A Letter From the Chair

Dear Visitor,

The Department of English at MTSU is the largest department on campus with 88 full-time faculty employed in the department in academic year 2006-2007. These faculty, along with approximately 35 teaching assistants and 15 adjunct faculty, will teach nearly 8000 students in English classes each semester in 2006-2007 ranging from courses in English composition to graduate-level courses in the M.A. and Ph.D. programs. Below are just a few brief items about the many opportunities for students available in the Department of English.

  • The department offers two Bachelor of Arts degree programs, one with a major in English and a second with a major in English and a concentration in Secondary Teacher Licensure. These two programs enrolled some 510 majors in 2006-2007. In addition, the department offers a traditional minor in English and administers and coordinates three interdisciplinary minors: the Film Studies Minor, the Great Books Minor, and the Writing Minor. The Women Studies Program is also directed by a faculty member in the English Department, and several English faculty teach courses not only in the Women's Studies Program but in the Honors College as well. ( See Minors & Programs )

  • The department offers composition courses specifically for International Students and also coursework in ESL pedagogy for Masters-level teacher licensure students in cooperation with the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures and the College of Education and Behavioral Science. Through English 4000: Writing Internship, numerous English majors and minors and especially Writing minors, are afforded the opportunity to earn credit hours by working as interns in businesses, government agencies, community groups, and non-profit organizations located throughout middle Tennessee and elsewhere.

  • The University Writing Center, which reports to the Dean of Liberal Arts, is housed in the department in Peck Hall 325, is directed by a member of the English faculty, and is staffed by tutors who are English Department graduate assistants. The UWC offers free tutoring for all students regardless of major or level of academic standing and provides a computer lab in Peck Hall 326 that is open to students five days a week.

  • Each summer English faculty members participate in two established and respected Study Abroad consortia, the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad (CCSA) and the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS). These programs offer students the opportunity to earn credit in numerous countries around the world. For those many students who cannot travel abroad but who also cannot attend classes on campus, the department offers all the required General Studies courses as well as several upper division courses in distance-learning formats through the College of Continuing Studies and Distance Learning.

  • At the graduate level the department offers the Master of Arts degree and the Doctor of Philosophy degree. The department's M.A. degree is one of the oldest in the state and has a national reputation for preparing students for doctoral study at prestigious programs throughout the nation. The Ph.D. degree was approved as a "new"; degree in November 2002 although the department had, in fact, been offering the Doctor of Arts degree since 1968. Thus the Ph.D. program is the product of a highly respected doctoral program that has flourished in the department for over three decades. The new program offers a depth of faculty expertise for students in several fields, and new courses have already been developed in such areas as Rhetoric and Composition Theory and Pedagogy, Children's and Young Adult Literature, Folklore, Linguistics, and Popular Culture Studies in order to expand the program beyond the solid core of emphases in more traditional fields of English, American, and Anglophone literatures as well as in recent critical and theoretical literary trends.

  • The department houses six hard copy scholarly journals and one online journal that are edited by department faculty and supplement the distinguished record of scholarly achieve-ments in research and creative activity that is available for viewing elsewhere on the webpage and especially on the webpages of individual faculty.

  • Last but certainly not least, department faculty members coordinate two international biennial conferences—the Conference on John Milton and the Conference on Modern Critical Approaches to Children's Literature—and one national conference—the annual Conference on Baseball and Literature. Several department faculty are also involved in the biennial Women and Power Conference, and in May 2004 one faculty member co-directed the first international conference on Buffy the Vampire Slayer in Nashville , TN. (See Conferences & Journals)

Admittedly, the above list can in no way convey the diversity of faculty, programs, and courses in the department any more than it can demonstrate the excellent teaching and the scholarly accom-plishments of faculty in English that make this department the standard by which others are measured on campus. If it sounds as if I'm bragging just a bit about our department, then perhaps I am. We know that students in English classes receive superior teaching from instructors who care about their academic progress, and satisfaction with advising in the English Department is always in the 90th percentile, well above the university average in the 60-70 percentile. So please take the time to peruse the department's webpage and become familiar with many of the interesting courses and valuable professional programs that the department has to offer.

Tom Strawman
Chair, English Department