Department of English

College of Arts and Humanities

541/531 Main Hall
West Chester University
West Chester, PA 19383
Phone: 610-436-2745
Department of English
Dr. Burns, Chairperson
Dr. Dougherty, Assistant Chairperson
Dr. Banner, Assistant Chairperson
Dr. Rademaekers, Graduate Coordinator - M.A. in English
Dr. Shevlin, Graduate Coordinator - Certificate in Publishing

Program of Study

The M.A. in English offers three tracks: one in literature; one in writing, teaching, and criticism; and one in creative writing. In the literature and writing, teaching, and criticism tracks, students may choose between thesis and non-thesis options. Students in the creative writing track must write a creative thesis. The master of arts in English helps students attain a number of goals. It offers opportunities for the study of language, literature, rhetoric and composition, pedagogy, creative writing, and literary and cultural critical theory. The diverse and comprehensive selection of courses cultivates scholarly knowledge and enhances cultural literacy in an atmosphere that engages students intellectually and creatively. The program prepares students to enroll in advanced graduate programs (for the Ph.D. in literature or composition and rhetoric, for example), to teach literature or writing in select secondary schools or two-year colleges, and to enter a range of other professions in which writing expertise, analytical thinking, and cultural competencies are valued.

The Certificate in Publishing is dedicated to providing high quality preparation for diverse publishing and related new media careers. WCU’s certificate program distinguishes itself by its online courses and an interdisciplinary curriculum that can be completed in as little time as eleven months. The WCU program aims to equip its students not only with a well-rounded, hands-on understanding of contemporary publishing and digital media but also with multifaceted knowledge of publishing history and media transformations.

In addition, the Department of English welcomes students who wish to take courses for professional growth and provides assistance and advice to students on achieving their professional goals. The Department of English also participates in an interdisciplinary program leading to the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. (See the section "Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.")

Master of Arts in English

The M.A. in English offers three tracks: Literature; Writing, Teaching, and Criticism; and Creative Writing. The Literature and Writing, Teaching, and Criticism Tracks have a thesis and non-thesis option. The Creative Writing Track requires a creative thesis. All tracks are 36-credits, require a capstone experience, and share a six-credit common core (ENG 500 and ENG 501).

Certificate in Publishing

The Certificate in Publishing benefits from its innovative integration of media history with professional training and its incorporation of the theoretical with practical application. The required foundational course focuses closely on the effects of technological and cultural shifts on writing, publishing, and reading over the centuries. This historical perspective equips graduates with an especially rich understanding of current media transformations and thus enhances their ability to navigate and respond to the rapidly changing environment in which the publishing and media industries operate. All students complete an internship as part of this program.

All applicants to one of West Chester University’s graduate programs will be held to the graduate admissions requirements. When applicable, additional requirements for admission into specific department program(s) may be listed below.

Admission Requirements for the M.A. in English

Applicants for the M.A. in English will need to submit the following materials:

  1. Completed application
  2. Official transcript(s)
  3. Statement of academic and professional goals (included in the application)
  4. Writing sample (5-6 pages) of analytical writing on a subject related to the study of English
  5. Two letters of recommendation

Admission Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Publishing

Applicants for the Graduate Publishing Certificate Program will need to submit the following materials:

  1. Completed application
  2. Official transcript(s)
  3. A 2-page statement of interest and professional goals
  4. Writing sample (3-5 pages), either professional or academic
  5. Resumé
  6. Two letters of recommendation

All graduate students are held to the academic policies and procedures outlined in the graduate catalog. Students are encouraged to review departmental handbooks for program tips, suggested course sequences, and explanations of procedures. When applicable, additional policies for specific department programs may be listed below.


Hannah Ashley (2001)

Director, Urban Community Change Program

B.S., Cornell University; M.Ed., Ph.D., Temple University

Christian K. Awuyah (1989)

B.A., University of Ghana; M.A., University of Guelph; Ph.D., University of Alberta

Margaret Ervin (2003)

Director, Writing Center

B.A., Harvard University; Ph.D., University at Albany, State University of New York

Paul D. Green (1971)

A.B., Temple University; A.M., Ph.D., Harvard University

Gabrielle Halko (2006)

B.A., College of William and Mary; M.F.A., Bowling Green State University; Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Erin Hurt (2010)

B.A., University of North Texas; M.A., Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Seth Kahn (2002)

B.A., Wake Forest University; M.A., Florida State University; Ph.D., Syracuse University

