Degree Offered

  • Bachelor of Arts

Nature of Program

The department offers programs for students who want to develop skills in writing, analytical reading, and critical thinking in order to prepare for any number of career paths.  Specific coursework is also available for those who intend to pursue a graduate degree in English, attain secondary certification to teach English or language arts, concentrate in literature and language as preparation for entrance into professional schools, or concentrate in creative writing or professional writing and editing.  Students interested in undergraduate creative writing should speak with the coordinator of creative writing to be sure an appropriate plan of study is developed.  Because English majors have varying interests in literature, language, and writing, they are strongly urged to consult the department’s undergraduate advisers to plan their coursework.

Students who earn a degree in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences must complete the University requirements, the College requirements for their specific degree program, and their major requirements.


All students have the possibility of earning one or more minors; follow the link for a list of all available minors and their requirements. Please note that students may not earn a minor in their major field.

Certificate of Global Engagement

Students in the Eberly College, regardless of their major, can earn a Certificate of Global Engagement. Completion of the Certificate demonstrates the student’s knowledge of diverse cultures, as well as the ability to communicate and interact effectively with people of different cultural backgrounds.  Students will be required to apply their knowledge of contemporary issues and global social contexts to their course work and their broader citizenship.  For details regarding Certificate requirements, please visit the Eberly College page.


Calliope, a publication of WVU student writing, is sponsored by the Department of English and the English Honorary and Club.

Cheat River Review, is a literary magazine edited by MFA students and the Council of Writers of the West Virginia University MFA program. 

Kairos, is a referred, open-access online journal exploring the intersections of rhetoric, technology, and pedagogy. The journal reaches a wide audience—currently 45,000 readers per month—hailing from Ascension Island to Zimbabwe.

Victorian Poetry, a critical journal of Victorian literature, is edited by the Department of English. The journal was established at WVU in 1963 and has become internationally known, with subscribers in 27 countries.

Admission Requirements

Entering freshmen are admitted directly into the major.  Students coming from the Center for Learning, Advising, and Student Success or another unit must have a 2.0 GPA in all ENGL classes taken, and a 2.0 overall GPA.  The department will accept students with an overall GPA below a 2.00, if it is the result of low grades outside of the Humanities.

Benchmark Expectations

Students in the English major must maintain a 2.0 GPA overall and a 2.0 in the major. Students must earn a C- or better in all required English courses for graduation. All majors must meet with an English department adviser each semester. Students who do not meet these benchmarks may be removed from their major.

Benchmarks for students in the English pre-secondary education program are set by the College of Education & Human Services. All majors should meet with an English department adviser each semester.

Click here to view the Suggested Plan of Study

General Education FOUNDATIONS

Please use this link to view a list of courses that meet each GEF requirement.

NOTE: Some major requirements will fulfill specific GEF requirements. Please see the curriculum requirements listed below for details on which GEFs you will need to select.

General Education Foundations
F1 - Composition & Rhetoric3-6
Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric
and Composition, Rhetoric, and Research
Accelerated Academic Writing
F2A/F2B - Science & Technology4-6
F3 - Math & Quantitative Skills3-4
F4 - Society & Connections3
F5 - Human Inquiry & the Past3
F6 - The Arts & Creativity3
F7 - Global Studies & Diversity3
F8 - Focus (may be satisfied by completion of a minor, double major, or dual degree)9
Total Hours31-37

Please note that not all of the GEF courses are offered at all campuses. Students should consult with their advisor or academic department regarding the GEF course offerings available at their campus.

Degree Requirements

Students must complete WVU General Education Foundations requirements, College B.A. requirements, major requirements, and electives to total a minimum 120 hours. For complete details on these requirements,visit the B.A. Degrees tab on the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences page.

Departmental Requirements for the B.A. in English

An English major requires a minimum of thirty-six hours in literature, language, and writing,with a minimum of 12 credits at the 300 level or above.  English majors with an area of emphasis may find some courses overlap with major requirements.

