English

From the classics to the contemporary, the Department of English offers Rhodes students a wide array of courses in literature, creative writing and film. Students develop the ability to analyze and create with an emphasis on establishing strong writing skills. 

English: Faculty and Staff

Professors

Gordon Bigelow. 1998. The T. K. Young Chair of Literature. A.B., Brown University; M.A., University of New Hampshire; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz. (Nineteenth-century Britain and Ireland, Cultural Studies.) 
Marshall Boswell. 1996. B.A., Washington and Lee University; M.A., Washington University; Ph.D., Emory University. (American Literature.)
Scott Newstok. 2007. B.A., Grinnell College; Ph.D., Harvard University. (Shakespeare, Poetics.)
Brian W. Shaffer. 1990. Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for Faculty Development. B.A., Washington University; Ph.D., University of Iowa. (Twentieth-century British and Irish literature, modern novel.)

Associate Professors

Rebecca Finlayson. 2001. Director of College Writing, Director of the Rhodes Summer Writing Institute. B.A., Smith College; M.A. and Ph.D., Emory University. (Early Modern British Literature.)
Lori Garner. 2009. B.A., Hendrix College; M.A. University of Arkansas; Ph.D., University of Missouri. (Medieval Studies, Oral Tradition.)
Judith Haas. 2002. B.A., Wesleyan University; Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz. (Medieval Studies, Women’s Studies.)
Leslie Petty. 2003. The Charles R. Glover Chair of English Studies. B.A., Emory University; M.A., Louisiana State University; Ph.D., University of Georgia. (American Literature.)
Rashna Wadia Richards. 2008. B.A., Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai, India; M.A., University of Mumbai, India; M.A., West Virginia University; Ph.D., University of Florida. (Film Studies.)
Seth Rudy. 2010. B.F.A., New York University (Film and Television); M.A., New York University; Ph.D., New York University. (Eighteenth Century English Literature, British Romanticism.)

Assistant Professors

Amy Benson. 2016. B.S., Bowling Green State University; M.F.A., University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL (Creative Non-Fiction.)
Chanelle Benz. 2017. B.F.A., Boston University; M.F.A., Syracuse University. (Creative Writing, Fiction.)
Stephanie Elsky. 2017. B.A., Columbia University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania. (Early Modern Literature.)
Ernest Gibson, III. 2012. B.A., Fisk University; M.A., Purdue University; M.A. and Ph.D., University of Massachusetts-Amherst. (Afro-American Studies.)
Jason Richards. 2008. B.A., and M.A., California State University, Long Beach; Ph.D., University of Florida. (American Literature, Postcolonial Literature.)
Caki Wilkinson. 2012. B.A., Rhodes College; M.F.A. (Poetry) Johns Hopkins University; Ph.D., University of Cincinnati. (English and Comparative Literature.)

Staff

Lorie W. Yearwood. 2006. Departmental Assistant. A.A.S., State Technical Institute at Memphis.

Honors in English

  1. Courses required: fulfillment of the requirements for a major in English; English 495-496.
  2. A substantial, in-depth thesis.
  3. Approval by the English Honors Committee.

Requirements for a Major in English

A total of 11 courses (forty-four credits) as follows:

Track I: Concentration in Literature:

  1. English 285, normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
  2. English 385, normally taken in spring of the junior year (students abroad may take this course in senior year).
  3. English 485, normally taken in the senior year.
  4. Eight (8) additional courses in English, 190 or above, at least 6 of which must be in literature.
  5. Of the eleven required courses, a minimum of seven (7) must be numbered 300 or above. (English 460 does not fulfill this requirement.)
  6. Of the eleven required courses, a minimum of three (3) must be in literature written before 1800 (i.e., 219, 230, 260, 315-345, 359, 485 where topic is appropriate) with at least two (2) numbered 300 or above.

Track II: Concentration in Literature and Creative Writing:

  1. English 285, normally taken by the end of the sophomore year.
  2. English 385, normally taken in spring of the junior year. (Students abroad may take this course in the senior year.)
  3. One of the following sequences of major genre workshops (three courses):
    1. English 200, 300, 400 (Poetry Workshops)
    2. English 201, 301, 401 (Fiction Workshops)
  4. One additional course chosen from English 200, 201, 203, 204, 205, 300, 301, 400, 401
  5. English 485, normally taken in the senior year.
  6. One course in literature written before 1800 numbered 300 or above (English 315, 319, 320, 322, 323, 325, 332, 335, 336, 340, 345, 359, 485 where topic is appropriate).
  7. Two (2) additional literature courses numbered 300 or above. (English 460 does not fulfill this requirement.)
  8. One additional course in literature, 190 or above. (One film course or internship may be counted in this category.)

Note: Those considering the concentration in writing should contact one of the creative writing professors for early advising, preferably by the end of the first year.

Requirements for a Minor in English

A total of 5 courses (20 credits) as follows:

  1. Two courses at the 190 or 200 level
  2. Three additional courses in English numbered 300 or higher.

The Writing Center

The Department oversees a writing service available to all Rhodes students. Student tutors are available daily to assist students with written work.