William Lalicker (1995)

B.A., Loyola Marymount University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Washington

Graham Macphee (2005)

B.A., University of London; M.A., Ph.D., University of Sussex (England)

Rodney Mader (1999)

B.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Shannon Mrkich (2016)

B.A., University of Pittsburgh; M.A., Arizona State University; Ph.D., Temple University

Joseph Navitsky (2011)

B.A., Saint Joseph's University; M.A., Ph.D., Boston University

Cherise Pollard (1999)

B.A., Rutgers - The State University of New Jersey; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh

Andrew Sargent (2007)

B.A., Princeton University; M.A., Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles

Jordan T. Schugar (2014)

Interim Associate Dean, College of Arts and Humanities

B.A., University of Colorado; M.A., Humboldt State University; Ph.D., University of Maryland

Eleanor F. Shevlin (2001)

A.B., Georgetown University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Maryland

Carolyn Sorisio (1999)

B.A., Pennsylvania State University; M.A., Ph.D., Temple University

Victoria Tischio (1998)

B.S., M.A., Southern Connecticut State University; Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany

Carla Lee Verderame (1998)

Assistant Director, Ethnic Studies Program

A.B., Smith College; M.A.T., Brown University; Ph.D., University of Michigan

Cheryl L. Wanko (1993)

B.A., New York University; M.A., Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Associate Professors

Amy K. Anderson (2014)

B.A., Miami University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Rachel Banner (2013)

Assistant Chairperson, English

B.A., Oakland University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Michael Sterling Burns (2013)

Chairperson, English

B.A., Temple University; M.A., The City College of New York; Ph.D., University of Illinois

Laquana Cooke (2016)

B.S., New Jersey Institute of Technology; B.A., Rutgers University; M.A., New York University; Ph.D., Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Randall Cream (2011)

M.A., Radford University; Ph.D., University of Connecticut

Eric Dodson-Robinson (2011)

B.A., University of Texas; M.A., University of Michigan; M.A., Texas State University; Ph.D., University of Illinois

Timothy R. Dougherty (2014)

Assistant Chairperson, English

B.A., Pennsylvania State University; M.A., University of Minnesota; Ph.D., Syracuse University

Peter Duval (2016)

M.F.A., Boston University; M.A., University of Illinois; M.A., New York University

Kristine S. Ervin (2012)

B.A., Oklahoma State University; M.F.A., New York University; Ph.D., University of Houston

Andrew Famiglietti (2016)

B.A., M.A., SUNY Binghamton; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Kristen E. Kondrlik (2016)

B.A., Canisius College; M.A., Ph.D., Case Western Reserve University

Benjamin Kuebrich (2016)

B.A., Illinois State University; M.A., Miami University (OH); Ph.D., Syracuse University

William M. Nessly (2011)

B.A., Swarthmore College; M.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison; Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Maria-Eirini Panagiotidou (2013)

B.A., National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; M.A., Ph.D., The University of Nottingham

Ashley Starling Patriarca (2013)

B.A., University of Alabama at Birmingham; M.A., University of North Carolina, Charlotte; Ph.D., Virginia Tech

Merry G. Perry (2002)

B.S., M.A., Ph.D., University of South Florida

Joshua Raclaw (2016)

Director, Linguistics Program

B.A., Stockton University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Colorado, Boulder

Justin K. Rademaekers (2014)

Graduate Coordinator, English

B.A., B.S., East Stroudsberg University of Pennsylvania; M.A., St. Joseph's University; Ph.D., Purdue University

Timothy Ray (2003)

B.A., M.A., University of Central Oklahoma; Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Kyle Vealey (2016)

B.A., Providence College; M.A., Georgetown University; Ph.D., Purdue University

Kuhio Walters (2008)

B.A., M.A., California State University, Fresno; Ph.D., University of New Hampshire

Assistant Professors

Emily Aguiló-Pérez (2019)

B.A., M.A., University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez; Ph.D., The Pennsylvania State University

Jacqueline D. Alnes (2019)

B.A., Elon University; M.F.A., Portland State University; Ph.D., Oklahoma State University

Michelle F. Blake (2017)

B.A., University of Pennsylvania; M.A., Columbia University

Stacy B. Esch (2014)

B.A., West Chester University of Pennsylvania; M.A., West Chester University of Pennsylvania

Lisa Konigsberg (2016)

B.A., Temple University; M.A., Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Maureen McVeigh Trainor (2016)

