About the Department

About Us

The English department offers two BA degrees, one in English and one in Technical and Professional Writing (TPW). The English BA is comprised of four concentrations: Literature, Linguistics, English Education, Individual major and two minors in English and American Literature and in Linguistics. We also offer four M.A. programs in Literature, Linguistics, Composition, and TESOL. Additionally, we have three graduate certificate programs in the Teaching of Composition, Teaching Post-Secondary Reading, and in Immigrant Literacies.

Letter from the Chair

Welcome to the 2014-2015 academic year. Our College (and department) has experienced many changes since last spring. First, and most significantly, Paul Sherwin, the Dean of the College of Liberal and Creative Arts has retired, and we have a new interim dean, Daniel Bernardi (former Chair of Cinema). We also have a new Dean of Undergraduate Studies, Jennifer Summit. I look forward to introducing them to our department and have invited both of them to attend our second Fall Semester Department meeting on Friday November 21st from 12-1pm.  Please mark this important meeting in your calendars.

Another significant change is that over the Winter Break, the department offices (main office, ETC, Composition, and CMS) will be moving from our current location in HUM 289.  Please look for us in our new location on the 4th floor in the former Dean’s Suite, HUM 484.

This fall, we also welcome Dr. Jenny Lederer as a new Assistant Professor in Linguistics. Jenny taught for us as a lecturer, so she will be a familiar face to many of you. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure to meet Jenny, I hope you do soon. In addition to the expertise she brings to our graduate and undergraduate linguistics program, Jenny Lederer is also a dynamic and friendly addition to our faculty. 

This year, we have the good fortune to conduct two tenure line searches. We are searching to fill a tenure track position in our linguistics program and our TESOL program. Slowly but surely, we are beginning to rebuild after years of devastating cuts and I am quite optimistic about the future of our department.

I’d also like to express the Department’s gratitude to our donors who continue to give generously in support of our students and the intellectual life of our department. For anyone interested in making a donation, please link to the “Support English” page on our website.

Department History

Notes on a bygone era in the English Department...

by Stephen Arkin

At the Modern Language Association meeting in New York in December of 1966, Caroline Shrodes wound up offering eleven jobs to a group of people she had invited to a party at her hotel room. Everything about the person hosting the party, the committee she had brought along with her from San Francisco, and the interview was unconventional. Seen now from the vantage point of a growing budget crisis and with only a handful of people left in the department who remember Caroline Shrodes, that distant time seems almost surreal.

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