Welcome to the English Department at Appalachian State University!

In the English Department at Appalachian State, our work begins with incisive analysis of British, American, and World literature, but we also offer a broad array of courses that focus on film, creative writing, English education, professional writing, rhetoric and composition, critical theory, folklore, and other aspects of English studies. Our faculty publish scholarly books and articles on subjects ranging from Renaissance drama to contemporary cinema and edit academic journals. Our strongest commitment, however, is to outstanding work in the classroom, based on enthusiastic interaction with students and dynamic engagement with cultural history.

Our talented, highly motivated English majors and master's degree candidates work hard to sharpen their ability to think critically about works of literature and to understand how those works influenced and were influenced by the cultural contexts in which they were produced. They also develop interpretive skills that will help them to thrive in any career they choose after graduation. More specifically, our students learn to analyze complicated texts, to speak about them with confidence, and to write detailed, persuasive essays that support their conclusions about the works they have studied with carefully chosen, logically arranged evidence. These skills are, of course, necessary for students who aspire to teach or to earn graduate degrees in English, but they are equally valuable for students who choose to pursue careers in business, medicine, entertainment, publishing, broadcasting, advertising, journalism, government, and the law.

Our Statement on Diversity

Education is transformative, and open intellectual inquiry is the foundation of a university education and a democratic society. In the spirit of shared humanity and concern for our community and world, the Department of English faculty celebrate diversity as central to our mission and affirm our solidarity with those individuals and groups most at risk. In line with our departmental goals, we disavow all racism, xenophobia, homophobia, sexism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, classism, ableism, and hate speech or actions that attempt to silence, threaten, and degrade others.

As educators, we affirm that language and texts, films and stories help us to understand the experiences of others whose lives are different from ours. We value critical reasoning, evidence-based arguments, self-reflection, and the imagination. Building on these capacities, we hope to inspire empathy, social and environmental justice, and an ethical framework for our actions. We advocate for a diverse campus, community, and nation inclusive of racial minorities, women, immigrants, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of all religious faiths.

Latest News

Creative nonfiction author Elizabeth Rush. Rush’s book “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore” has been chosen as the 2020–21 Common Reading Program selection for incoming students at Appalachian State University. Photo by Stephanie Alvarez Ewens

App State’s Common Reading Program announces ‘Rising’ as 2020–21 book selection

The Common Reading Program at Appalachian State University announces its 2020–21 book selection: “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore...

Novelist Kayla Rae Whitaker. Photo by Mark-Bennington

Hughlene Bostian Frank Visiting Writers Series presents Novelist Kayla Rae Whitaker

Thursday, February 27, 2020Craft Talk: on Publishing:  Five Things You Need to Know Before You Publish3:30-4:45 pm  Attic Window Room 137C, ...

Dr. Groover Publishes New Book

Dr. Kristina Groover has a new book out! It is an edited collection titled Religion, Secularism, and the Spiritual Paths of Virginia Woolf published b...

Sarah Beth Hopton

Sarah Beth Hopton Presents to High Country Writers

Sarah Beth Hopton has been invited to give a talk titled “Raising the Dead: Research strategies for historical creative nonfiction.” Here's the pr...

Photo of Kaila Hill

New Administrative Support Associate: Kaila Hill

I am happy to announce that we have hired Kaila Hill to be our Administrative Support Associate, starting on December 16. Kaila is a graduate of the E...

Peaches Hash and the Fulbright TEA Program

Peaches Hash and the Fulbright TEA ProgramFor almost two months, the Fulbright TEA (Teachers Excellence and Achievement Program) brought dozens of tea...

Left to right: Bethany Davila, Stephanie Kirschbaum, and Bethany Mannon

The 2019 Rhetoric and Composition Institute

Every year, the English Department hosts the Rhetoric and Composition Institute (RCI). This year’s RCI, held on October 24th and 25th, was on the th...

Photo of Frank Hurley

Meet Dr. Frank Hurley

Dr. Frank Hurley, one of our visiting professors, specializes in business writing and communication and brings over fifteen years of professional expe...

Book Cover: The Many Lives of the Evil Dead

Contributing to The Many Lives of the Evil Dead

Drs. Leon Lewis and Alexander Pitofsky recently contributed to a book titled The Many Lives of the Evil Dead: Essays on the Cult Film Franchise (McFar...

Our Faculty Shine at the CAS Awards

Drs. Jill Ehnenn, Craig Fischer, and our nominated faculty bring recognition to our English Department at the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) Facul...