  • Capstone Requirement: The university requires the successful completion of a Capstone course.  English majors choose, depending on focus, ENGL 418, ENGL 491A or ENGL 496 to meet this requirement.  Students should consult with an adviser regarding the Capstone course.
  • Writing and Communication Requirement: The English Bachelor of Arts is a SpeakWrite Certified ProgramTM. SpeakWrite Certified programs incorporate and develop students’ written, verbal, visual, and mediated communication skills across the curriculum.
  • Calculation of GPA in the major:  A minimum GPA of 2.0 is required in all English courses. Students must earn a grade of C- or better in all courses that are counted toward the major plus ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or ENGL 103. If a course is repeated, all attempts will be included in the calculation of the GPA unless the course is eligible for a D/F repeat.
  • Area of Emphasis: in addition to the major requirements, students may select a concentration in Creative Writing (15 credits) or Professional Writing and Editing (15 credits).  Please see below for course and grade requirements for each emphasis.  For English majors who obtain a concentration a maximum of sixty hours in English, exclusive of ENGL 199ENGL 101 and ENGL 102, or ENGL 103 ENGL 103 , ENGL 491 ENGL 491 may be included within the 120 hours (minimum) required for graduation.

Curriculum Requirements

First-Year Seminar
GEF Requirements: credits may vary because of overlap
ECAS B.A. Requirements12
Foreign Language
Fine Arts Requirement
Global Studies & Diversity Requirement
Foundation Course3
Foundations of Literary Study
Historical Breadth Courses9
Select three of the following:
American Literature 1
American Literature 2
British Literature 1
British Literature 2
English Language courses3
Select one of the following:
The English Language
History of the English Language
Introduction to Old English
Gender/Multicultural/Transnational courses3
Select one of the following:
Non-Western World Literature
African American Literature
Multiethnic Literature
Images of Women in Literature
Topics in African American Literature
Topics in Multiethnic Literature
Topics in Native American Literature
Postcolonial Literature
American Women Writers
British Women Writers
Topics in Women's Literature
Study of Major Author courses3
Select one of the following:
Shakespeare 1
Study of a Major Author
Shakespeare 2
Methods courses3
Select one of the following:
Writing Theory and Practice
Approaches to Teaching Composition
Topics in Creative Writing
Environmental Criticism
Literary Criticism
Contemporary Literary Theory
Introduction to Cultural Studies
Introduction to American Studies
English Electives9
English Electives 100-Level or Above, Excluding ENGL 101, 102, 103, and 199 (3 Credits)
Upper-Division English Electives 300 -or- 400 Level (6 Credits)
Capstone Experience3
Select one of the following
Creative Writing Seminar
Professional Field Experience
Senior Thesis
(Number of electives may vary depending on overlap.)
Total Hours120

Suggested Plan of Study

First Year
ENGL 1911ENGL 102 (GEF 1)3
ENGL 101 (GEF 1)3GEF 23
GEF 23GEF 43
Foreign Language 1013Foreign Language 1023
ENGL 2003ENGL Historical Breath 1 (GEF 6; ECAS Fine Arts Requirement)3
General Elective2 
 15 15
Second Year
GEF 33ECAS Global Studies & Diversity Requirement (GEF 7)3
GEF 53GEF 8*3
Foreign Language 2033Foreign Language 2043
ENGL Historical Breath 23ENGL Historical Breath 33
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Third Year
GEF 8*3GEF 8*3
ENGL Language Course3ENGL Major Author3
ENGL Gender/Mlt Cult./Transnat.3ENGL Elective 23
ENGL Elective 13ENGL Elective 33
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Fourth Year
ENGL Methods Course3ENGL Capstone3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
General Elective3General Elective3
 15 15
Total credit hours: 120

Creative Writing Area of Emphasis Requirements

Minimum grade of C- or higher is required.
Select one course in each group:
Group 1:3
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Group 2:3
Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction
Group 3:3
Topics in Creative Writing
Group 4:3
Creative Writing Seminar
Group 5:3
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction
Total Hours15

Professional Writing and Editing (PWE) Area of Emphasis Requirements

English majors may obtain a concentration in PWE by completing fifteen hours of coursework, with grade point average of 3.0 or higher, as follows:

ENGL 301Writing Theory and Practice3
ENGL 302Editing3
ENGL 303Multimedia Writing3
or ENGL 306 Topics in Humanities Computing
ENGL 304Business and Professional Writing3
or ENGL 305 Technical Writing
ENGL 491AProfessional Field Experience *3
Total Hours15

Major Learning Outcomes


Upon successful completion of the B.A. degree, English majors will be able to:

1. Locate and interpret texts within diverse literary, cultural, and historical contexts.

  • Identify genre conventions and analyze their effects;
  • Identify and analyze effects of complexity or ambiguity in texts, culture, and discourse;
  • Situate texts in social, economic, political, and literary histories;
  • Connect texts to other literary or cultural texts.

2. Demonstrate a general knowledge of the social and structural aspects of the English language.

  • Analyze diachronic and synchronic language variation;
  • Articulate the role of social forces on language variation;
  • Apply linguistic concepts to solve language problems; 
  • Analyze natural language, predominantly English.

