African American students marching in a parade carrying banner.

Department of English

The Bachelor and Master of Arts in English degree programs at the University of South Alabama prepare students for jobs in professional settings including teaching, writing, and business areas. English majors and minors are taught by talented faculty and field experts in creative writing, literature, and professional writing in the College of Arts and Sciences. English undergraduate student Kelsi Fails describes her passion for writing poetry and studying literature at USA.

The English undergraduate program allows students to explore the study of literature and interpretation of novels, stories, poems and essays through critical approaches and writing, build the skills to craft meaningful creative work, and develop skills in professional writing and editing. The English master's program offers students in the creative writing and literature concentrations advanced study and preparation for careers in English as well as further graduate study. Through classes, as well as research opportunities and internships, students build skills in critical reading and writing, research, and instruction that support a range of career fields in business and education.


Upcoming Events

Lee HeadshotIMC 64: Gabe Lee at Callaghan's - Sunday, December 3, 2023 - 7:00pm

The Independent Music Collective is thrilled to partner with Callaghan's to present acclaimed Nashville singer/songwriter Gabe Lee at 7pm on Sunday, December 3, 2023! There are only 50 seats available for this special, ticketed show.

GET YOUR TICKETS HERE: $15 each via Brown Paper Tickets

Equal parts classic songwriter and modern-day storyteller, Gabe Lee has built his own bridge between country, folk and rock. Raised by Taiwanese parents in Nashville, TN, he left home during his teenage years and headed to Indiana, where he obtained degrees in literature and journalism. Lee launched his career as a genre-bending musician after returning to Tennessee, quickly progressing from dive bar gigs to high-profile opening slots (including shows with Jason Isbell and Los Lobos) to his own headlining shows. 

What others are saying:

  • "Drink the River is a declaration of his promise to become one of the heartland’s greatest storytellers." Rolling Stone
  • "Unexpectedly curves in such a way as to almost rearrange your soul." No Depression
  • "If put on the spot by someone and asked to rattle off one artist that they probably have never heard of but will immediately love, Gabe Lee might be the best answer." Saving Country Music

Everett headshotPercival Everett - Tuesday, January 30, 2024 - 6:00pm

Award-winning author Percival Everett has published more than thirty books, including Dr. NO, The Trees, Telephone, So Much Blue, I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and Erasure. Everett has won the Ivan Sandrof Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Book Critics Circle, the Dos Passos Prize, the PEN Center USA Award for Fiction, the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Literary Award, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award for Fiction, The 2010 Believer Book Award, the Premio Gregor von Rezzori, a Creative Capital Award, BS the Academy Award in Literature from The American Academy of Arts and Letters. Reviewers often cite his satirical brilliance and genre-defying work that expands our culture’s ways of thinking. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship. Everett is currently Distinguished Professor of English at University of Southern California. 

Please note: this free event will be held in the Student Center Ballroom with a book signing and reception to follow.

Hartnett headshotAnnie Hartnett - Thursday, April 4, 2024 - 6:00pm

Acclaimed novelist Annie Hartnett is the author of Rabbit Cake (Tin House Books, 2017) and Unlikely Animals (Ballantine/Random House, 2022). Unlikely Animals was listed as one of the best books of 2022 by the Washington Post and BookRiot, and was long-listed for the Joyce Carol Oates Prize. Rabbit Cake was listed as one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2017, was a finalist for the New England Book Award, and was long-listed for the Center for Fiction's First Novel Prize. Hartnett has been awarded fellowships and residencies from the MacDowell Colony, Sewanee Writers' Conference, and the Associates of the Boston Public Library. She is co-host of the writing and parenting podcast Good Moms on Paper and is also an amateur cartoonist. In addition to her reading, she will also offer a free, hour-long writing class open to the general public.  

Please note: this free event will be held in the Student Center Terrace Room with a book signing and reception to follow.  PHOTO: Molly Haley.

▼   Job Openings

Part-Time Teaching

The English Department reviews applications on a continuing basis for part-time instructors, mainly to teach composition. Literature surveys and technical writing sections are available occasionally for those who are qualified in those areas.

Minimum Requirement: M.A. in English. 

Please send your vita, cover letter, and contact information for three professional references and transcripts via email to Dr. Patrick Shaw:

The University of South Alabama is an EO/AA employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression), religion, age, genetic information, disability, or protected veteran status.

▼   English Department Statement on Diversity and Inclusion

The English Department believes it important to reaffirm to our students and community our dedication to the following principles:

  • We commit ourselves to the principles of anti-racism: to actively disavow and condemn discriminatory language, actions, and images that create unequal learning opportunities.

  • We work to foreground specific historical, social, and cultural contexts for the texts we teach and write, emphasizing that art and thought do not exist in isolation from the structural inequalities and systemic inequities of our history and politics.

  • We view the classroom as a unique space where we can walk in with one idea and come out with quite another, where our ideas and values are tested for validity in discussion with peers, where we work each day to build the common ground on which our university and our country must rest.

  • We will continue to expand the diversity of issues, authors, and texts represented at all levels of our curriculum with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and ability. And finally, we affirm our solidarity with all members of our academic community harmed by racist behaviors and discourse.


  Latest News
'Descendant' Nominated for NAACP Image Award
Monday - February 20, 2023
The film was co-written and co-produced by Dr. Kern Jackson, director of USA's African American Studies program. The...
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Stokes Center for Creative Writing Presents Dionne Irving
Stokes Center for Creative Writing Presents Dionne Irving
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Dionne Irving will read from her latest short story collection "The Islands."
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Best-Selling Novelist Emily St. John Mandel to Speak at USA
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Wednesday - November 2, 2022
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