B.A., George Washington University; M.A., West Chester University; M.F.A., Rosemont College

Dyan M. Neary (2021)

B.A., New York University; M.F.A., Ph.D., The Florida State University

Yanira Rodriguez (2019)

B.A., Lehman College; M.A., M.F.A., Syracuse University

Ilknur Sancak-Marusa (2014)

B.A., Franklin and Marshall College; M.A., Millersville University

Jason Vanfosson (2018)

B.A., Fairmont State University; M.A., Duquesne University; Ph.D., Western Michigan University

Virgina Lee Wood (2021)

B.A., University of Richmond; M.F.A., Hollins University; Ph.D., University of North Texas

K. Jamie Woodlief (2007)

B.A. West Chester University; M.A. West Chester University


Richard Scholl (2003)

B.A., M.A., Pennsylvania State University


ENG 500. The Discipline of English Studies. 3 Credits.

An introduction to key analytical/paradigmatic concepts shared across the discipline and to the academic skills/methods appropriate to graduate level study in English.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENG 501. Critical Theory. 3 Credits.

Study of various methods of theoretical analysis and critique associated with the discipline of literary, cultural, and rhetorical analysis and the application of these methods to specific literary and cultural texts.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENG 503. Manuscript, Print, and Digital Cultures. 3 Credits.

This course studies the history of the creation, production, distribution, circulation, and reception of the written word. As it traces how authorship, reading, publishing, and the physical properties of texts have altered over time, the course examines, both historically and analytically, the intellectual, social, and cultural impact of changing communications technologies against the backdrop of our current digital age. This historical perspective uniquely equips students with the skills and knowledge to navigate effectively the transformations affecting the publishing and related media industries.
Distance education offering may be available.

ENG 504. Methods & Materials of Publishing. 3 Credits.

This course is designed both to familiarize publishing certificate and graduate students with the components of contemporary publishing and to afford them the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in proofreading and copyediting.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Spring & Summer.

ENG 506. Critical Pedagogies & Literacies. 3 Credits.

This course introduces student to two complementary bodies of literature: critical literacy and critical pedagogy. Students will analyze the educational system's role in maintaining or challenging diverse values, policies, and interests. To do so, students will ask questions about what we teach, how we teach, who we teach, and who we are as teachers: questions designed to frame the educational system socially, politically and institutionally.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENG 508. Writing Seminar. 3 Credits.

Experience in nonfiction prose writing; discussion and development of major projects.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 509. Writing Seminar in the Novel I. 3 Credits.

A course in the writing and preparing of book-length manuscripts (novels, novellas, and 'nonfictional' novels) with the intention of submission for publication. Also includes coverage of fictional aspects and techniques used in writing memoirs, biography, and current history.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 515. Technical, Scientific, and Medical Editing. 3 Credits.

This online graduate course will provide an introduction to the rhetorical principles and practices of editing in technical, scientific, and medical contexts. Though you may not yourself become a professional or technical editor, you will most likely be asked to edit and provide actionable feedback on the writing of others. In this course, we will study what technical, scientific, and medical editing is, how the terrain of editing is shifting today, what roles editors play in various kinds of organizations, and the diverse processes used to get the work of editing done.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

ENG 516. Publishing and Media Internship. 3 Credits.

This internship is designed to provide onsite, supervised experience in publishing or media work specific to the student's focus of study (e.g., editorial, marketing, production). In conjunction with the internship, students will complete a capstone project in which they produce a paper analyzing how the internship has contributed to their professional development and a portfolio documenting the work completed . The portfolio is intended to demonstrate professional skills and competencies You must meet with the Certificate Program Director the semester previous to taking this course to select desired placements, apply for internships, and complete the internship agreement form.
Pre / Co requisites: ENG 516 requires prerequisites of ENG 503 and an additional 12 credits of certificate track electives.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

ENG 518. Medieval English Literature. 3 Credits.

This course is a variable-topics offering. It may study a particular period in the Middle Ages, a particular genre, or a particular theme. Readings in Old and/or Middle English, along with needed translations, will be assigned as well as critical readings and research assignments.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

ENG 522. English Drama To 1642. 3 Credits.

A survey of English drama (exclusive of Shakespeare) from its medieval beginnings to the closing of the theatres in 1642.

