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.

Read our faculty and staff's Statement of Solidarity and Commitment to Antiracism here



Sophomore English major Adam Dorsheimer, recipient of the Lancelot Minor Harris Scholarship, explains what this financial support makes possible. 

Check out our student opportunites page to learn more on how you can enhance your college experience as an English major!

Why English?

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. You already experience the thrill of entering other worlds, adopting other perspectives, and grappling with big questions. You already experience the satisfaction of getting a sentence just right, expressing your idea, articulating your vision.

What you might not yet know is that English represents a pragmatic course of study as well as a fulfilling one. After all, there are some widespread misconceptions about how English majors fare on the job market. When you tell friends that you want to study English, some of them might have asked, “what are you going to do with that – teach?”...[Read more...]


ANNOUNCING A New Departmental History Podcast

Episode 1: Prof. Eugene Hunt 


As part of Black History Month, the Department of English is pleased to announce the first entry in a newly-launched multimedia series focused on neglected departmental history. The podcast, which English major Tony Jackson (Lit & Film concentration) produced, shares the story of Prof. Eugene Hunt, the first Black professor in the English department. Prof. Hunt (1916-1994), who joined the college in 1972, was the second Black faculty member at the College and the second tenured Black professor at CofC. As Jackson's podcast explains, Prof. Hunt began his career teaching for many years at Burke High School (1941-72), and he retired from the College in 1992. The 24-minute podcast shares material from interviews Tony conducted with Dr. Larry Carlson (CofC English professor 1979-2009), Dr. Caroline Hunt (CofC English professor 1976- 2008, current Emerita Adjunct Instructor), and Dr. Millicent Brown (who played a direct role in desegregating SC state schools, in part through “Millicent Brown, et al v. School District 20” [Charleston, SC, 1963]). Please take a listen! Thanks go to Prof. Valerie Frazier and Prof. Joe Kelly—and especially to Tony Jackson. The department honors Prof. Eugene Hunt's ground-breaking service to the College (including his role in the development of the African American Studies Program) and to the Department of English.


Study Abroad

Find out about study abroad opportunites within the English Department and beyond. 



Have you heard about the new concentration Literature and Film?

The concentration inLiterature and Film provides a rigorous education in writing and analysis through the study of a wide variety of literary and cultural texts, from medieval manuscripts to modern films. Strong writing and incisive thinking are increasingly specialized skills that are in demand in a wide variety of professional fields. Graduates of this program have gone on to careers in education, academia, journalism, marketing, publishing, copywriting, law, and medicine.

The Film Club has won the Student Organization of the Year award.







Dan Colella—one of our graduating seniors—received the Student Organization President of the Year award, and also the Cistern award for his work in student life.












English Department “In the news”


CofC Celebrates Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ and Q&A with Prof. Susan Farrell in The College Today

Former College of Charleston studio arts major Lance Miccio put brush to canvas to create 50 oil paintings depicting scenes from the novel for his exhibit, Slaughterhouse Fifty, at the Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library in Indianapolis, Indiana. The exhibition originally debuted in 2019 in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the publication of Slaughterhouse-Five in 1969. And now – thanks in large part to English Professor Susan Farrell – 23 of those paintings are on display in the Addlestone Library rotunda through March 15, 2021.

“As a Vonnegut scholar who is currently writing a book about the history and writing of Slaughterhouse-Five, I was delighted to help bring the exhibit to CofC,” says Farrell, who not only wrote the Critical Companion to Kurt Vonnegut: A Literary Reference to his Life and Work (New York: Facts on File Press, 2008), but also founded the International Kurt Vonnegut Society. “I love the variety of Mr. Miccio’s paintings, their colorful and outgoing nature, and of course, the deep connection to Slaughterhouse-Five.”

Professor Valerie Frazier has been appointed the director of the 1967 Legacy Program, a multi-year initiative that aims to improve the recruitment, retention, graduation and workplace success of African American students through scholarships, enhanced and extended education support, and professional preparation, as well as research experiences around African Americans’ contribution to the College. 

See more in The College Today!


screen-shot-2020-09-16-at-2.31.24-pm.pngProfessor Bret Lott's 1991 novel Jewel was featured February 10th in New York Times book section "50 States of LoveFrom sea to shining sea, here’s a tour of unforgettable fiction that explores matters of the heart."









The College Today did a write up about our newest minor and concentration WRP (Writing, Rhetoric, and Publication).


Professor Anthony Varallo featured in Charleston City Paper!










Professor Gary Jackson on the Academy of American Poets, “Poem-a-Day"!





