Why Pursue a Degree in English? (6:10)
Why Study English at Salisbury University? (4:00)
What Resources are Available for English Students at Salisbury University? (3:37)
Welcome to SU English!
“I love English majors. I love how smart they are. I love their intellectual curiosity. Most of all, I love to hire them.”
This is what accomplished entrepreneur, best-selling author, and USA TODAY columnist Steve Strauss says in his Huffington Post article, “Why I Hire English Majors.” Strauss advocates for English Majors because “they know how to think, to think for themselves, and how to analyze a problem,” and they do so boldly. English majors, he says, are the teammates “that can make us all better.” Similarly, Jeffrey Dorfman from Forbes magazine names the English major a “great return on investment.”
SU English is a comprehensive department with more than twenty faculty members from a variety of backgrounds, offering five different concentration options: Creative Writing, Film, Literature, Secondary Education, TESOL, and Writing and Rhetoric. We also offer five minors: business and professional writing, English, English for speakers of other languages, ethnic and global literatures, and film. We cultivate visionary thinkers by allowing students to chart their own course of study through a variety of classes in writing, film, literature, new media, and rhetoric.
We focus on providing as wide-ranging a curriculum as possible: from analyzing Medieval literature to the rhetorical strategies of digital media, and from contemporary cinema to linguistic study that stretches into the distant past. We offer students creative opportunities to contribute to and edit a literary magazine (Scarab), to attend numerous on-campus events featuring world-renowned writers, to study abroad in disparate places including Ghana and Iceland, to participate in the SU Student Film Festival, and to take up a wide variety of internships. Our department may be housed in a relatively small city, but our outreach is truly international: our Linguistics/TESOL graduates have taught English abroad in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America; and we are home to one of the most distinguished academic journals worldwide, Literature Film Quarterly, which holds subscriptions in over 30 countries.
Students of SU English engage with important questions about the human condition, especially where issues of race, gender, ethnicity, identity, and class are concerned. Moreover, the faculty of English all champion values of diversity, empathy, and integrity as we educate our students with a view to their lifelong journey as people who understand the value of human expression. SU English emphasizes innovative thinking, which prepares students not only for the workplace of today, but the workplace of tomorrow, graduate school, and life-long-learning. Following Salisbury University’s mission and values, SU English strives to empower students with intellectual curiosity, critical and analytical thinking, exceptionally-crafted writing and rhetorical skills, and appreciation of linguistic diversity.
For more information on specific course offerings and student successes, please contact our faculty—we look forward to hearing from you.
For more information on our collective vision and strength, check out the videos featuring our faculty below. To get a sense of our specialized degree programs, click on the links below the videos.
Program Tracks & Concentrations
The Creative Writing Track
The Creative Writing track of the English department is proud to offer:
- A workshop-based curriculum, where students get to write and share creative work with each other.
- An opportunity to grow with a cohort of peer authors who know each others' work intimately.
- A chance to respond thoughtfully and critically to each others' creative work.
- The opportunity to study a diverse range of contemporary fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by writers who represent a wide range of formal styles, genres, and world views.
- A chance to engage in the contemporary critical conversations in all the major genres.
- Writers on the Shore reading events with visiting contemporary authors.
- Editorial and publishing experience through work on Scarab, the Salisbury University literary journal.
- Hands-on critical evaluation by well-published faculty with a range of editorial and publishing experience.
- Small class sizes. Our courses cap at 15 students, which allows the faculty to work one-on-one with all creative writing students.
- A creative community that extends beyond the borders of the classroom.
- A faculty committed to helping students explore regional, national and international opportunities.
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The Film Concentration
We are proud of the ambition, range, rigor, and depth of our film program which allows students to:
- Develop specific skills that apply to virtually any workplace: audio-visual literacy, highly developed analytical and critical thinking, the ability to creatively apply a huge range of concepts, an understanding of many different audiences and cultures, and innovative approaches to research, writing, and communication
- Explore the world through at least 90 films over the course of their degree, all of which allow us to understand humanity from various perspectives
- Enjoy a wide range of courses that span various films genres (including science fiction, westerns, musicals, gangster films, films noir, independent movies, blockbusters, silent film, documentaries and everything else that defies definition!)
