTESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages), Creative WritingFrench, and Professional Writing, in addition to courses in Chinese and German. Our graduate offerings include programs in EnglishSpanishTESOL, and TESS  (Teaching English in Secondary Schools).

L&L trains more language arts teachers than any other university in the state, and our students develop skills in reading, writing, language use, and cultural analysis in preparation for work in a range of professions and countries. Many students complement their classroom instruction with internships, translating and publishing experiences, and study abroad opportunities that help launch rewarding careers and lives. L&L students are part of a vibrant intellectual and creative community that is supported by scholarship opportunities and participates in clubs and honor societies in addition to on- and off-campus programming. 

Come and visit us! If you have questions, feel free to contact Dr. Jennifer Cooley, Head of the Department of Languages & Literatures.

Our Mission

We read, we tell stories, and we study language to understand and shape ourselves and the world around us. Students in the Department of Languages & Literatures explore the persistent questions of humanity as they have developed in a variety of cultures, times, and places through immersion and interaction with voices, texts, images, and technologies. From this, they develop the intellectual and practical skills to communicate across cultures and thrive in our changing world.

Please Note

All students considering taking Spanish at UNI should take the Spanish placement exam. This exam will help you choose the appropriate first Spanish course at UNI. To take the placement exam, click here. You will need to pay a $10 charge via credit card.

Explore opportunities in the Department of Languages & Literatures!