Department of English

Mission

English forms the cornerstone of the humanities. In a variety of courses in literature, writing, and the English language, English students find a source of personal enrichment, and they develop verbal, analytic, and cultural skills readily adaptable to a variety of careers. English students learn to write with grace and precision, to read and analyze texts with accuracy, to conduct research and organize a welter of materials, to speak and listen well--in short, to sharpen their critical thinking and critical inquiry skills. These skills are highly valued by prospective employers. When our graduates leave with a degree in English, they are prepared for career opportunities or advanced study in literature and language, technical and professional communication, teaching, and/or creative writing. 

Chair
Jacob Blevins

Contact Information
(936) 294-1404
Evans Building 458
Shanna Hollis, Assistant to the Chair

Website
Department of English

Highlights

  • The English Department focuses on excellent teaching, featuring a Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award winner, a Texas State University Regents' Professor and Distinguished Professor, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar, National Endowment of the Arts Fellow, and numerous Sam Houston State University Teaching Excellence Award winners.
  • Faculty actively publish in national and international journals, win national literary awards, and serve as editors and co-editors of scholarly journals such as Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Intertexts, and The Journal of Finnish Studies.
  • Nationally recognized writers are brought to campus each year to read their works to students and discuss the writing and publishing process. Such writers have included Tim O'Brien, Larry McMurtry, Richard Bausch, George Garrett, X.J. Kennedy, Galway Kinnell, Allison Joseph, Maurice Kilwein, Marilyn Nelson, and Alex Lemon.
  • Students are provided opportunities to publish and present their scholarly and creative writing and to enter writing contests (such as the Academy of American Poets Prize). Numerous students have published works in regional and national journals.
  • Students have the opportunity to write technical documents for non-profit and other community groups.

Career Opportunities

Students who earn a Master's degree in English find themselves well-prepared for further graduate study, community college teaching, and enriched secondary teaching as well as publishing, editing, and professional writing.

Student Organizations and Activities

Students in English may participate in many activities that will enrich their graduate experience and support the courses they take. These include the following:

  • Teaching Assistantships provide opportunities for students to teach college-level writing courses. A limited number of Research Assistantships are also offered.
  • Scholarly and Creative Writing Colloquia provide students with the opportunity to present their work.

Internships and Study Abroad

  • Texas Review Press - Students may serve as interns at Texas Review Press. Interns are involved in a variety of tasks, ranging from charting the development of a manuscript to evaluating submissions to the literary journal.
  • The Texas Review is a nationally recognized literary magazine that, twice a year, publishes fiction, poetry, nonfiction prose, and reviews by writers from around the world. Qualifying graduate students may serve as interns while working as members of the Review and Press staff.
  • A graduate exchange program with the English Department at the University of Turku, Finland, provides students with an opportunity to study abroad for either a semester or a full year and transfer coursework toward their SHSU degree.

Scholarships

  • Donald L. Stalling Graduate Scholarship in English
  • Texas Review Press Creative Writing Scholarship

Several scholarships are available for outstanding students. Please see the Department Chair and/or the Department's website for more information. Information on University scholarships may be obtained from the Office of Academic Scholarships website or telephone (936) 294-1672.

ENGL 5330. Graduate Research: Methods and Theories. 3 Hours.

Required of all English majors under MA Plan I, MA Plan II, and MEd Plan II, this course introduces students to graduate-level research methods in literature and to the study of the book.

ENGL 5331. Creative Writing: Fiction. 3 Hours.

A graduate writing workshop, this course emphasizes the writing and revision of fiction and creative nonfiction.

ENGL 5332. Creative Writing: Poetry. 3 Hours.

A graduate writing workshop that emphasizes the writing and revision of poetry.

ENGL 5333. Practicum:Editing & Publishing. 3 Hours.

In this course, students study and apply current scholarship in editing and publishing. They have the opportunity to work both on and off campus as writers and editors in various professions.

ENGL 5334. Creative Writing: Nonfiction. 3 Hours.

Ths workshop requires students to study the art and craft of creative nonfiction across a range of its broadly-defined forms with the purpose of writing original and publishable texts.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5335. Workshop In Teaching Writing. 3 Hours.

