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General Overview and Mission Statement

From Freshman Writing to advanced graduate work, the Department of English offers students the tools they need to understand and interact with the world around them: reading, writing, and interpretation. A variety of courses in writing, language, and rhetoric develop effective, critical communication and thinking skills. Courses on literary genres, periods, theories, and themes, and on literary criticism, provide opportunities to engage with and in literary traditions and practices and an understanding of the role and value of literature in our own world.

The Curriculum

The department offers Freshman composition and Sophomore literature courses that are useful to all students and also provide the groundwork of the English major. EH 101 and 102 are required of most students at USA and seek to improve students' abilities to write effectively in college as well as enhance their thinking skills and reading abilities. Sophomore courses include two-course surveys of English, American, and World literatures, as well as courses on literary themes and genres designed to introduce the broad scope of literature in English and to develop competence in critical reading. Upper-division offerings in literature include courses organized around major literary periods, important authors, and significant ideas and theoretical perspectives, as well as a number of variable topic courses designed to suit students' needs and interests. Advanced writing and rhetoric courses offer students perspectives on the theories and practices of language, writing, and persuasion as they develop specific academic and professional interests in print and computer-mediated communication. Creative writing courses provide students the opportunity to exercise their own literary skills while offering professional training and guidance.

Career Opportunities

An English major opens an increasing number of career doors as writing and reading skills become more important in our information-based economy. Many of the department's graduates go on to teach in the public or private schools, while others pursue advanced degrees that lead to college teaching careers. Still others work in journalism (including the burgeoning field of online journalism), publishing, or technical writing. A background in English is attractive to law schools as well as medical schools and employers in the sciences.

The Community

Besides its course offerings, the department sponsors and performs a number of services for the Mobile area. Faculty sponsorship of the University's Film Club helps provide screenings and discussions open to all members of the community, and the Creative Writing program's annual Fairhope Conference offers readings and lectures by writers and scholars from around the country. The department also welcomes the community at poetry and fiction readings and presentations by guest speakers.

HUMB 240, Mobile, AL 36688
(251) 460-6146 | english@usouthal.edu