Our Community

We are a community of readers and writers, scholars and teachers. We range across the literatures of English in space as well as time, combining global diversity with broad historical coverage. This resource opens for you as students under the guidance of faculty who are committed to their roles as teachers and mentors. In our department, you will feel at once welcomed and challenged—starting with the openness of our faculty, staff, and students and stretching to the novel encounters with language your peers and instructors will help to spark.

About our Department

English is one of the most storied departments in the College of Arts & Sciences. Our recent history includes two U.S. Poet Laureates and multiple National Book Award winners as well as noted scholars in many fields of literary history. Our accomplishments as a faculty become an invitation, for you as students, to reach the level of excellence you expect of yourselves, whether in the form of a national award or an essay or poem well written. We have been recognized as exceptional in this respect: USA Today has ranked us as the sixth-best home in the nation for undergraduate authors, while College Magazine has placed us at number eight. Such recognition testifies to the tradition of collaboration in our department, where we share the experience of literature’s power to enlighten, inspire, challenge, and lead.

“To unpack and enjoy complex texts; to read with a critical eye; to write and communicate with concision and purpose -- these are skills invaluable to my pursuit of the law, my pursuit of meaning, and without them I would be lost.” 

―Ryan Foreman BA, 2014
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Recent News

Associate Professor Abram Van Engen is co-host of the Poetry for All podcast

Sometimes all it takes is a little teaching to get the taste. That bit of teaching is what a new podcast called Poetry For All aims to achieve. In this podcast, which Van Engen co-hosts with Joanne Diaz, a poet and English professor at Illinois Wesleyan University, they introduce a great poem each week and why they love it. In fifteen minutes, they read the poem, discuss it, learn how it works, see what it has to teach, then read it one more time.



Associate Professor Melanie Micir's book makes shortlist for Modernist Studies Association’s First Book Prize

A heroic recovery of queer feminist literary history and criticism, Melanie Micir’s The Passion Projects: Modernist Women, Intimate Archives, Unfinished Lives celebrates women’s defiant literary and personal commitments in the face of ongoing erasure from the annals of modernism. Beautifully written, ferociously researched, energetically argued, this study documents, interprets, and theorizes a modernist genre out of the intimate, private biographical acts of lesbian and queer writers Radclyffe Hall, Una Troubridge, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Hope Mirrlees, Alice B. Toklas, among others. Reading biography as an activist genre undertaken in late career by queer feminist writers, The Passion Projects discovers in unpublished, unfinished, curated, collated, forward-looking works by women the ghostly materials awaiting discovery in the future of this book.

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Career Opportunities

Stay tuned for future job postings!