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The Department of English Language and Literature welcomes you! We are a diverse department in which English studies is broadly conceived: We offer courses in literature, creative writing, linguistics, rhetoric, and secondary English education. Courses in our department also span time periods and genres: you can study Chaucer and Steampunk, Shakespeare and Morrison, classical Greek and endangered languages, African American poetry and global literature, the rhetoric of Aristotle and of videogames, poetry writing, and flash fiction. We are proud of the fact that many of our faculty have won teaching awards and that all of our faculty members are committed to being strong, innovative classroom teachers.


  • Congratulations to Jessica DeSpain, Kristine Hildebrandt, Jill Anderson, Ben Ostermeier, and Katie Knowles, who just received an NEH grant to work on "Conversation Toward a Brighter Future" with the Mannie Jackson Center in Edwardsville.  Go IRIS!
  • Fiction writer Melissa Fraterrigo, author of Glory Days, a novel-in-stories, will be reading on Wednesday, February 28 at 4:30 p.m. in the MUC bookstore. The reading is free and open to the public. 
  • The MFA in Creative Writing launches in the Fall of 2018.  We are currently accepting applications. It’s designed for students interested in pursuing the art of writing fiction or poetry, and is especially tailored to students who are interested in exploring a variety of career paths.  
  • We're thrilled to announce that poet Tiana Clark will be joining the faculty next fall, too. Tiana Clark is the author of Equilibrium, which won the 2016 Frost Place Chapbook Competition. A graduate of Vanderbilt's MFA program, she's currently the Jay C. and Ruth Halls Poetry Fellow at the Wisconsin Institute of Creative Writing.
  • The IRIS Center is holding a brown bag series this year!  Check out the official announcement on the IRIS website for details.
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