3. Demonstrate a range of contextually effective writing and communication strategies.

Literature and Cultural Studies:

  • Demonstrate awareness of academic discourse and research on a literary topic;
  • Apply research, analysis, argumentative development, and critical thinking skills;
  • Create and revise communications with the appropriate tone, style, and sentence structure found in academic writing, including incorporation of research;
  • Demonstrate command of academic written English and conventions of documenting research.

Creative Writing concentration:

  • Situate work within the historical and literary development of the appropriate genre;
  • Create and revise a thoughtful, sophisticated work of art that is the product of a careful process of invention and revision;
  • Demonstrate a personal and coherent artistic style;
  • Demonstrate a sophisticated awareness of and engagement with (or clear challenge of) conventions of the genre.

Professional Writing and Editing concentration:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of, and response to, the particular rhetorical needs of audience and purpose;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of genre and argument, including appropriate information and persuasive techniques. In addition, the portfolio demonstrates a critical engagement with the process of writing and with the intern’s learning process;
  • Demonstrate an awareness of professional tone, style, and sentence structure;
  • Understand and apply layout, visual design, audience cues, and information structure; adheres to the written conventions of professional writing.

English Minor

Minor Code - U004

Students must earn a minimum grade of C or better in all required courses. Courses applied toward a Creative Writing minor or a Professional Writing and Editing minor may not also be applied toward an English minor.

Course Requirement: The English minor consists of fifteen hours of coursework in English (any ENGL courses) beyond ENGL 101, ENGL 102 and ENGL 103 , with a minimum of nine hours at the upper-division level (300-level or above). Students are advised to design their own English minor to complement the work in their major.

Creative Writing Minor

Minor Code - U005

Students must earn a minimum overall G.P.A. of 2.0.

Genre Pairings12
Select 2 genres.
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry
Creative Writing: Non-Fiction
Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction
Required Course:3
Topics in Creative Writing
Total Hours15

Professional Writing

Minor Code - U051

To earn this minor, students must earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher in all courses applied to the minor.

Core Courses6
Writing Theory and Practice
Upper-Division electives9
Select three of the following:
The English Language
History of the English Language
Multimedia Writing
Topics in Humanities Computing
Business and Professional Writing
Technical Writing
Total Hours15

ENGL 101. Introduction to Composition and Rhetoric. 3 Hours.

Studies the logical, rhetorical, and linguistic structures of expository prose; develops strategies for analyzing purposes, audiences, and conventions; emphasizes processes for drafting, revising, and editing. Required of all bachelor's degree candidates unless equivalent transfer credit or portfolio credit applies. Qualified students may complete ENGL 103 in place of ENGL 101 and 102. Co-requisites will differ at WVUIT and PSC.

ENGL 102. Composition, Rhetoric, and Research. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 101 or equiv. Builds on the writing abilities earned in English 101 (or the equivalent). Focuses on the research process, argumentation, and critical inquiry; emphasizes structures, language, documentation, and formats appropriate for specific audiences and purposes. Required of all bachelor's degree candidates unless equivalent transfer credit or portfolio credit applies.

ENGL 103. Accelerated Academic Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: Qualifying ACT/SAT verbal score. For students who qualify based on high ACT/SAT verbal scores, English 103 satisfies WVU's introductory writing requirement (English 101 and 102) in a single course. English 103 emphasizes both expository writing and researched argument writing. Students develop the organization, revision, and editing strategies needed to respond to a variety of writing situations, audiences, and purposes.

ENGL 111. Introduction to Creative Writing. 3 Hours.

Instruction in reading and writing fiction, nonfiction and poetry in order to enhance creative writing skills.

ENGL 131. Poetry and Drama. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the genres.

ENGL 132. Short Story and Novel. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the genres.

ENGL 139. Contemporary African Literature. 3 Hours.

A survey of contemporary African poetry, drama, and fiction.

ENGL 154. African American Literature. 3 Hours.

A historical introduction and survey from its beginnings to the present.

ENGL 156. Literature of Native America. 3 Hours.

A historical survey of Native American prose, poetry, song, and story from the beginning to the present.

ENGL 170. Literature of Minds and Selves. 3 Hours.

This course explores the nature of consciousness, selfhood, and humanness through literary and filmic representations of thought and character, especially those that deviate from the norm. Topics will vary by semester and might include disability, trauma, monstrosity, criminality, human rights, queer characters, children's literature, posthumanism, or animal studies, among others.

