The faculty of the English Department brings to its teaching a wide range of experience, training, and perspectives; students benefit from exposure to a variety of teaching styles and approaches to the reading, writing, and enjoyment of literature. Each member of the department brings his or her passions into the classroom: we are all active writers—and remain active in the larger community of writers and scholars—presenting or publishing scholarship, poetry, fiction, drama, or essays. In addition to offering the University community the work of visiting writers, the department also presents public readings and lectures by noted visiting poets, essayists, and novelists.
Students may choose to major or minor in literature or creative writing, as well as minor in the interdisciplinary editing and publishing. These emphases encourage students to do work across disciplines and to recognize the connections between the study of literature in English and the work that they do in other fields as they seek a liberal arts education. Creative writing majors and minors are required to take part in editing and publishing PLUM, the University literary magazine, and Silk Road, the international journal edited by our undergraduate and graduate writing students. We encourage literature majors and minors, as well as other students, to take advantage of the opportunity to produce literature. Our majors in both literature and creative writing frequently go on to study in graduate school; teach in high schools and colleges; and use their thinking and writing skills in law school, medical school, television, technical writing, publishing, library science, special education, and social work, among others. They also go on to publish their own works and to present public readings.
The English Department offers students guidance in acquiring and developing the skills of interpretation, critical thinking, and clear writing. For students choosing to specialize in literature or creative writing, the curriculum offers the opportunity to engage the literary traditions of Britain and the United States, as well as world literatures, and to enter into the theory and practice of literature itself. We also welcome non-major or minor students to explore the world of letters in any courses the department offers, provided they have fulfilled departmental prerequisites for these courses.
Program Learning Outcomes
The English Department teaches students to develop the following skills, which are relevant to most contemporary careers:
- to understand and to engage the principles of literary analysis and the evolving tradition of literature and writing in English
- to engage in reflective critical reading
- to articulate their responses, ideas, and analyses clearly and powerfully
- to cultivate speaking skills in both formal and informal settings
- to recognize the various contexts that shape texts and our responses to them
- to examine how meaning is constructed in various genres, traditions, periods, and cultures
- to consider the ethical questions that confront the writer and reader as creators and consumers of texts and as members of society
- to apply these skills in graduate school and in a variety of careers
English Department Program Goals
- Develop working knowledge of the principal works, authors, genres, and periods of American and British literatures.
- Possess an awareness of alternatively defined traditions and/or genres, such as women’s literature, postcolonial literature, world literature, or Native American literature.
- Understand texts in their culture and historic contexts.
- Demonstrate coherent writing in multiple genres (literary analysis and creative writing) as well as an awareness of critical and interpretive methods.
- Analyze literature using appropriate terminology and common rhetorical figures.
- Demonstrate judicious use of secondary material and appropriate documentation.
- Demonstrate awareness of different critical approaches.
- Perform competent close readings of texts.
Creative Writing Admission Procedures for Majors and Minors
To major or minor in creative writing, students must:
- take ENGW 201 , ENGW 202 or ENGW 203 (this applies to transfer students as well, unless they transfer with the equivalent of ENGW 201 )
- complete two courses from ENGW 206 , ENGW 208 , and ENGW 209 with a B or higher grade
Students are encouraged to take ENGW 201 , ENGW 202 , or ENGW 203 in the spring semester of their first year.
Editing and Publishing
Kathlene Postma, Mike Geraci, Keya Mitra
Students in Pacific University’s editing and publishing minor study writing, communication, and the art and business of digital and traditional publishing. They develop their skills through multidisciplinary courses in art, business, English and media arts, along with practical experience with the student newspaper and the University’s literary journal and scholarly journals, as well as on- and off-campus jobs and internships. Editing and publishing is a strong complement to any program of study for students who want to learn marketable skills in online and print communication.
Interested students are strongly encouraged to contact Kathlene Postma in the English department no later than the spring of their sophomore year.
Editing and Publishing Program Goals:
- Demonstrate basic knowledge of the history of publishing, including print, digital, and other media.
- Assess the quality and fit of submissions in a range of genres for publication in a variety of media.
- Employ editing skills—developmental, line, and copy—to improve submissions at the levels of both form and content.
- Collaborate with teams of editors and designers to create a quality publication that aligns with a discrete aesthetic mission.
- Write, edit, and design print and online media for a range of entities in the arts industry.
ProgramsBachelor of ArtsMinor
CoursesEnglish LiteratureEnglish Writing