Live the Written Word!
Pursue a degree in English and live what you love. The English department at IUE will afford you the chance to grow as a writer, examine the timelessness of the world's greatest writers, and become a part of a dynamic program.
Creative Writing: Within the English degree, students can choose to concentrate in Creative Writing, with courses in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction. Students will explore writing in various forms: short stories, novels, poetry, memoir, documentary writing, and more. Creative opportunities include Tributaries, the IUE literary magazine; internships; visiting writers; and field trips.
Literature: A literature concentration allows majors to concentrate their courses in British, American, and world literatures. The concentration is recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in literature. Students are encouraged to take as many classes as possible in the British literature sequence and the American literature sequence. Through these classes, students will have covered the major authors and periods in both British and American literature. Additionally, students will take world literature for an appreciation of non-English literatures. Beginning with English L202 Literary Interpretation, students will round off their experiences with literary criticism English L371.
Technical and Professional Writing: A concentrated study in the techniques of professional and technical writing including document design, digital writing, technical editing, and technical writing. Create brochures, websites, presentations, reports, blogs, and more. Fine tune your professional writing skills for the world of technical writing, editing, marketing, advertising, publishing, journalism, and many other areas which require excellent writing skills.
Composition Studies: Students in our program gain practical experience in composition theory, research, and pedagogy. In addition to a specialization in composition studies, students will take courses in linguistics, literature, and critical practices, and have the flexibility to take electives like creative non-fiction. Students in our program are prepared for professional positions or going on to graduate work in English or Education.
Noteworthy Courses, Spring '14
W303: Writing Poetry: Write what you love. Love what you write. Create lines of beauty. Celebrate the beauty of lines. Join a class where you can experiment with the art and craft of writing in a community of creative writers. We will study the writing of poets such as Seamus Heaney, Mary Oliver, and other (mostly contemporary) poets as we experiment with our own poetry writing.
L370: Black American Writing in the Arts (online): Explore the Black American experience in stories, music, and art works created by African-Americans and what it means to be Black in America from slave narratives, Reconstruction, and the Harlem Renaissance to black realism and contemporary visions. Apply what you learn through discussion, research, and writing about music lyrics, films, and art.
L382: Fiction of the Non-Western World (online): When is it okay to discuss politics and religion? When you explore cultural and historical contexts, including issues of gender, politics, and religion, in twentieth century and contemporary narratives from East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa through a number of short stories and novels, including: Yiyun Li, A Thousand Years of Good Prayers; Sawako Ariyoshi, The River Ki; Naguib Mahfouz, Palace Walk; Hanan al-Shaykh, Women of Sand and Myrrh; and Ben Okri, The Famished Road. This course satisfies the Literature in World and Cultural Context for English majors.
Dr. Steven Petersheim, Assistant Professor of English
Steven Petersheim is a teacher-scholar of American literature who regularly presents papers at the American Literature Association and regional conferences of the Modern Language Association (MLA). During the Fall 2013 semester, he will present two papers at the SAMLA conference in Atlanta, one on Cormac McCarthy’s The Road as a norm-disturbing text and another on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s hermeneutics. His most recent scholarly work for publication will be featured in an article titled “‘Legitimate Strokes of Humor’ in Hawthorne’s Early Picaresque Tales” in the Fall 2013 issue of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Review, the peer-reviewed journal of the Nathaniel Hawthorne Society. As a creative writer, he is also currently working on a prose and poetry memoir of his Amish childhood.
Chase Eversole draws from a number of disciplines in his approach to studying the art of literature, and the coursework he's undertaken in English classes at IU East warrants and encourages such explorations. English as a major is highly interdisciplinary and students are often motivated to develop their own specializations which can culminate in a senior thesis project and potentially follow the student to graduate school and beyond. Areas where literature and philosophy intersect are particularly of interest to Chase, because what is defined as being human begins with philosophy, and, in many ways, ends with literature. During his time at IU East, Chase has worked as a Consultant in the university's Writing Center as well as a Research Assistant for Jean Harper on what began as a creative nonfiction book called Off The Track but turned into a novel about a horse, a rider, and a mysterious death. In addition, he is currently serving as the President of the IU East Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honors Society, and as the Editor-in-Chief of Tributaries, IU East's student-produced literary and arts journal. As a student of literature and theory, his interests lie in postmodernism and deconstruction. As an honors student, he is currently at work on his senior thesis, a collection of short fiction titled Progress Can Be an Illusion. Upon graduation, Chase plans to attend graduate school to earn a Master's degree and eventually pursue doctoral work in English.