University of Minnesota
Department of English
612-625-3363


Department of English

Welcome to the Department of English

The scholarship and other creative work and teaching of English faculty cover a broad range that includes literature, language, creative writing, literacy and rhetorical studies, linguistics and cultural inquiry, as well as the theories and documents that inform and critique these disciplines. Based on the study and practice of writing and speech, the explorations of histories and cultures, and the examination of languages, literatures, and aesthetics, our scope is international and our approach is interdisciplinary.

What can you do with a degree in English? Let our students and alums show you. Discover the world with English at Minnesota.

News & Announcements

  • 5 X Friday: Assistant Professor Kim Todd

    Kim_ToddHer work has been called "spellbinding" (by The New Yorker) and "beautifully written" (by Outside magazine). A big welcome to Kim Todd, a new creative nonfiction addition to the Creative Writing Program faculty roster. Todd has written one book about that vagabond Sparrow, another about a female naturalist who, in 1699, voyaged from Amsterdam to South America to study insect metamorphosis (Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis), and her self-explanatory first, Tinkering with Eden: A Natural History of Exotics in America. It's no surprise she holds masters in both environmental studies and creative writing (from the University of Montana). What led her there? Read on.

    09/16/14
  • 5 X Friday: Professor Julie Schumacher

    JulieSchumacherIntent on figuring out how to construct solid plots, Professor Julie Schumacher wrote her first book for younger readers in 2004, a decade before young adult fiction became so popular it spawned an abstinence movement. Schumacher's third such effort, The Book of One Hundred Truths (2006), won a Minnesota Book Award for Young Adult Fiction. This summer she shows off her plot chops with the adult comic novel Dear Committee Members, a book consisting only of fictional letters of recommendation--from a single imagined Creative Writing professor--that nevertheless contains classic (and compelling) exposition, conflict, climax, and denouement. Indeed, as an admiring Slate review points out, what finally happens in the tale "turn[s] the book's theme upside down," revealing the moral weight beneath the undeniably funny characterizations. For Schumacher's favorite novel-in-letters and other revelations, read on.

    08/20/14
  • 5 X Friday: MFA Alum Josh Ostergaard

    Josh OstergaardWhen the New York Times Book Review's thoughtful piece on his book debut described him as "the young author," 37-year-old alumnus Josh Ostergaard (MFA 2011) wasn't about to complain. Just the fact that the august Manhattan newspaper would cover his baseball essay, The Devil's Snake Curve, was thrilling. Especially given that it's a book in which Ostergaard denounces the wealthy, self-confident, and mighty New York Yankees to further, as the reviewer recognized, a larger critique of American hegemony across the globe. The "young" descriptor probably was used to distinguish him from previous baseball writers such as George Will, Ostergaard points out: "Even though I love the game, I'm less reverent." Read on.

    08/15/14

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