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Meet Georgia Chapman, an ECL and anthropology double major and creative writing minor! Chapman has been the president of the Student Organization for Undergraduate Literature (SOUL) since fall of 2022.

Chapman’s journey to into the world of book clubs was unconventional, to say the least. Prior to SOUL, Chapman had never been part of a book club. However, in 2021, she found her way to SOUL through a flyer on the back door of a Greenlaw bathroom. Chapman then persuaded her roommate to go to a meeting in the quad “under one of those ugly white tents”:

“There were about eight of us, including the two officers, and it was cold, dark, and pizza-less. Nonetheless, it was the first time I had ever been able to discuss the things I had read with others outside of an academic setting or online forums…I noticed during the spring semester of that school year that the SOUL flyers had stopped popping up and that meetings were not being held. Over the summer, I asked Dr. Lithgow what happened and fell into holding elections. I ran for president and have been acting ever since!”

Chapman made it her mission to revivify the club, but this mission did not come without many challenges; this started with the fact that all the officers were new to SOUL. However, the new team quickly realized the need for an organization like SOUL in the UNC community:

“Our first interest meeting back as an active organization drew over forty people. We have maintained a very consistent membership since then and it’s been so nice to see friendships begin within the organization and extend outside of it.”

Chapman identified the club’s main goal to be drawing “people [to] reading by providing a low stress environment to discuss literature in a broad sense.” SOUL has subsequently become “a gathering place for students who might have even the smallest interest in literature and bringing them to a space where they can explore that and meet like minded people.”

Chapman has always been interested in literature. In fact, she has wanted to be an English major for as long as she can remember. She said:

“I couldn’t imagine college without taking every opportunity to engage with literature. Reading was always very important in our household and I imagine that it will always be very important to me.”

Her favorite courses in the ECL have been her creative writing and comparative literature courses. Chapman especially enjoyed crime writing with Prof. Michael Gutierrez and Intro to Comparative Literature with Prof. Inger Brodey. She adds:

“English courses have forced me to read critically and, though reading for fun is just as important, has changed the way I look at books.”

After graduating, Chapman intends to pursue graduate school either for publishing or English to prepare her for a career in the publishing industry.

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