Graduate Studies

English
2021-2022

Admission | Courses | Program | Requirements | Profile

Interim Chairperson:  Marjorie Allison
Director of Graduate Studies in English: David Banash
Office: Simpkins Hall 129
Telephone: (309) 298-1322 Fax: (309) 298-2974
E-mail: d-banash @wiu.edu
Website: wiu.edu/cas/english/
Location of Program Offering: Macomb, Quad Cities

Graduate Faculty
Professors

  • Marjorie C. B. Allison, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • David Banash, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Merrill Cole, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Roberta Di Carmine, Ph.D., University of Oregon
  • Everett Hamner, Ph.D., University of Iowa
  • Tim Helwig, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • William Knox, Ph.D., University of Michigan
  • Daniel Malachuk, Ph.D., Rutgers University-New Brunswick
  • Amy Patrick Mossman, Ph.D., University of Minnesota-Minneapolis
  • Margaret Sinex, Ph.D., University of Toronto
  • Erika Wurth, Ph.D., University of Colorado-Boulder
  • Patricia A. Young, Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Associate Professors

  • Rebekah Buchanan, Ph.D., Temple University
  • Magdelyn Hammond Helwig, Ph.D., University of Maryland
  • Christine Iwanicki, Ph.D., Indiana University-Bloomington
  • Barbara Lawhorn, M.F.A., Purdue University
  • Alisha White, Ph.D., Georgia State University

Associate Graduate Faculty
Professor

  • Richard Ness, Ph.D., Wayne State University

Learning Outcomes

For student learning outcomes, please see wiu.edu/provost/learningoutcomes.

 Program Description

The Department of English offers work leading to the Master of Arts degree in English. The program is intended for those seeking a graduate level liberal arts education, pursuing careers in secondary or community college teaching, or planning further graduate study toward the Ph.D.

 Admission Requirements

  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.75 OR
  • A 3.0 or higher GPA for the last two years (60 s.h.) of undergraduate work
  • Official transcripts for each college or university attended
  • A 1-2 page personal statement which concerns their larger purposes and career goals and how an MA in English will further those objectives
  • A 10-15 page (minimum) scholarly writing sample, such as an essay from an upper-division English Literature course
  • Three confidential letters of recommendation sent directly to the School of Graduate Studies by their recommenders
  • Completion of a minimum of 24 semester hours of undergraduate work in English beyond the required composition course(s) with at least six semester hours in literature courses and the remaining hours to be in literature, language, or writing courses for majors. Of the 24 semester hours at least 12 must be upper-division courses.
  • International applicants to the program have a TOEFL score of at least 100 (IBT) or an IELTS score of at least 7.5. Applicants who do not meet these scores can still be considered for admission based on their performance in an interview with the Director of Graduate Studies in English.

Other students may be admitted at the discretion of the Departmental Graduate Committee, but may have to remedy deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation by taking courses for non-degree credit.

Applications will not be reviewed until all materials have been received.

All students will be considered for a departmental assistantship unless they decline consideration.

Priority will be given to those applications submitted by February 15.

All applicants should be aware that the Master of Arts program in English requires significant reading, writing, listening, and speaking ability in English. When their applications do not show sufficient evidence of these abilities, students may be asked to undergo an interview with a department selection committee before any decision about admission is made.

Additional information on applying to the program is available at: wiu.edu/cas/English/graduate/application.php.

 Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts degree in English requires individual focus. Students will write a “Plan of Study” when accepted to the program, and will work with their mentors and the Director of Graduate Studies in English to keep their plans up-to-date. The departmental plan of study will supplement other forms required by the School of Graduate Studies.

I. Core Courses: 3 s.h.

ENG 500 Theory and the Practice of English Studies (3)

II. Electives: 21 s.h.

Approved coursework in English to complement undergraduate courses taken, to cultivate the focus outlined in the Plan of Study, and to total at least 30 s.h.

It is recommended that no more than six hours of coursework be taken at the 400G level.

Up to six hours may be taken from ENG 620, 622, and graduate courses in other departments.

III. Exit option: 6 s.h.

A. Option I: ENG 670 Applied Research Project* (6)
B. Option II: ENG 680 Comprehensive Exam* (6)
C. Option III: ENG 690 Thesis* (6)

*Theses, applied research project, and comprehensive exam must be defended before a faculty committee. The committee consists of a faculty director selected by the student and two faculty readers selected by the student in consultation with the faculty director. Prior to enrolling for ENG 670, 680, or 690, a written proposal for the selected option must be submitted to and approved, in a meeting, by the project committee and the director of graduate studies in English.

TOTAL PROGRAM: 30 s.h.

 Course Descriptions

English (ENG)

400G Topics in Literature. (1–3, repeatable for different topics) A study of a special theme or topic in literature. Printed schedule will specify semester's topic. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the instructor.

401G Major Authors. (1–3, repeatable for different authors) A thorough study of the work of a major author or two closely related authors. Printed schedule will specify semester's topic. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the instructor.

439G Methods for Middle and High School English Language Arts. (3) Preparation for student teaching, including analysis of techniques and materials useful to the English teachers in the secondary school.  Observation and demonstration teaching.  Open to English majors and minors. Prerequisites: ENG 384,466, and 499; EDS 301.

443G (cross-listed with LLA 443G) Creative Uses of Literature for Children and Young Adults. (3) Presents the development of effective programs in informal and formalized interpretive experiences for children and young adults, emphasizing individual creativity and sources for materials. Prerequisite: LLA 313 or permission of the instructor.

466G Teaching Literature and Reading in Middle and High Schools. (3) Constructs teaching units for 6-12 grade students that integrate age-appropriate literary genres, and examines reading strategies derived from literary theory.  Prerequisites: ENG 280, ENG 384, and 12 semester hours (or equivalent) of course work in literature, or permission of the instructor.

