Meet the Staff: Jessica Haley

Meet the Staff: Jessica Haley

More than 100 staff members work in the Division of the Humanities. We'll introduce you to our staff in this continuing series.

Jessica Haley
Program Manager, Committee on Creative Writing 


What do you like most about your job?
I’m biased, but I think that the work coming of out of our program really demonstrates how cross-disciplinary inquiry thrives at UChicago. We launched an undergraduate major last year that is interdisciplinary by design, we manage a joint minor in English & Creative Writing, and we host a MAPH Option. Our course rosters include undergraduate and graduate students pursuing a variety of fields (physics, visual art, history, law, computer science, etc.) that bleed into their creative practices in cool and surprising ways. It’s great to be a part of all that, and I’m especially excited to see our first major cohort graduate this spring.

The warmth and support between our students and faculty also makes working for the program fun and rewarding. You can get a feel for this quality if you attend one of our New Voices or Offen readings, in which a visiting writer chooses a student to read alongside them. Lots of classmates come out to support the student reader, and we all get to show off how great the students are in general. Next quarter, Nate Marshall, R.O. Kwon, and Cody-Rose Clevidence will be participating. Our winter calendar will be posted on our website soon.

What was the last good book you read?
I finished The Makioka Sisters by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki last week; it is complex, subtle, beautiful, immersive... I also just picked up The Naked Woman by Armonía Somers at the Seminary Co-op and I’m already very into it. Somers describes familiar objects and feelings in ways that feel completely new and unexpected, but also make total sense at the same time.

You might work with me if you...
…need information about Creative Writing and/or Poetics events, course information, and questions about students who might be double majoring or interested in weaving together critical and creative work more generally. Any literature class taught in the Division counts toward our major, and we’re always looking for ways to collaborate with other departments, centers, and programs.

What's your favorite thing about Chicago during the holiday season?
I enjoy seeing all the different neighborhood decorations, but if I am being honest the thing I appreciate most about Chicago holiday time is how the #2 bus gets progressively quieter throughout December…

December 3, 2018