ENG 525. Shakespeare. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to Shakespeare's plays and poetry, the conventions of early modern drama, and the history of Shakespearean performance and criticism. Attention to the original theatrical and literary conditions under which Shakespeare worked will include a survey of early modern culture and the contexts relevant to the current study of the plays. A full range of genres will be covered, and students will have the opportunity to read, analyze, and compare texts across the Shakespearean canon and reflect on the enduring legacy of the works.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

ENG 526. Shakespeare's Comedies & Poems. 3 Credits.

The comedies analyzed. The poems read in relation to Shakespeare's developing dramatic and poetic power.

ENG 530. British Literature and Culture of the Long Eighteenth Century. 3 Credits.

Covering the period from the Restoration through the beginnings of Romanticism, this course is a variable-topics offering. It may examine a particular genre such as the novel, drama, non-fiction prose, or poetry; study generic development overall; or be organized on a theme, such as crime and punishment, order and disorder, material culture, liberty and property, gender and sexuality, fame and fortune, transatlantic exchange, media transformations, or city vs. country. Research, criticism, and work with primary texts will be assigned.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.

ENG 535. Culture & Society In The 19th Century. 3 Credits.

A study of Victorian literature against its social and intellectual background.

ENG 544. Seminar In English Literature. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Distance education offering may be available.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 548. Early American Literature. 3 Credits.

Studies in early American literature and culture. For example, 'contact zones', spiritual narratives, belle-lettrism, the revolutionary public sphere.

ENG 549. 19th Century American Literature. 3 Credits.

An investigation of 19th-century literature and its cultural context. For example, Romantic writers and reform movements, realism and reconstruction.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

ENG 550. History, Form, & Ideology. 3 Credits.

Study of critical approaches to literary texts that focus on the relationship between literary form and society and the involvement of representation in shaping subjectivity.

ENG 552. 20th Century Native American Literature. 3 Credits.

This course investigates the Native American novel and the struggle of Native Americans for self representation.

ENG 558. 20th Century American Writers. 3 Credits.

One or more major prose writers and literary movements from 1900 to the present.

ENG 560. Locating Literature. 3 Credits.

Study of critical approaches to literary texts that focus on the historical construction of literary value, canonicity, and norms of reading, including the idea of national literature and cross-cultural approaches to literature (postcolonial, transnational, multiethnic).

ENG 562. Modern Afro-American Literature. 3 Credits.

An intensive study in themes and trends in modern African-American literature.

ENG 564. Seminar In American Literature. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Distance education offering may be available.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 566. Comparative Literature: The Greek Myths. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

ENG 569. Teaching English Language Learners (ELLs) PK-12. 3 Credits.

Graduate-level study of issues and the application of techniques, strategies, materials for meeting the needs of English Language learners (ELLs) in inclusive classrooms. Emphases include: sociocultural issues in educational contexts, TESOL through the content areas, linguistics, second language acquisition, the integration applications of the PA English Language Proficiency Standards PK-12 (ELPs) and current trends in second language teaching, learning and assessment. Includes a field component.
Distance education offering may be available.

ENG 570. Feminist Film. 3 Credits.

This course covers the diverse genres of feminist film, exposes students to feminist film theory, and enables students to interpret feminist aesthetic practice.

ENG 571. Colonialism and the 20th Century Novel. 3 Credits.

An examination of the relationship of the colonialist theme and modernist techniques in the novel.

ENG 578. Modern English. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

ENG 579. History & Dialects Of American English. 3 Credits.

Historical processes in the development of American and British English. Regional and social dialects of American English. Usage and sociolinguistics.

ENG 580. English Language Workshop. 1-4 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 583. Second Language Acquisition. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

ENG 588. ESL Practicum II. 1-3 Credits.

This course is designed for graduate students and ESL professionals who desire additional practical experience in ESL contexts. Special topics covered include some of the following: program design, teacher development and supervision, and materials writing.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 590. Independent Study. 1-3 Credits.

Research projects, reports, and specialized readings.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 591. Modern Techniques For The Teaching Of English. 3 Credits.

Techniques of teaching language arts, composition, and literature in the secondary school. Practice in planning and designing units and courses of study. Exploration into the latest research in teaching English.

ENG 592. Literature For The Elementary School. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

ENG 593. Young Adult Literature. 3 Credits.

A critical examination of the Young Adult genre including current theoretical research in YA literature and the application of this research for teaching, writing, and literary analysis.
Typically offered in Fall & Spring.

ENG 594. Directed Studies In Composition & Rhetor. 3 Credits.