This course is a workshop in teaching writing in the secondary schools. It emphasizes applications of current writing theory and research.

ENGL 5336. Narrative Theory. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on primary texts in narrative theory, in addition to the secondary texts that analyze concepts and research in the field. Considerable attention will be paid to ideological contributions to narrative theory, past and present.

ENGL 5337. Poetic Theory and Prosody. 3 Hours.

This course focuses on primary texts and readings along with secondary texts that provide analyses of the concepts and research in poetic theory and English prosody. Considerable attention will be paid to ideological contributions to poetic theory from a historical perspective.

ENGL 5339. Dir Stu Sel Top Lit Lang. 3 Hours.

This course, which may be taken only with the written consent of the Department Chair, allows a student to engage a specialized topic in literature or language under the direct supervision of a faculty member. A student may take no more than six credit hours of directed study during his or her graduate career.

ENGL 5367. Practicm In Teaching Coll Comp. 3 Hours.

This course studies modern rhetorical principles and methodologies used in teaching college-level writing.

ENGL 5368. Literary Criticism And Theory. 3 Hours.

This course studies various theories and theorists of literary interpretation, with application and practice in writing criticism.

ENGL 5369. The Novel. 3 Hours.

This course studies the emergence and development of the novel as a distinct literary genre. It is designed to allow for reading of the novel in various contexts, from various nations and historical ages, and according to various theoretical emphases.

ENGL 5370. Multicultural Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literatures of underrepresented groups, including but not limited to African Americans, Latinos/as, Chicanos/as, Caribbeans, Native Americans, and Asian Americans. The class, which will explore multicultural literatures within their historical and cultural contexts, may feature various critical approaches and pursue various thematic and aesthetic emphases.

ENGL 5371. Modern World Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the works, writers, movements, and genres of world literature from the 19th and 20th centuries. The course is designed to allow for reading both works in translation and Anglophone literatures.

ENGL 5372. Early American Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of early America.

ENGL 5374. Women's Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of selected women writers from various historical ages, genres, and nationalities. Emphases may vary each semester.

ENGL 5375. Restoration-18Th Cent Brit Lit. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of Restoration and 18th-century Britain.

ENGL 5376. The Classical Tradition. 3 Hours.

This course studies the Greek and Roman literary heritage and its influence upon subsequent literature. Students read ancient and classical works in translation and study the current literature in the field.

ENGL 5377. Early & Middle English Lit. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of selected works in Old and Middle English literatures.

ENGL 5378. Renaissance-17th Cent Brit Lit. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of 16th- and 17th-century Britain. Topics may include studies in Shakespeare, studies in Spenser, and studies in Milton.

ENGL 5379. Romantic Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of the British Romantic age.

ENGL 5380. Victorian Literature. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of the Victorian age.

ENGL 5381. Eng Lit, 1900 to the Present. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the literature, writers, movements, and genres of British literature from 1900 to the present.

ENGL 5383. English Linguistics. 3 Hours.

A thoroughgoing graduate introduction to English linguistics, this course features study in sociolinguistics, dialectology, lexicography, stylistics through linguistic analysis, principles of semantics, and linguistics in relation to the teaching of English.

ENGL 5384. Rhetoric & Composition Theory. 3 Hours.

This course studies selected topics in historical and contemporary rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and composition theory. Students will apply current theory and research in rhetoric and composition.

ENGL 5385. American Literature, 1800-1860. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the works, writers, movements, and genres of American literature from 1800 to 1860.

ENGL 5386. American Literature, 1860-1920. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the works, writers, movements, and genres of American literature from 1860-1920.

ENGL 5387. American Lit, 1920-the Present. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the works, writers, movements, and genres of American literature from 1920 to the present.

ENGL 5388. Major Figures in Amer Poetry. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to an analysis of the writers and movements contributing to the development of American poetry.

ENGL 5389. Hist Dvlpt Of English Language. 3 Hours.

This course is a cultural, historical, and philological study of the development of the English language from its Indo-European prototype through Anglo-Saxon, Anglo-French, and Early Modern English to its present form.

ENGL 5390. Technical & Prof. Writing. 3 Hours.

