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Welcome to the Department of English

Because we teach the arts of rhetoric, English faculty have a special obligation to defend and promote the open exchange of ideas, and to expose and resist deliberate misrepresentations of the past. We honor the right to free speech and will oppose the intrusion of hate speech and hateful symbols of oppression on our campus. Since we recognize that the College of Charleston, like the rest of the country, has yet to shed the vestiges of our racist history, we stand committed to working toward a fully diverse and inclusive educational environment. Read More.

 Registration for Spring 2019 Courses 

Advising season for Spring 2019 registration has begun! We kicked it off with our English Major Mash Up on October 2nd. Next up: meet with your advisor to discuss your plans for next semester and beyond. Our Spring offerings include a number of exciting special topics courses (some of those cross-listed with Women’s & Gender Studies, African American Studies, and Jewish Studies), alongside returning favorites. We are offering a new concentration within the major: Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication. Three new courses affiliated with that concentration are available this Spring. You can find a chart that lists courses by schedule block here, a description of all of our courses here, and flyers promoting individual courses here. For detailed information on the advising process, see a copy of the email Dr. Seaman sent to all majors here (where you’ll find links to Advising Worksheets and more).

Faculty Spotlight: Professor Joe Kelly 

English professor Joe Kelly didn’t start out writing a book about the history of Jamestown, Virginia. His project started out as an investigation of stories about shipwrecked castaways marooned on desert islands.

But the wreck of the sailing vessel Sea Venture in the Bermuda islands as it was heading for Jamestown in 1609 got Kelly thinking about the metaphorical marooning of the original settlers that landed on the shores of the James River in 1607. Culturally, socially and economically cut-off from life as they knew it in England a full 13 years before the pilgrims sailed across the Atlantic in the Mayflower to found Plymouth Rock, Kelly, in his new book Marooned: Jamestown, Shipwreck and a New History of America’s Origin, takes a closer look at one of America’s earliest settlements and how the settlers of Jamestown survived a life marooned in the Virginia wilderness. It was the grit and determination of those settlers at Jamestown that Kelly argues laid the groundwork for the American values we hold dear today.

The College Today caught up with Kelly ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday – which is based around America’s founding myth of the Pilgrims fleeing religious persecution to settle Plymouth Rock – to talk about why the Jamestown settlement should be elevated to the pantheon of American folklore.

 

Alumni Spotlight: Evan Berke

Everyone loves a good story: not just the kind you study in fiction courses, like Evan Berke did, but the ones created and shared everyday between people. The kind that he says “show the genuine humor, goodness, evil, crazy, and beauty in people.” And it’s the English Department at the College of Charleston that honed his skill and peaked his interest in the act of storytelling—both on and off the page, in Charleston and beyond.

As a New York based Associate Field Producer, much of that storytelling takes place on screen: whether for TMZ on TV, TMZ Live, TMZ Sports, or TMZ.com, Berke’s job “is to have thoughtful and engaging conversations with actors, athletes, musicians, politicians and other public figures about the latest news.” These conversations include interviews with people like Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Jon Stewart, Mark Cuban, Al Sharpton, Allen Iverson, and Bryan Cranston. “It is my job,” Berke says, “to persuade an A-Lister to talk to me.”

Read the rest of Evan's feature article in Folio where you'll find more feature stories about alumni in our ongoing "Sequel" series.


Student Spotlight: McKayla Conahan

As the former Editor-in-Chief at College of Charleston’s National Literary and Arts Journal Miscellany, and current Design Assistant for Cistern Yard News, Senior McKayla Conahan has always been interested in and in love with Creative Writing–only it hasn’t always been so sophisticated. “I loved reading Jan Brett books with my mom when I was six years old,” she says. It’s how she became fascinated with the marriage of writing and pictures, and how her mother came to tell her if you want more books, you’ll have to make them.

Read the rest of McKayla's feature article in Folio where you'll find more feature stories about our students in our ongoing "Find Your Voice" feature series.






Why English?

Porters Lodge Gate

If you are a student reading this page, you probably already know why you want to study English. You already feel the pull of the word and the image. You already know the pleasure afforded by language shaped into stories, poems, memoirs, and essays.  Read More






Folio: The Department Blog

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The Department of English's department blog, Folio, features stories on alumni, current students, new professors, department events, and faculty accomplishments. If you would have an accomplishment, event, or information that you would like the department to share through Folio, tell us about it.


Department News

A Christmas Carol-Why is it important literature?
Posted on 4 December 2018 | 6:00 am
What is the true meaning of Christmas, or any other holiday around this beautiful time of year? It has been a question since humanity first began writing. I recently asked myself the same question and my favorite story popped into...
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Sequel: Whit Slagsvol
Posted on 2 November 2018 | 11:15 am
Welcome to Sequel, a series spotlighting our talented alumni and the strides they’ve made in their field post-graduation. Does anyone really ever know what they want to do after college? Not really. Life happens mysteriously and by chance, even if...
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College Events

Nov 12, 2018 9:00 am
The Year of Women Exhibit celebrates the women who attended the College of Charleston between 1918 and 1968.
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Nov 12, 2018 11:00 am
Southbound: Photographs of and about the New South is a photography exhibition co-curated by Mark Sloan, director and chief curator of the Halsey Institute, and Mark Long, professor of political...
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Nov 12, 2018 2:00 pm
Come out and listen as College of Charleston students pitch innovative ideas for United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal no. 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Free...
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