Offers students systematic guidance and instruction in a specially formulated project involving scholarly or empirical research in composition.

ENG 595. Teaching Composition. 3 Credits.

A survey of developments and research in composition. Focus on the writing process, grading and evaluation, case approaches to writing assignments, writing across the curriculum, and remedial and developmental writing.

ENG 596. Composition & Rhetoric. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.

ENG 600. Tutoring Composition. 3 Credits.

Theory and practice of teaching basic writing in the tutoring environment.

ENG 601. Creative Writing Seminar. 3 Credits.

A specialized writing seminar. Topics announced when offered. Longer prose works, short story, fantasy/ science fiction, narrative verse, lyric/meditative verse, etc. A portfolio is required at the end of the course.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 602. Creative Writing: Directed Studies. 3 Credits.

A course of individual study for students who have completed two workshops in a single genre. Concentrated work in a special poetry or prose topic.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 605. Poetry Workshop I. 3 Credits.

Contact department for more information about this course.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 606. Poetry Workshop II. 3 Credits.

Extended work in poetic forms with additional emphasis on contemporary poetry in translation. A critical paper on contemporary poetry and poetics and a completed portfolio are required.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 608. Short Story Workshop I. 3 Credits.

Techniques of composing the short story with emphasis on its elements of form: point of view, diction, characterization, and dialogue. Readings in traditional and contemporary criticism and short stories. Completed portfolio of revised works is required.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 609. Short Story Workshop II. 3 Credits.

Extended work in the short story form with opportunities for exploring more experimental forms of short fiction. Additional readings in short fiction and criticism. A critical paper on a contemporary short story writer is required.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 614. Capstone Writing and Research Seminar. 3 Credits.

This course creates a space where graduate students form a community of writers to work on their capstone projects as they heighten their rhetorical awareness and explore writing in the myriad areas that comprise English Studies and the profession.
Pre / Co requisites: ENG 614 requires prerequisites of ENG 500 and ENG 501.
Typically offered in Fall.

ENG 615. Special Topics. 3 Credits.

Variable topics, usually interdisciplinary, incorporating issues related to publishing, media studies, literary fields, genres, historical periods, and theoretical approaches.
Consent: Permission of the Department required to add.
Distance education offering may be available.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring & Summer.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 616. Research Methods for Writing, Teaching and Criticism. 3 Credits.

Research class in which students design independent research projects derived from their prior interests, expertise, and coursework in areas of writing, teaching, and criticism. Class includes instruction in research methodologies and collaborative critiquing and workshopping.
Typically offered in Spring.

ENG 617. Writing Diverse Discourses-Classroom. 3 Credits.

This course will take up theories and practices of cultural diversities in written classroom discourses. Reading assignments cover theories of representation and examples of classroom pedagogies and research, all of which offer various ways to think about diversity in the classroom and the rich, varied discourses that develop from it. Individual research and writing projects will utilize ethnographic and teacher research methods to look at issues of diversity in the written discourses of the classrooms in which we participate as either teachers or students. Other writing assignments will include memoir and journal writing.

ENG 619. Cultural Studies: Pedagogy & Politics. 3 Credits.

Cultural studies asks us to carefully consider the relationships among people interpreting texts, people producing texts and the cultural contexts in which we find text. This course will introduce students to cultural studies as a framework for the critical interpretation of cultural texts, as a philosophical basis for teaching, and as an object of study in its own right.

ENG 620. M.A. Essay. 3 Credits.

Required final extended paper (about 40 pages) written under the direction of an adviser. Further details available in the Graduate English Studies Handbook. Oral defense required.
Repeatable for Credit.

ENG 622. The Rhetorics of Masculinities and Men's Studies. 3 Credits.

This course introduces students to the literature, both theoretical and popular, that examines how males are represented in and socialized by contemporary language and culture. Students read, discuss, and write about a variety of written and visual texts concerning men's experiences and masculine identities, as they relate to both men and women.

ENG 626. Rhetoric, Culture, Identity. 3 Credits.

This course offers varying topics through which to explore the rhetorics and ideologies of race, gender, sexuality, and class. Participants will analyze representations of and by members of disenfranchised groups in historical, literary, critical, and cultural texts, and with particular attentions to the discursive nature and social bases of representations within and in response to structures of power. Course titles may include, for example, "Reading/Writing Asian American Women"; "African American Rhetorics".
Typically offered in Fall.