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 and research, featuring a Minnie Stevens Piper Teaching Award winner, a Texas State University Regents' Professor and Distinguished Professor, a former Senior Fulbright Scholar, an American Council of Learned Societies Fellow, 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 professional journals such as Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, Intertexts, The Texas Review, the Journal of the American Studies Association of Texas, and The Journal of Finnish Studies. The department hosts the annual conference of the American Studies Association of Texas and has recently hosted conferences of the Society of Comparative Literature and the Arts, as well as, conferences in Medieval and Renaissance literature and Medical Humanities. 
  • 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.

English

ENGL 5301. Grad Rsrch: Methods & Theories. 3 Hours.

Students learn graduate-level research methods in literature and the study of the book. Required of all English majors under MA Plan I, MA Plan II, and MEd Plan II.

ENGL 5302. Literary Theory. 3 Hours.

Students study various theories and theorists of literary interpretation with application and practice in writing criticism.

ENGL 5303. Hist Dvlpt Of English Language. 3 Hours.

Students study cultural, historical, and philological concepts in 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 5304. English Linguistics. 3 Hours.

Students study sociolinguistics, dialectology, lexicography, stylistics through linguistic analysis, principles of semantics, and linguistics in relation to the teaching of English.

ENGL 5306. American Lit: Pre-Civil War. 3 Hours.

Students examine selected works and movements in American literature from the colonial period to the Civil War. Students explore critical issues such as the histories of discovery and conquest, nations and empire, race and slavery, and gender and sexuality.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5307. American Lit: Post-Civil War. 3 Hours.

Students explore how regional and national American literature after the Civil War attempts to define an American identity and the American experience. Coursework might involve literary exploration of the opening of the American West, the development of African-American literature, and the rise of the great American novel.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5308. US Ethnic Literatures. 3 Hours.

Students examine the literary production of various ethnic groups in the United States, and analyze literature of marginalized populations, migrants, and diasporas. Analysis includes critical discussion of political forces that have shaped ethnic literatures.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5309. British Lit: Pre-Industrial. 3 Hours.

Students analyze literature produced in pre-industrialized Britain and explore the evolution of the English language and literature in its early phases. Topics might include the Icelandic epics, the early and middle English genres, or the impact of the Norman Invasion on Saxon.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5310. British Lit: Post-Industrial. 3 Hours.

Students explore major developments in the literature of post-industrial Britain by analyzing the aesthetic trends that led to literary movements. Topics might include Romanticism, Realism, Modernism, Post-Modernism, or students might explore the history of particular genres, such as the rise of the novel, lyrical poetry, autobiography, or news reporting.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5311. Anglophone Literature. 3 Hours.

Students examine world, multicultural, and post-colonial literature, analyzing how global history and politics both shape and are reflected in literary traditions that, in turn, have influenced the history of literature written in English. Students appraise the impact of non-English literatures on writers in the Anglophone tradition to gain an appreciation for the global history and scope of literary traditions.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 5312. Directed Study. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a specialized topic in literature or language under the direct supervision of a faculty member and with written consent of the Department Chair. A student may take no more than six credit hours of directed study during his or her graduate career.

ENGL 5313. Studies in Technical Comm.. 3 Hours.

Students undertake an in-depth study of technical and professional communication. Students examine the field and conduct primary research.
Prerequisite: Admission to Graduate Study.

ENGL 5331. Creative Writing: Fiction. 3 Hours.

Students actively participate in a workshop that emphasizes the writing and revision of fiction and creative nonfiction.

ENGL 5332. Creative Writing: Poetry. 3 Hours.

Students actively participate in a workshop that emphasizes the writing and revision of poetry.

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

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.

Students 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.

Students participate in a workshop format designed for teaching writing in the secondary schools. Topics emphasize applications of current writing theory and research.

ENGL 5336. Narrative Theory. 3 Hours.

Students study primary texts in narrative theory, in addition to the secondary texts that analyze concepts and research in the field. Students spend considerable attention to ideological contributions to narrative theory, past and present.

ENGL 5337. Poetic Theory and Prosody. 3 Hours.

Students study primary texts and readings along with secondary texts that provide analyses of the concepts and research in poetic theory and English prosody. Students spend considerable attention to ideological contributions to poetic theory from a historical perspective.

ENGL 5338. Creative Writing Pedagogy. 3 Hours.

Students examine the pedagogical theories of, and provides practical training in, the teaching of creative writing, both inside and outside of academia.
Prerequisite: Approval from Program Director.

ENGL 5340. The Writer's Life. 3 Hours.

Students examine the writer's life within and beyond the program, both inside and outside of academia. The course will function both as an introduction to graduate-level work in creative writing, editing, and publishing, and as an introduction to the various ways in which writers establish professional lives after the degree.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MFA in Creative Writing, Editing, and Publishing or Approval from Program Director.

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

Students study modern rhetorical principles and methodologies used in teaching college-level writing.

ENGL 5374. Women's Literature. 3 Hours.

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 5384. Rhetoric & Composition Theory. 3 Hours.

