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English majors, minors, and graduate students develop skills in analysis, critical thinking, writing, and communication through their study of literature, language, rhetoric, creative writing, and publishing. As they work toward their degrees, students have the opportunity to emphasize in one of these areas and work closely with faculty who specialize in these fields.

Our faculty members are widely recognized in their fields of expertise, collectively publishing more than 20 books in the last five years and winning prestigious awards, including Guggenheim Fellowships, National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships, and National Endowment of the Humanities Grants.

Graduates are equipped with a wide range of marketable skills that prepare them for a variety of careers in education, journalism, publishing, nonprofit administration, and marketing.

Advising and Course Information

Program Directors

Director of Language & Literature

Dr. Steve Dilks
dilkss@umkc.edu

Director of Creative Writing

Professor Whitney Terrell
terrellw@umkc.edu

Director of Composition

Dr. Crystal Doss
dosscr@umkc.edu

I.Ph.D. Coordinator

Dr. John Barton
bartonjc@umkc.edu

Course Information

Our current class schedule is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system, and our complete list of course offerings are available in the catalog. Review our course description listing to find reading lists, major assignments, and other details to help you select your classes for the upcoming semester:

ENGLISH 5503: Old English with Virginia Blanton

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 4pm-5:15pm

Have you read Maria Dahvana Headley’s new translation of Beowulf? It’s a feminist reading that very much illustrates the “bro” culture of early England. Here’s the opening:

Bro! Tell me we still know how to speak of kings! In the old

days,

everyone knew what men were: brave, bold, glory-bound. Only

stories now, but I’ll sound the Spear-Danes’ song, hoarded for

hungry times.

Their first father was a foundling: Scyld Scefing.

He spent his youth fists up, browbeating every bartsool-brother,

bonfiring his enemies. That man began in the waves, a baby in

a basket,

but he bootstrapped his way into a kingdom, trading loneliness

for luxury. Whether they thought kneeling necessary or no,

everyone from head to tail of the whale-road bent down:

There’s a king, there’s his crown!

That was a good king.

Translation is a very wonky practice, one that we have to engage in, if we are to read any of the early English literature that survives between 500 and 1200. I hope you’ll join me next semester as we work through some of the most evocative medieval prose and poetry composed in English. Most people today can only read this literature in translation, as Old English has some significant differences from Modern English. But, I want you to be in the club and be able to read it in the original to understand its nuances and its sentiments. Towards that end, I have framed this course so that you can read this literature in the original and become a proficient translator of the language. As we work, we will discuss not only the grammar of individual passages and the literary and linguistic aspects that emerge, but we will also examine the manuscript presentation of these texts and their survival. Some of the literature we will study are: The Dream of the Rood, The Wife’s Lament, The Battle of Maldon, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and Judith, as well as Beowulf.

MA and MFA students: if you need a second semester of foreign language to satisfy the language requirement, this course can count for that second semester as well as for a medieval requirement (MA) or literature requirement (MFA). So it double dips!

Required Text(s):
Introduction to Old English, 3rd edition (Blackwell)
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th edition (Clark Hall)

ENGLISH 5550: Graduate Seminar: Advanced Technical Writing with Antonio Byrd

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course focuses on communicating technical knowledge for diverse audiences. Students will learn current theories and research methods in professional and technical writing. Students will apply knowledge and skills developed in their major to individual and team-based writing projects.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 5548: External Internship

Days & Time: Arranged

Students may complete an external internship involving writing and editing with a publishing company, trade magazine, literary or academic journal, other print or electronic media organization, or with advertising, public relations, or non-profit firms. Internships are granted on a competitive basis. Students will compile a portfolio of their work under the direction of the internship supervisor to be submitted for evaluation to the department’s internship coordinator.

Please review our Q&A about internships for full details: https://cas.umkc.edu/english/student-opportunities/internships/.

Required Text(s): n/a

ENGLISH 5549A: Publication Practicum: New Letters Magazine with Christie Hodgen

Online Asynchronous Instr

This publication practicum gives students behind-the-scenes experience at New Letters, one of the oldest and best-regarded literary magazines in the country. Students will read submissions to the magazine and help to make selections for upcoming issues, contribute to editing and proofreading efforts, gain exposure to layout and design decisions and processes, and write book reviews for possible publication in the journal or its digital companion, New Letters Online. Regular (Zoom) meeting times are from 12:00—1:30 on Wednesdays, though the class may also be completed asynchronously, if need be.

Required Text(s): All reading (and lots of it) will be provided to students.

ENGLISH 5549C-0001: Publication Practicum: Podcasting with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous Instr: W 7pm-9:45pm

This section of the Publication Practicum will teach students how to write, record, and sound edit a podcast. Students will get first-hand experience working on the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast at Literary Hub, an internationally-known podcast that has been downloaded 500,000 times since January of 2019. Professor Whitney Terrell is the co-host of the podcast and he will lead students through every phase of production: booking guests, supervising social media coverage, recording advertisements and credits, writing scripts, editing sound, mounting audio on Megaphone, and communicating with the editor-in-chief of the podcast’s parent publication, Literary Hub. Students will also be assigned to a small group that will have full editorial control over a single episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction. They will choose a topic and guests for that episode, write the script, and edit the sound.

In addition to their work on Fiction/Non/Fiction, students will design, name, write, and record their own podcast on a subject of their choosing. We will study the various genres of podcasts, from scripted to unscripted. We will study the economics of podcasting. And we will talk to a series of guest speakers who will discuss their own real world experiences in podcasting.

No prior experience in podcasting or sound editing is required or expected.

Required Text(s): All texts are open source and free. Links will be provided in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 5477NS: 19th-Century Studies: Race and Violence in American Literature with John Barton

Online Asynchronous Instr

Race has been a perennial issue in this country long before the founding of the United States, and scholars from different perspectives and cross disciplines have long noted America’s peculiar problem of violence.  This course investigates representations of, and responses to, race and violence over the long nineteenth century in US cultural and literary practices.  It begins with early nineteenth-century gallows literature and classic slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown and then turns to three seminal antebellum literary works concerning race and violence: William Wells Brown’s Clotel (1853); John Rollin Ridge’s (Yellowbird) Joaquín Murieta (1854) and Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno (1856).  The course will then examine several postbellum novels that explore issues related to lynching and mob violence: Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901) Pauline Hopkins’ Winona (1902); Thomas Dixon’s The Leopard’s Spots (1902); and Sutton Griggs’s The Hindered Hand (1905).  The course will likely conclude with a few short stories or plays by African American writers engaged in anti-lynching activism and may William Faulkner’s novel, Light in August (1930). Throughout the course we will read literary works in light of popular print media dealing with race and violence.

Course requirements will likely include: discussion forum posts, weekly blogs on race and violence in literature; reading quizzes; and a major term paper (preceded by a annotated bibliography and working draft).

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 5477TS: 20th- and 21st-Century Studies: Modern and Contemporary American Culture and Literature with Stephen Dilks

Online Asynchronous Instr

Beginning with American Modernism (6 weeks devoted to a selection of work by Willa Cather, T S Eliot; Hilda Doolittle; William Faulkner; Ernest Hemingway; Marianne Moore; Ezra Pound; Gertrude Stein; and William Carlos Williams), the course sets up a conversation about Post-World War Two American literature and culture. The second ten weeks of the course will focus on poetry, fictional prose, and creative non-fiction by authors including Jack Kerouac, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Ntozake Shange, Ann Devere Smith, and Frederic Tuten.

Required Text(s):
Texts for the first six weeks will be provided on Canvas.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road
McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian.
Morrison, Toni. Jazz.
Munro, Alice. Selected stories provided on Canvas.
Shange, Ntozake. For Colored Girls who have considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enough.
Smith, Anne Devere. Twilight Los Angeles: 1992.
Tuten, Frank. The Adventures of Mao on the Long March.

ENGLISH 5487FI: Creative Writing Fiction Workshop: Bootleggers, Speculators, & Trespassers with Christie Hodgen

Online Synchronous Instr: Tu 7-9:45PM

This creative writing workshop is devoted to the study and crafting of the short story, with an attendant focus on publication, and the short fiction “market.” Our readings will consist of several critically-acclaimed story collections published within the last five years or so, each of which, in one way or another, breaks the standard contract of the literary short story–crossing the boundaries of realism, hearkening back to the story’s roots in the fable. Coursework will include: two short story submissions (15-30 pages each), weekly Canvas responses to our reading, written responses to peer work, and of course rigorous, thoughtful participation in our workshop discussions. Each student will also study the fiction offerings of a literary journal of their choice, compile a report assessing the aesthetics of their chosen journal, and prepare a story to submit for publication.