ENGL 171. Literature of Science and Nature. 3 Hours.

Analyzes the representation of science and nature in literature and film across historical periods and genres.

ENGL 172. Literature of the Human Body. 3 Hours.

Analyzes representations of the human body and its biological and psychological development and decline through literary, expository, and other cultural texts.

ENGL 180. Literature of Love, Sex, and Gender. 3 Hours.

Analyzes representations of love in literature and film across historical periods and genres, with particular attention to narrative representations of sex, gender, and sexual identity.

ENGL 191. First-Year Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

Engages students in active learning strategies that enable effective transition to college life at WVU. Students will explore school, college and university programs, policies and services relevant to academic success. Provides active learning activities that enable effective transition to the academic environment. Students examine school, college and university programs, policies and services.

ENGL 199. Orientation to English Studies. 1,2 Hour.

Orientation to degree programs and requirements, departmental resources, curriculum options, student responsibilities and opportunities.

ENGL 200. Foundations of Literary Study. 3 Hours.

Study and practice of the analytical, research, and writing skills fundamental to literary studies.

ENGL 201. Advanced Composition. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103. Composition for students who wish to further develop their expository and argumentative writing skills.

ENGL 211. Sturm Workshop. 1 Hour.

PR: Consent. Creative writing workshop conducted by Sturm visiting writer in residence.

ENGL 212. Creative Writing: Fiction. 3 Hours.

An open enrollment introduction to the writing of fiction.

ENGL 213. Creative Writing: Poetry. 3 Hours.

An open enrollment introduction to the writing of poetry; practice in the basics of image, metaphor, line, form, sound and voice.

ENGL 214. Creative Writing: Non-Fiction. 3 Hours.

Introductory course in the writing of non-fiction.

ENGL 221. The English Language. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 101 and sophomore standing. An introduction to language, its structure in the mind, and its use in the United States.

ENGL 225. Western World Literature. 3 Hours.

Selected readings in the canon of Western world literature, both ancient and modern.

ENGL 226. Non-Western World Literature. 3 Hours.

Selected readings in non-Western world literature, ancient and modern.

ENGL 230. Film Studies. 3 Hours.

Topics in the study of film, or film and literature, in a historical, theoretical and/or cultural context.

ENGL 232. Poetry. 3 Hours.

Appreciation and enjoyment of poems through critical and analytical reading. Studies in the various types of poetry, and of the language, imagery, and techniques of poetic expression.

ENGL 233. The Short Story. 3 Hours.

The short story's structure, history, and contemporary forms.

ENGL 234. Drama. 3 Hours.

The drama's structure, history, and contemporary forms.

ENGL 235. Novel. 3 Hours.

The novel's structure, history, and contemporary forms.

ENGL 236. The Bible as Literature. 3 Hours.

Analysis of the themes, topics and literary genres of the Old and New Testaments. Issues to be discussed include the unity of the text, the status of authorship, translation, and the depiction of God.

ENGL 238. Literature of Place. 3 Hours.

Topics in the study of literature of place in a historical, theoretical, and/or historical context.

ENGL 241. American Literature 1. 3 Hours.

A historical introduction and survey from its beginnings to the mid-nineteenth century.

ENGL 242. American Literature 2. 3 Hours.

A historical introduction and survey from the mid-nineteenth century to the present.

ENGL 251. American Folklore and Culture. 3 Hours.

Introduction to folklore of the USA. Folklore and American culture. Subject groups vary but usually include Native Americans, early European settlers, African Americans, and 20th century immigrants.

ENGL 252. Appalachian Fiction. 3 Hours.

Reading of short stories, novels, and other narratives by Appalachian authors.

ENGL 253. Southern Writers. 3 Hours.

Twentieth-century Southern essayists, poets, short story writers and novelists in relation to ideological background.

ENGL 254. African American Literature. 3 Hours.

Studies in the literature of African American authors, 1845 to the present.

ENGL 255. Multiethnic Literature. 3 Hours.

This course examines literature by Americans of diverse ethnicities including, but not limited to, Asian Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, African Americans, and European Americans of various class/religious/regional backgrounds.

ENGL 257. Science Fiction and Fantasy. 3 Hours.

A study of the history and nature of science fiction from H. G. Wells to the present, with special attention to features of prose narration.

ENGL 258. Popular American Culture. 3 Hours.

A survey of modern popular American culture from 1940 to the present, with special emphasis on popular literature, music, television, movies, radio in its golden age, and comic books.

