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.

Faculty News

Sarah Beth Hopton has published "One word of heart is worth three of talent: Professional communication strategies in a Vietnamese Nonprofit Organization" in Technical Communication Quarterly!

Sarah Beth and her writing partner, Rebecca Walton have published "One word of heart is worth three of talent: Professional communication strateg...

Susan Staub awarded the prestigious Board of Governors Appalachian State University Teaching Excellence Award!

Susan was awarded the prestigious Board of Governors Appalachian State University Teaching Excellence Award. This award is designed to honor outs...

Ben Morris's flash fiction piece "Taking the Bait" out today in Cleaver Magazine.

Ben Morris's flash fiction piece "Taking the Bait" is out today in Cleaver Magazine. Here is the link:https://www.cleavermagazine.com/taking-the-...

Alumni & Student News

Article on Caleb Johnson, new Visiting Assistant Professor, and his novel _Treebourne_

Appalachian Today has a wonderful article about Caleb and his novel, Treebourne. Check it out!https://today.appstate.edu/2018/08/16/treeborne...

Joseph Bathanti article on the NC Arts Council website!

Joseph Bathanti has a wonderful piece on the NC Arts Council website, 50 for 50: Artists Celebrate North Carolina: "In honor of our annivers...

ACIS 2018 Conference thumb1

Our students presented papers at the 2018 American Conference on Irish Studies!

News from Dr. Jessica Martell:The theme of the 2018 American Conference on Irish Studies was “Environments of Irish Studies” at University College...

General News

Article on Caleb Johnson, new Visiting Assistant Professor, and his novel _Treebourne_

Appalachian Today has a wonderful article about Caleb and his novel, Treebourne. Check it out!https://today.appstate.edu/2018/08/16/treeborne...

Dr. Sarah-Beth Hopton's co-written article, “What’s a Farm: The languages of space and place” has been published in Field Rhetoric: Ethnography, Ecology, and Engagement in the Places of Persuasion out of U Alabama Press.

Sarah-Beth Hopton's co-written article, “What’s a Farm: The languages of space and place” has been published in  Field Rhetoric: ...

Zack Vernon interview with Allan Gurganus in North Carolina Literary Review

North Carolina Literary Review contains an interview Dr. Zack Vernon did with writer Allan Gurganus. In the interview, Gurganus and Zack discuss ...

Joseph Bathanti article on the NC Arts Council website!

Joseph Bathanti has a wonderful piece on the NC Arts Council website, 50 for 50: Artists Celebrate North Carolina: "In honor of our annivers...

Sarah Beth Hopton's article "'All Vietnamese Men Are Brothers': Rhetorical Strategies and Community Engagement Practices Used to Support Victims of Agent Orange," published in August issue of Technical Communication

Dr. Sarah Beth Hopton's article, "'All Vietnamese Men Are Brothers': Rhetorical Strategies and Community Engagement Practices Used to Support Vic...

Our students presented papers at the 2018 American Conference on Irish Studies!

News from Dr. Jessica Martell:The theme of the 2018 American Conference on Irish Studies was “Environments of Irish Studies” at University College...