Readings will include collections by Amelia Gray, Kelly Link, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, and Kevin Wilson.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 5487PO: Creative Writing Poetry Workshop with Hadara Bar-Nadav

Online Synchronous Instr: Th 7pm-9:45pm

Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry) is designed to help you become active and analytical writers and readers of poetry.  Emphasis will be placed on the study and writing of first books, culminating in mini-chapbooks of your work at the semester’s end.  We will explore ways to develop and structure a first book manuscript and discuss various publication opportunities, from literary journals to first-book contests.  Together we will consider strategies to develop and sustain your poetry projects both within this class and beyond the semester’s end.

As a learning community, we will critically examine poetry by a variety of writers with attention to how poems are made and how our observations can inform our writing.  Rigorous reading and discussion of poetry (which may individual collections of poetry, essays on craft, and literary journals) will help you to develop and strengthen analytic skills necessary for writing and revising your poetry.  We will participate in virtual workshop discussions, take literary risks, develop strategies for revision, and draw connections between our writing and reading lives. Authors studied may include Natalie Diaz, danez smith, Molly McCully Brown, and others.

Course requirements include engaged online participation in the workshop, rigorous reading and discussion of course texts, reading responses, a poetry presentation, and a final portfolio of your poetry.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 5500-0001: Graduate Study In English with Jennifer Frangos

Online Synchronous Instr: M/W 5:30-6:45PM

Course Description: An introduction to methods of research and scholarship related to English studies. The course uses a wide spectrum of print and digital materials, library facilities (including archives and Special Collections), databases, and other resources to explore English studies as an academic discipline and profession.

Required Text(s): None.

ENGLISH 5550K-0001: Graduate Seminar: Creative Writing Prose with Michael Pritchett

Online Synchronous Instr: M 7pm-9:45pm

Best Seller
In this course, we will only discuss books that sold a million copies or more. The making of a best-selling work of prose requires expertise with the structure of the form, and an understanding of relationships between form and content. This class will focus on techniques for planning and drafting the most popular prose form in literature — the best seller. We will explore how these prose forms are created and how novelists use content as a guide to inventing new forms. We will study examples of newly invented best-selling prose forms that have evolved over time.

We will examine the poetics and tradition of the best-seller as it has been handed down to us from previous generations of writers, to determine what parts of the tradition are most useful to writers in the here and now.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

Advising and Course Information

The College of Arts and Sciences dual advising system of general/professional advisors and department advisors helps students achieve academic success.

English students may meet with any of the advisors listed below for major and minor advising. All advising appointments are being conducted with Zoom video conferencing to maintain the health of our campus community. Log in to UMKC Connect to schedule an appointment.

Advisor Contact Information

Dr. Hadara Bar-Nadav
barnadavh@umkc.edu
Tues. 3-5PM; Thurs. 10AM-Noon

Dr. Jenni Frangos
frangosj@umkc.edu
Tues. 6-8PM; Fri. 1-3PM

Dr. Jane Greer
greerj@umkc.edu
Mon. and Wed. 2-4PM

CAS Student Services

General UMKC advising and pre-professional program advising is handled by CAS Student Services. Current students should schedule appointments through Connect.

Course Information

Our current class schedule is available in Pathway, the university’s online registration system, and our complete list of course offerings are available in the catalog. Review our course description listing to find reading lists, major assignments, and other details to help you select your classes for the upcoming semester:

Classics Courses

CLASSICS 119-0001: Myth and Literature with Ben Jasnow
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Online Asynchronous Instr

A study of classical myth including readings from Homer to Ovid, analysis of selected myths in later literature, art, and music, and a study of contemporary definitions and approaches to myth.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 210-0001: Foundations Of Ancient World Literature I with Cynthia Jones

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course studies ancient world literature such as The Descent of Inanna, Egyptian love poetry, Hebrew Scriptures, the epics of Homer and Virgil, the Analects of Confucius, and the wisdom of Laozi. The course also considers ancient creation epics such as the cosmic battle between Marduk and Tiamat, the Metamorphosis of Ovid, and the great Indian epic The Ramayana.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 300CY-0001: Ancient World in Cinema with Jeff Rydberg-Cox and Mitch Brian

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course will explore the tradition of depicting the ancient Mediterranean world in film from the early silent era to the present. Topics to be covered include the ways that filmmakers respond to literary and historical sources from the ancient world, interact with the artistic tradition of films about the ancient world, the relation of these films to other works by the same creative personnel (directors, actors, writers, producers, etc.), and the political and cultural contexts in which the films were released.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills the Reception requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

CLASSICS 391WI-0001: Ancient Greek and Roman Medicine with Cynthia Jones

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course explores the practice of medicine in the Ancient Greek and Roman Worlds from 800 BCE until 300 CE.  Students will read primary sources in English and will also be introduced to Greek and Latin grammar and medical vocabulary so that they can understand and study essential terms from the history of medicine in their original language.

  • Fulfills an Elective requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

English Courses

ENGLISH 207: World Literature in English with Stephen Dilks

Online Asynchronous Instr (First 8-week Session)

This course is designed to introduce you to a diverse range of accessible literary texts written by non Euro-American writers. The texts are either written in English or translated into English from other languages. Our goal is to situate each text in context and to open conversations about issues important to the people and places represented in these texts. I will provide video presentations with contextualizing materials of various kinds (geographical, historical, literary, musical, political, etc.). This material is intended to help us relate to the characters and stories, the emotions and thoughts, the actions and situations in any given text.

From the beginning, I encourage you to follow your own interests, to ask questions about these interests by sending me direct e-mails at dilkss@umkc.edu, and to explore these interests in Canvas posts. If you participate fully in the course, you’ll become familiar with a number of important texts from across the globe and will be able to read them in their historical and cultural contexts. In addition to learning about a range of literary texts and contexts, you will learn to write effective reviews (four short reviews; no required posts) that help other readers understand why specific texts might be worth reading.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s):
Abani, Chris.  Graceland. New York: FSG, 2004.
Guevera, Ernesto “Che.” The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey. New York: Ocean Press, 2004.
Hamid, Mohsin. The Reluctant Fundamentalist. New York: Mariner Books, 2008.
Kirino, Natsuo. Out. New York: Vintage/Random House, 2005.
Yu, Hua. Chronicle of a Blood Merchant. New York: Anchor, 2003.

Other Background material will be shared in the course’s Canvas page

ENGLISH 214-0001: Introduction To Fiction with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous: TR 2:30pm-3:45pm

This section of English 214 will follow the development of the literary short story from the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, covering a range of authors including Nikolai Gogol, Leo Tolstoy, Anton Chekhov, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, Flannery O’Connor, John Cheever, James Baldwin, Sherman Alexie, and Jhumpa Lahiri. By studying the basic elements of fiction—plot, character, setting, point of view, style, theme, etc.—we will come to understand how stories work, how the effects of narrative are created and constructed. By the end of the course we will not only have read a wide selection of the most significant works in the history of the short story, we will also have honed our ability to understand, analyze, discuss, and write about literature—to respond to works of art in both critical and creative ways. Coursework will include responses to our readings, and two papers.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Ann Charters, The Story and Its Writer, 9th Edition, 2016 MLA Update, Bedford/St. Martin’s Press. ISBN# 9781319125189

ENGLISH 215-0001: Introduction To Poetry with Laurie Ellinghausen

Online Asynchronous Instr (First 8-week Session)

Have you ever wanted to know more about poetry – how to read it, how to interpret it, and how to apply it to your life? This course will help students become active, analytical readers of poetry from a variety of traditions. We will consider the following questions: how do we define poetry? What distinguishes it from other forms of writing and art? What influences have shaped your own definition of poetry? How do your own beliefs, experiences, and personal values play into your interpretation of a poem? What can poetry bring to your own life?

In this introductory course, you will learn strategies for reading poetry, study the technical elements of a poem (i.e. poetic devices, forms, etc.), and read a range of poetry from different historical traditions, all over the world. Requirements will include daily online discussion in the Blackboard format, blog responses to audio readings and interviews, and a final paper. Students must have regular internet access and familiarity with the Blackboard environment.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s):
The Norton Introduction to Poetry. Ed. Alison Booth, J. Paul Hunter, and Kelly J. Mays. 9th ed. NY: Norton, 2006.
Shakespeare, William. Shakespeare’s Sonnets. Ed. Stephen Booth. New Haven: Yale UP, 2000.
Tempest, Kate. Brand New Ancients: A Poem. New York: Bloomsbury USA, 2015.

ENGLISH 242: Women Writing/Women Reading with Crystal Doss

Online Asynchronous Instr (Second 8-week Session)

This course investigates women as producers and consumers of literature. Students will become acquainted with diverse women writers, explore women’s reading practices, and interrogate the cultural, historical, and social contexts that influence women’s writing and reading.