ENGL 261. British Literature 1. 3 Hours.

A historical introduction and survey from the Middle Ages through the eighteenth century.

ENGL 262. British Literature 2. 3 Hours.

A historical introduction and survey from the late eighteenth century to the present.

ENGL 263. Shakespeare 1. 3 Hours.

Several of Shakespeare's most important plays.

ENGL 272. Modern Literature. 3 Hours.

British and American poetry, drama, and fiction from 1900 to 1960.

ENGL 273. Contemporary Literature. 3 Hours.

An examination of the literature written since 1960 in England and America. Poetry, drama, and fiction. Selections will vary depending on the instructor.

ENGL 275. Justice and Literature. 3 Hours.

An exploration of the concept and practice of justice through a study of literature. Literary works draw from history, theology, philosophy, and legal cases to illustrate the complexity of justice. How has literature reflected and produced understandings of justice? Time period and regional, national, or global focus will vary by instructor.

ENGL 277. Reading Publics: Exploring the Humanities in Public Spaces. 3 Hours.

Reading Publics introduces students to the powerful ways literature and literacy initiatives improve the local community, preserve cultural heritage, and enrich democracy. Students will complete service learning projects in the local community while also reading related works of fiction and non-fiction.

ENGL 285. Images of Women in Literature. 3 Hours.

Representative literary works studied against a backdrop of social and historical documents to examine the effect of images of women in literature on the self-image of women today.

ENGL 288. Sexual Diversity in Literature and Film. 3 Hours.

Representation of lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals in literature and film.

ENGL 293. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ENGL 301. Writing Theory and Practice. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103. Tradition and contemporary approaches to rhetoric and writing theory for professional writing and editing students who wish to develop their abilities to analyze and produce written texts.

ENGL 302. Editing. 3 Hours.

A comprehensive approach to editing, including the correctness and effectiveness of a document, information design, and editorial responsibility. Students gain a realistic perspective on workplace practice through real-world scenarios, case studies, and technological applications.

ENGL 303. Multimedia Writing. 3 Hours.

Study of communication and design issues in multimedia composition. Focuses on communication, creative expression, persuasion, interactivity, and rhetorical principles. Practice in composing multimedia documents such as online publications, interactive literary works, and tutorials.

ENGL 304. Business and Professional Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103. Students will analyze different writing contexts, meet the needs of different audiences, and organize and present material in letters, memos, and reports. Includes some research, Internet components, and a review of style, grammar and usage.

ENGL 305. Technical Writing. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103. Writing in scientific and technical fields. Introduces students to typical genres, workplace practices, document design, and conventions of writing for experts and non-experts.

ENGL 306. Topics in Humanities Computing. 3 Hours.

Topics include: literary studies (electronic publications, web-based interactive fiction, poetry, drama, nonfiction), creative writing in digital media, composition online, pedagogy, cultural studies of electronic media, online communications, language studies. Topics rotate; check with the instructor for current topic.

ENGL 309. Approaches to Teaching Composition. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 200. (May not be taken for both undergraduate and graduate credit.) Surveys attitudes toward and techniques of teaching writing in elementary and secondary schools. Provides experiment in class with methods of teaching writing.

ENGL 312. Creative Writing Workshop: Fiction. 3 Hours.

PR: Grade of B or higher in ENGL 212. Advanced workshop in creative writing for students seriously engaged in writing fiction.

ENGL 313. Creative Writing Workshop: Poetry. 3 Hours.

PR: Grade of B or higher in ENGL 213. Advanced workshop in creative writing for students seriously engaged in the writing of a major group of poems.

ENGL 314. Creative Writing Workshop: Non-Fiction. 3 Hours.

PR: Grade of B or higher in ENGL 212 or ENGL 213 or ENGL 214. Advanced workshop in creative writing for students seriously engaged in the writing of nonfiction.

ENGL 318. Topics in Creative Writing. 3 Hours.

PR:ENGL 212 or ENGL 213 or ENGL 214 with a minimum grade of B-. (May be repeated for a maximum of 9 hours.) Advanced work in creative writing; course content changes with genre: fiction, poetry, non-fiction.

ENGL 321. History of the English Language. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 221 or LING 101 or LING 311 or instructor's permission. Study of the nature of the language; questions of origins, language families, development, relationships of English as one of the Indo-European languages.

ENGL 329. Topics in English Language. 3 Hours.

This course rotates a set of topics offering students field- specific approaches to the study of the English language. Students engage the language through active research paradigms focusing on the social context of the language.