This course engages students in in-depth study of current issues in technical and professional communication. Students examine the field and conduct primary research.

ENGL 5391. Major Figures in Brit Poetry. 3 Hours.

In this course, students apply current theory and research to a focused and sustained analysis of the careers of major poets who made a substantial contribution to the development of British poetry. The contents and approaches to the class materials will vary from term to term.

ENGL 6098. Thesis I. 1-3 Hours.

In this first semester of graduate thesis, the student works under close faculty supervision to produce a thesis prospectus approved by all members of the reading committee and submits a draft of the introduction. Variable Credit (1-3).

ENGL 6099. Thesis II. 1-3 Hours.

In this second semester of graduate thesis, the student works under close faculty supervision to complete the thesis. The student must enroll in this class from term to term until the thesis is completed. Variable Credit (1-3).

ENGL 6330. Special Topics in English. 3 Hours.

(Prior SH course id: ENG 630); In this course, students apply current research to an analysis and understanding of a special topic in English language, literature, theory, and/or a writing discipline. The contents and approaches to the materials will vary from term to term.

Chair: Jacob Damon Blevins

Ira R Adams, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, University of Virginia - SFS; MA, University of Virginia - SFS; BA, Washington Lee University

Kimberly K Bell, PHD, Professor of English and Dean of Honors College, Department of English, PHD, Georgia State University; MA, Clark University; BA, The American College of Greece

Tracy E. Bilsing, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Assistant Dean of Honors College, Department of English, PHD, Texas AM University; MA, Sam Houston State University; BA, Sam Houston State University

Brian D Blackburne, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Central Florida; MA, Univ of North Texas; BA, Texas AM University

Jacob Damon Blevins, PHD, Professor and Chair of English, Department of English, PHD, Texas Tech University; MFA, McNeese State University; MA, McNeese State University; BA, McNeese State University

Paul W Child, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Notre Dame; MA, James Madison University; BA, Saint John'S University

Lee F Courtney, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Emory University; MA, Texas AM University; BA, Texas AM University

Michael T Demson, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Cuny City Coll; MA, Cuny City Coll; BA, Reed College

Robert E. Donahoo, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Duke University; MA, Duke University; BA, Baylor University; BA, Baylor University

Diane Dowdey, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; MA, Univ of Missouri-Columbia; BA, Texas Christian University; BA, Texas Christian University

Julie E Hall, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of N Carolina-Chapel Hill; MA, Univ of N Carolina-Chapel Hill; BA, Univ of The South

Sirkka Helena Halmari, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Southern California; MA, Univ of Southern California; MA, California St Un-San Bernardin; MSS, University of Tampere; MA, University of Tampere; BA, University of Tampere

Darci N Hill, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Texas Woman's University; MA, Texas State Univ-San Marcos; BA, Texas State Univ-San Marcos; BA, Texas State Univ-San Marcos

Scott Aaron Kaukonen, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Missouri-Columbia; MFA, Univ of Arizona; BA, Hope College

Marion Douglas Krienke, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Toledo; MA, Texas AM University; BA, Sam Houston State University

Nicolas J Lantz, MFA, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, MFA, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; BA, Lewis Clark College

Audrey D Murfin, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Suny At Binghamton; MA, Suny At Binghamton; BA, Reed College

Carroll F. Nardone, PHD, Associate Professor of English and Associate Dean, CHSS, Department of English, PHD, New Mexico State University; MA, Ohio State Univ; BA, Univ of Texas-El Paso

Jason M Payton, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Maryland-College Park; MA, Univ of Kentucky; BA, Milligan College

Deborah Lynne Phelps, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Delaware; MA, Univ of Delaware; BS, Towson State University

April A Shemak, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Maryland-College Park; MA, Univ of Maryland-College Park; BA, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison; BA, Univ of Wisconsin-Madison

Kandi A Tayebi, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Denver; MA, Univ of Northern Colorado; BA, Univ of Northern Colorado

Linda Joyce Webster, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Texas AM University; MA, Sam Houston State University; BA, Sam Houston State University

Eugene O. Young, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Tennessee-Knoxville; MA, West Texas AM State Univ; BA, West Texas AM State Univ

Interim Faculty