- Learn about the entire history of film analysis and production from multiple points of view—artistic, industrial, cultural, and personal
- Strike a balance between studying the work of well-known directors (such as Alfred Hitchcock and John Ford) alongside the work of numerous other filmmakers who represent important challenges to the mainstream (including Spike Lee and Jane Campion)
- Experience a full range of American and international cinema, travelling the globe through wildly different filmic representations of reality
- Study film sound tracks as well as their visual elements
- Develop a greater capacity for empathy and compassion for all humanity through understanding different points of view through film
Other highlights of our program include:
- Superb resources for film analysis, including a large library collection of DVDs and a fully equipped media viewing room for independent study, the second largest collection of press kits in the United States, and a newly refurbished auditorium for outstanding film screenings
- The stimulus of numerous campus events that revolve around film, as showcased on our Film at Salisbury University Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/FilmatSalisburyUniversity)
- The opportunity to join a friendly and close-knit community of film students at Salisbury University who share each other’s passion for the medium
- Relatively small class sizes (usually 20-25 students per class), allowing for plenty of one-to-one time with professors
- Many valuable learning opportunities outside the classroom, including participation in our annual Salisbury University undergraduate research conference and internships with local arts organizations, television stations and publications
- Learning from internationally-distinguished faculty with strong records of publication
- Joining a program with superb track records for students graduating on time and finding gainful employment after graduation
- Our being home to Literature/Film Quarterly, a journal in production for more than 40 years, and with subscriptions in over thirty countries
For more information on the Film Concentration, visit our web site: www.salisbury.edu/english/film/ feel free to email either Dr. Elsie Walker (email@example.com) or Dr. Dave Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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The Literature Track
- Opportunities to major or minor in literature
- Introductory and advanced courses in fiction, poetry and drama as genres, including workshops
- Study abroad possibilities, which have included past Spring Break trips to Ghana, Iceland, and London
- Foundational British, American, and African-American literature survey courses from the beginning to the present
- American literature courses that provide intensive studies in the following periods: Colonial, Transcendentalism, Naturalism, Harlem Renaissance, Southern, Modern, Contemporary
- British Literature courses ranging from Romantic to Medieval literature, with period and genre courses covering the entire span of centuries of great works
- Opportunity for the comprehensive study of a range of ethnic and global literatures, including the Native American, Latino/a, African-American, South Asian, and African traditions
- Exploration of the human condition as it relates to the phenomena of gender and sexuality, manifest in major works of literature from the Classics to the contemporary
- Courses on foundational works by masters of English literature like Chaucer, Shakespeare, and Milton
- Examination of the literary tradition extending back into the Middle Ages, giving one an understanding of the history of the English language from its beginnings among the Anglo-Saxons
- In-depth single-author courses, focusing on a wide range of writers including Jane Austen, Langston Hughes, Mark Twain, Salman Rushdie, and J. K. Rowling
- New special topics courses that are often introduced by faculty: an ever-growing curriculum
- An emphasis on discussion-based, student-centered learning, combined with lectures
- Small class sizes (usually 20-25 students)
- Courses that develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills and an understanding of diversity required of the global job market
- Courses that prepare students for graduate study and a range of professions, including but not limited to, journalism, publishing, editing, law, business, education, non-profit management, lobbying, government, and social justice advocacy
- The opportunity to study a range of texts from antiquity through the Renaissance to the present, and thus understand patterns of literary and cultural influence that spread across wide spans of time
- Historical approaches to studies of literature that help students understand how language shapes and creates culture, all of which help students think more creatively about how to use language to shape and create the world
- Opportunities to meet published creative writers and well-known critics through the Writers-on-the-Shore readings series
- Courses that include experiential learning activities, such as field trips to Harlem, NY; the Harriet Tubman Freedom Trail; and Pemberton Hall
- Some interdisciplinary courses, and some that feature online components
- Publishing experience offered through Scarab literary journal
- Recognized for teaching excellence by Salisbury University and other colleges and universities
- Authors of important publications in the fields of poetry, fiction, American literature, British literature, Global literature: many books and articles of our faculty being featured in distinguished, peer-reviewed journals
- Recipients of competitive awards, such as Fulbright and National Endowment for the Humanities Institute fellowships, and Mellon Foundation Honorable Mentions
- Professional service with national organizations—for instance, the Pauline Elizabeth Hopkins Society
- International faculty with experience in a range of fields, the publishing industry, non-profits, and innovate pedagogy
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Secondary Education Track
Along with fulfilling many goals of the Literature track (and please refer to that track for professional highlights), the Secondary Education English concentration will provide students with
- A strong mix of elements of both our Literature and our Writing and Rhetoric tracks, including theoretical and practical approaches to both disciplines;
- Opportunities for travel similar to those in other concentrations;
- An opportunity to explore literature and writing, as well as consider strategies for presenting this material to 7-12 graders;
- Development of the breadth and depth of literary and rhetorical study necessary to teach the full range of middle and high-school curricula in English;
- Advising from both English and education faculty interested in moving students toward graduation in a timely manner;
- Field experiences from the beginning of the professional program through the final internship (student teaching).