ENGL 331. Topics in Genre. 3 Hours.

This variable-topic course will trace formal and thematic conventions in poetry, drama, prose, fiction, and/or nonfiction.

ENGL 337. Study of a Major Author. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 102 or ENGL 103. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Study a single author's works with special attention to historical contexts and critical reception. Authors will vary.

ENGL 338. Environmental Criticism. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 102 or ENGL 103. This course provides methods for exploring connections between literature and the environment. Topics include nature writing; animal studies; environmental justice; urban ecocriticism; literary cartography; ecological theory.

ENGL 339. Theatre Tour. 3 Hours.

Introduces students to texts in performance by reading dramatic texts and traveling to see those texts in performance. Performance sites may include either international or U.S. locations.

ENGL 342. American Drama. 3 Hours.

Representative American dramas and history of theatre in America.

ENGL 343. American Poetry. 3 Hours.

Major American poets of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

ENGL 344. Modern American Poetics. 3 Hours.

A close study of those poets who have shaped the aesthetics of contemporary American poetry.

ENGL 345. American Literature to 1800. 3 Hours.

Major genres, authors, themes, and topics in American literature, c. 1500 to 1800.

ENGL 346. American Literature 1800-1865. 3 Hours.

Major genres, authors, themes and topics in American Literature from 1800 to 1865.

ENGL 347. American Literature 1865-1915. 3 Hours.

Major genres, authors, themes, and topics in American Literature from 1865 to 1915.

ENGL 348. Twentieth Century American Literature. 3 Hours.

Major genres, authors, themes, and topics in American literature from 1900 to 1999.

ENGL 349. Contemporary American Literature. 3 Hours.

Completes the American literature sequence with an examination of stories, novels, poetry and drama (stage and screen) of the period from 1960 to present.

ENGL 351. Folk Literature. 3 Hours.

A close study of a range of narrative folklore genres, which may include tales, myths, legends, ballads, proverbs, riddles, jokes, and other forms.

ENGL 352. Topics in Appalachian Studies. 3 Hours.

Studies of authors, genres, themes, or topics in Appalachian literature.

ENGL 354. Topics in African American Literature. 3 Hours.

This course examines a specific aspect of African American literature and/or culture. Topics vary from semester to semester.

ENGL 355. Topics in Multiethnic Literature. 3 Hours.

PR: ENGL 102 or ENGL 103. Specialized topics course reflective of current issues in multiethnic literature and culture. Topics vary per semester.

ENGL 356. Topics in Native American Literature. 3 Hours.

Specialized topics courses reflecting current trends and issues in Native American literature and culture. Subjects vary per semester.

ENGL 360. Literature of the Middle Ages. 3 Hours.

Literature of the period 1066-1485 in relation to the cultural transformations of the time. Course emphases may include (but are not limited to) Arthurian romance, the mystery plays, crusade narratives, political ballads, and women's writings.

ENGL 361. Chaucer. 3 Hours.

Early poems, Troilus and Criseyde, and The Canterbury Tales. In addition to an understanding and appreciation of Chaucer's works, the student is expected to acquire an adequate knowledge of Chaucer's language.

ENGL 362. Literature of the Sixteenth Century. 3 Hours.

Studies from Caxton to Bacon, from Skelton to Shakespeare.

ENGL 363. Shakespeare 2. 3 Hours.

Advanced studies in Shakespeare's plays and non-dramatic poetry. Methodological emphases vary per semester, including textual, historical, dramaturgical and postcolonial approaches.

ENGL 364. Literature of the Seventeenth Century. 3 Hours.

Studies from Donne to Dryden.

ENGL 365. Milton. 3 Hours.

All of Milton's poems and a few selected prose works.

ENGL 366. Literature of the Eighteenth Century 1. 3 Hours.

Literature of the period 1660-1744 in relation to social, political, and religious movements of the time.

ENGL 367. Literature of the Eighteenth Century 2. 3 Hours.

Continuation of ENGL 366, covering the latter half of the century. May be taken independently of ENGL 366.

ENGL 368. The Romantic Movement. 3 Hours.

A survey of the works of the major British Romantic writers along with an introduction to works of scholarship in British Romanticism.

ENGL 369. Victorian Literature. 3 Hours.

Study of Victorian poets and prose writers with an emphasis on historical, political, and cultural issues. Representative authors may include: Tennyson, the Brownings, Arnold, Dickens, the Brontes, Eliot, and Hardy.

ENGL 371. Modern British/Irish Literature. 3 Hours.

