Feb 23, 2019  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Department of English

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(248) 370-2250
Fax: (248) 370-4429

Department Website


Chairperson: Kevin Laam

Distinguished professors emeriti: Brian Connery, Jane D. Eberwein, Robert T. Eberwein, Edward Haworth Hoeppner

Professors emeriti: Thomas Fitzsimmons, Daniel Fullmer, Nigel Hampton, James F. Hoyle, Nancy Joseph, David W. Mascitelli, Donald E. Morse, Brian F. Murphy, Joan G. Rosen, William Schwab 

Professors: Natalie Bell Cole, Brian A. Connery, Andrea Eis, Graeme Harper, Niels Herold, Kathleen A. Pfeiffer

Associate professors: Robert F. Anderson, Jeffrey Chapman, Kyle Edwards, Annette M. Gilson, Kevin T. Grimm, Jeffrey Insko, Andrea Knutson, Kevin Laam, L. Bailey McDaniel, M. Hunter Vaughan

Assistant professors: Courtney Brannon Donoghue, Timothy Donahue, Joanne Lipson Freed, Adam Gould, Katie Hartsock, Brendan Kredell, Susan McCarty, Alison W. Powell, David Shaerf, Amanda Stearns-Pfeiffer

Special instructor: Rachel Smydra 

Lecturers: Christopher Apap, Susan Beckwith, Jonathan Chappell, Jennifer Gower-Toms, Nathan Koob, Peter Markus, Beth McArthur, Charlene Meyers, Doris Plantus, Amy Spearman, Vanessa Stauffer

Chief adviserRobert F. Anderson 

STEP adviser: Amanda Stearns-Pfeiffer

Cinema studies director: Andrea Eis

Cinema studies adviser: Andrea Eis

Creative writing director: Annette M. Gilson

Creative writing adviser: Annette M. Gilson


The Department of English offers courses in British and American literature, introducing students to literary history, genre studies, critical theory and intensive study of major authors. The department also offers introductory and advanced courses in poetry and fiction writing. Additionally, the Department offers courses in film, introducing students to cinema history and theory, critical film studies, and film production. For complete details concerning the Cinema Studies, B.A.  or the Creative Writing, B.A. , click on the appropriate link.

Courses in language, mythology and film broaden the field of literary inquiry in ways that associate imaginative writing with the other arts, with popular culture and with various academic disciplines.

By majoring in English, students can enhance appreciation of literary masterpieces, gain critical understanding of imaginative writing and develop sensitivity to the uses of language while developing skills in analysis, research and communication. Such knowledge enriches all aspects of life, while such skills prepare students for careers in law, business, publishing, medical professions, library science, journalism, government and education.

The English curriculum is flexible; by seeking regular departmental advice, English students can plan a program leading to many different professional and academic goals. The Department encourages its students to balance their programs with such concentrations as American studies, environmental studies, film aesthetics and history, women’s studies and computer science, or minors in linguistics, journalism, theatre arts, general business, modern languages and other related fields. Majors from other university programs are welcome in English courses, many of which have no prerequisites.

For a description of each semester’s course offerings, students should consult the ”Semester Course Descriptions,” available in pre-registration periods through the department’s web site. Faculty advisers provide specific guidance and help students develop comprehensive educational plans. Students should consult their advisers regularly.

Listed are undergraduate programs of study leading to the Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English, a secondary education major in English (STEP), a modified major in English with a linguistics concentration, a major in creative writing, a major in cinema studies, as well as liberal arts minors in English in secondary teaching, creative writing, and in cinema studies. In addition, the Department offers a program leading to the Master of Arts degree in English; the program and course offerings are described in the online Oakland University Graduate Catalog.

Departmental honors and scholarships

Departmental honors may be awarded to graduating English majors for outstanding achievement in English.

The department awards three scholarships: the Doris J. Dressler Scholarship to an English major or humanities major (junior year or beyond) demonstrating academic promise and financial need: the Roger M. and Helen Kyes Scholarship to an outstanding major; and the Eva L. Otto Scholarship for an outstanding nontraditional student. Information is available in the department office. The deadline for applications will normally be April 1.

Course Offerings

Courses on the 1000 level are directed to students seeking non-technical, liberally oriented courses to fulfill general education requirements or for use in minors and particular concentrations. Courses on the 2000 level offer broad introductions to literary materials and approaches basic to the study of English. Reading is often extensive and the classes are conducted primarily through lecture. Courses on the 3000 level offer more intensive investigations into particular areas of English studies. These courses, the core of the program for majors, are open to advanced students according to their special needs and their preparation in related disciplines. Courses on the 4000 level apply theory and methods of literary history, criticism and research to writers and to problems presented by specific topics. They are designed for upper-class majors. Graduate courses on the 5000 level are open to senior majors by permission of the instructor and the departmental chairperson.

Course prerequisites

Except where noted, 1000- and 2000-level courses have no prerequisites. Advanced courses (numbered 3000 to 4999) have a general prerequisite of writing proficiency, plus any special requirements listed with the course descriptions.

Schedule of classes

Specific offerings for each semester may be found in the Schedule of Classes.



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