University of Minnesota
Department of English

Department of English

Welcome to the Department of English

The scholarship and other creative work and teaching of English faculty cover a broad range that includes literature, language, creative writing, literacy and rhetorical studies, linguistics and cultural inquiry, as well as the theories and documents that inform and critique these disciplines. Based on the study and practice of writing and speech, the explorations of histories and cultures, and the examination of languages, literatures, and aesthetics, our scope is international and our approach is interdisciplinary.

What can you do with a degree in English? Let our students and alums show you. Discover the world with English at Minnesota.

News & Announcements

  • English Majors Win Leadership Award

    Marina Kuperman with President Eric KalerThe University of Minnesota's top student leadership award for undergraduates, the Donald R. Zander Award for Outstanding Student Leadership, is given to two students each year. The 2015 recipients are both English majors: Marina Kuperman and Ian Taylor, Jr. Kuperman (left, with President Eric Kaler) is a peer counselor in our advising office, a UROP participant, and a Community Engagement Scholar; she is enrolled in the College of Education's DirecTrack to Teaching Program. Taylor is the founder of student group Black Men's Forum (winner of the SUA 2014 Rookie Student Group of the Year), a long-time Assistant Admissions Counselor at the U's Admissions Office, and a Harvard Public Policy and Leadership Conference Fellow; he plans to attend law school. Taylor and Kuperman receive $1000 scholarships from the University of Minnesota Alumni Association. Congratulations!

  • 5 X Friday: BA Alumna Diane Richard

    Diane RichardDiane Richard (BA 1985), Director of Human Resources for medical device design and manufacturer Minnetronix since 2008, did not expect to land in HR. Indeed, her career path looks like more of a zigzag. After college, she copyedited for Honeywell, quit to work at an art gallery, then decamped to Paris to write for an artist. After a move to Washington D.C., Richard got a job as an exhibition assistant for the National Gallery of Art in part because she spoke fluent French. The head of design there ignored her lack of finance experience and hired her as a budget analyst; he also liked her French, she recalls. From there, she turned to office administration while earning an MBA at St. Thomas; degree in hand, Richard became Director of Human Resources at the Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. Undergirding all the serendipitous turnings, she argues, was the training she received in English. What's her advice for graduating majors? Read on.

  • 5 X Friday: Regents Professor Madelon Sprengnether

    Madelon SprengnetherTwenty years ago, Regents Professor Madelon Sprengnether wrote and shepherded the proposal for the MFA in Creative Writing through various levels of University approval so the Program could begin granting the degree in 1996. What about the MFA Program is she most proud of? "The accomplishments of our graduates," she answers quickly. "The proof is in the pudding." The growing number of alumnae/i publications parallels the feverish output of Creative Writing Program faculty: This spring, Professor Sprengnether publishes (and reads from--see listing below) both a memoir, Great River Road (New Rivers), and a prose poetry collection, Near Solstice (Holy Cow!). What does this all have to do with lab research on memory? Read on.


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