Department of English

Major in EnglishGraduate Programs in EnglishY1WritesTowers

Welcome to the English Department at NIU!  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. Our study abroad programs in Dublin and Oxford win rave reviews from participants, while internships present opportunities to gain professional experience. 


Upcoming Events:

  • December 2: Freshman Feeze Run for Charity,Organized by the First-Year Composition Peer Advocates in the spirit of The Polar Plunge, NIU brings you The Freshman Freeze! This run for charity will benefit Feed'Em Soup. Freshmen run for no charge; all other students and faculty donate $1.00 to run. Tickets can be purchased at the DuSable Dugout tables on December 2. You may also make a donation through CrowdRise.

  • UNIVERSITY HONORS COLLECTING FOR BOOK DRIVE

The University Honors Program is collecting books to donate to Open Books, which operates across Chicagoland. It delivers thousands of books to schools and nonprofits across the area. Open Books promotes literacy through its reading and writing programs such as its one-on-one reading practice sessions with children and also intensive novel-writing for older age groups. It also gives out book grants to support writers and children books.

If you have books to donate, a box is outside Reavis Hall 214 until after Thanksgiving. 

  • SPRING 2015 COURSES

Undergraduate and graduate students should be informed that they can still enroll in visiting professor Dr. Okaka Dokotum's Engl 400.0002/607.0003 Aspects of African Film undergraduate-graduate combined course. There are also open slots in Dr. Ibis Gómez-Vega's Engl 381.D Asian American Literature undergraduate course.

Department News:

  • Lara Crowley’s essay, "Samuel Tuke's John Donne," will appear in the next volume of New Ways of Looking at Old Texts: Papers of the Renaissance English Text Society, a collection of essays published every five years by Medieval and Renaissance Texts and Studies.

  • Graduate student Jesse Conrad is the first recipient of the scholarship in Jim Mellard's name. He will hold an internship with the journal Style this fall.

  • With sorrow, we announce that former professor James (Jim) Mellard passed away July 27, 2014. More . . .

  • Betty Birner proves that linguistics IS fun: http://grammarist.com/interviews/22431/

  • The First-Year Writing Program and its innovative use of peer advocates were featured in NIU Today:
    http://www.niutoday.info/2014/04/04/student-career-success-first-year-composition-auditions-peer-advocates/.

  • PhD candidate Elyse Lamszus will begin her position as Assistant Professor of English at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, IL, in fall 2014.

  • PhD candidate Alison Lukowski will begin her position at Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and Composition at Christian Brothers University in Memphis, TN, in fall 2014.

  • Natalie Santiago Bidne, a candidate for the MA in Rhetoric and Writing, has taken a position with Officite, a Downer's Grove digital production and marketing firm that serves the medical industry.

  • MA graduate Ryan Eichberger will begin the PhD program in Rhetoric and Scientific and Technical Communication at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis in fall 2014.

  • Jay Marinan has published an article in the on-line journal PsyArt on autism and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo:
    http://www.psyartjournal.com/article/show/marinan-more_than_tattoos_rhetorical_discourse_a

  • NIU graduate English program listed among top ten in the nation for career support!
    http://www.graduateprograms.com/top-english-for-career-support/

  • BAKER AND MACDONALD ELECTED TO UNIVERSITY COUNCIL
    Congratulations to Bill Baker and Doris Macdonald, who will be
    representing the department on University Council beginning August
    2014.

  • Scary News about an Alumnus
    Neil Tobin graduated from NIU with a BA in English with Honors. He is
    a copy editor by day and performs about the supernatural at night. Read
    his encouraging words about the liberal arts and an English degree:
    http://www.niutoday.info/2014/02/18/niu-alum-conjures-up-spirits-laughs/

  • Congratulations to Scott Balcerzak
    Scott’s article, "The Cinephilic Pleasures of DVD Commentary:
    Watching The Passenger (1975) with Jack Nicholson," appears in the
    latest issue of the Journal of Film and Video, 66.1 (Spring 2014).
    21-38.

  • Unity in Diversity Essay Contest Winners
    Congratulations to the 2013 Unity in Diversity winning essayists and their superb teachers!

  • Newman Featured as Top Chicago Poet
    Amy Newman was featured by CBS as one of the Chicago area’s top poets:
    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/top-lists/best-local-poets-in-chicago/.

  • Jeffrey Einboden is signing a contract with Oxford University Press for
    a monograph titled "The Islamic Lineage of Literary America." His book
    will uncover Islam's formative impact on U.S. literary origins, tracing
    domestic genealogies of Arabic and Persian influence, extending from the
    Revolution to Reconstruction. The monograph is likely to appear in
    2015.

  • Betty Birner in the Spotlight
    Betty Birner is this month’s linguist in the spotlight at the Linguistic Society of America:
    http://www.linguisticsociety.org/content/lsa-member-spotlight.

  • NIU Today featured an article on Ildiko Carrington’s research about Nobel Prize winner alice Munro:
    http://www.niutoday.info/2013/10/24/a-discerning-eye-for-talent/ 

  • Gulsat Aygen  published Chomsky on Anarchism/Anarsizm Üzerine Chomsky. Trans. Ed. Gulsat Aygen. Istanbul: Agora Publications, 2013.

  • William Baker published A Harold Pinter Pinter Chronology. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013,: xx+ [345]pp.

  • Scott Balcerzak published Buffoon Men: Classic Hollywood Comedians and Queered Masculinity. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2013.