Aug 12, 2022  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of English

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

Department website


Chairperson: Robert Anderson

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

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

Distinguished profesor: Andrea Eis

Professors: Natalie Bell Cole, Graeme Harper, Niels Herold, Jeffrey Insko, Kathleen A. Pfeiffer

Associate professors: Robert F. Anderson, Jeffrey Chapman, Kyle Edwards, Joanne Lipson Freed, Annette M. Gilson, Adam Gould, Kevin T. Grimm, Andrea Knutson, Brendan Kredell, Kevin Laam, L. Bailey McDaniel, Davis Shaerf, Amanda Stearns-Pfeiffer, Alison W. Powell

Assistant professors: Timothy Donahue, Katie Hartsock, Bridget Kies, Susan McCarty, Megan Peiser, Annie Sullivan

Visiting assistant professor: Julia Yezbick

Special instructor: Rachel Smydra 

Special lecturers and lecturers: Christopher Apap, Kevin Ball, Susan Beckwith, Jonathan Chappell, Jennifer Gower-Toms, Peter Markus, Charlene Meyers, Doris Plantus, Amy Pollard

English adviser: Kevin Grimm 

STEP adviser: Amanda Stearns-Pfeiffer

Creative writing director: Jeffrey Chapman

Creative writing adviser: Annette M. Gilson

Film director: Andrea Eis

Film  adviser: Bridget Kies


The Department of English offers undergraduate degree programs in English, Creative Writing, and Film. For complete details concerning the English, B.A., the Creative Writing, B.A., the Film, B.A., or the Film Production, 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 world literatures in English and translation.

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.

Film 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.  Film 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 Film, with its focus on a critical studies perspective, or the B.A. in Film with a Specialization in Filmmaking. These wide-ranging and intensive programs, along with a variety of internship opportunities, will provide Film 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 Film, as well as liberal arts minors in English, English in secondary teaching, Creative Writing, and in Film. 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

Program 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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