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The PhD in English and the Teaching of English

The PhD in English and the Teaching of English integrates research in English studies with practical and theoretical training in the teaching of English. It is the only PhD program in English in Idaho, Montana, or Wyoming, and attracts applicants from around the region, the nation, and the world.

The 2014 Report of the MLA Task Force on Doctoral Study in Modern Language and Literature recognized our program as an example of innovative doctoral training. Indeed, our program is unique in its integration of research-oriented coursework with courses in pedagogy, supervised teaching internships, and a pedagogical component in every dissertation. The aim is to prepare students for teaching careers in English at two- and four-year colleges and universities, and the PhD program is especially well-suited for those pursuing a teaching-focused position at a community college.

Our PhD program also houses the Teaching Literature Book Award, an international, juried prize that recognizes excellence in research on teaching literature at the college level.

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Curriculum, Doctor of Philosophy in English and the Teaching of English

The Doctor of Philosophy in English and the Teaching of English prepares students for teaching careers in English at colleges and universities. The program emphasizes the study of literature, rhetoric and composition, and content-specific English pedagogy. For a full description of the PhD Curriculum, please see the Graduate Catalog.

Recent PhD Dissertations

Students have written dissertations in several areas of English studies. Most focus on British, American, or Anglophone literature, or some aspect of literature or composition pedagogy, while some deal with traditional or newer forms of narrative (oral storytelling, film, graphic novels, and video games). Each dissertation contains at least one chapter discussing implications of the research for teaching literature or composition.

  • Wonjeong Kim, "Asian Diaspora and Shopkeeping in North American Literature" (2022)
  • Yousef Deikna, "A Cognitivist Reading of Hutchinson's and Cavendish's Responses to the English Civil War" (2021) 
  • Noran Amin, “The Interrogative Mode: A Practical Theory for Comics Criticism” (2020)
  • Catherine Becker “Seriality, Context, and Format: Early American Literature and the Periodical” (2020)

  • Jennifer Cox “Illuminating the Dark Carnival in American Fantasy” (2020)

  • Melinda Linscott, “Petrarchan Imagery in Woth's Pamphilia to Amphilanthus and Prominent Cultural Discourses in Seventeenth Century England: ‘From contraries I seeke to runn, but contraries I can nott shunn’ “ (2020)

  • Shelley McEuen, “A 21st Century Perspective on the American Frontier:  The Influence and Continuity of Historical Rhetoric on Current Attitudes toward Western Landscape and Urban Wild Spaces” (2020)

  • Richard Samuelson “Crossing the Moat around the Ivory Tower: Community Engagement in a Face-to-Face and Online First-Year Writing Course” (2020)
  • Corinna Barrett-Percy, “ ’Ideal’ American Heroes: Soldiers of Color in American World War II Literature” (2019)

  • Dana Benge, “Well-Behaved Women Rarely Make History: Patricia Clapp’s Jane Emily and Young Gothic Literature” (2019)

  • Anelise Farris, “The Boundless Self: Disability in Virtual Reality” (2019)

  • Quinn Grover, “Water, Aridity, Community, and Individualism in 20th Century Fiction of the American West” (2019)

  • Suzette Kunz, “What Vernacular Narratives Teach Us about Trauma” (2019)

  • Brad Rowe, " ’Annuit Coeptis’: The Providence Myth and the American Revolution” (2019)

  • Diantha Smith, “Empowering Student Writers with Instruction on Language Patterns in Academic Discourse” (2019)

  • Valah Steffen-Witter, “Anglo-Saxon Sources in The Hobbit” (2019)

  • Jacob Thomas, “Hagiographic Rhetoric in Medieval English Devotional Texts: Ælfric of Eynsham, Thomas of Monmouth, and John Mirk” (2019)

  • Chris Brock, “Masculinity in the Early Works of Frank Miller” (2018)

  • Steve Harrison, “ ’Come Out of the Woods and We’ll Tell You Who You Are’: The Protest Literatures of S. Alice Callahan, Charles Alexander Eastman, and Simon Pokagon” (2017)

Job Opportunities for Doctoral Graduates

Graduates from our PhD program have found a wide variety of employment, from tenure-track faculty appointments and careers in academic administration to corporate employment. PhD graduates who finished their degrees in 2017 or after have been employed by the following institutions:

Butte College (adjunct faculty)

BYU-Idaho (tenured and tenure-track faculty; multiple graduates)

Cairo University (Egypt) (tenure-track faculty)

College of Coastal Georgia (tenure-track faculty)

College of Eastern Idaho (full-time faculty; multiple graduates)

College of Southern Idaho (tenured faculty)

Georgia Institute of Technology (postdoctoral fellow)

Idaho State University (adjunct faculty; multiple graduates)

Midwestern State University (full-time faculty)

Northwest Nazarene University (tenure-track faculty)

Shoreline Christian School (full-time faculty [high school])

Snow College (tenure-track faculty)

Southern New Hampshire University (adjunct faculty)

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater (full-time faculty)

Utah Valley University (full-time faculty)

Utah Valley University (adjunct faculty)

Some of our ABD students accept full-time faculty employment in the final stages of finishing their PhDs. Those students have been employed by the following institutions:

College of Eastern Idaho

Midwestern State University

Snow College

Utah Tech University

Utah Valley University