English (ENGL)

From Beowulf to Toni Morrison, from eco-poetry to Hitchcock films, the texts and images that we read help us to find wisdom across cultures, communicate what we know, initiate change, and create the images and texts of the future.

To those ends, Bucknell’s English Department offers three majors and accompanying minors: Creative Writing, Film/Media Studies, and Literary Studies. Students may also double-major or triple-major across programs in English, and in other fields.

In addition, English partners with the Stadler Center for Poetry, the Campus Theatre, the Griot Institute for Africana Studies, the Film/Media Production Studio, and the Bucknell University Press, to provide a wide range of opportunities for students in its majors and courses.

Majors are well prepared for careers in publishing, film and media, journalism, law, management, and other fields. They are novelists, travel writers, literary agents, filmmakers, public relations professionals, doctors, and educators. They work in business, arts administration, digital humanities, publishing, advertising, human relations, across both profit and nonprofit sectors. They also are well prepared for graduate school, and possess four of the top characteristics needed in successful careers everywhere: critical thinking, skillful communication, empathy, and creativity.

Majors in English will be able to:

Numbers in parentheses reflect related Educational Goals of Bucknell University.

Analyze a variety of texts and respond to their aesthetic and cultural value. (1, 6, 8, 9)

Respond to a wide range of literary and filmic texts and understand their historical and cultural contexts. (1, 3, 9)

Articulate ideas effectively in discussion and in oral presentations. (6, 7)

Write gracefully, coherently, imaginatively, and persuasively, with proper attention to effective organization. (7)

Literary Studies Program:

(1) Students will analyze and interpret a wide variety of literary texts in English, drawing on close reading, aesthetic and rhetorical principles, and/or secondary sources in literary criticism and theory. 

(2) Students will understand complex, multiple connections between texts and their historical, cultural, and political contexts.

(3) Students will develop critical awareness of the racial and ethnic diversity of literatures in English, and of the influence of race and ethnicity on literary production and interpretation.  

(4)  Students will develop the ability to ask productive questions and to engage in open-ended discussion and debate. 

(5) Students will produce solidly argued and effective writing about literature.

(6) Students will come to appreciate the fundamental ambiguities and complexities inherent in problems posed by literary texts. 

Creative Writing Program:

(1) to read a variety of texts from diverse literary traditions and respond to their aesthetic, social, and/or cultural implications;  

(2) to write in multiple literary genres, developing craft and technique, voice, style, and a creative identity while deepening a sense of subject matter.

(3) to articulate effectively, in written and oral critiques, insights about peer work in progress;

(4) to engage with the literary community beyond the classroom.


Professors: Paula Closson Buck, Gregory J. H. Clingham, Raphael Dalleo, Michael Drexler, Carmen Gillespie, Elena Machado Sáez, Ghislaine G. McDayter, Saundra K. Morris, John S. Rickard, Robert A. Rosenberg, Harold Schweizer, Anthony F. Stewart (Chair, Literary Studies Director), G.C. Waldrep III, Virginia Zimmerman

Associate Professors: Christopher Camuto (Creative Writing Director), Eric S. Faden, Jean Peterson, Meenakshi Ponnuswami, Alfred K. Siewers

Assistant Professors: Ken Eisenstein, Mai-Linh Hong, Katarzyna Lecky, Chinelo I. Okparanta, Joseph Scapellato

Visiting Assistant Professor: Philip Sewell

Adjunct Associate Professor: Georgina Dodge (Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) (by courtesy)

Adjunct Assistant Professors: James Buck, Katherine A. Hays

Film/Media Studies Interim Director: John C. Hunter

Academic Film Programmer/Lecturer: Rebecca Meyers

Video Production Specialist: Daniel A. Nienhuis