KU's English Department is at the core of the humanities, highlighting the "human" through our individual, one-on-one interactions with our students, our emphasis on community and global engagement, and our abiding interest in our shared humanity through the stories of others. We seek to challenge the mind and to engage the imagination of our students, to teach them to ask questions and to seek for answers. We encourage them to grapple with the complexity of a culturally and commercially interconnected world and the global networks and processes of cultural exchange. We believe that words and ideas will shape the world. We teach our students life-long skills, so that they learn to write clearly, creatively, and effectively—discovering themselves even as they lay a solid foundation for professional success. We offer three tracks in the undergraduate English major: 1) literary studies, 2) language, rhetoric, and writing, and 3) creative writing.
KU's English Department has several core strengths that cross tracks and periods: Global and Cross-Cultural Approaches; Literature, Rhetoric, and Social Action; Diversity Studies; Language, Literature and Science; and Popular Expressive Forms. See our faculty in specific fields and areas of specialty.
Our department is renowned for its tradition of excellence in teaching. In the last ten years, faculty members in the department of English have won ten Kemper Fellowships for Excellence in Teaching, the most prominent teaching award at the University of Kansas. In addition, we have won two Chancellors Club Teaching Professorships, a Career Achievement Teaching Award, and a wide variety of other university teaching and advising awards. In 2003, our department received the Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE) award for Department Excellence in Teaching at the University of Kansas. In addition, in 2010 we were awarded a CTE Teaching Development Award.
At the KU English Department, students work closely with nationally-renowned writers and researchers (see our books here). Our faculty have won national awards that recognize excellence in research, including (since 2009 alone) four NEH grants, a Smithsonian Institution fellowship, an American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant, and a Newberry Library fellowship, among others. In the past five years, English Department faculty members have also received major research funding from the University of Kansas, including four Hall Center for the Humanities Research fellowships and four Keeler Intra-University Fellowships for interdisciplinary work. Undergraduate students can work one-on-one with faculty mentors in the Honors Program, McNair Scholars Program, and Dean's Scholars Program, as well as through independent Directed Studies. Advanced graduate students have the opportunity to work collaboratively with faculty members as research assistants.
Learn more about our Undergraduate and Graduate Programs.