Through the study of literature one analyzes the world, the human condition, and perhaps most profoundly, one's own psyche. By examining works from all genres and developing excellent written communication skills, students learn to contemplate culture, to think independently, to analyze logically, and to appreciate the beauty in language and literature. In a world where technical abilities quickly become obsolete, the study of literature teaches the expressive and analytical skills necessary for professional success and sound philosophical judgments.
Gonzaga University's rigorous English curriculum stimulates personal and intellectual growth. Founded on solid introductory writing and literature courses and covering a variety of genres, the English major (36 credits) requires students to take classes in seven periods of English and American literature:
• British Lit: 1500-1800
• British Lit: 1800-1900
• British or American Lit:1900 to the present
• Early American
• General American
Students may choose from numerous electives to complete their program. Examples include: Studies in the Novel, Studies in Woman Writers, Creative Writing, Post Colonial Literature, and Modern Theories of Literature and Criticism.
In the senior year, English majors take the B. A. Comprehensive Exam which consists of three parts: Short Answer, Essay, and Explication. Covering a list of about 60 works with which students are expected to have thorough and comprehensive familiarity, the exam tests students' interpretive and writing skills learned in their English course work.
Students with diverse interests may double-major or fulfill minors in other fields. English majors often obtain teacher certification from the School of Education, complete a Pre-Law or Pre-Medicine track, or add an additional major such as history, journalism, or theatre arts. Students majoring in any field may minor in English (21 credits) to enhance their language skills.
Outside of the classroom, the department supports student contributions to Reflection, the campus literary magazine, and The Bulletin, GU's weekly newspaper. Winners of the Franz and Ann Schneider Essay Contest for the best freshman essays are awarded cash prizes and gift certificates, and selected student essays are chosen for publication in the Department collection. Through the William T. Costello Poetry Contest, the top three student poets receive cash prizes.
Gonzaga's English faculty members recommend that high school students planning to pursue an English major take regular and advanced high school courses with an emphasis on developing strong writing, reading, and analytical skills. The Department does not believe that taking the first-year college composition course in a high school setting is in the best interest of students.
• One third to one half of graduating seniors plan to do graduate work.
• Gonzaga has an outstanding reputation for its undergraduate preparation of Ph.D.'s in English and related fields. Department graduates have entered prestigious graduate programs and now hold academic positions in various universities across the country.
• Two Gonzaga alumni, Dr. Michael Herzog and Dr. Michael Pringle, continue to impart their knowledge and challenge their students as faculty of the Gonzaga English Department.
Recent Gonzaga English Graduates Have Attended the Following Schools:
• Georgetown University
• Lewis and Clark College
• Seattle University
• Temple University
• University of Hawaii
• University of Miami
• University of San Diego
• University of Washington
English Graduate Schools
• Purdue University
• University of Chicago
• University of Denver
• University of Glasgow
• University of Massachusetts
• University of North Carolina
• University of Virginia
• University of Washington
• University of Wisconsin
• Washington State University
Master's (Fine Arts)
• Eastern Washington University
• Loyola Marymount University
• Naropa Institute
• University of Idaho
• University of Montana
Recent Gonzaga English Graduates Work in the Following Fields:
• Armed Forces
• College Admissions
• Copy Editing
• Jesuit Volunteer Corps
• Public Relations
• Publication Design
• Teach for America
• Teaching ESL Abroad
• Theatrical Design
• Video Production
Interested students may apply to work in the Gonzaga University Writing Lab, which is directed by an English faculty member. Some institutional and Federal Work-Study funding is available for tutors in the lab. In recent years, a grant has also been secured to hire junior and senior English majors as tutors. Additionally, students may volunteer or receive credit for working in the Writing Lab.
Over the past twenty years, English faculty members have earned Fulbright Awards, grants from agencies such as the National Endowment for the Humanities, and several teaching and scholarship awards.
The faculty consistently publish poetry, fiction, and literary criticism; write for local publications; and review films and plays. Focusing primarily on teaching, however, the faculty place a high priority on assisting students with classroom concerns and long-range career plans. All faculty members have posted office hours when students can set appointments or drop by with their questions or concerns.
A Sample of Recently Published Works by Gonzaga English Professors:
Beth Cooley. Shelter. New York: Delacorte Press, 2006.
Heather Easterling. Parsing the City: Jonson, Middleton, Dekker, and the City Comedy's London as Language. New York. Routledge, 2007.
Patsy Fowler. Launching Fanny Hill: Essays on the Novel and Its Influences. Ed. Patsy S. Fowler and Alan Jackson, NY: AMS Press, 2003.
Tod Marshall. Dare Say. University of Georgia Press, 2002.
Faculty Contacts and Specialties:
Daniel Butterworth, Ph. D., University of North Carolina; Creative writing and Contemporary literature. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Elizabeth Cooley, Ph. D., University of North Carolina; 20th century British and American literature. (email@example.com)
Brian Cooney, Ph.D., University of South Carolina; 19th century British literature.
Teresa Derrickson, Ph. D., Indiana University of Pennsylvania; Post-colonial literature and contemporary literary criticism. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Heather Easterling, Ph.D., University of Washington; Shakespeare and Renaissance literature. (email@example.com)
Patsy Fowler, Ph. D., Auburn University; Restoration and 18th century British literature. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Michael Herzog, Ph. D., University of Washington; Old and Middle English language and literature. (email@example.com)
Tod Marshall, Ph.D., University of Kansas; Creative writing and Poetics. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Jeffrey Miller, Ph.D., University of Cincinnati; 19th century American literature.
Michael Pringle, Ph.D., Washington State University; Early American literature. (email@example.com)
Ingrid Ranum, Ph.D., Washington State University; 19th century British literature. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Patricia Terry, Ph. D., University of North Carolina; 20th century British and American literature; rhetoric. (email@example.com)
James D. Thayer, Ph. D., University of Oregon; Medieval literature. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Linda Tredennick, Ph. D., University of Oregon; Renaissance literature. (email@example.com)
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Daniel Butterworth
Chair, English Department
Spokane, WA 99258
(800) 986-9585, ext. 6678