  • Fulfills the Focus A requirement for the UMKC General Education Core
  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 301WI: Writing And The Academy with Sheila Honig

Online Asynchronous Instr

This class provides you with the opportunity to become a better and more confident reader, writer, and researcher through a close examination of two autobiographies—Lives on the Boundary and Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis. You will examine issues such as social class, race, and other cultural factors relating to these two nonfiction books, along with your personal connections to these autobiographies. Essay assignments require you to conduct both primary and secondary research.

This is an online section of English 301 requiring a fairly high level of attention and discipline. IF you are a relatively independent self-starter type of student, the online component can greatly enhance the experience.

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 311: American Literature I with John Barton

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course surveys U.S. literatures from the colonial period to just before the Civil War.  It begins with Cabeza de Vaca’s Relación, a narrative of Spanish contact with the “New World,” and concludes with the poetry of Whitman and Dickinson, major precursors of the modernist movement.  The course will cover a wide range of important literary works from many different genres and examine them in relation to the cultural and historical contexts within which they were produced.  In our exploration of American literature before the Civil War we will give special attention to questions about race and gender.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Heath Anthology of American Literature, Eighth Edition
The Account: Álvar Núňez Cabeza de Vaca’s Relación (Arte Publico Press)

ENGLISH 312: Creative Writing I Fiction with Michael Pritchett

Online Asynchronous Instr (Second 8-Week Session)

As storytellers, it’s important that we never allow the facts to stand in the way of a good story. We’re always making up at least part of our story. If you stick with the facts, you might have a good story. But if you change them, you could wind up with a great story.

Fiction is especially good at showing how we suffer unfairness in life, so think about what suffering your character is doing, what unfairness they are facing, and how to dramatize the suffering that is being caused by the unfairness.

Writing is a way to reach out to others. The first step in this journey is to read what other people write about the human condition and the world and the suffering and unfairness in the world. The next step is to decide what you want to say about being a human from your perspective and then to say it. That’s what this course is about.

Possible titles include A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston, Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold by John LeCarre, A Midnight Clear by William Wharton, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Briefing for a Descent into Hell by Doris Lessing, The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick, Foxfire by Joyce Carol Oates, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, Legends of the Fall by Jim Harrison, Little Big Man by Thomas Berger, Lives of Girls and Women by Alice Munro, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, The Progress of Love by Alice Munro, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, Bullet Park by John Cheever, The White Hotel by D.M. Thomas and The Violent Bear It Away by Flannery O’Connor, among others.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 316WI: Literary Nonfiction with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 4pm-5:15pm

There has been a long and impressive history of socially engaged nonfiction in American letters. Henry David Thoreau went to jail to protest the Mexican American war and slavery and his essay, “On Civil Disobedience,” was read by Martin Luther King, Jr., who wrote his own famed “Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Washington Post reporters, Woodward and Bernstein, became cultural heroes for their exposure of President Nixon’s crimes. Rachel Carson, the author of Silent Spring, sparked a movement to ban the use of DDT and helped start the environmental movement in America.

This course is designed to introduce students to the study and crafting of creative nonfiction, with a focus on writing that addresses significant social or political issues. As we’ll discover through our reading, writers have used many different forms of nonfiction to voice their social concerns. Social critique can come in the guise of the personal essay (Ralph Ellison’s “The Little Man at Chehaw Station”), the researched magazine piece (John McPhee’s “Encounters with the Archdruid”), the first-person expose (Barbara Ehrenreich’s Nickel and Dimed) or autobiography (Edmund White’s City Boy). Together we will explore – and practice – the many different varieties of this diverse tradition.  What constitutes “socially engaged” writing? What strategies have writers used to raise awareness of issues that they consider to be important? How have they managed to balance artistic concerns with their desire to “make a point”? Some authors approach their issues through polemic (Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter With Kansas?) while others have written pieces that aren’t overtly political and yet, nevertheless, make important social and historical assertions (Joan Didion’s Where I Was From).

We’ll spend the first six weeks studying the various forms of literary nonfiction. Then the rest of the class will be devoted to working on your own writing. Students will prepare two 8-12 page essays on subjects of their own choosing. We’ll discuss each essay in class and I’ll provide line edits and individual conferences to each writer.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major

Required Text(s):
Fields of Reading: Motives for Writing, 10th Edition, edited by Nancy R. Conley, David Hamilton, et al.

ENGLISH 317: British Literature I with Jennifer Frangos

Online Asynchronous Instr

This online course will serve as an introduction to literature in English from the Medieval Period to the end of the eighteenth century, with an emphasis on reading these texts in their social and cultural contexts. We will look at major and minor texts and writers, a wide variety of literary genres, and a range of supplementary materials (political treatises, scientific writing, art and music, fashion, maps, popular entertainments, and so forth). As we read and discuss, we will consider questions such as these: How is a text created by a culture and how does it in turn help to create that culture? What problems, tensions, and issues does the literature seem to be working out for the culture? What issues seem important to literary texts, what issues seem unimportant, and why? Who has power in the culture, who is resisting or perpetuating that power structure, and how does literature (or a given literary text) reveal, perpetuate, resist, or re-imagine the culture’s power structure?

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required work will include frequent posts to Canvas discussion sites, 4 formal short essays, 3 exams, and recitation of at least 14 lines of poetry.

Required Text(s):
On order with the UMKC Bookstore: Our primary text will be Joseph Black et al., eds., The Broadview Anthology of British Literature, Concise Edition, Volume A, 3rd edition (2016). Please buy this exact edition and have it on the first day of class.

ENGLISH 318: Bible As Literature with Cynthia Jones

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 1pm-2:15pm

A critical study of the major portions of the Old and New Testaments and the Apocrypha, with special attention to the development of literature from oral tradition, the literary genres, themes and archetypes represented in the collection, and the diction and style which have influenced later literature. The class explores the relationship between Biblical literature to the historical, religious and cultural milieu of the ancient Near East. We will investigate the importance of the Bible to the development of Western culture and literature; and the depth and complexity of religious, psychological, and cultural themes in the Bible.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills the Ancient Literature requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 321: American Literature II with Jane Greer

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 2:30pm-3:45pm (Second 8-Week Session)

This course introduces students to some of the significant works by United States writers from 1865 to the present, as well as to the major literary movements these works helped to shape.  Given the vastness and diversity of the literature produced during this period, no survey will cover everything.  However, by the end of the semester, students will have encountered many important literary figures (e.g., Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, Nella Larsen, William Faulkner, Tennessee Williams, Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Jhumpa Lahiri) and discussed some of the central issues that have defined literature and culture in the United States over the last 150 years or so.

Survey courses of American literature, like English 321, first came into being on college campuses in the early decades of the twentieth century as professors, administrators, and cultural tastemakers sought to transform an increasingly diverse population into “Americans” and to stave off chaos by requiring a sort of homage to a sequence of supposedly heroic (and mostly white male) authors who reflected the values of the nation.  In the twenty-first century, survey classes, like English 321, are still expected to accomplish important cultural work as evidenced by the fact that such courses are often included in general education requirements.  With this in mind, we will pay special attention throughout the semester to how various writers saw themselves and their texts contributing to the creation of a democratic society.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Michael Levin, et al., eds.  The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 9th Edition, Vols. C, D, and E
Toni Morrison, Beloved.  Plume Fiction.

ENGLISH 323: Shakespeare with Laurie Ellinghausen

Online Asynchronous Instr

Why do the poetry and plays of William Shakespeare remain so popular and influential nearly 400 years after his death? Because these writings contain nearly limitless potential for interpretation, debate, and creative revision, as scholars and artists from Shakespeare’s lifetime to our own readily attest. This course introduces undergraduates to Shakespeare’s works, their historical and literary contexts, and their impact on modern culture. We will examine Shakespeare from a variety of angles, including language use, historical context, and performance, while covering plays from each of the four genres (comedy, history, tragedy, and romance) as well as lyric poetry (sonnets).

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
TEXTBOOK (please buy this exact edition and have it by the first day of class)
Bevington, David, ed., The Necessary Shakespeare, 5th ed. (available in e-book format from the UMKC Bookstore at www.umkcbookstore.com, although you may use a print edition if you prefer)

FILMS (available for rental on Amazon, but may also be available on other streaming services)
The Taming of the Shrew, dir. Franco Zeffirelli, 1967
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Max Reinhardt, 1936
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, dir. Michael Hoffman, 1999
Twelfth Night, dir. Trevor Nunn, 1996
Richard III, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1955
Looking for Richard, dir. Al Pacino, 1996
Hamlet, dir. Laurence Olivier, 1948
Hamlet, dir. Kenneth Branagh, 1996
Othello, dir. Oliver Parker, 1995
O, dir. Tim Blake Nelson, 2001
Macbeth, dir. Rupert Goold, 2011

ENGLISH 327: British Literature II with Jennifer Phegley

Online Asynchronous Instr

English 327 will introduce you to some significant works by British writers from the late 18thcentury to the early 20thcentury, a period that covers the major literary and intellectual movements of Romanticism, Victorianism, and Modernism. Given the wide range of diverse literature produced during this time of rapid social, technological, and economic change, our survey of the field will necessarily be limited. However, we will encounter many important literary figures, including Mary Wollstonecraft, William Wordsworth, Wilkie Collins, Virginia Woolf, T.S. Eliot, and James Joyce. We will also explore some of the central issues that have defined British literature and culture, such as the abolition of slavery, the advent of industrialism, the introduction of Darwin’s theory of evolution and the subsequent crisis in faith, the expansion of the British empire, and the cataclysmic impact of the First World War.

  • Fulfills a MO Transfer / Core 42 General Education Requirement
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Wilkie Collins, The Woman in White, Broadview Press. ISBN# 978-1-55111-644-0.
David Damrosch, et al., eds., The Longman Anthology of British Literature, Volume 2a, 2b, and 2c, 5thEdition. ISBN# 9780134015699

ENGLISH 333: African American Literature II with Anthony Shiu

Online Asynchronous Instr

African American Literature II is a survey course open to all majors. We’ll examine literature, film, and music by African Americans from the 1940s until the present, and we’ll cover a wide range of styles, authors, and movements. We’ll use The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2nd edition) as our central text and examine realism, the Black Arts Movement, and contemporary (as well as experimental) African American literature. We will also study a film and read a novel. Our focus will also be interdisciplinary, with an eye toward understanding how the growth of African American literary and cultural traditions contributes to and directly questions American traditions, politics, social structures, and current events.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major
  • Fulfills a Literature Survey requirement for the English major with American Literary and Cultural Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
The Norton Anthology of African American Literature. Vol. 2. 3rd ed. (ISBN: 9780393923704)
Whitehead, Colson. The Intuitionist.. (ISBN: 9780385493000)

ENGLISH 337: Introduction to American Literary and Cultural Studies with Anthony Shiu

Online Asynchronous Instr

In this course, we’ll examine a wide range of literary and cultural texts from an interdisciplinary perspective: from video games to popular fiction to public performances. We will explore historic and contemporary approaches to understanding U.S. culture by focusing on gender, race, sexuality, labor, and transnationalism. In doing so, we’ll develop a deep understanding of social and cultural practices while attending to a wide breadth (and diversity) of primary source materials. If you’re interested in other interdisciplinary fields like Ethnic Studies or Women and Gender Studies, English 337 is a perfect complement that will help develop your interdisciplinary skills in analysis and research.

English majors may obtain a B.A. in English with an emphasis in American Studies (currently known as “American Literary and Cultural Studies”). English 337 serves as the introductory course for this emphasis area and is meant to introduce students to a wide range of interdisciplinary approaches to literary and cultural texts in a U.S. context. Graduate students may take this course for graduate credit.

  • Fulfills a 300-level Elective for the English major
  • Fulfills the Introductory requirement for the English major with American Literary and Cultural Studies emphasis

Required Text(s):
American Studies: An Anthology (ISBN: 9781405113526)

ENGLISH 342WI: Women And Rhetoric with Jane Greer

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 8:30am-9:45am

Diaries, scrapbooks, letters, speeches, tracts, testimonials, essays, posters, videos, blogs–all intriguing textual genres that women (cis, trans, fluid) have composed as they have pursued both public and private goals at different historical moments over the past two hundred years in the U.S.. This course offers students the opportunity to study the rhetorical practices of women and their position(s) within the traditions of western rhetoric.  More simply put, we’ll be studying how women have used language to get things done in the world.

As a writing-intensive course, English 342WI also aims to help students expand their own rhetorical repertoires as both writers and composers of digital media.  Over the course of the semester, each student will draft and revise a rhetorical biography of a woman whom they feel should be included in the history of rhetoric.  In the past, students have chosen to study figures as diverse as Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue; Pat Summitt, legendary women’s basketball coach; Condoleeza Rice, former Secretary of State; Hallie Quinn Brown, educator and elocutionist at Wilberforce College; Victoria Woodhull,19th-century advocate for Free Love; and Rachel Carson, environmental activist.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s):
Joy Ritchie and Kate Ronald, eds.  Available Means:  An Anthology of Women’s Rhetorics U of Pittsburgh P, 2001
Shari J. Stenberg and Charlotte Hogg, eds.  Persuasive Acts:  Women’s Rhetorics in the 21st Century.  U of Pittsburgh P, 2020.

ENGLISH 380: Composing in the Digital Age with Antonio Byrd

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course will explore how to effectively communicate in a digital age by incorporating multiple modes of writing strategies. We focus on the study and creation of digital and physical multimodal texts, such as podcasts and board games. The course will consider the rhetorical possibilities and constraints of various modalities rather than privileging one mode of communication over another. Specialized knowledge of multimedia equipment and software is neither expected nor required.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 404: Old English with Virginia Blanton

Online Synchronous Instr: TR 4pm-5:15pm

Have you read Maria Dahvana Headley’s new translation of Beowulf? It’s a feminist reading that very much illustrates the “bro” culture of early England. Here’s the opening:

Bro! Tell me we still know how to speak of kings! In the old

            days,

everyone knew what men were: brave, bold, glory-bound. Only

stories now, but I’ll sound the Spear-Danes’ song, hoarded for

            hungry times.

Their first father was a foundling: Scyld Scefing.

He spent his youth fists up, browbeating every bartsool-brother,

bonfiring his enemies. That man began in the waves, a baby in

            a basket,

but he bootstrapped his way into a kingdom, trading loneliness

for luxury. Whether they thought kneeling necessary or no,

everyone from head to tail of the whale-road bent down:

There’s a king, there’s his crown!

That was a good king.

Translation is a very wonky practice, one that we have to engage in, if we are to read any of the early English literature that survives between 500 and 1200. I hope you’ll join me next semester as we work through some of the most evocative medieval prose and poetry composed in English. Most people today can only read this literature in translation, as Old English has some significant differences from Modern English. But, I want you to be in the club and be able to read it in the original to understand its nuances and its sentiments. Towards that end, I have framed this course so that you can read this literature in the original and become a proficient translator of the language. As we work, we will discuss not only the grammar of individual passages and the literary and linguistic aspects that emerge, but we will also examine the manuscript presentation of these texts and their survival. Some of the literature we will study are: The Dream of the Rood, The Wife’s Lament, The Battle of Maldon, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, and Judith, as well as Beowulf.

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Introduction to Old English, 3rd edition (Blackwell)
A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, 4th edition (Clark Hall)

ENGLISH 430WI: Advanced Technical Writing with Antonio Byrd

Online Asynchronous Instr

This course focuses on communicating technical knowledge for diverse audiences. Students will learn current theories and research methods in professional and technical writing. Students will apply knowledge and skills developed in their major to individual and team-based writing projects.

  • Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 448: External Internship

Days & Time: Arranged

Students may complete an external internship involving writing and editing with a publishing company, trade magazine, literary or academic journal, other print or electronic media organization, or with advertising, public relations, or non-profit firms. Internships are granted on a competitive basis. Students will compile a portfolio of their work under the direction of the internship supervisor to be submitted for evaluation to the department’s internship coordinator.

Please review our Q&A about internships for full details: https://cas.umkc.edu/english/student-opportunities/internships/.

Fulfills the Rhetoric requirement for the English major and each emphasis

Required Text(s): n/a

ENGLISH 449A: Publication Practicum: New Letters Magazine with Christie Hodgen

Online Asynchronous Instr

This publication practicum gives students behind-the-scenes experience at New Letters, one of the oldest and best-regarded literary magazines in the country. Students will read submissions to the magazine and help to make selections for upcoming issues, contribute to editing and proofreading efforts, gain exposure to layout and design decisions and processes, and write book reviews for possible publication in the journal or its digital companion, New Letters Online. Regular (Zoom) meeting times are from 12:00—1:30 on Wednesdays, though the class may also be completed asynchronously, if need be.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): All reading (and lots of it) will be provided to students.

ENGLISH 449C-0001: Publication Practicum: Podcasting with Whitney Terrell

Online Synchronous Instr: W 7pm-9:45pm

This section of the Publication Practicum will teach students how to write, record, and sound edit a podcast. Students will get first-hand experience working on the Fiction/Non/Fiction podcast at Literary Hub, an internationally-known podcast that has been downloaded 500,000 times since January of 2019. Professor Whitney Terrell is the co-host of the podcast and he will lead students through every phase of production: booking guests, supervising social media coverage, recording advertisements and credits, writing scripts, editing sound, mounting audio on Megaphone, and communicating with the editor-in-chief of the podcast’s parent publication, Literary Hub. Students will also be assigned to a small group that will have full editorial control over a single episode of Fiction/Non/Fiction. They will choose a topic and guests for that episode, write the script, and edit the sound.