471G Language Diversity and Grammar for Middle and High School Teachers. (3) Examines the relationships among standard and nonstandard dialects and effective practices for teaching grammar.  Prerequisites: ENG 280 and 372, or permission of the instructor.

476G Senior Seminar. (3, repeatable to 6 for different topics) Intensive exploration of a major issue, era, author, or text, culminating in the writing of a substantial scholarly essay. Prerequisites: ENG 280, ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or permission of the department chair.

480G Writing and Social Networks. (3) Writing unique to the collaborative, social environment of the contemporary web: groups, conversations, distributed work. In-depth work with electronic writing tools. Prerequisites: ENG 380 or permission of the instructor.

481G Topics in Writing Studies. (3) Semester-long study of a topic in the theory, practice, or history of writing studies. Prerequisites: ENG 380 or permission of the instructor.

483G Editing and Reviewing. (3) Theory and practice of editing and reviewing documents. Focus on helping peers or colleagues improve their writing. Prerequisites: ENG 380 or permission of the instructor.

484G Writing Center Studies. (3) Theory and practice of writing center studies. Issues relevant to consulting, research, and administration. Prerequisites: ENG 380 or permission of the instructor.

489G Grant & Proposal Writing. (3) Best practices for finding, researching, planning, and writing proposals and grant applications. Prerequisite: ENG 380 or permission of the instructor.

492G (cross-listed with REL 492G) Religion, Literature, and Film. (3) Study of multicultural literary and cinematic texts engaging a wide range of religious traditions. Not open to students with credit for REL 492. Prerequisite: ENG 299 with a grade of C or better, or one 100- or 200-level religious studies or philosophy course, or permission of the instructor.

494G (cross-listed with WS 494G and BC&J 494G) Women and Film/Television. (3) An overview of women in film and television that considers the on-screen images of women as well as the positions of women working behind the scenes (with laboratory). Not open to students with credit for BC&J 494 or WS 494. Prerequisites: ENG 180 and ENG 280.

500 Theory and the Practice of English Studies. (3) An introduction to graduate study in three major areas of English studies (literary studies, writing studies, and disciplinary studies) with special emphasis on research, criticism, and theory. Required of all English graduate students early in their programs.

530 Forms. (3) The study of the major terms, issues, critical and textual history of numerous works representing a particular form, genre, or literary school, such as autobiography, epic poetry, the novel, or Gothic.

532 Literature and Place. (3) The study of the works of one writer or a group of writers in terms of various geographies, political and otherwise.

536 Critical and Theoretical Movements in Literary Studies. (3) An analysis and study of a particular critical or theoretical movement in the history of literary studies. Topics could include postcolonial studies, formalism and the new criticism, reception theory, new historicism, queer studies, disability studies, erocriticism, feminist studies, ethnic studies, etc.

540 Literary Traditions and Influences. (3) The study of influence and context, focusing on a writer or a particular group of writers within or across historical periods and/or cultures.

549 Issues in Literary Studies. (3, repeatable to 6 for different topics) In-depth examination of a current issue or topic relevant to literary studies, such as canon formation, trends in textual research, etc.

550 Film Theory. (3) Study of contemporary theories relevant to film studies such as formalism, structuralism, postmodernism, Marxism, cultural studies, queer studies, etc.

552 Social Justice Pedagogies in English Language Arts. (3) Theory and strategies for teaching social justice pedagogies in English Language Arts classrooms, focusing on anti-racist and equity pedagogies and project-based learning that meet middle and secondary school state and national standards.

554 Research Methods in Literary Studies. (3) Investigation of a method or methods for research in literary studies, such as archival research, bibliography, textual studies, history of the book, etc. Includes introduction to specialized literary research tools and research.

559 Issues in Disciplinary Studies. (3, repeatable to 6 for different topics) In-depth examination of an issue or topic relevant to English studies in relation to other disciplines such as film, philosophy, psychology, or science.

574 New Media Studies. (3) Theory and/or production of new media, visual arts, and the notion of novelty and newness itself, drawing from theory in English studies and media studies. Relation of new media to English studies.

580 Teaching Assistants Colloquium. (3) A course designed to introduce beginning teaching assistants to the overall purposes and specific pedagogies of college composition. Prior to registration, approval must be granted by the Director of Writing or the Graduate Advisor.

584 Research Methods in Writing Studies. (3) Investigation of the quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods approaches important to research in writing studies. Also explores issues of ethics and representation. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

589 Issues in Writing Studies. (3, repeatable to 6 for different topics) In-depth examination of an issue or topic relevant to writing studies.

620 Independent Study. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Individual study in an area of English studies. Prior to registration, approval must be granted by the faculty supervisor and director of graduate studies in English. Prerequisite: Completion of six hours of graduate work.

622 Internship. (1–3, repeatable to 3) Supervised applied experience at a work site inside or outside the Department of English. Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Completion of at least 9 semester hours of coursework in English; approval of director of graduate studies in English, faculty supervisor, and on-site supervisor.

670 Applied Research Project. (1-6, repeatable to 6) Project with a research-based content part and annotated bibliography. Directed by committee (faculty director and two readers). Graded S/U. Prerequisites: Approved project proposal and permission of the director of graduate studies in English.

680 Comprehensive Exam. (1-6, repeatable to 6) Written and oral examination on a topic in English studies approved by a committee. It includes annotated bibliography. Directed by committee (faculty director and two readers). Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Approved topic and list of secondary sources and permission of the director of the graduate studies in English.

690 Thesis. (1-6, repeatable to 6) Directed by committee (faculty director and two readers). Graded S/U. Prerequisite: Approved thesis proposal and permission of the director of graduate studies in English.