Sep 21, 2021  
2018-2019 Undergraduate Catalog 
2018-2019 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:Jane D. Eberwein, Robert T. Eberwein, Edward Haworth Hoeppner

Professors emeriti: Brian Connery, 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, 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: Timothy Donahue, Courtney Brannon Donoghue, Joanne Lipson Freed, Adam Gould, Katie Hartsock, Brendan Kredell, Susan McCarty, Megan Peiser, 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, Charlene Meyers, Doris Plantus, Amy Pollard, 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 undergraduate degree programs in English, Creative Writing, and Cinema Studies. For complete details concerning the English, B.A., the Creative Writing, B.A., or the Cinema Studies, B.A. programs, click on the appropriate link. The Department encourages majors to balance their programs with such concentrations as American Studies or LInguistics, or minors or second majors in other disciplines.

The English B.A. program offers courses in British, American, and other Anglophone literatures, introducing students to literary history, genre studies, critical theory, and intensive study of major authors. By majoring in English, students can enhance appreciation of literary texts, 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 and pursuing internship opportunities offered by the department, English students can plan a program leading to many different personal, professional, and academic goals. Through the Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), students earn an English B.A. while completing their program leading to recommendation for teacher certification.

The Creative Writing B.A. is designed to help students develop their writing skills and to introduce them to literature and dramatic forms in the genres that interest them. To that end, we offer students a wide variety of workshop courses in the genres of fiction, poetry, dramatic writing, and literary nonfiction. The small size of the workshop classes allows students to present their writing to fellow students for critique in a supportive environment, and also trains them to offer feedback to their fellow writers. Students specialize in one of four genre tracks and take introductory, intermediate, and advanced workshops in that genre, but are also encouraged to explore other genres so that they can experiment with the different conventions that inform each of the modes of creative writing. Students are also required to take a variety of literature and film classes to develop their analytical skills and to introduce them to contemporary work in their focal genre. Through both writing and reading classes, students emerge with a nuanced sense of their own voices, and through the many internships we offer with businesses, nonprofits, and literary journals, students also gain practical experience that allows them to go on to careers wherein they use their writing skills in a wide variety of professional settings. Many alumni also go on to do M.F.A.s and Ph.D.s in creative writing, and are well-prepared to do advanced work in this competitive field.

Cinema Studies at Oakland University is dedicated to interdisciplinary and creative investigations of how moving image works are produced, experienced, and valued in our culture and around the world.  Cinema Studies students work closely with OU faculty to gain a thorough understanding of film history, critical approaches to film, and filmmaking. Students choose either the B.A. in Cinema Studies, with its focus on a critical studies perspective, or the B.A. in Cinema Studies with a Specialization in Filmmaking. These wide-ranging and intensive programs, along with a variety of internship opportunities, will provide Cinema Studies majors and minors with the critical-thinking, communication, and production skills to enter careers within the film industry and a variety of other professions. In addition, students will be well prepared to pursue cinema studies or other academic disciplines at the graduate level.

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 majors for outstanding achievement in their respective fields.

The department awards several scholarships, including: the Doris J. Dressler Scholarship to an English or humanities major (junior year or beyond) demonstrating academic promise and financial need; the Roger M. and Helen Kyes Scholarship to an outstanding English major; the Eva L. Otto Scholarship for an outstanding nontraditional student majoring in English or other humanities area; and the Jenna Elyse Balabuch Memorial Study-Abroad Award, for English majors planning to study abroad. Information is available in the department office. The deadline for applications will normally be April 1.


Schedule of classes

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



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