In addition to their work on Fiction/Non/Fiction, students will design, name, write, and record their own podcast on a subject of their choosing. We will study the various genres of podcasts, from scripted to unscripted. We will study the economics of podcasting. And we will talk to a series of guest speakers who will discuss their own real world experiences in podcasting.

No prior experience in podcasting or sound editing is required or expected.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): All texts are open source and free. Links will be provided in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 477NS: 19th-Century Studies: Race and Violence in American Literature with John Barton

Online Asynchronous Instr

Race has been a perennial issue in this country long before the founding of the United States, and scholars from different perspectives and cross disciplines have long noted America’s peculiar problem of violence.  This course investigates representations of, and responses to, race and violence over the long nineteenth century in US cultural and literary practices.  It begins with early nineteenth-century gallows literature and classic slave narratives by Frederick Douglass and William Wells Brown and then turns to three seminal antebellum literary works concerning race and violence: William Wells Brown’s Clotel (1853); John Rollin Ridge’s (Yellowbird) Joaquín Murieta (1854) and Herman Melville’s Benito Cereno (1856).  The course will then examine several postbellum novels that explore issues related to lynching and mob violence: Charles Chesnutt’s The Marrow of Tradition (1901) Pauline Hopkins’ Winona (1902); Thomas Dixon’s The Leopard’s Spots (1902); and Sutton Griggs’s The Hindered Hand (1905).  The course will likely conclude with a few short stories or plays by African American writers engaged in anti-lynching activism and may William Faulkner’s novel, Light in August (1930). Throughout the course we will read literary works in light of popular print media dealing with race and violence.

Course requirements will likely include: discussion forum posts, weekly blogs on race and violence in literature; reading quizzes; and a major term paper (preceded by a annotated bibliography and working draft).

  • Fulfills a pre-1900 Literature requirement for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 477TS: 20th- and 21st-Century Studies: Modern and Contemporary American Culture and Literature with Stephen Dilks

Online Asynchronous Instr

Beginning with American Modernism (6 weeks devoted to a selection of work by Willa Cather, T S Eliot; Hilda Doolittle; William Faulkner; Ernest Hemingway; Marianne Moore; Ezra Pound; Gertrude Stein; and William Carlos Williams), the course sets up a conversation about Post-World War Two American literature and culture. The second ten weeks of the course will focus on poetry, fictional prose, and creative non-fiction by authors including Jack Kerouac, Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, Alice Munro, Ntozake Shange, Ann Devere Smith, and Frederic Tuten.

  • Fulfills an Elective for the English major
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major

Required Text(s):
Texts for the first six weeks will be provided on Canvas.
Kerouac, Jack. On the Road
McCarthy, Cormac. Blood Meridian.
Morrison, Toni. Jazz.
Munro, Alice. Selected stories provided on Canvas.
Shange, Ntozake. For Colored Girls who have considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enough.
Smith, Anne Devere. Twilight Los Angeles: 1992.
Tuten, Frank. The Adventures of Mao on the Long March.

ENGLISH 487FI: Creative Writing Fiction Workshop: Bootleggers, Speculators, & Trespassers with Christie Hodgen

Online Synchronous Instr: Tu 7-9:45PM

This creative writing workshop is devoted to the study and crafting of the short story, with an attendant focus on publication, and the short fiction “market.” Our readings will consist of several critically-acclaimed story collections published within the last five years or so, each of which, in one way or another, breaks the standard contract of the literary short story–crossing the boundaries of realism, hearkening back to the story’s roots in the fable. Coursework will include: two short story submissions (15-30 pages each), weekly Canvas responses to our reading, written responses to peer work, and of course rigorous, thoughtful participation in our workshop discussions. Each student will also study the fiction offerings of a literary journal of their choice, compile a report assessing the aesthetics of their chosen journal, and prepare a story to submit for publication.

Readings will include collections by Amelia Gray, Kelly Link, Ken Liu, Carmen Maria Machado, and Kevin Wilson.

  • Fulfills a 400-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

ENGLISH 487PO: Creative Writing Poetry Workshop with Hadara Bar-Nadav

Online Synchronous Instr: Th 7pm-9:45pm

Advanced Creative Writing (Poetry) is designed to help you become active and analytical writers and readers of poetry.  Emphasis will be placed on the study and writing of first books, culminating in mini-chapbooks of your work at the semester’s end.  We will explore ways to develop and structure a first book manuscript and discuss various publication opportunities, from literary journals to first-book contests.  Together we will consider strategies to develop and sustain your poetry projects both within this class and beyond the semester’s end.

As a learning community, we will critically examine poetry by a variety of writers with attention to how poems are made and how our observations can inform our writing.  Rigorous reading and discussion of poetry (which may individual collections of poetry, essays on craft, and literary journals) will help you to develop and strengthen analytic skills necessary for writing and revising your poetry.  We will participate in virtual workshop discussions, take literary risks, develop strategies for revision, and draw connections between our writing and reading lives. Authors studied may include Natalie Diaz, danez smith, Molly McCully Brown, and others.

Course requirements include engaged online participation in the workshop, rigorous reading and discussion of course texts, reading responses, a poetry presentation, and a final portfolio of your poetry.

  • Fulfills a 400-level Writing Course requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis
  • With the instructor’s permission, serves as the Capstone requirement for the English major with Creative Writing emphasis

Required Text(s): Details will be included in the syllabus.

After Graduation

With the ability to think critically and imaginatively, conduct research, and write with accuracy, concision, and clarity, students who have earned degrees in English from the University of Missouri-Kansas City are prepared for a variety of career paths.

Graduates from UMKC’s Department of English have had many professional successes and accomplishments in the fields of editing, marketing, education, business, and beyond. Our alumni have received fellowships from the National Endowment from the Arts and the Fulbright program, and have published and produced works of academic scholarship, poetry, fiction, non-fiction, screenplays, and film.

Our alumni have become:

Writers and editors in journalism, creative writing (novelists, poets, and writers working in television, film, theater, and radio), publishing, science, medicine, and technology

Editorial Director in the Creative Studio, Hallmark
Manager of Copywriting, Sears Holding Corporation
Senior Editor and Communications Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of KC
Technical Editor, Black & Veatch
Editor, New Letters
Director, New Letters on the Air
Editor, BkMk Press
Editorial Director, Children’s International
Editor, Lion Forge
Copywriter, PBA Health
Proofreader/Editor, Ajilon/Skillpath Seminars
Reporter, KCPT/Flatland
Speech writer (government)
Content Specialist (Writer/Editor), A D Banker
Writer for National Rural Health Association
Writer, Actor, Teaching Artist, The KC Repertory Theatre
Writer, Editor, Content Creator, The Cossack Review
Editor, Founder of Rabbit Catastrophe Press
Writer-in-Residence, Charlotte Street Foundation
Freelance Writer in KC/Contributor to KC Star and KCUR
Freelance Writer/Editor/Media Production
Published poets, novelists, screenwriters, and filmmakers

Writers and creatives in advertising, marketing, public relations, production, social media, and web design and content development

Digital Content Editor, H&R Bloch
Director of Communications, Quartermaster Marketing, KC
Director of Communications, Ascend Learning
Marketing Director, Unicorn Theatre
Marketing Associate, McCrite Plaza, KC
Marketing Manager, Summit Custom Homes
Creative Consultant/Marketing Associate, University of Kansas
Marketing Manager, Newmar Corporation in Indiana
Owner, Small State Writing and Digital Marketing
Production Editor, Andrews McMeel Universal
Internet Application Developer, Hayneedle
Project Manager, Epic Systems (Verona, WI)
Experience Designer, FanThreeSixty

Educators in universities, colleges, K-12 schools, English as a second language programs, international educational programs, and tutoring

K-12 Educators
Pembroke Hill School
Arrowhead Middle School
Blue Valley School District
Belton High School
Barstow School
Montgomery County (MD) School District
Raytown High School
Rockhurst High School
Truman High School
George Caleb Bingham Academy of Fine Arts
Sullivan High School
Bonner Springs
Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy
North Kansas City High School
Independence School District
St. James Academy

International Teachers
Global Bilingual Academy (Kuwait)
ELA teacher in Guiyang (China)
US Peace Corps (Thailand)
US Peace Corps (China)

