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 professional settings including teaching, writing, and business areas. English majors and minors are taught by talented faculty and field experts in creative writing, literature, and professional writing in the College of Arts and Sciences. English undergraduate student Kelsi Fails describes her passion for writing poetry and studying literature at USA.

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. The English master's program offers students in the creative writing and literature concentrations advanced study and preparation for careers in English as well as further graduate study. 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

No-No Boy PhotoNo-No Boy - Thursday, March 14, 2024 - 6:00pm

Hailed by NPR Music as "one of the most insurgent pieces of music you'll ever hear," No-No Boy is a collection of songs, films and stories from Julian Saporiti's doctoral research on Asian-American and transpacific history focusing on sound, music, immigration, refugees, and everyday life. On Thursday, March 14, Saporiti will bring this critically acclaimed multimedia project to the University of South Alabama's Student Center Ballroom for a free, public performance as part of a nationwide tour in support of the new No-No Boy album, Empire Electric (Smithsonian Folkways). There will be a catered reception and merchandise available for purchase at this event. 

Please note: This free event will be held in the Student Center Ballroom and is co-sponsored by the Departments of English, History, International Studies, Modern and Classical Languages and Literature, and the Center for the Study of War and Memory. For more information, contact Assistant Professor Caleb Johnson at PHOTO: Emilia Saporiti.

Hsu headshotJo Hsu - Wednesday, March 20, 2024 - 4:00pm

As part of the English Department's Spring Series on the Body, Jo Hsu (they/them) will deliver a lecture titled "Storytelling as/for Relationality." An assistant professor of Rhetoric & Writing at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Constellating Home: Trans and Queer Asian American Rhetorics (2022), Hsu works at the intersections of disability, racial, and trans justice. Their work spans disciplinary and literary journals, major news media outlets, and public health advocacy campaigns and is driven by the question: what stories must we tell to remake worlds conducive to one another's thriving?

Please note: this free event will be held in the Student Center Terrace Room and is co-sponsored by Gender Studies and the DEI Committee.

IMC Boom LogoIMC Book Fair - Wednesday, March 27, 2024 - 9am to 4pm

Weather permitting, the Independent Music Collective (IMC) will be holding the final book fair of the semester in the HUMB courtyard from 9am to 4pm on Wednesday, March 27th. Come browse a wide selection of used books (on all topics) and music in a variety of formats. Proceeds fund the IMC Concert Series!

Hartnett headshotAnnie Hartnett - Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 6:00pm

Acclaimed novelist Annie Hartnett is the author of Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017) and Unlikely Animals (Ballantine/Random House, 2022). Unlikely Animals was listed as one of the best books of 2022 by the Washington Post and BookRiot, and was long-listed for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. Rabbit Cake was listed as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2017, was a finalist for the New England Book Award, and was long-listed for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Hartnett has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She is co-host of the writing and parenting podcast Good Moms on Paper and is also an amateur cartoonist. In addition to her reading, she will also offer a free, hour-long writing class open to the general public.  

Please note: this free event will be held in the Student Center Terrace Room with a book signing and reception to follow.  PHOTO: Molly Haley.

Scarry headshotElaine Scarry - Wednesday, April 10, 2024 - 4:00pm

As part of the English Department's Spring Series on the Body, renowned scholar Elaine Scarry will deliver a lecture titled "The Body at Work: Revisiting The Body in Pain." The Cabot Professor of Aesthetics and a Senior Fellow at Harvard's Society of Fellows, Scarry pursues two central subjects in her work: the nature of physical injury and the nature of human creation. Her notable books include The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (1985), On Beauty and Being Just (1999), and Thermonuclear Monarchy: Choosing between Democracy and Doom (2014).

Please note: this free event will be held in the Marx Library Auditorium and is co-sponsored by Modern and Classical Languages and Literature.

▼   Job Openings

Part-Time Teaching

The English Department reviews applications on a continuing basis for part-time instructors, mainly to teach composition. Literature surveys and technical writing sections are available occasionally for those who are qualified in those areas.

Minimum Requirement: M.A. in English. 

Please send your vita, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references and transcripts via email to Dr. Patrick Shaw:

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.

▼   English Department Statement on Community

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.


  Latest News
'Descendant' Nominated for NAACP Image Award
Monday - February 20, 2023
The film was co-written and co-produced by Dr. Kern Jackson, director of USA's African American Studies program. The...
Read more
Stokes Center for Creative Writing Presents Dionne Irving
Stokes Center for Creative Writing Presents Dionne Irving
Friday - February 3, 2023
Dionne Irving will read from her latest short story collection "The Islands."
Read more
Best-Selling Novelist Emily St. John Mandel to Speak at USA
Best-Selling Novelist Emily St. John Mandel to Speak at USA
Wednesday - November 2, 2022
Emily St. John Mandel will be the keynote speaker as part of The Stokes Center for Creative Writing Visiting Writers'...
Read more