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)
Students interested in becoming teachers must meet specific curriculum requirements in their major as part of the undergraduate academic degree. English majors desiring secondary teacher licensure must complete READ 254, include among their core courses the surveys of both English and American literature (ENG 235, ENG 236, ENG 247 and ENG 248), and include among their electives the following: Choose one of the following: ENG 309. Traditional English Grammar ENG 310. Modern English Grammar Choose one of the following: ENG 317. Shakespeare’s Tragedies and Romances ENG 318. Shakespeare’s Comedies and Histories ENG 319. Teaching Shakespeare ENG 320L. Shakespeare on the Page and Stage in London At least one course at any level in American literature At least one course at any level in British literature At least one course at any level in world literature In addition to the general education and academic major requirements, English majors desiring secondary teacher licensure must be admitted to teacher education, complete the pre-professional program in secondary education at the undergraduate level and complete the graduate level Master of Arts in Teaching degree. It is critical that students seeking licensure consult regularly with both their education adviser and their major adviser to support their progression through the programs. For a full description of the program in secondary teaching, refer to the Department of Middle, Secondary and Mathematics Education, in addition to the College of Education section of the catalog.
Teaching English as a Second Language
For a description of the TESOL program, refer to the College of Education section of the catalog.