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- Experienced, international faculty spanning a diversity of continents, countries, institutions and linguistic backgrounds
- Award-recipients of the prestigious Henry C. Welcome Fellowship (Maryland Higher Education Commission); and finalists of the USM Board of Regents Awards
- National linguist-experts serving on competitive, specially-convened panels For: non-profit, private, and governmental agencies such as: Native American and Alaskan Children in School Program, The Office of English Language Acquisition, The Early Childhood Education Program, The Pearson Education Services Consortium, Educational Testing Service; TESOL, and NCATE-CAEP accreditation bodies
- Professional service on International Editorial Boards to include: The Linguistics Journal, Asian EFL Journal, The Qualitative Report, and The International Journal of World Englishes
- Boast a research record in a range of subfields to include: TESOL curriculum and development, computer-assisted language learning (CALL), visual semiotics, critical multilingualism and film, pedagogical linguistics, second language teacher education, and critical discourse analysis respectively
- Spearheaded specially designed and innovative graduate-level TESOL programs for the surrounding rural region
- Initiated and expanded international TEFL education initiatives
- Garnered large-scale external multi-million dollar grant-funding for cutting-edge programmatic visions
- Unique curricular offerings in the areas of Linguistics, TESOL/ESOL, ESL, as well as teacher certification programs in TESOL/ESOL
- Graduate and undergraduate program.
- Wide range, depth and breadth of graduate and undergraduate curricular options in TESOL/Applied Linguistics spanning over 15 different course titles
- Multiple, innovative, educator-responsive National Professional Development Initiatives designed to enhance rural TESOL educational accessibility
- Teamed-collaborations with interdisciplinary faculty from other departments and institutions in STEM-discourse training
- A variety of ESOL programs designed to meet diverse interests, e.g., B.A. ESOL with certification; ESOL Minor; M.A. in English- TESOL track; M.A. English with ESOL certification, and a Post Baccalaureate in ESOL
- Courses offered as both face-to-face and online formats
- All programs aligned with TESOL Professional Standards for Teacher Preparation
- Coursework strategically designed to enable candidates to develop knowledge and skills to successfully teach in the U.S.A. (ESL) and/or abroad (EFL)
- Embedded field experiences throughout all facets of the programs, e.g., field observation, and internship opportunities
- Field placements at professional development sites which permit for close collaboration and mentoring with highly qualified school personnel and/or university-based adult English instruction programs
- Possible opportunities to complete internships abroad, e.g., China, Ecuador, as part of graduate programs
Program outcomes—Local, National and International:
- We have the largest number of continuously funded, externally-sponsored, federal discretionary projects in the Fulton School at Salisbury University
- Projects in TESOL: National Professional Development include:
- 2011: (SAIL-STEM Seminars): of 236 proposals submitted nation-wide, we were the sole project to be funded for the state of Maryland
- 2007: (TARGET-Project): of 430 proposals submitted nation-wide, we were successfully funded.
- 2002: (ACE-Project): of 130 projects sponsored nationwide, only two were sponsored in Maryland, and we were one of them
- 2000: (TAT-Project) and (Bilingual Career Ladder Initiative)
- Our NPD projects are designed to offer cutting-edge professional development opportunities for area-teachers spanning a geographical radius of over 100 miles and spanning 8 independent school districts
- Our programs are designed to serve Maryland’s 55,000 and rising newcomer students
- In the past decade alone, over 200 area-professionals have improved the educational access of approximately 2,000 newcomer learners from approximately 140 linguistic backgrounds in Maryland’s Eastern Shore schools as a consequence of our programs
- Our Linguistics/TESOL graduates have taught English abroad in Asia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America respectively
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Writing and Rhetoric
Writing and Rhetoric Track
The undergraduate concentration in Writing and Rhetoric will provide students with:
- In-depth training in writing and rhetorical studies
- Teachers and scholars committed to making writing central to undergraduate education
- Guidance in shaping writers’ ideas in a variety of contexts: academic, civic, professional, and personal
- Opportunities to participate in collaborative projects, such as co-authored papers and group presentations, which develop writing, listening, and interpersonal skills that are vital for career success
- Preparation for a range of writing-focused jobs that involve the analysis, creation, and editing of texts, including digital and multimedia ones
- Preparation for graduate/professional study and jobs across a variety of sectors (e.g., publishing and media, education, marketing and public relations, civic organizations)
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