English

The University of Dubuque English major is comprised of students and faculty who are united by a common love of language and literature in its many forms. Students may choose to pursue the study of literature, writing, or secondary English education. Through interaction in small, intimate classroom settings – focused on thoughtful discussion of our own and others writings -- and through mentoring relationships, English faculty encourage students to pursue their chosen vocations with competence and to lead lives of meaning and purpose.

What You Will Learn

  • Students will examine classic texts of American and British literature and gain a serious exposure to emerging authors as well as multicultural, ethnic, and world literatures.
  • Students are introduced to the various critical approaches and research tools necessary to enable them to think deeply about and develop a mature understanding of the texts they read.
  • In writing courses, students develop skills in writing creatively for their own self-expression. They also learn to write effectively for a wide range of audiences and professional purposes, including new modes of writing arising out of recent advances in communication technologies.
  • Students learn to understand and draw upon the rich resources of the English language in order to communicate in a rhetorically effective manner.
  • Students use literature and writing to gain insight into their own and others world.

Program of Study

A University of Dubuque degree in English enables students to cultivate a mature understanding of the discipline. It is extensive enough to allow substantial exposure to the fields of literature and composition but focused enough to allow students to combine it with another major. In fact, most English majors choose to combine this major with another major in such fields as communication, philosophy, psychology, sociology -- or almost any other major. All writing majors -- and many literature majors -- complete an internship to gain real world experience, putting the skills they have developed through their coursework into practice. Secondary English education students work with education faculty to learn to communicate knowledge effectively, and with the English department to master the content they will communicate.


What Our Students Do

University of Dubuque English majors read, write, and speak thoughtfully, passionately, and analytically. For all students, the study of language and literature provides the rewards of empathy and insight into the human condition: who we are, who we have been, and who we might become. Students in each of our three tracks -- writing, literature, and education -- develop a love for literature and writing, as well as the skills needed to succeed in professional life or graduate school. In analyzing texts, they learn to think carefully, creatively, and analytically. In exploring rhetoric and creative writing, they discover the power of language and learn to write with power, grace, and beauty, all of which are necessary in professional and personal life. Most of our students choose to combine an English major with another major or minor. 

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque English graduates have entered graduate programs in literature, creative writing, public policy, library science, and law. Others have become teachers, and still others are creative writers or work in publishing. Many of our graduates have entered careers in business or community service that might seem to have little connection to the study of language and literature, but which demand and reward the kind of strong communication, research, and analytical skills the English major developes.

News from the Department

The second Lit Live! reading for fall semester will be held Tuesday, November 15 at 7 p.m. in the Couchman Reading Room in the library. We are happy to present Jesse Lee Kercheval, who directs the creative writing program at UW Madison. Jesse Lee Kercheval is the author of fourteen books including the poetry collection Cinema Muto, winner of a Crab Orchard Open Selection Award; The Alice Stories, winner of the Prairie Schooner Fiction Book Prize; and the memoir Space, winner of the Alex Award from the American Library Association. She is also a translator and a 2016 NEA in Translation Fellow. Her translations include The Invisible Bridge: Selected Poems of Circe Maia.She is the editor of the anthology América invertida: An Anthology of Emerging Uruguayan Poets. She is currently the Zona Gale Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Jonathan Barz's essay "Insiders and Outsiders: Courageous Compassion and the Immigration Crisis " is one of four UD faculty essays included in the Fall 2016 issue of Character and . . . Courageous Compassion. This issue of the journal, published by the Wendt Character Center at the University of Dubuque, can be accessed electronically at digitalud.dbq.edu.


Sean Benson's third book Heterodox Shakespeare has been accepted for publication by Farleigh Dickinson University Press. It will be released in January 2017.


"Latin@ Identity in the 21st Century: A Discussion." In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Dr. Jeannine Pitas and James Sizer, UD director for Multicultural Student Engagement, have organized a roundtable discussion which will be held on Tuesday, September 27 at 5:30 p.m. in Blades Hall. It will feature three current UD students (of Colombian, Mexican and Mexican-American background), one alumna (of Puerto Rican-American background) and one professor (originally from Venezuela). The objective of the panel is to raise awareness of the diversity of Hispanic and Latin@ cultures represented on campus, to increase understanding of the complex political and social realities of these communities, and to build solidarity within our community.

English - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B course
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
CIS 101/103: Introduction to Computers/Computer Apps (3)
UDMA 111: Algebra (4) or other Math Course

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
RES 104: Research Writing (3)
ENG 112/260: Literature (3)
WVS 201: Worldview Seminar II (3)
BIO 110: Human Biology and Lab (4) or other Science Lab Course
COM 101: Speech Communication  (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)


Year Two

Fall Semester
REL 214: Environmental Perspectives (3) or other Stewardship Course
ENG 201: Foundations of Literary Studies (3)
SOC 111/PSY 110: Introduction to Sociology (3)/Psychology (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3)

J-Term
Required

Spring Semester
ENG 260: Literature and Culture (3)
UDHS 121: World Civilization I (3) or other Global Awareness A Course
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration 


Year Three

Fall Semester
CCS 101: Cross-Cultural Study (1) or other Global Awareness B Course
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration
Major Course in Literature or Writing Concentration

J-Term
Recommended

Spring Semester
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor


Year Four 

Fall Semester
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor 

J-Term
Recommended 

Spring Semester
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor
Elective or Course for Second Major/Minor

Jonathan Barz
Jonathan Barz
Professor of English; Department Head

PhD, University of Minnesota
MA, Western Washington University
BS, Concordia University

Office Phone: 563.589.3185
E-mail: jbarz@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 302 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Sean Benson
Sean Benson
Professor of English

Ph.D., M.A.T., B.A.

