Department of English Minors

The Undergraduate Catalog provides more details about each minor and the requirements, including a full list of courses offered by the department.

Creative Writing

Students pursuing a creative writing minor benefit from an approach that emphasizes both art and scholarship, with intensive workshop experience informed by the study of literature, film, and culture. Students have the opportunity to focus their craft on a genre of their choice (fiction, poetry, or nonfiction), exploring a variety of media for their art, while studying literature and theory through the diverse lenses of race, gender, class, ability, and culture. Students explore the tools, inspiration, and possibilities for their craft as they develop a broad understanding of genre and literature and experiment with different styles and forms.

Creative writing students benefit from practice and critique, working with a faculty who are deeply engaged as readers and artists, and who provide feedback and guidance informed by expertise in the field and a network of mentors and writers. Several of our creative writing students have gone on to MFA programs where they further develop their craft.

The Creative Writing Minor has a total of 17-18 hours.


Students pursuing an English minor benefit from flexibility that allows them to choose from a variety of English courses, building a curriculum that complements their major and interests. Regardless of focus, all students in the English minor develop a strong foundation in reading critically and writing clearly as they explore the diverse social and cultural perspectives represented across English studies. They work with faculty whose expertise reflects the span of English studies, from literature to film, cultural studies, creative writing, professional writing, and rhetoric.

A minor in English complements study in a broad spectrum of fields, not only within the humanities but also in the social and natural sciences, fine arts, business, and more.

The English Minor has a total of 18 hours.


Students pursuing an interdisciplinary film minor benefit from a wide range of film classes in American Cinema, documentary films, World Cinemas, Film and Literature, Women in Film and Television, and much more! Students study with experienced faculty who are members of the Society for Media and Cinema Studies, have participated in national film festivals and conferences, and have widely published in the field of film studies.

Students minoring in film work in advertising writing, television and radio, screenwriting, journalism, social activism, human resources, management, fundraising, and more. Film minors have created documentary films while at Western and have had the opportunity to show their work at campus events. Additionally, film minors participate in a number of film-related activities on campus and in the community. Past events and series have included international and summer film series and the University Union Board’s Cinema Showcase as well as numerous screenings, workshops, and lectures by guest speakers throughout the academic year. The WIU Film Club, a student organization, screens and discusses films on a regular basis.

The Film Minor has a total of 18 hours.


Roberta Di Carmine, Ph.D.
Professor of Film Studies, Coordinator of Film Minor

Office: Simpkins Hall 129
Email: r-dicarmine@wiu.edu
Phone: (309) 298-2813

Professional Writing

Students pursuing a professional writing minor benefit from coursework that consistently connects learning and doing—theory and training are immediately applied through projects and experiences tied to real-world needs and scenarios in courses like technical communication, writing for the web, editing and reviewing, and grant and proposal writing. Our professional writing faculty are experienced in teaching and applying approaches that are culturally engaged, fostering cultural awareness and sensitivity that is essential to delivering effective communication that satisfies audience and stakeholder needs.

A minor in professional writing complements a variety of major fields of study because written communication is essential and consequential across many facets of our personal, professional, and civic lives, whether the writing is meant to ensure safety, promote equity, foster understanding, effect change, secure support, or bring in money.

The Professional Writing Minor has a total of 18 hours.

Queer Studies

Students pursuing an interdisciplinary queer studies minor engage in a broad investigation of sexuality as a crucial aspect of human experience, integrating the study of sexuality and gender identity and expression into such fields as art, literature, film, psychology, sociology, biology, and education. Because of its wide-reaching implications, it complements majors in these and other areas.

Queer studies minors develop the background and tools to explore and question the meaning of sexual norms in a wide variety of cultural contexts. Experienced faculty from a variety of disciplines support students in developing a critical understanding of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and heterosexual sexualities. Courses focus on the ways that sexuality shapes social traditions and identities, as well as how such factors such as race, class, and gender intersect with sexuality. These courses also challenge the privileging of certain categories over others, examining how such social hierarchies function. The minor stresses the importance of sexuality in all aspects of human activity and problematizes such terms as “natural” and “normal,” which are used to consecrate certain sexual expressions and vilify others.

The interdisciplinary minor in queer studies offers students not only the opportunity to analyze the world in which they live, but also the chance to create the means to re-envision society and enact social change.

The Queer Studies minor requires a total of 16 sh, with two required core courses and 9 sh of directed electives, chosen according to students’ interests.