Studies in the late 19th- and 20th-century British and Irish literature, including the works of Yeats, Eliot, Joyce, Woolf, Auden, Beckett, Hughes, Churchill, and Heaney.

ENGL 372. Commonwealth Literature. 3 Hours.

This course examines fiction, poetry, and plays written by citizens of countries that are members of the British Commonwealth; for instance, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, and some Caribbean Islands.

ENGL 373. Contemporary British Literature. 3 Hours.

The poems, plays, and fiction read in this course reflect Britain's current multicultural makeup: among them, the North and the Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, South Africa, Pakistan, and India.

ENGL 374. Postcolonial Literature. 3 Hours.

This course will address various issues in postcolonial literature, including gender, nationalism, resistance, development, neocolonialism and diasporic identities. In addition, students will examine contemporary literary modes associated with the postcolonial project of revisionist history.

ENGL 381. Literary Criticism. 3 Hours.

Literary criticism from Aristotle to modern times.

ENGL 382. Contemporary Literary Theory. 3 Hours.

An introduction to the predominant schools of literary theory of the twentieth century, including psychoanalytic criticism, Marxist criticism, feminist criticism, deconstruction, postmodernism, and cultural studies.

ENGL 383. Introduction to Cultural Studies. 3 Hours.

Students will explore the ways in which we are all simultaneously users of and used by culture, and the ways in which cultural practices influence how we think, feel, and act in everyday life.

ENGL 384. Introduction to American Studies. 3 Hours.

This course introduces students to methodologies of studying American popular and mass cultures in the past and present. Topics may include film, literature, performance, music, economics, and technology.

ENGL 385. American Women Writers. 3 Hours.

Studies in the literature of American women writers. Syllabi may vary per term; topics may include Jewish American women writers, women writers of the suffrage movement, and 20th century American women writers.

ENGL 386. British Women Writers. 3 Hours.

This course examines fiction, poems, essays, and drama written by British women writers, beginning with the fourteenth-century author Margery Kempe and continuing into the late twentieth century with Nadine Gordimer.

ENGL 387. Topics in Women's Literature. 3 Hours.

Syllabus will vary per term. Topics include women writers outside of Great Britain and the United States; comparative women writers; women's writing on a particular theme or topic.

ENGL 388. Topics in Gay/Lesbian Studies. 3 Hours.

Specialized topics courses reflecting current trends in studies of gay/lesbian history, literature, culture, and theory. Subjects will be taught on a rotation.

ENGL 393. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ENGL 405. Young Adult Literature. 3 Hours.

A survey of young-adult literature with special attention to literary theories and methodologies that assist its interpretation.

ENGL 407. The Writing of Health and Medicine. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103 with a minimum grade of C- in each. Explores genres important to health and medicine. Students read, analyze, and write texts in these genres-considering their audiences, purposes, and conventions as well as the role specific texts play in shaping the practices and experiences of health and medicine. Students may not earn credit for both ENGL 407 and ENGL 507.

ENGL 408. Rhetoric and Science. 3 Hours.

PR: (ENGL 101 and ENGL 102) or ENGL 103. This course explores the relationship between rhetoric and science. Students will analyze the audiences, purposes, and conventions of scientific arguments as well as the role of specific texts in shaping scientific disciplines and debates. No background in science is required.

ENGL 418. Creative Writing Seminar. 3 Hours.

PR: 9 hours of creative writing and consent. Individual projects in creative writing pursued in a workshop setting.

ENGL 423. Introduction to Old English. 3 Hours.

An introduction to Old English grammar and readings. After the basic grammar is mastered, students translate a selection of Old English prose texts and poems.

ENGL 450. Intro to Forensic Linguistics. 3 Hours.

Introduces students to the analysis of language for legal purposes and provides them first-hand experience in forensic linguistics. The course focuses on the application of linguistic theory, research, and procedures to issues of the law. In their final project, students review forensic linguistic case studies.

ENGL 490. Teaching Practicum. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Teaching practice as a tutor or assistant.

ENGL 491. Professional Field Experience. 1-18 Hours.

PR: Consent. (May be repeated up to a maximum of 18 hours.) Prearranged experiential learning program, to be planned, supervised, and evaluated for credit by faculty and field supervisors. Involves temporary placement with public or private enterprise for professional competence development.

ENGL 493. Special Topics. 1-6 Hours.

PR: Consent. Investigation of topics not covered in regularly scheduled courses.

ENGL 494. Seminar. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent. Presentation and discussion of topics of mutual interest to students and faculty.

ENGL 495. Independent Study. 1-6 Hours.