Office Phone: 563.589.3187
E-mail: sbenson@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 304 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Elizabeth Deifell
Elizabeth Deifell
Adjunct Faculty

MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison BA, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

E-mail: edeifell@dbq.edu 

Robert Gomoll
Robert Gomoll
Adjunct Professor of English

MA, Loras College

Office Phone: 563.589.3262
E-mail: rgomoll@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 309 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3722

Robert Happ
Robert Happ
Adjunct Professor of English

EdS, Western Illinois University
MA, SUNY Brockport
BA, Ottawa University

Office Phone: 563.589.3764
E-mail: rhapp@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 313 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Andrew Jones
Andrew Jones
Teaching Specialist Faculty

MFA, Minnesota State University
BA, California State University

Office Phone: 563.589.3764
E-mail: asjones@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 304 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Michele McKinlay
Michele McKinlay
Assistant Professor of Literature

MA, University of Northern Iowa
BA, University of Northern Iowa
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3678
E-mail: mmckinla@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 306 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Matt Muilenburg
Matt Muilenburg
Assistant Professor of Writing
Director of ENG 090 Program

MFA, Wichita State University
BA, Western Illinois University



Office Phone: 563.589.3798
E-mail: mmuilenburg@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 303 Van Vliet

Gustavo Oropeza
Gustavo Oropeza
Adjunct Professor of Spanish


E-mail: goropeza@dbq.edu 

Jeannine Pitas
Jeannine Pitas
Assistant Professor of English and Spanish

PhD, University of Toronto; Comparative Literature
MA, University of Toronto; Comparative Literature
BA, Sarah Lawrence College; Literature and Philosophy

Office Phone: 563.589.3779
E-mail: jpitas@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 305 Van Vliet

Buzz Pounds
Buzz Pounds
Adjunct Professor of English

Ph.D. University of Louisville

Office Phone: 563.589.3764
E-mail: bpounds@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 307 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Scott Putnam
Scott Putnam
Instructor - Adjunct


E-mail: sputnam@dbq.edu 

Jessica Schreyer
Jessica Schreyer
Associate Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator

PhD, Indiana University of Pennsylvania
MA, University of Northern Iowa
BA, University of Iowa

Office Phone: 563.589.3872
E-mail: jschreye@dbq.edu 
Office Location: 301 Van Vliet Hall
Fax: 563.589.3416

Marcia Sola
Marcia Sola
Adjunct Professor of Spanish


Office Phone: 563.589.3540
E-mail: msola@dbq.edu 
Fax: 563.589.3410

Lynn Triervieler
Lynn Triervieler
Adjunct Professor of English

MAT, University of Northern Iowa
BS, University of Dubuque

E-mail: ltriervieler@dbq.edu 

Careers in English

Students who major in English are frequently asked, “But what can you do with an English major?” The exhilarating, if somewhat daunting, answer is, "Almost anything!" Contrary to popular stereotypes, English majors do find jobs after completing their degrees. According to a recent survey of the college graduate labor market by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, humanities and liberal arts majors had an employment rate about equal with students in computer and math fields, psychology and social work, and the social sciences, and just one percent below the average for all majors.

BA Opportunities

Students who complete degrees in English, whether with a concentration in literature or a concentration in writing, are well prepared to enter a wide variety of professions. Some English majors go on to work in fields whose relationship to English studies is self-evident, such as teaching (with certification), publishing, editing, library science, copywriting, journalism, advertising, creative writing, web site development, and public relations. Many of our graduates have entered careers in business or community service that might seem to have little connection to the study of language and literature but which demand and reward the kind of strong communication, research, and analytical skills our majors develop.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Graduates of the University of Dubuque’s English program have gone on to do graduate work in a wide variety of fields. As might be expected, English graduates go on to do graduate work in literary studies, creative writing, education, and library science. In addition, our recent graduates have pursued graduate degrees in such fields as communication, public policy, theology, library science, and law. An English degree is excellent preparation for any graduate program that requires strong written and oral communication skills, the ability to read and analyze documents at a high level, and experience in conducting independent research.

Successful Outcomes

Charity Edgar BA
English and Communication '07

Asst. National Director of Communications, Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Public Affairs Officer (LT), US Navy Reserve

The University of Dubuque's English education has enabled me to hone my writing skills, which has helped me immensely as a public affairs officer in the Navy Reserve. I am currently working toward a master of social work at the University of Southern California. Those years of APA-style writing at UD are benefiting me greatly as I write 15 to 20 page psychology papers. An English degree from UD is the perfect complement to so many different career paths.

Successful Outcomes

Elysa (Dawn) Salisbury BA
English '10

Owner/Designer at Two Sisters Events

The skills I gained from my University of Dubuque English degree have been invaluable in my career path. My English degree provided a very solid foundation for me to follow my dreams. As a student I was able to participate in so many different projects and subjects while at school, that ultimately lead me to event planning and design. I chose to take a variety of courses in business, marketing, communication, sociology, and science. I really love getting to prove to people, on a daily basis, how valuable an English degree can be.

Successful Outcomes

Heidi Zull BA
English '08

Marketing Specialist at Prudential Retirement

My English major at the University of Dubuque was combined with a communication and sociology major. My English training gave me some basic skills that set me apart from other job candidates who might have been trained in finances or business, but might not have had comparable reading, writing, or verbal skills. These specific skills - among many others - have helped me to develop relationships with clients and coworkers by focusing on these details that many employees might disregard as unimportant. Now as a marketing specialist at Prudential Retirement, my knowledge of proofreading, sentence structure, and writing for specific audiences helps me to craft messages which make a professional and successful impact.