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The Department of English

The graduate faculty in the English Department have a wide range of specialties and research interests.

Learn About Faculty Research Interests

The Publications Unit

Downstate Legacies, FC2, Obsidian, and more! The Publications Unit with the Department of English provides professional and hands-on experience for students in the program.

The Publications Unit building entrance
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Diversity and Inclusion

The Department of English prides itself on a commitment to diversity and inclusion in its students, professors, and curriculum.

Department Highlights

  • Dr. Derek Sparby's new book

    Memetic Rhetorics untangles some of the complexities of memes by determining how memes function rhetorically in our society.

  • Dr. Chris De Santis's new book

    Read an article and learn more about Chris De Santis's new book: Let America Be America Again.

  • Dr. K Aaron Smith's new book

    A book which approaches the structure of English theoretically and practically from a form-function perspective.

  • Professor Amy Robillard's new book

    Misogyny in English Departments theorizes the results of a qualitative empirical study of the ways women in U.S. college and university English departments experience misogyny.

  • Prof. Emerita Roberta Trites' new co-authored book

    Neoliberalism and Young Adult Fiction: Exceptionalism, Exploitation, and Erasure examines how some YA literature naturalizes neoliberalism in positioning teenagers as self-enclosed, competitive individuals.

  • Dr. Christopher Breu's latest publication

    Dr. Breu was one of 24 people selected to celebrate Fredric Jameson's 90th birthday on the Verso Books website. Each contributor got to write on a book that influenced them the most. Breu selected Jameson's 1972 volume, Marxism and Form. Jameson has been one of the leading figures in critical and cultural theory as well as literary studies for over forty years.

  • "Mobilizing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Across Institutions"

    The English Department’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Committee hosted a panel, “Mobilizing Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Across Institutions,” via Zoom on Friday, March 22, 2024. This event was generously sponsored by a SAGE grant. Panelists include English Department Alumni:

    • Dr. Mijan Rahman – California State University, Los Angeles
    • Dr. Flourice Richardson – Winston-Salem State University
    • Dr. Cristina Sanchez-Martin – University of Washington
    • Dr. Sarah Warren-Riley – University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

  • Steven Kagle

    A sad farewell to a dear colleague and friend, Professor Emeritus Steve Kagle. Professor Kagle taught American literature, science fiction, and creative writing. Thank you to the Kagles for their generous support of the Department through an endowment that supports undergraduate major teaching assistantships in American literature and film.

Quotes from Students

The best thing that I’ve experienced in the Illinois State University English Department is the compassion that the faculty have for their students. Whether it be offering scholarly assistance, giving advice on getting a job or internship, or providing a guiding hand, they help ensure the current and future success of their students.

Dylan Maroney, Junior, English

Being in Illinois State University’s English Studies program has been amazing. There are so many course offerings to explore and so many new interests to discover. The vast range of courses has really benefited me, as I am a double major, and thus I can better tailor my academic experience to fit my unique plan.

Alexa Parker, Junior, English and Anthropology

Coming out of high school unsure about what I wanted to do, I find myself picking up skills that make me a more marketable professional and will help me find a job in whatever field I decide to make a career in.

Mason McCoy, Senior, Publishing