African American students marching in a parade carrying banner.

Department of English

The Bachelor and Master of Arts in English degree programs at the University of South Alabama prepare students for jobs in many professional settings. English majors and minors are taught by talented faculty and field experts in the College of Arts and Sciences.

The English undergraduate program allows students to explore the study of literature and interpretation of novels, stories, poems and essays through critical approaches and writing, build the skills to craft meaningful creative work, and develop skills in professional writing and editing. Through classes, as well as research opportunities and internships, students build skills in critical reading and writing, research, and instruction that support a range of career fields in business and education.

 


Upcoming Events


Davis HeadshotBridgett M. Davis - Tuesday, February 22, 2022 at 6:00pm

Bridgett M. Davis is author of the memoir The World According to Fannie Davis: My Mother's Life in the Detroit Numbers, which was a New York Times Editors' Choice, a 2020 Michigan Notable Book, and named a Best Book of 2019 by Kirkus Reviews, BuzzFeed, NBC News and Parade Magazine. She is also the author of two novels, Into the Go-Slow and Shifting Through Neutral, shortlisted for the Hurston/Wright Award, and writer/director of the award-winning feature film Naked Acts. A major advocate for promoting and nurturing literary talent by people of color, Davis is co-founder and curator for Words@Weeksville, a monthly reading series held at Weeksville Heritage Center in Central Brooklyn. While at the university, she will lead a creative writing class and provide a public reading.

Please note:  The public event will be held the Student Center Ballroom. A book signing and reception with refreshments to follow.  PHOTO: Nina Subin.


Bathanti HeadshotJoseph Bathanti - Tuesday, March 8, 2022, 12:30pm and 2:00pm

The Southern Writers' Workshop is a regional author series curated by U.S.A. Writer-in-Residence Frye Gaillard. This year's writer is Joseph Bathanti. Bathanti, former Poet Laureate of North Carolina (2012-14) and recipient of the North Carolina Award in Literature, is author of seventeen books. Bathanti is McFarlane Family Distinguished Professor of Interdisciplinary Education at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. He served as the 2016 Charles George VA Medical Center Writer-in-Residence in Asheville, NC, and is the co-founder of the Medical Center's Creative Writing Program.  Bathanti will lead participants in a free, one-hour class on writing at 12:30 pm. Coffee with refreshments will follow. Bathanti will then read from his work at 2:00 pm as part of the Southern Writers' Workshop.

Please note:  These back-to-back events will be held in the USA Faculty Club.


May / Rathburn HeadshotChelsea Rathburn and James Davis May - Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 5:00pm

Celebrate National Poetry Month by enjoying an evening of poetry. Chelsea Rathburn, Poet Laureate of Georgia, is the author of three books of poetry, including the New York Times New & Noteworthy collection Still Life with Mother and Knife, published in 2019 by Louisiana State University Press. James Davis May, recipient of  Poetry Society of America's Cecil Hemley Award, serves as Writer-in-Residence at Mercer University. His first poetry collection, Unquiet Things, was published by LSU Press in 2016 and a finalist for the Poets' Prize. In addition to the public reading, their visit includes guest lectures in two courses and private consultations with currently enrolled poetry students.

Please note:  The public event will be held the USA Faculty Club. A book signing and reception with refreshments to follow.


▼   Job Opening: Assistant Professor of Creative Writing

Application and Search Process   

The University of South Alabama English Department invites applications for a full-time (9-month), tenure-track Assistant Professor of English, specializing in creative writing, starting August 15, 2022. This position is primarily in fiction although a secondary genre is encouraged. Requirements: Ph.D. in English (preferred) or M.F.A. in Creative Writing, and a published book of fiction. We seek candidates whose research, teaching, and service work have prepared them to contribute to our commitment to engagement and inclusion of culturally diverse audiences in higher education and, particularly, in creative writing.

To apply, send by email the following: vita, cover letter, and names of three references to Dr. Charlotte Pence, Search Committee Chair, c/o Ms. Kim Graves (kagraves@southalabama.edu).

Applicants invited for a campus interview will arrange to have official graduate and undergraduate transcripts sent directly by the registrars of all colleges and universities attended to the Search Committee Chair:

Dr. Charlotte Pence
Department of English
HUMB 240
5991 USA Dr N
University of South Alabama
Mobile, AL 36688-0002

Review of applications will begin November 1, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. Applications submitted beyond this date may not be considered.


Position

The successful candidate will teach a full-time load mainly consisting of fiction courses, a graduate-level multi-genre course, and literature courses. The candidate will also be expected to participate in the English department and the work of the creative writing program by assisting with Oracle magazine, the Stokes Center for Creative Writing, thesis committees, and other university-related service work. 


The Department, University, and Community

The USA English Department has long been identified with outstanding creative writing faculty members and alumni.  Past or present faculty members have received many honors, including the National Book Award, the Harper Lee Award, and the Alabama Poet Laureateship. Numerous former students have published novels, poetry collections, and works of creative nonfiction. The Department is exceptionally collegial, highly productive in research and creative work, and committed to quality undergraduate and graduate education.  

The University of South Alabama is a diverse, multi-cultural, growing research institution with approximately 14,000 students.   

The historic Mobile Bay area is home to many successful creative writers and boasts a lively arts scene, in which the USA creative writing faculty has long figured prominently.


The Stokes Center for Creative Writing 

The Stokes Center enhances the English department’s offerings in creative writing by sponsoring readings, lectures, forums, community projects, and other events that are free and open to the public. It also supports students through its undergraduate and graduate awards in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. The Stokes Center is committed to fostering a vibrant and diverse writers’ community along the Gulf Coast, one that not only showcases both local and national talent but also provides an inclusive meeting place for writers from around the world.


Visiting Writers Series

The University of South Alabama has hosted many distinguished authors and scholars over the years, including Margaret Atwood, Charles Bernstein, Edwidge Danticat, Roxane Gay, Jack Gilbert, Jamaal May, Marge Piercy, Danez Smith, W. D. Snodgrass, Edward O. Wilson, and Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Now part of the Stokes Center, the Visiting Writers Series brings emerging and established authors to campus for readings and craft talks throughout the year. All events are free and open to the public. 

If you have any questions about our search or the process, please contact Dr. Charlotte Pence (Chair, Search Committee) at cpence@southalabama.edu.


The University of South Alabama is an EO/AA employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), religion, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status. Members of underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.

▼   English Department Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

In acknowledgment of recent racist events on our campus and across our nation, the English Department believes it important to reaffirm to our students and community our dedication to the following principles:

  • We commit ourselves to the principles of anti-racism: to actively disavow and condemn discriminatory language, actions, and images that create unequal learning opportunities.

  • We work to foreground specific historical, social, and cultural contexts for the texts we teach and write, emphasizing that art and thought do not exist in isolation from the structural inequalities and systemic inequities of our history and politics.

  • We view the classroom as a unique space where we can walk in with one idea and come out with quite another, where our ideas and values are tested for validity in discussion with peers, where we work each day to build the common ground on which our university and our country must rest.

  • We will continue to expand the diversity of issues, authors, and texts represented at all levels of our curriculum with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. And finally, we affirm our solidarity with all members of our academic community harmed by racist behaviors and discourse.

 

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