Welcome to the English Department at Bowling Green State University. One of the largest and most diverse departments on campus, the English Department offers degree paths and minors in Literature, Creative Writing, Rhetoric and Writing, and other areas. Students in English take classes with passionate and committed teachers who have dedicated themselves to the study of language and literature and the creation of original works of scholarship, fiction, nonfiction, and poetry.
Our graduate programs complement our undergraduate programs and provide additional opportunities for professional development. There has never been a better time to develop the skills offered by the study of English. Critical thinking, creative expression, breadth of mind, an aptitude for understanding cultural differences, the capacity to perform research, and the ability to write with clarity and grace, are in demand from employers.
We hope you’ll join us and write here!
August 31, 2020
As you likely have heard, over the weekend a member of the BGSU community posted hate speech in response to the peaceful protests in support of racial justice held in Washington, DC. I am writing to make clear to all in our English department community that harassment and anti-Black racism have absolutely no place on our campus: no place in our classrooms, hallways, sidewalks, digital spaces or anywhere else for that matter.
This staff person’s words were vile--horrifying and hate-filled. BGSU has a responsibility not only to educate our students but also to stand as an example for our campus community and the many populations within the surrounding communities. Especially when the local and national news is filled with violence towards Black citizens, each of us bears a special responsibility for the physical and psychological safety of our community in which all of its students, faculty, and employees can feel safe to learn, work, play, live, and thrive, an environment without fear of harassment, disrespect, violence, or harm.
As Chair of the Department of English, I believe strongly that we--all of us, but especially faculty and administrators--must devote ourselves to creating and maintaining a space in which all students feel safe and respected, able to focus on learning and pursuing their academic and life goals. We so often find it ‘easy’ to protest, march, carry signs, and lift our voices to the violence and systemic racism that envelops communities elsewhere in our nation. But when that racism is local, when it is right here on our campus and affected our students, staff, and faculty, we need to act with even more vigor and passion and remain steadfast. I am committed to doing all that I can to ensure that racist behavior is condemned and have our Black students, staff, and faculty who have been made to feel marginalized--traumatized--at the center of my efforts.
The faculty who are on campus are organizing a gathering outside the BTSU free speech area (between the Union and the BGSU sculpture) at noon today to condemn the recently discovered employee’s speech and to demand institutional change. We are working to develop a livestream of the event as well as so many faculty, students, and staff are not on campus this semester--perhaps via Facebook. If you are available and would like to stand with us, please do.
Know that we are better as a department and as a university because of our diversity. We need each of you, and it is our priority as faculty to ensure that each of you feels that you absolutely belong.
Featured Student Blogs
Be sure to check out the English Department Blog for featured posts by undergraduate students!
Jason Mecchi has written "Beyond Books: Expanding the Horizons of an English Major," and Julie Steinen has written "Reading as an English Major."
More posts will be available soon, so keep an eye on the blog!
Literature Program's Senior Thesis Presentations
Check out the amazing virtual version of the Literature Program's Senior Thesis Presentations! Dr. Stephannie Gearhart provides opening remarks, followed by videos of student presentations!
Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Loo Zemanski Receive College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Award
Amanda McGuire Rzicznek and Elizabeth Loo Zemanski have received the 2020 College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Award. The award was first given in 2012, and is intended to honor faculty leadership of student projects and initiatives around diversity. The full list of awardees can be seen on the Awards & Recognitions page.
Please join the department in congratulating Amanda and Elizabeth!
News and Stories
The Corona Chronicles: Necessary Narratives in Uncertain Times
Congratulations to Ph.D. candidate, Brandie Bohney! Brandie co-authored a chapter in the upcoming collection: The Corona Chronicles: Necessary Narratives in Uncertain Times.
The first of a two-volume collection features narratives from "faculty, K-12 teachers, students, parents, and community members," and their experiences during COVID-19.
Read more about the collection!
Professional Development Badge
Congratulations to PhD students Brandie Bohney, Annie Cigic, Renee Drouin, and Brian Urias on earning the Professional Development Badge! To earn the badge, English graduate students must attend 6 professional development events or workshops. After attendance, they write a 150-300 word reflection on their experience. Read more about the badge!
Mayflies by Cassandra Caverhill
Congratulations to M.F.A. Poetry student, Cassandra Caverhill on the publication of her first chapbook of poetry!
"These narrative poems explore how place colors possibility and affects relationship; how the absence of feeling is filled by obliteration. Using sharp textural images and a keen self-awareness, the poet weaves her own struggles with Windsor’s, chronicling the city’s descent as though it were a loved one lost."Read more about the book!
Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in English are expected to be able to:
- Use writing effectively—including current modes and evolving techniques and technologies—to explore subject matter and to communicate;
- Develop understanding of subject matter in relation to larger historical and/or cultural contexts, including multicultural contexts;
- Make connections between theory and practice. Students apply theory to understand texts, solve problems, and teach effectively, and/or students generalize from experiences with texts, communication situations and teaching situations;
- Develop skills of creative and/or critical thinking.
Accreditation and/or Program/Cluster Review
Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.
The English program went through Program/Cluster Review during the Academic Year 2016-17.
Professional Licensure (If applicable)
Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.
Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The English program does not lead to professional licensure.
Gainful Employment (If applicable)
Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.
The English program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.