Welcome to the English Department at NIU! As the chair of the department, I am excited to lead such dedicated faculty and staff. We offer courses in literature, linguistics, English education, film, ESL (English as a Second Language), and rhetoric as well as in creative, technical, and professional writing. Students in our department learn the analytical skills employers value, and they engage in conversations about critical issues. We've offered courses in the language of prejudice, medieval literature, African-American novels, and creative nonfiction. Our study abroad programs in Dublin and Oxford win rave reviews from participants, while internships present opportunities to gain professional experience. With preparation from our department, students succeed in such fields as education, librarianship, business, media, nonprofit management, writing, and public health nursing. The strong liberal arts background that accompanies studies in English provides career flexibility when jobs are hard to find.
Our faculty members regularly publish in top journals. Their books have won international recognition. Two of the most recent books published by department members are Kathleen Renk’s Magic, Science, and Empire (Routledge, 2012), and Thomas McCann’s Teaching Matters Most (co-authored with Alan C. Jones and Gail A. Aronoff; Corwin, 2012). In fall 2012, John Knapp published an edited collection, Critical Insights: Family, which features diverse perspectives on literature about families; Joe Bonomo published Conversations with Greil Marcus, offering insights into the work of music critic Greil Marcus, who has written for Rolling Stone and Village Voice.
Many faculty members have won teaching-related awards. Our freshman composition program has gained particular attention in this respect. Ellen Franklin and Suzanne Coffield from the first-year freshman composition staff won the 2012 Deacon Davis Diversity Award. Program director Michael Day received the national 2011 Technology Innovator Award from the CCCC (Conference on College Composition and Communication).
To keep up with our achievements and to learn more about our students, friend "NIU English Department" on Facebook!
If you have questions about the undergraduate major or minor, any of our seven M.A. concentrations, or our Ph.D program, we invite you to contact us.
Amy Levin, English Department Chair