Students study selected topics in historical and contemporary rhetoric, rhetorical criticism, and composition theory. Students will apply current theory and research in rhetoric and composition to primary research.

ENGL 6096. MFA Thesis I. 1-3 Hours.

In the first semester of MFA 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 plan for completion. Variable Credit (1 to 3).
Prerequisite: Approval of Program Director.

ENGL 6097. MFA Thesis II. 1-3 Hours.

In the second semester of MFA 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 to 3).
Prerequisite: ENGL 6096.

ENGL 6098. MA 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. MA 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 6301. Literary Theory Seminar. 3 Hours.

Students thoroughly examine a theory or major theorist in literary studies following contemporary scholarship methods. Students might explore psychoanalysis, ecocriticism, deconstruction, rhetorical analysis, or another major theoretical methodology.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6302. Seminar in Major Author. 3 Hours.

Students engage in a sustained study and analysis of the career and canon of a major author who has made substantial contributions to the development of American, British, and/or Anglophone Literature. Students synthesize biographical and historical data with an author's literary works in order to fully evaluate the author's major status.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6303. English Linguistics Seminar. 3 Hours.

Students explore advanced questions about the structure and evolution of the English language. Topics might include phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, or pragmatics, or explore issues in socio-linguistics present in all works of literature.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6304. Literary Movements Seminar. 3 Hours.

Students explore the collaborative nature and sociability of authors within international literary movements or traditions, such as Naturalism, Transcendentalism, or Surrealism. Students work with primary texts within the chosen movement and explore how the authors? interactions affect literary production.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6305. Literary Genre Seminar. 3 Hours.

Students explore the aims, history, and form of a literary genre, such as the novel, the pastoral ode, or the essay. Students deepen their understanding of generic classifications, the relationship between genres, and how generic conventions persistently shape our perceptions of the world.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6306. Global Ethnic Literatures. 3 Hours.

Students explore the literary production of various underrepresented ethnic groups in the world that influence the history of literature in English. Topics might include political hegemony, immigration and diasporas, national and cultural identity, and the literary marketplace.
Prerequisite: Graduate Standing.

ENGL 6330. Special Topics in English. 3 Hours.

(Prior SH course id: ENG 630); 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 vary from term to term.

Technical Communication

TCOM 5310. Technical & Prof Writing. 3 Hours.

Students examine the field of technical and professional communication and conduct primary research. Students should take this course as soon as they are able in their program, as the course serves a foundational function.

TCOM 5320. Managing Digital Documentation. 3 Hours.

Students learn advanced strategies of managing digital processes and knowledge that support online and print publication. Students design, manage, and publish documents using web-based and desktop documentation management systems.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5330. Technical Style and Editing. 3 Hours.

Students study advanced techniques of composing, editing, and refining documents. Students analyze and generate prose for a variety of professional scenarios; additionally, students learn to edit documents using print and digital copy-marking techniques.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5340. Digital Literacies. 3 Hours.

Students study the theory and practice of using digital media in professional situations. Students work with specific media and associated tools to convey expert-level information to differing audiences.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5350. Professional Proposal Writing. 3 Hours.

Students learn the processes of developing proposals and grants?from writing small, internal requests to generating large documents based on external requests for proposals.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5360. Ethics in Professional Writing. 3 Hours.

Students explore technical communication?s inherent link to ethical responsibility. Topics include rhetorical concerns, such as agency, plain language, exigency, and efficiency viewed through the lens of varied ethical theories (e.g., relativism, consequentialism, and feminism). Students use case studies and role playing to engage with the material.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5380. Document Design. 3 Hours.

Students study the rhetorical and usability effects of document design in print and digital media. Working with digital and print media, students design and produce documents for a variety of professional situations.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5395. Internship and Capstone. 3 Hours.

Students complete an internship in technical writing and produce a capstone project.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 5399. Writing in the Field. 3 Hours.

Students study current theory, research, and practice in specialized areas of technical communication. Students research, design, and produce documents relative to key industries of the field.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

TCOM 6300. Portfolio. 3 Hours.

Students curate representative works from across their graduate studies to produce a professional portfolio that satisfies the academic requirements for the MA in Technical Communication and that demonstrates their abilities to potential employers.
Prerequisite: Admission to the MA program in Technical Communication.

Faculty

Director/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

Leslie Rachelle Anglesey, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Nevada-Reno; MA, California St Un-Sacramento; BA, California St Un-Sacramento

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 A&M 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 A&M 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 A&M University; BA, Texas A&M University

Michael T Demson, PHD, Associate Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Grad Sch & Univ Center; MA, Grad Sch & Univ Center; 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

William P Fleming, PHD, Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Univ of Toledo; MA, Sam Houston State University; BBA, Sam Houston State 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 A&M University; BA, Sam Houston State University

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

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

Carroll F. Nardone, PHD, 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

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

Evelyn Soto, MA, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, MA, Univ of Pennsylvania; AB, Cornell University

Brandon C Strubberg, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Texas Tech University; MA, Sam Houston State University; BA, Sam Houston State University

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

Xiaobo Wang, PHD, Assistant Professor of English, Department of English, PHD, Georgia State University

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