Faculty supervised study of topics not available through regular course offerings.

ENGL 496. Senior Thesis. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Consent.

ENGL 498. Honors. 1-3 Hours.

PR: Students in Honors Program and consent by the honors director. Independent reading, study or research.



  • Brian Ballentine - Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University)

Associate Chair

  • Gwen Bergner - Ph.D. (Princeton University)


  • Laura Brady - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
    Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of Outstanding Teaching. Composition and rhetorical theory, Writing program administration
  • Mark Brazaitis - M.F.A. (Bowling Green University)
    Creative writing: Fiction
  • Ryan Claycomb - Ph.D. (University of Maryland)
    20th-century British literature, Drama, Gender studies
  • Stephanie Foote - Ph.D. (University of Buffalo)
    Jackson and Nichols Professor of English, Gender and women's studies, Critical theory
  • Marilyn Francus - Ph.D. (Columbia)
    Restoration and eighteenth century literature
  • Kirk Hazen - Ph.D. (University of North Carolina)
  • Mary Ann Samyn - M.F.A. (University of Virgnia)
    Creative writing: Poetry
  • Timothy Sweet - Ph.D. (University of Minnesota)
    Eberly Family Distinguished Professor of American Literature. American studies, Literature and environment, Native American literature

Associate professors

  • Brian Ballentine - Ph.D. (Case Western Reserve University)
    Technical and professional communication, Rhetoric
  • Gwen Bergner - Ph.D. (Princeton University)
    African-American and postcolonial literatures, race, and gender theories
  • Cari Carpenter - Ph.D. (University of Michigan)
    19th-century American literature, Native American literature
  • Lowell Duckert - Ph.D. (George Washington University)
    Early Modern British studies, Literature and environment
  • Anna Shannon Elfenbein - Ph.D. (University of Nebraska)
    American literature, Women’s studies, Southern literature, African-American fiction, Popular culture
  • Lara Farina - Ph.D. (Fordham University)
    Medieval literature and culture, History of sexuality and reading
  • Michael Germana - Ph.D. (University of Iowa)
    American studies, 19th- and 20th-century American literature, Popular culture
  • Catherine Gouge - Ph.D. (West Virginia University)
    Professional writing, Medical rhetoric
  • Rosemary Hathaway - Ph.D. (Ohio State University)
    Folklore, 20th-century American literature, English education
  • Adam Komisaruk - Ph.D. (University of California Los Angeles)
    British Romanticism, 18th-century British literature
  • John Lamb - Ph.D. (New York University)
    Victorian literature, 19th-century historiography
  • Kathleen O’Hearn Ryan - Ph.D. (University of Massachusetts)
    20th century American literature
  • Natalie Singh-Corcoran - Ph.D. (University of Arizona)
    Writing Center theory and practice, Writing program administration, Writing assessment
  • David Stewart - Ph.D. (Oxford)
    Associate Vice President for International Outreach. British romanticism, Literary theory
  • Glenn Taylor - M.F.A. (Texas State University)
    Creative Writing: Fiction, Appalachian literature
  • Lisa Weihman - Ph.D. (New York University)
    Modern British and Irish literature and culture

Assistant professors

  • Rose Casey - Ph.D. (Cornell University)
    Modern British Literature
  • Christine Hoffmann - Ph.D. (University of Arkansas)
    Early Modern British Studies
  • Christa Parravani - M.F.A. (Rutgers University)
    Creative Writing: Non-fiction
  • Tom Sura - Ph.D. (Purdue)
    Composition and Rhetoric, Writing pedagogy
  • Anthony Swofford - M.F.A. (University of Iowa)
    Creative Writing: Non-fiction
  • Johanna Winant - Ph.D. (University of Chicago)
    Modern American poetry and poetics

Teaching Assistant Professors

  • Nancy Caronia - Ph.D. (University of Rhode Island)
    Contemporary British and American literature
  • Sarah Morris - Ph.D. (University of Maryland)
    human science phenomenology, embodiment, writing process, and student-centered teaching
  • Douglas Phillips - Ph.D. (Carnegie Mellon University)
    Professional and technical writing


  • Jill Woods - M.A. (Eastern Michigan University)
    Business and technical writing

Professors emeriti

  • Gail Galloway Adams
  • Dennis Allen
  • Rudolph Almasy
  • Patrick Conner
  • Ellesa High
  • Elizabeth Juckett
  • Byron Nelson
  • Carolyn Nelson
  • Kevin Oderman
  • Ethel Morgan Smith