Jun 15, 2024  
2013-2014 Catalog 
2013-2014 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


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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. (For those interested in teaching English Language Arts at the secondary level, see the English Literature Emphasis major.)

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) Associate 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.
JEREMY CUSHMAN (2013) Assistant Professor. BA, Whitworth University; MA, University of Illinois at Chicago; PhD, Purdue University.
OLIVER DE LA PAZ (2005) Associate Professor. BA, BS, Loyola Marymount University; MFA, Arizona State University.
KRISTIN DENHAM (2000) 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) Professor. BA, Columbia University; MA, MFA, Indiana University.
NANCY J. JOHNSON (1994), Professor. BA, University of Washington; MA, PhD, Michigan State University.
KRISTIANA KAHAKAUWILA (2012) Assistant Professor, BA, Princeton University; MFA, University of Michigan.
LAURA LAFFRADO (1993) Professor. AB, Vassar College; MFA, University of Montana; MA, PhD, State University of New York-Buffalo.
CHRISTOPHER LOAR (2013) Assistant Professor. BA, University of Chicago; MA, University of California, Los Angeles; PhD, University of California, Los Angeles.
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) Associate 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.
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) Associate Professor. BA, University of California-Santa Cruz; MA, PhD, University of Washington.
KATHRYN TRUEBLOOD (2002) Associate Professor. BA, University of California-Berkeley; MFA, University of Washington.
STEVEN VANDERSTAAY (1996) Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and 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.

Declaration Process

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

Mid-Program Checkpoint

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  Introduction to Writing Studies
ENG 371  Introduction to Rhetoric and Rhetorical Analysis
ENG 401  Senior Seminar in Writing Studies 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 Professional and Technical Writing

Visual Literacy

ENG 312  Film and Culture
ENG 364  Introduction to Film Studies
ENG 408  Cultural Studies
ENG 464  Topics in Film Studies

Graduate Study

For a concentration leading to the Master of Arts degree, see the Graduate School  section of this catalog.


    Undergraduate MajorUndergraduate MinorGraduateEndorsement



      Courses numbered X37; X97; 300, 400, 500 are described in the University Academic Policies  section of this catalog. For more information about the courses and sections to be offered this year and next, please consult the online Timetable of Classes and the English department’s Website, www.wwu.edu/depts/english for the English department course descriptions and information on majors and minors.

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