2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Sep 21, 2023  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English Major

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English Overview

Undergraduate Program

The English program offers courses for majors and minors and electives for non-majors. The program is designed to develop a sense of literature, literary history, and sensitivity to cultural values. Students will also acquire the ability to analyze effectively and to write persuasively, skills that are valuable to almost any vocation. Our program offers a range of courses, from traditional areas, such as Shakespeare, Romanticism, and global literature, to cutting-edge fields, such as medical humanism and science fiction. 

We advise English majors and minors to take two historical surveys, one pre-1850 and one post-1850, early in their programs.

In addition, we have a Creative Writing minor with courses in poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction taught by professional writers. These courses guide students to examine literary works as a writer to apply what they learn to their own writing. Interactive workshops, moreover, provide the feedback that helps students to develop and refine their work. Please contact Professor Elliott for more information.

Our program provides a number of scholarly opportunities, such as participation in our national Honors Society, our Capstone in English, and our Honors program. We also have connections to a number of internships, such as the London Internship Program, which offers positions in the fields of theater and journalism, in addition to internships with local newspapers and journals, as well as national organizations. Our program, moreover, has strong ties with the American Antiquarian Society, which offers seminars and the opportunity to participate in archival research. For those interested in studying abroad, the English Department has a partner program at the University of East Anglia and Advanced Studies in English in Bath, England. 


For more information, please visit the English Department’s website.

Scholarly Research Program

Our program facilitates scholarly research through our Capstone in English, a senior research project, and our Honors program. Please contact Professor Kasmer, Chair, for information. Also, every year The American Antiquarian Society, a prestigious national research library of American culture located in Worcester, offers seminars in specialized topics in American studies. Please contact Professor Elliott or Neuman for more information. 

Internship Opportunities

In cooperation with the University’s internship office, the English Department supports internships for all majors. Internships are available both in university offices and in venues beyond the campus-for example, newspapers, news departments of radio and television stations, periodical and book publishers, and communication departments. Please consult with Professor Kasmer, Chair, for further information.

Study Abroad

The English Department has a special arrangement with the University of East Anglia in England, the Advanced Studies in English in Bath, England and the London Internship Program. For information, please consult with Professor Kasmer, Chair, or Clark’s Study Abroad Programs.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements:
A minimum grade of C is required to receive major field credit. Each designation in parentheses in the descriptions below is used in course listings every semester in order to identify what requirement a course meets. Thus, if a course does not appear in the list below (for example, a new course), you can nonetheless readily see what requirements it meets through these designations. For questions concerning requirements, please see your adviser.

A. Gateway (1 course)

Each major must take the gateway course to prepare for English courses.

ENG 199 - The Text, the World, and the Critic: Narrative and Form  

B. Historical Sequences (2 courses)

The two courses used to satisfy this requirement must include one course from B-1 and one course from B-2:

(B-1) Pre- 1850 (1 course):

(B-2) Post-1850 Course (1 course):

D. Period Requirements (4 courses)

(D-1) Each major must take at least two courses of literature before 1700, one of which must be at the 200-level such as:

(D-2) Each major must take at least one 200-level course of literature between 1700 and 1900, such as:

(D-3) Each major must take at least one 200 level course of literature after 1900, such as:

E. Theory or Language (1 course)

 (E-1) Each major must take at least one 200-level course in the theory and language, such as:

F. Capstone Requirement (1 course)

The English Capstone ( ENG 290 - Capstone )is a dedicated and required course that is offered during the fall semester of every year.  Every senior English major should plan to enroll in this course as a step toward the completion of the major.

Area of Specialization

As early as possible, in combination with an adviser, an English major should select an Area of Specialization (seven courses, four of which are typically fulfilled by core courses in the major).

Students may substitute a second major, a University concentration, or a minor for the Area of Specialization as long as they demonstrate the links between the English major and the substituted area of study in the Capstone or in another appropriate course.

Descriptions of areas of specialization with lists of required and recommended courses are available from the department.


In the spring semester, the faculty identify qualified junior majors and invite them to work on a yearlong honors thesis during their senior year. Other students who wish to take honors in English should identify an area of interest, consult with an appropriate honors adviser, and apply to Professor Kasmer, Chair, before the end of the junior year.

English Faculty


Louis Bastien, Ph.D.
Dianne Berg, M.A., Ph.D. expected, VAP
Elizabeth Blake, Ph.D.
James Elliott, Ph.D.
Betsy P. Huang, Ph.D.
Esther Jones, Ph.D.
Lisa Kasmer, Ph.D. - Department Chair
Stephen M. Levin, Ph.D.
Meredith Neuman, Ph.D.
Mee-Ju Ro, Ph.D., VAP
Kourtney Senquiz, M.A., M.A.T., Ph.D.expected, VAP

Department Instructors

Bruce Borowsky, M.A.
Timothy Connolly, M.A.
Reginald Gibson, M.F.A.
Rose Novak, Ph.D.
Kate Senecal, M.F.A.
Lucilia Valerio, Ph.D.

Creative Writing Instructors

Michael Carolan, M.F.A.
Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez, M.F.A.
Joan Houlihan, M.A.
Karen Osborn, M.F.A.
Jessica Bane Robert, M.F.A.


John J. Conron, Ph.D.
SunHee Kim Gertz, Ph.D., Research Professor
Serena S. Hilsinger, Ph.D.
Fern Johnson, Ph.D., Research Professor
Virginia Mason Vaughan, Ph.D., Research Professor


Michael Bamberg, Ph.D.
Gino DiIorio, M.F.A.
Robert Tobin, Ph.D.

Graduate Studies in English

Stephen M. Levin, Ph.D., Director

English Courses

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