Feb 27, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog

Department of English

Rebecca Childs, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6298
Location: Keezell Hall, Room 215

L. Alleyne, K. Castellano, E. Cavanagh, R. Childs, A. Federico, B. Hefner, L. Kutchins, D. Mookerjea-Leonard, B. Muhonja, B. Nowviskie, M. Rankin, M. Rebhorn, M. Thompson, S. White

Associate Professors
D. Babcock, J. Burgers, S. Cote, A. Fagan, M. Godfrey, D. Goode, L. Henigman, D. Lo, H. Pennington, D. Phillips, S. Samatar, G. Wrenn

Assistant Professors
J. Baltazar, M. Delgadillo, A. Gerber, L. Harrison


Our mission is to prepare our students to be appreciative yet critical readers and creators of language, texts, and ideas, attending to the powerful link between the literary arts and the human condition. We develop in students the ability to write with clarity, creativity, and rhetorical power, and to recognize and explore the complex interaction between texts of various genres and diverse contexts of production and reception, that they may emerge with superior dexterity of reasoning, a heightened empathy, and an expanded worldview.


To build upon the skills introduced in the General Education  program, the Department of English strives to:

  • Provide students advanced instruction in writing styles ranging from expository and creative writing to literary criticism.
  • Help students master advanced skills in analytical and critical thinking.
  • Develop skills in research and information access.

Career Opportunities

Careers that involve critical thinking, document analysis, or oral and written communication such as:

  • Career counseling
  • Corporate recruiting
  • Consulting
  • Editing
  • Educational administration
  • Film and food critic
  • Graduate school in English, creative writing, law and library science
  • Human resources
  • Insurance underwriting
  • Intelligence analyst
  • Law school
  • Library science (librarian, archivist, preservationist)
  • Literary agent
  • Literacy instructor
  • Lobbyist
  • Magazine writing and editing (print and online)
  • Marketing
  • Newspaper reporting/foreign correspondent
  • Non-profit advocacy and administration
  • Public relations and public affairs officer
  • Publishing
  • Research
  • Speech writer
  • Stockbroker
  • Teaching

Co-curricular Activities and Organizations

  • Iris (a literary and arts magazine)
  • Sigma Tau Delta (the National English Honor Society)
  • Sister Speak (JMU’s feminist journal)

Cross Disciplinary Minors

English participates in the following cross disciplinary minors: