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English at WIU Quad Cities
At Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, the major in English (Literature and Language) focuses on today's major approaches to the study of language and literature. The study of Forms provides students precise language and concepts to understand how the structures of literature inform its meaning. The study of Traditions emphasizes the historical development of literature, particularly in terms of British and American literatures. Language and Theory courses give students the tools to precisely understand language and reflect on how texts come to have meaning in a variety of discourses, cultural contexts, and philosophical perspectives. Social Justice courses encourage students to explore how literary studies address issues of cultural power and politics. Examples would include the role of literature in responding to racism, gender identities, class conflict, and disability.
English majors take an additional professional development course and complete their training in English with a senior seminar.
At WIU-QC, students can also complete minors in English and Professional Writing as well as courses in English in the curricula for the Women's Studies minor and Liberal Arts and Sciences major.
Department of English and Journalism courses are taught by faculty holding doctoral degrees from distinguished universities across the United States. All are dedicated educators, skilled in fostering active student participation. They are also active scholars and have to their credit many books, chapters in books, articles, and scholarly presentations at professional conferences.
The department offers 13 scholarships for English majors. Ten are named after distinguished former faculty members in the department: two Paul Blackford Scholarships for achievement in the study of British literature, the Olive Fite Award for achievement in the study of American literature, the John Castle Award for an incoming first-year English major, the Irving Garwood Award for exceptional interest in Shakespeare, the Alfred V. Lindsey Scholarship in writing, the Beth M. Stiffler Scholarship in English education, and the Nai-Tung Ting and Wanninger Scholarships. Three others acknowledge generous donors: two Lila S. Linder Scholarships and the John Merrett Scholarship. The Department of English and Journalism “Scholar of the Year Award” honors the outstanding junior or senior in the department. Detailed information on scholarships is available from the QC scholarship office, (309) 762-9080, or Macomb's Scholarship Office, (309) 298-2001, or at wiu.edu/Scholarship.
Honors in English
To be eligible for the Honors Cohort of the Quad Cities, entering freshmen must have an ACT composite score of at least 22 OR a 3.0 GPA. Comparable SAT score is acceptable. Transfer and current WIU students who wish to join the QC Honors Program must have a 3.4 grade point average on a 4.0 scale based on 12 or more semester hours. Honors credit is given for honors coursework completed at other accredited institutions. To find out more, visit wiu.edu/Honors.
Eligible WIU-QC English majors may join the WIU chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, a national honorary society. Many English majors are also active in WIU-QC student organizations like IDEAS (Interdisciplinary English and the Arts Society), LASSO (Liberal Arts and Sciences Student Organization), and the River's Edge student newspaper staff. A wide variety of other student activities and organizations are available to all WIU-QC students. Learn more at wiu.edu/qc/student_life/student_activities/.
The department offers small classes with accessible faculty at the new WIU-QC Riverfront campus. This setting offers personalized professional advising, computerized writing classrooms, internship opportunities, in-house editing experience, a writing center, tutorial support, and an honors program. In addition, there is a wide range of extracurricular opportunities available through university-sponsored lectures, student organization events, and other sources.
Our majors find that their degrees are extremely marketable. English majors can choose from a variety of occupations, including abstract writer, advertising copywriter, bibliographer, copy editor, corporate communications specialist, editor, grant writer, librarian, public relations specialist, proofreader, researcher, author/screenwriter, technical writer, and (with additional skills or further education) lawyer, reporter, newscaster, literacy trainer, media planner, speech writer, news director, paralegal, press secretary, publisher, script reader, and translator/linguist. The list of possibilities is endless because people trained to read critically and write clearly are in demand everywhere in an increasingly demanding job market.
Department of English and Journalism Chair
Simpkins Hall 124, (309) 298-1103
Department of English and Journalism Academic Advisor
Kenneth (Kenny) Wheeler, II
Western Illinois University-Quad Cities, (309) 762-3999, ext. 62327