The English major engages students in reflective reading, creative inquiry, critical analysis, and effective expression. The study of literature, linguistics, writing, film, and visual media prepares graduates to pursue a variety of careers, including law, business, government, professional writing, publishing, and education. These studies also prepare students for graduate programs.
The Department of English offers three major emphases: literature, creative writing, and teacher preparation.
Two programs lead to the Bachelor of Arts in English. English: Literature Emphasis focuses on the study of literature in historical and cultural contexts and includes course work in English language and literature, literary and rhetorical theory, creative writing and composition, technical writing, film, and visual media. English: Creative Writing Emphasis focuses on writing in fiction, drama, poetry, and in nonfiction prose, and it is complemented by courses in language and literature. An additional program leads to a Bachelor of Arts in Education: English Elementary. (For those interested in teaching English at the secondary level, see Teaching Endorsement-Secondary.)
The Department of English provides a dynamic intellectual environment and learning community. Faculty members introduce new genres, fields and methods of critical inquiry, and technologies to provide our students with the best possible education. The department offers small, student-centered classes, innovative pedagogy, and close faculty-student interaction. English faculty members have earned numerous awards for excellence in teaching, research, and writing; they are nationally and internationally recognized in creative and critical fields. Our students have amassed an enviable record of placement in graduate programs and professional positions.
MARC GEISLER (1992) Chair and Associate Professor. BA, Bates College; MA, PhD, University of California-Irvine.
KAVEH ASKARI (2007) Assistant Professor. BA, New College of Florida; MA, PhD, University of Chicago.
BRUCE BEASLEY (1992) Professor. BA, Oberlin College; MFA, Columbia University; MA, PhD, University of Virginia.
NICOLE BROWN (2002) Associate Professor. BS, BA, Salve Regina University; MA, Carnegie Mellon University; PhD, Purdue University.
OLIVER DE LA PAZ (2005) Associate Professor. BA, BS, Loyola Marymount University; MFA, Arizona State University.
KRISTIN DENHAM (2000) Associate Professor. BA, Swarthmore College; MA, University of Arizona; PhD, University of Washington.
DAWN DIETRICH (1992) Associate Professor. BA, Eastern Michigan University; MA, PhD, University of Michigan.
ALLISON GIFFEN (2001) Associate Professor. BA, Barnard College; MA, Yale University; PhD, Columbia University.
BRUCE GOEBEL (1996) Professor. BA, Eastern Washington University; MA, California State University, Fresno; PhD, The University of Iowa.
CAROL GUESS (1998) Associate Professor. BA, Columbia University; MA, MFA, Indiana University.
NANCY J. JOHNSON (1994), Professor. BA, University of Washington; MA, PhD, Michigan State University.
ROSANNE D. KANHAI (1990) Professor. BA, MPhil, University of the West Indies, Trinidad; PhD, Pennsylvania State University.
LAURA LAFFRADO (1993) Professor. AB, Vassar College; MFA, University of Montana; MA, PhD, State University of New York-Buffalo.
ANNE LOBECK (1990) Professor. BA, Whitman College; MA, PhD, University of Washington.
KATHLEEN LUNDEEN (1991) Professor. BA, MA, PhD, University of California-Santa Barbara.
WILLIAM LYNE (1995) Professor. BA, University of California, Los Angeles; MA, PhD, University of Virginia.
KELLY MAGEE (2008) Assistant Professor. BA, Auburn University; MFA, Ohio State University.
KRISTIN MAHONEY (2007) Assistant Professor. BA, New College of Florida; MA, PhD, University of Notre Dame.
MARY JANELL METZGER (1995) Professor. BA, University of Washington; MA, PhD, University of Iowa.
BRENDA MILLER (1999) Professor. BA, Humboldt State University; MFA, University of Montana; PhD, University of Utah.
SUZANNE PAOLA (1994) Professor. BA, Oberlin College; MFA, University of Virginia.
DOUGLAS B. PARK (1979) Professor. AB, Hamilton College; PhD, Cornell University.
JOHN PURDY (1991) Professor. BA, Oregon College of Education (Western Oregon University); MA, University of Idaho; PhD, Arizona State University.
DONNA QUALLEY (1994) Professor. BA, University of Kentucky; MST, PhD, University of New Hampshire.
LYSA RIVERA (2007) Assistant Professor. BA, University of California-Santa Cruz; MA, PhD, University of Washington.
WILLIAM E. SMITH (1990) Professor. BA, MA, Appalachian State University; PhD, University of Utah.
SCOTT STEVENS (2002) Associate Professor. BA, California State University; MA, PhD, University of Rochester.
KATHRYN TRUEBLOOD (2002) Associate Professor. BA, University of California-Berkeley; MFA, University of Washington.
STEVEN VANDERSTAAY (1996) Professor. BA, MA, University of Washington; PhD, University of Iowa.
KATHRYN VULIC (2004), Associate Professor. AB, Ohio State University; MA, PhD, University of California, Berkeley.
CHRISTOPHER WISE (1996) Professor. BA, Northwestern College; MA, University of Oklahoma; PhD, University of California, Riverside.
NING YU (1993) Associate Professor. BA, Beijing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics; MA, PhD, University of Connecticut.
The department offers majors leading to both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Education degrees. Admission to these majors is by application to the appropriate advisor. Students are strongly urged to meet with a department advisor early in their careers at Western; students must declare their major at the start of their junior year. Though we cannot guarantee immediate enrollment in the major or access to any specific class, we matriculate students into the major on a rolling basis as space is available and offer a wide variety of topics each term.
Other Departmental Information
Students seeking to complete a BA degree program in English, with an emphasis in literature, creative writing, secondary education, or elementary education within a four-year time span should have completed the following courses by the start of their junior year:
Additional Program Areas
Along with a wide range of courses in literature, creative writing, and secondary and elementary education, the English department offers courses that provide training in linguistics, rhetoric, technical writing, and film.
❑ ENG 270 Introduction to Language and Society
❑ ENG 370 Introduction to Language
❑ ENG 436 The Structure of Language
❑ ENG 438 Cultural History of English
❑ ENG 439 Topics in Language and Linguistics
Rhetoric and Composition
❑ ENG 100 Introduction to College Writing
❑ ENG 101 Writing and Critical Inquiry
❑ ENG 201 Writing in the Humanities
❑ ENG 202 Writing About Literature
❑ ENG 301 Writing Studies
❑ ENG 371 Studies in Rhetoric and Rhetorical Analysis
❑ ENG 401 Senior Seminar in Writing and Rhetoric
Technical and Professional Communications
❑ ENG 302 Introduction to Technical and Professional Writing
❑ ENG 402 Advanced Technical and Professional Writing
❑ ENG 461 Internship in English: Professional Identity
❑ ENG 462 Topics in Technical and Professional Writing
❑ ENG 312 Film and Culture
❑ ENG 364 Introduction to Film Studies
❑ ENG 408 Cultural Studies
❑ ENG 464 Topics in Film Studies
For a concentration leading to the Master of Arts degree, see the Graduate School section of this catalog.
Undergraduate Degrees and Programs
English — Creative Writing Emphasis, BA
English — Literature Emphasis, BA
English — Elementary, BAE
Creative Writing Minor
Film Studies Minor
Women’s Literature Minor
Writing and Rhetoric Studies Minor
Graduate Degrees and Programs
English, Creative Writing, Thesis, MA
English, English Studies, Non-Thesis, MA
English, English Studies, Thesis, MA