Dr. Dabney A. Bankert, Department Head
Phone: (540) 568-6170
Location: Keezell Hall, Room 215
D. Bankert, M. Favila, A. Federico, J. Gabbin, B. Johnson, L. Kutchins, R. Majors, D. Mookerjea-Leonard, A. Morey, M. Parker, M. Rebhorn
P. Bogard, K. Castellano, E. Cavanagh, S. Cote, A. Fagan, R. Gaughran, D. Goode, B. Hefner, L. Henigman, M. Rankin, M. Thompson, S. White
D. Babcock, M. Godfrey, D. Lo, S. Samatar, G. Wrenn
The Department of English offers to all students, wherever their professional and vocational interests lie, skills in critical thinking, analysis and writing along with an appreciation of the great literary heritage of Western civilization, with particular emphasis upon British and American literature. The program also promotes global awareness and the appreciation of cultural diversity through numerous opportunities for world or multicultural studies.
Our goal is that, through the humanistic study of a variety of literature, students will obtain a better understanding of themselves, their culture and other cultures with which they must invariably come into contact.
A senior requirement ensures that each major will have a final capstone experience through courses designed to integrate earlier training and focus it toward postgraduate needs and opportunities.
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.
Careers that involve critical thinking, document analysis or oral and written communication such as:
- Career counseling
- Corporate recruiting
- 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
- Magazine writing and editing (print and online)
- Newspaper reporting/foreign correspondent
- Non-profit advocacy and administration
- Public relations and public affairs officer
- Speech writer
Co-curricular Activities and Organizations
- Sigma Tau Delta (the National English Honor Society)
- gardy loo! (a literary magazine)
- Sister Speak (JMU’s feminist journal)
- MacGuffin Film Journal
- Cinemuse Film Club
- Hopscotch (children’s literature magazine)
Degree and Major Requirements
Students majoring in English earn the B.A. degree unless they are completing an English major with an cross disciplinary focus or an additional major in a degree program other than the B.A. The minimum requirement for a major in English is 36 credit hours of course work in the major. The department recommends that students choose a variety of courses covering contemporary and early literature, as well as period, genre and linguistics courses. In addition to core courses, English majors must take nine credit hours of English electives on or above the 300 level. Courses taken to fulfill General Education Cluster Two requirements may also fulfill requirements in the English major. Students may complete credit requirements by taking additional electives. The minimum requirement for a major in English with a cross disciplinary focus is 36 credit hours of course work; 24 of these hours must be in English courses, with 15 hours at the 300 level or above. Twelve hours from another discipline or disciplines must be chosen in conference with the student’s adviser and approved by the department head. For more information about the cross disciplinary focus, contact a departmental adviser.