University and College Faculty and Instructors
Professor of English, Arizona Western College
Professor of English, Austin Community College
Associate Professor, Eastern Michigan University
Associate Professor, Point Loma Nazarene University
Associate Professor, Washburn University
Associate Professor, Missouri State University
Associate Professor, Park University
Associate Professor (in Psychology), University of Missouri-Kansas City
Associate Instructor, Maryville University
Assistant Professor, Kean University
Assistant Professor, Barry University
Assistant Professor, Avila University
Assistant Professor, University of Missouri-Saint Louis
Assistant Professor, University of Southern Indiana
Assistant Professor, Western Carolina University
Assistant Professor, Washburn University
Lecturer, Eastfield College
Lecturer, Tarrant County College
Lecturer, Potomac State College of West Virginia University
Lecturer, Fort Lewis College (Durango, CO)
Lecturer, Southeast Community College (Lincoln, NE)
Instructor, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Instructor, Metro Community College
Instructor, Rockhurst University
Instructor, Marshalltown Community College
Instructor, Kansas City Art Institute
Instructor, Park University
Instructor, TESOL Certificate and Composition, Missouri State University
Adjunct Professor of English, Palm Beach State College
Teaching Artist, Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center
Teaching Associate, Literacy KC

Specialists in education-related fields, including libraries, museums, and higher education administration (deans, department chairs, writing center directors, and staff in alumni affairs, student affairs, admissions, and academic advising)

Chief of Binding and Collections Care, Library of Congress
Chief Academic Officer, Johnson County Community College
Director of Accreditation, University of Mississippi Simulation Center
Director, UMKC Academic Support and Mentoring International Center for Supplemental Instruction
Dean of Students Middle School and English Department Chair, Pembroke Hill School
English Department Chair, Blue Mountain Community College
Department Manager of College of Arts & Sciences, University of Kentucky
Director of Writing Studio, Metro Community College
Director of Writing Studio, University of Missouri-Kansas City
Associate Director of Writing Center/WAC Coordinator, Ashland University
Assistant Director of Multicultural Affairs, University of Texas at Arlington
Assistant Director of Experiential Learning, University of Central Florida
Director of Composition, Washburn University
Director and Program Coordinator, The Writer’s Place
Director of the Genealogy Center, The Museum of Danish America (Elk Horn, IA)
Access Specialist, Mid-Continent Public Library
Mission Director, Notre Dame de Sion School (Kansas City)
Founder, Squeezebox, History of KC
Owner & Curator of SqueezeBox Theatre (Kansas City)
Librarian, Kansas City Public Library
Youth Services Provider, St. Louis Public Library
School Librarian, Harrisonville High School
Academic Developer, Anglia Ruskin University (United Kingdom)
Online Resource Coordinator, Baker University
Admissions Representative and Mentor, Grantham University

Associates in business, law, and government-related fields, including corporate communications, non-profit administration, politics and speech writing, lobbying, government agencies, human resources, contract law, mediation, sales, and client relations scholars and writers

Senior Analyst, BJC Healthcare (St. Louis)
Support Analyst, Cerner
Economic Development Analyst (Kansas City)
Analyst, VML Marketing
Manager of Philanthropic Communications, Children’s Mercy (Kansas City)
Content Strategist, American Academy of Family Physicians
Executive Director, The Pilgrim Center (Kansas City)
Senior Communications Director, Local Investment Commission (LINC)
Press intern for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee for ranking member Claire McCaskill

Scholars pursuing advanced degrees (PhD, MFA, MA, JD, MBA, MPA)

PhD in English, Duke University
PhD in English, Ohio State University
PhD in English, University of Massachusetts Amherst
PhD in Composition/Rhetoric, Syracuse University
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of Southern California
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of Houston
PhD in Creative Writing, University of Louisiana, Lafayette
PhD in Creative Writing, Oklahoma State University
PhD in English, Creative Writing, University of Missouri-Columbia
PhD in English/Creative Writing, University of North Texas
PhD in English, University of New Mexico
PhD in English, University of Kentucky
PhD, University of Kansas
PhD, University of Southern Mississippi
PhD, University of Central Florida
PhD, University of Tennessee
PhD, University of Kansas
PhD, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
PhD, University of Connecticut
PhD, Rochester University
PhD, Vanderbilt University
PhD, University of Washington
PhD, University of Miami
PhD in Linguistics, University of Tartu (Estonia)
PhD in Education, University of Missouri-Kansas City
I-PhD, University of Missouri-Kansas City

MFA, Iowa Writers’ Workshop
MFA, Columbia College (Chicago)
MFA, San Jose State
MFA, Emerson College
MFA, West Virginia University
MFA, Mills College
MFA, University of Tennessee
MFA, Catholic University
MFA, The New School
MFA, University of Missouri-Kansas City

JD, Boston University
JD, University of Missouri-Kansas City

You can prepare for any of these career paths while pursuing your English degree at UMKC by:

UMKC Career Services will help you throughout your time at UMKC and beyond. Counselors will help you plan your educational experience so that you will be well-prepared to achieve your career goals. Free software programs and career counselors help students with a vast array of information about career opportunities.

Become a Student

To major in English is to devote yourself to the study of culture, past and present; to books, their readers, writers, and publishers; to critical thinking and the interpretation of ideas in both written and spoken form. An education in English allows for a command of the written and spoken word that otherwise might be unavailable. It is this command that allows those who have pursued an education in English to find success in a variety of arenas through their ability to persuade and interpret, clarify ideas, think independently and creatively, and their overall commitment to the cultural repository that an English education offers.

CAS Dean’s Fall Reception presents Faculty and Staff Awards

The College of Arts and Sciences is pleased to announce one staff award and four sets of faculty awards that were presented at the annual CAS Dean’s Fall Reception on September 11.

Faculty Awards are as follows:

Dean’s Outstanding Teaching Award (awarded to a tenure-track or tenured faculty member)

Royall Distinguished Professors (honors faculty committed to research excellence, creativity, and interdisciplinarity, as well as pedagogy)

Bernardin Research Development Grant (recipients are granted support to prepare a grant proposal in their chosen area of research)

Haskell Distinguished Research Award (recipients receive an award to support the completion of a scholarly project or creative work)

Staff Award is as follows:

Outstanding Staff Member

(awarded to recognize outstanding contributions made by staff members who are employed by the College of Arts & Sciences with strong characteristics including: respectful, responsible, resourceful, receptive, responsive, and reasonable)

Contact Us

If you have questions about our programs or want to know more about studying English at UMKC, get in touch with us.

Campus Location

The Department of English Language and Literature is located in Cockefair Hall, on the UMKC Volker Campus. You can find our building and parking information on our online campus maps.

Main Office

106 Cockefair Hall
816-235-1305
Open Tuesday and Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Administrative Assistant

Audrey Lester
lesterak@umkc.edu
816-235-1307
Available on campus Tuesday/Thursday and remotely Monday/Wednesday/Friday

Department Chair

Jennifer Phegley
phegleyj@umkc.edu
816-235-2766

Mail

University of Missouri-Kansas City
Department of English Language and Literature
106 Cockefair Hall
5121 Rockhill Rd
Kansas City, MO 64110

Degree Programs

Our degree programs offer students flexibility in their studies and in their careers.

The UMKC Department of English Language and Literature offers programs of study that lead to the B.A., M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees. As a student, you can focus your studies on language and literature; classical, medieval, and early modern literature; language and rhetoric; creative writing; or manuscript, print culture, and editing.

Whichever program you choose, you will learn to analyze texts, express your thoughts, engage in dialogue, and approach problems creatively to discover effective solutions.

Faculty and Staff

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Funding Sources

Graduate Teaching Assistantships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers graduate teaching assistantships to M.A., M.F.A., or Ph.D. students whose application materials and prior experience demonstrate their ability to create and teach first- and second-year composition courses.

Learn More

Training

First-year graduate teaching assistants undergo a rigorous pre-semester orientation and attend mentoring meetings twice monthly with the composition director and fellow graduate teaching assistants. First-semester graduate teaching assistants are also required to complete successfully ENGLISH 5519: Problems in Teaching English.

Responsibilities

During their first year, graduate teaching assistants are responsible for preparing and teaching one first-year writing class in the fall semester and one second-year writing class in the spring semester. During their second year, graduate teaching assistants teach two classes of first- and second-year writing per semester. Typically, assistantships are offered for the duration of the student’s coursework, but may be offered for a lesser or greater term at the discretion of the graduate committee.

Remuneration

Graduate teaching assistants earn a stipend of $9,000 per academic year and receive tuition remission for 9 credit hours per semester. Students holding an assistantship are expected to take at least six credit hours of classes per semester. Graduate teaching and research assistants are evaluated during the spring semester of each year.

Application

The application deadline is January 15 for positions that start in the fall semester. Submit the following materials with your online application for admission (contact the director of graduate studies if are already enrolled and wish to apply):

  1. 250-500 word statement addressing your interest in and qualifications for teaching
  2. Academic writing sample from an upper-level college course

Durwood Scholarships

The MFA in Creative Writing and Media Arts offers two to three Durwood Scholarships per year, which allow students to pursue their studies without teaching responsibilities. Durwood scholars receive $25,000 over the three-year MFA program and receive tuition remission for 9 credit hours per semester, pending budgetary approval. All admitted students will be considered for the Durwood Scholarships automatically.

Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowships

The Department of English Language and Literature offers the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship for I.Ph.D. students who have extensive teacher training and experience at the college level and who do not hold a major fellowship or assistantship at UMKC. The Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship is awarded on a competitive basis no more than once a year. Students may reapply for the awards, but applicants who have not previously held the fellowship will receive priority consideration.

Learn More

Responsibilities and Remuneration

Fellows teach one class per semester during the one-year appointment period and receive a stipend of $8,000 per academic year.

Fellows select a teaching mentor who will meet with them a few times each semester to help plan courses and discuss pedagogical issues. The mentor will observe the fellow’s class at least once during the year and write a teaching observation letter for the fellow’s file.

Application

The application deadline is April 1 for fellowships that start in the fall semester.

Submit the following materials to the director of graduate studies:

  1. Application (PDF) for the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship
  2. 250-500 word statement explaining what role the Ilus Davis Doctoral Teaching Fellowship will play in the applicant’s development as a teacher and scholar and designating a couple of preferred teaching areas. Please also indicate whether you are certified to teach online or have a preference for online, blended, or face-to-face classes.
  3. Sample course syllabus
  4. Teaching observation letter (or a general recommendation letter if a teaching letter is unavailable)
  5. The commitment from a graduate faculty member to serve as a teaching mentor (a copy of an email confirming the mentor’s support is fine)

Graduate

Graduate studies in English prepare you for careers in teaching, research, writing, editing, or further study at the doctoral level.

Whether you choose the Master of Arts in English, the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Media Arts, or the Interdisciplinary Doctorate of Philosophy, you will work closely with award-winning faculty to develop your own original research and writing. With courses in British and American literature, creative and expository writing, film, linguistics, composition and rhetoric, literary criticism, the history of books and print culture, and editing, you will complete your program with the ability to place your work in the larger context of literary studies.

Internships

What is an internship?

An internship is an on-site work experience in your field of study or career interest.

Why is an internship a good idea?

You can enhance your career prospects by gaining real-world experience on the job. You can also develop new skills, find ways to adapt existing skills to new environments, test your aptitude for work in a given career, and begin building a career network to help you land a job after graduation.

How do I know if I can use internship credit towards my major plan of study?

You are encouraged to speak with an English advisor early in your plan of study, should you want to earn academic credit for an internship. It’s not too early to start planning for an internship during your first or second semester, with the idea that you will include it in your plan of study during your junior or senior year.

Do I need to enroll in academic credit for an internship?

Some on-campus internships (such as our department’s Publication Practicum) require enrollment, but for others it is optional. The Department offers on-campus Publication Practicums, with course numbers for undergraduates and graduate students: ENGLISH 449A/ENGLISH 5549A, ENGLISH 449B/ENGLISH 5549B, and ENGLISH 449C/5549C. Course credit for all other internships is available through ENGLISH 448/ENG 5548. In order to enroll, please seek permission from the English Department Internship Coordinator.

How many hours will I have to work for an internship?

If you are earning academic credit, you are expected to work 75 hours per 1 credit hour of internship. For a three-credit internship, that would be 225 hours over the course of a semester. If you are not earning academic credit, the internship hours and duration can be worked out with the employer.

Are all internships paid?

No, in fact, many internships in the humanities are not paid, but some offer a small stipend or hourly wage.

Does the Department of English have internships every semester, including summer session?

Some on-campus internships are recurring each semester; others are ad hoc and are only available one time. We share information about new internships through student listservs, on bulletin boards, and through the English Department advising office. Students are also encouraged to seek out internships through UMKC Career Services’ e-commerce platform Handshake, online job search databases, and networking opportunities.

Are internships guaranteed for all students?

Unfortunately, we know of a small number of internships, and these are highly competitive.

How can I position myself to be competitive for an internship?

Earning excellent grades is important, as is developing relationships with faculty and department advisors, participating in extracurricular activities, and taking on leadership roles. Even without job experience, if you have a record of volunteering or community engagement, this can help. You will also need to develop an excellent resume and cover letter. UMKC’s Career Services staff will also assist in developing resumes and cover letters to help you stand out when applying for an internship. Finally, it is important to practice your interview skills and be ready when you are invited to interview.

What internships have UMKC English majors taken up recently?

Editing
  • American Educational History Journal, academic journal
  • The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation, academic journal
  • New Letters, literary magazine
  • Public Health Nursing, academic journal
Writing
  • Andrews McMeel Publishing, press releases and social media
  • Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired, library inventory
  • Disabled But Not Really, grant writing
  • UMKC Foundation Office, grant writing
  • UMKC Swinney Recreation, marketing
  • UMKC Women’s Center, social media
  • New Letters on the Air, writing, transcription, research
  • Wildwood Outdoor Education Center, archival writing

Who do I contact for more information?

For more information, please contact the English Department Internship Coordinator.

I.Ph.D.

Unlike a traditional Ph.D. program, where all of your coursework is completed in one field, coursework in the interdisciplinary Ph.D. program is divided between a primary discipline and a co-discipline. After completing coursework, you will take comprehensive examinations in both disciplines and then begin work on a dissertation.

We are a group of engaged faculty who work in a variety of fields of study. Before you apply to the program, review the faculty pages to identify faculty members who conduct research in your area of interest and who may be willing to serve on your dissertation committee. Our department’s particular strengths are:

  • American Studies
  • Manuscript and Print Culture
  • Medieval Studies
  • Rhetoric and Composition
  • Transatlantic Studies
  • Women and Gender Studies

Many I.Ph.D. students pair English with one of the following co-disciplines:

  • Art History
  • Curriculum and Instruction
  • History
  • Humanities Consortium

The UMKC Catalog outlines the minimum I.Ph.D. academic regulations and the discipline-specific requirements for English. These sections of the catalog provide guidelines for establishing a program of study, forming a supervisory committee, preparing for and completing comprehensive exams, and writing and defending the doctoral dissertation.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants who have completed an M.A. in English or the equivalent coursework.

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission. Because the university closes over the winter holidays and classes may not resume until after Martin Luther King Day, prospective students should initiate contact with the department’s discipline coordinator and faculty in November. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities in the humanities in up to 15 pages of recent academic prose (upload file)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in an essay of 500-600 words, discussing in detail their interest, research, and writing in their emphasis area (upload file)
  4. Resume/Vita (upload file)
  5. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  6. GRE score of 60 percent or higher on the verbal aptitude section (submit official scores using code 6872)
  7. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  8. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

M.A.

Our 31-credit hour M.A. in English provides students with a background in British and American literature. Students have the option to add an emphasis in:

  • Language and Rhetoric
  • Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing

The UMKC Catalog outlines specific learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and programs of study for the M.A. in English and each emphasis area.

At the end of your M.A. program, you will work with a faculty mentor on a culminating experience, creating a polished paper of about 20 to 30 pages that could be the basis for a conference paper or a publishable article.

Application Requirements and Process

The application process is competitive. We look for applicants with a:

  • B.A. in English (or a B.A. with at least 30 credit hours of English courses)
  • 3.0 cumulative GPA and 3.0 GPA in English coursework

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission and September 15 is the deadline for spring semester admission. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities in the humanities in up to 15 pages of recent academic prose (upload file)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in an essay of 500-600 words, discussing in detail their interest, research, and writing in their emphasis area (upload file)
  4. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  5. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  6. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

Majors

As an English Major, you will develop your ability to read and analyze texts written in the English language by studying British and American literature of the past and present and learning to view texts through a variety of interpretive lenses. You will also develop your flexibility and effectiveness as a writer capable of working in a variety of genres, including creative and expository writing.

Within the 36-credit hour Major in English, you will take a core of 18 hours, including survey courses on the history of British and American literature; a course devoted to Shakespeare; and a linguistics or rhetoric course. Beyond this core, you may choose to emphasize your studies in one of four fields of study. The UMKC Course Catalog has a complete list of requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in English.

The UMKC Catalog outlines the full details of the program requirements for each emphasis area:

Capstone

The capstone experience is the culmination of your studies as an English Major. You will designate a 400-level English course as your capstone, or you will enroll in English 499 Senior Tutorial (with a professor’s permission).

The capstone packet outlines the requirements, contract, and assessment rubric for completing this course.

Preparing for Graduate School

If you are considering the pursuit of graduate studies in English, be sure to fully educate yourself on the process of selecting and applying to graduate schools, the nature of advanced study in the field, and the job prospects for individuals with higher degrees in English. Consider meeting with one of our professors to discuss your interests and your plans.

In general, we advise students who are interested in graduate school to develop a broad base of knowledge about the traditions of British and American literature during their undergraduate studies. It’s also a good idea to take a course on critical theory and to take English 499 Senior Thesis, which gives you the opportunity to develop longer essays with deeper analysis. Many universities require at least two semesters of a foreign language for graduate admission.

Meet Our Students

While attending UMKC, our students publish creative and scholarly work; present at regional, national, and international conferences; hold internships at magazines and publishing houses; organize semiannual student conferences; and conduct their own research with a faculty mentor.

Meet one of our students, Alexa Sproles, who earned her B.A. in English with a Minor in Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Literature at UMKC and is now pursuing her M.A. in English at UMKC.

English & Philosophy student Alexa standing in the CAS quad

Why did you choose to major in English?

I initially chose it because I love to write; however, my passion shifted to studying the actual process of writing and how it differs for individuals. Now I’m working toward my doctorate. I’ve also signed up for the Peace Corps and hope to go to Africa to teach French or English.

How have your professors helped you?

My professors have provided information on internships, job openings, extracurricular activities and advice on life in general. They are equally encouraging and helpful. Their blunt honesty has kept me humble, but they never cease to give me a high-five when needed.

What do you write about?

One of my favorite hobbies is writing for my blog [how early 2000s of me, I know]. My first year in college I was really sad and I missed my three sisters. I realized I needed to be less focused on being happy and more focused on being full of joy, so I started writing about how not to be affected by the sad things in life. A lot of freshmen have identified with my story and started reading my blog. It’s great to know other people are getting something out of it.

M.F.A.

In our M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Media Arts program, you will discover and master the art of creative writing through intensive workshops and literature and craft classes. With award-winning faculty, nationally recognized visiting writers, and partnerships with literary magazines and community organizations, our program promotes lifelong learning and community engagement.

The UMKC Catalog outlines specific learning outcomes, graduation requirements, and programs of study for the M.F.A. in Creative Writing and Media Arts. You will select one of the following core genres and you will complete coursework in at least one additional genre:

Under the guidance of a faculty member, you will complete a thesis that is a publishable manuscript of poetry, short stories, a novel, creative non-fiction essays, one-act plays, a full-length play, a feature-length screenplay, or a series bible with two one-hour episodes, or a full-length cross-genre work.

You will also have the opportunity to intern at New Letters magazine, Fiction/Non/Fiction Podcast at Lit Hub, or Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Learn more about how studying creative writing could change your life by viewing this short video featuring alumni and faculty from the UMKC M.F.A. in Creative Writing Program.

Application Process

January 15 is the deadline for fall semester admission. Be sure to allow enough time for all of the materials to arrive by the deadline. When you complete your online application, you will be asked to provide the following:

  1. Academic information, including institutions attended, degrees earned, GPA, foreign language experience, honors and awards, and relevant work experience
  2. Writing sample that demonstrates the applicant’s writing abilities. A sample in a single emphasis area (no more than 10 pages for poetry; no more than 30 pages for all other disciplines: fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting or screenwriting) is required (poems [6-10] or stories, essays, novel chapters, or dramatic-work excerpts)
  3. Statement of purpose that describes the applicant’s academic and professional objectives. In an essay of 500 to 600 words, applicants should discuss in detail their interest in their emphasis area (poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting or screenwriting), and their experience and goals in the area
  4. Three letters of recommendation that evaluate the applicant’s readiness for graduate study written by three professors or others who know the applicant’s abilities and potential well (provide email addresses and recommenders will receive instructions to upload letters)
  5. Transcripts from all post-secondary schools attended (mail to UMKC Office of Admissions, 5100 Rockhill Road, 120 Administrative Center, 64110)
  6. Graduate Teaching Assistantship application materials, if applying, including a 250-500 word teaching statement addressing the applicant’s interest in and qualifications for teaching, and an academic writing sample from an upper-level college course (upload files)

Minors

You may complement your degree with a minor in English Language and Literature; Creative Writing; Writing; or Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing. Through the study of literature and writing, you will develop critical thinking and communication skills that will benefit you in any course of study or career.

The UMKC Catalog outlines the full details and requirements of each minor:

Student Opportunities

Located in a major metropolitan area, the department and the university offer opportunities for students to enhance their experience through community engagement, student organizations, and internships.

Kansas City is home to theaters that produce classical and modern works, art museums with exceptional permanent collections and visiting exhibitions, archives and research libraries, and a vast network of writers and scholars. Students draw on these resources in their academic work and personal and professional development.

UMKC regularly hosts nationally recognized writers and scholars who share their work with students and other members of the academic community. Recent visitors include Angela Davis, Edward P. Jones, Eleanor Wilner, C.D. Wright, and U.S. poets laureate Billy Collins and Tracy K. Smith.

To broaden their experiences even further, students majoring in English often study abroad at Kingston University in London, the University of Stirling in Scotland, or other universities in Europe and across the globe.

Student Organizations

Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society

Sigma Tau Delta is the International English Honor Society. A member of the Association of College Honor Societies, it was founded in 1924 at Dakota Wesleyan University. Sigma Tau Delta’s central purpose is to confer distinction upon students of the English language and literature in undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies.

English Graduate Student Association

The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) fosters support and professionalization among graduate students in English. In the fall semester, EGSA presents the English Colloquium with faculty-led panels about succeeding in the field of English and submitting literary pieces to conferences and publications. In the spring semester, EGSA collaborates with Sigma Tau Delta to present the English Symposium, where students present on panels showcasing their creative and scholarly work to fellow students, faculty, and distinguished guests. Throughout the year, EGSA hosts casual events for graduate students to associate with one another and with faculty members, facilitating a positive community atmosphere and professional networking.

Number One Magazine

Number One Magazine strives to showcase the creative talents of UMKC students from various schools and disciplines. Submissions are accepted from any UMKC graduate or undergraduate student between April 1 and December 1 and include, but are not limited to, fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, one-act plays, screenplays, visual art, and photography. Submissions can be e-mailed to numberonemagazine@gmail.com.

Sosland Journal

The Sosland Journal is an annual publication, edited by English graduate students and funded by Rheta Sosland-Hurwitt, that features essays by student winners of the Ilus W. Davis Writing Competition. The journal exhibits exemplary writing from both composition courses and university-wide writing intensive courses to be published and distributed to a larger audience, including UMKC students who use the journal as a textbook in select writing courses and the Kansas City community at large.

Visit The Sosland Journal Online for current and past issues, submission guidelines, and deadlines for the Ilus W. Davis Writing Competition.

UMKC Students Present at Sigma Tau Delta International Convention

Members from Sigma Tau Delta, Sigma Kappa Delta, and National English Honors Society gathered from around the world to present their original academic and creative writing pieces at the 2019 Sigma Tau Delta International Convention held March 27-30, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. The international convention served as a networking and educational event for undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and alumni. In addition to attending academic and creative writing panels, convention-goers had several opportunities to attend career development panels such as “From Surviving to Thriving,” “Day Jobs for English Majors” and “Humanities Skills in the Workplace.” The keynote speakers for this year’s convention were authors Nnedi Okora for and Tess Taylor. Among the 700 presenters in attendance, three UMKC students presented their original work at this year’s annual convention.

Representing UMKC’s chapter of Sigma Tau Delta were secretary and junior Kara Walters, president and senior Rhiannon Minster, vice president and M.A. student Brynn Fitzsimmons, and member and M.F.A. student Chris Arnone.

Rhiannon, Brynn and Chris participated in a round table discussion called “Building a Better Genre Story.” Brynn presented her piece “Used-to Musician” on the panel “Creative Non-Fiction: Becoming Who We Are.” Chris Arnone presented two pieces: “On Both Sides” on the panel “Fiction: The Americans,” and “August 2018” on the panel “Poetic Responses to the Common Reader.” The 2019 Sigma Tau Delta Common Reader was Work & Days by Tess Taylor.

Next year’s Sigma Tau Delta International Convention will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, March 25-28, 2020, and will feature author Terry Tempest Williams as the keynote speaker.

This article was contributed by English major Kara Walters.

Undergraduate

As an undergraduate student, you may choose a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, or a Bachelor of Arts in English with an Emphasis in Classical, Medieval, and Early Modern Literature; Creative Writing; or Language and Rhetoric. You may complement your major with a minor in Creative Writing; Language and Literature; Manuscript, Print Culture, and Editing; or Writing.

Why This Program?

Kansas City has a vibrant community of writers and publishers, and our department encourages real-world experiences for our students through internal and external internships. Our students gain experience in writing and editing that prepares them for the job market.

We offer programs of study for students with a wide range of interests with courses in many fields of literature (American, British, Latin American, etc.) as well as in creative writing (fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative non-fiction), linguistics, rhetoric, and editing and publishing. You will be able to focus your studies in any of these areas for your undergraduate (major and/or minor) and graduate (M.A., M.F.A., or iPh.D.) degrees.

Our faculty has a broad range of professional expertise in the study of literature, language, and writing. Our professors have won awards as prestigious as fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment of the Arts.