Department of English and Philosophy

 

Faculty in English — Our Shared Activities

The faculty in English is an intellectually diverse group, with members specializing in British and American literature, rhetoric and composition, linguistics, creative writing, and folklore. But we are united by activities in several areas that link our endeavors, connect our teaching and research, and create a distinct department culture. These shared areas are:

Historical and Cultural Approaches to Literature and Language

This area includes studies of literary and cultural history, orality, and linguistic change. In research and teaching, many of our faculty members address ways that literature and language are embedded in historical and cultural movements, registering social and intellectual change. Several of us explore ideas about authorship, investigating the social significance of textual and cultural productions in the context of their authors’ biographies, political leanings, and communal affiliations.

English Pedagogy and Writing Instruction

All faculty teach writing courses, from freshman composition to specialized, upper-division classes, and our involvement in composition fosters our promotion of conscious and reflective pedagogical practices. Such commitment is evident in our support for pedagogical research among faculty and graduate students, in our graduate certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), in our undergraduate and graduate courses in pedagogy, in our work with majors in Education, in our mentoring program for graduate student teachers, and in our regular department workshops on teaching.

Professional and Creative Writing

Growing out of our work in literature, composition, and pedagogy is a commitment to activities that engage the broader public, and the professional and creative communities. We teach courses in business, technical, and magazine writing, as well as courses in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. We also encourage professional activities in these areas, through the internship program in the professional writing track of the English major; through the publication of our literary journal, Black Rock and Sage; and through faculty and student participation in readings and presentations.

Although these are different areas, we do not think of them as independent or mutually exclusive. Our research in historical and cultural approaches influences how we teach literature, setting texts into their contexts. Our support of creative writing makes our teaching of literary history all the more pertinent. Not surprisingly, our diversity also fosters support for interdisciplinary degrees, curricula, and projects. Above all, we are involved in these three main areas, which complement and unite our diverse specialties and interests.