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Faculty Spotlights: Bill Russell & Scott Peeples

Congratulations to Prof. Bill Russell on the publication of his book, Inventing the Critic in Renaissance England, last Friday! Published by University of Delaware Press, it "reveals that the critics of the English

Renaissance did not passively absorb their practice from Continental and classical sources but actively invented it in response to a confluence of social and intellectual factors" (book jacket). Bill will discuss his book at January's Teacher-Scholar Tuesday.





Prof. Scott Peeples' new book is out, The Man of the Crowd: Edgar Allan Poe and the City!" Read about how four American cities shaped Poe's life and writings.

"Scott Peeples has plumbed the deep psychic landscape of Poe with passion and skill, bringing us back to his writings again and again with fresh insights. The Man of the Crowd is beautifully written and remarkably adroit. A major accomplishment."—Jay Parini, author of Robert Frost and Empire of Self: A Life of Gore Vidal


 Alumni Spotlight: Derrick Williams

After graduating, pursuing a law career, and starting a family, Derrick Williams received a call from fellow alumni in 2013 and was offered a position on the Alumni Association Board. He reentered the College of Charleston community and has been an active member ever since, even joining the Advisory Board to the Honors College and becoming a charter member of the English department’s new Alumni Advisory Board. “Seeing all the progress the College has made, especially infrastructurally and in the different departments and programs, is amazing,” says Williams. His dedication to CofC and work ethic led to his newest role as the President of the Alumni Association. 

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

Student Spotlight: Patrick Wohlscheid

Meet Patrick! He is a double major in English and Philosophy, with LFCS concentration. Patrick is also the President of the CofC Philosophical Society, Managing Editor of Miscellany, and involved with the English Student Advisory Group and undergraduate research. His favorite English class at the College is ENGL 202 with Dr. Carens!

Meet more of our majors on our Instagram!


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

Posted on 11 February 2021 | 5:06 pm
On Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021, the Biden Administration appointed CofC alumna Dr. Michelle Asha Cooper to the position of deputy assistant secretary for postsecondary education. She will serve as acting assistant secretary, according to reports by Inside Higher Ed and...
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Sequel: Derrick Williams
Posted on 18 November 2020 | 1:20 pm
  Welcome to Sequel, a series spotlighting our talented alumni and the strides they’ve made in their field post-graduation. Alumnus Derrick Williams can attest to the fact that our lives rarely go according to plan, but that can lead us...
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Kathleen Béres Rogers: Creating Romantic Obsession: Scorpions in the Mind
Posted on 12 November 2019 | 5:00 am
Dr. Kathleen Béres Rogers published her first book this March titled Creating Romantic Obsession: Scorpions in the Mind. The text explores obsession as a mental disease and when it came to be recognized as a disease in the Romantic Era....
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More News


February 25th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Chef Kevin Mitchell is one of those rare culinary artists whose professional interests far exceed the confines of the kitchen. Disciplined and driven, Chef Mitchell earned two degrees from the Cu [...]
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February 26th from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm
Join the College of Charleston’s Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture for We Celebrate Year Round Virtual Black History Program, an interactive, thought-provoking and inspi [...]
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March 2nd from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Join the Halsey Institute for a reading celebrating the release of <br>, a selection of poetry named after the HTML element that produces line breaks. <br> is organized by s [...]
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March 4th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Explore the exhibition, get insider knowledge, meet other Halsey Institute lovers! Join the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art staff and your fellow members for a fun and exclusive evening to [...]
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March 8th from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm
Now in its 36th year, the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art and the Studio Art Department are proud to present Young Contemporaries 2021. The annual exhibition is a celebration of talented art [...]
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March 10th from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Join the Halsey Institute staff and the studio art department for a lecture by artist, arts administrator and juror for Young Contemporaries 2021 Bob Snead '02. This event will tak [...]
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March 11th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Join us on Zoom for the Hispanic Studies Career Seminar, "Language and the Law: How Cultural Fluency and Spanish Proficiency Have Guided My Career Choices," with Hallie Ritzu '08, a member of the Hisp [...]
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March 11th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Join Women's and Gender Studies and the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture for a special virtual lecture with Bettina Love, associate professor of educational theory and pr [...]
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March 12th from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Practice your Spanish while having fun at Rivers Green! You do not have to be a Spanish major or minor to participate – it is for all students, faculty and staff members who would like to p [...]
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March 18th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Talk to program staff and current students to get all your questions answered about the application process, student research, opportunities in Charleston, and more! Register here:  https://d [...]
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March 26th from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm
Practice your Spanish while having fun at Rivers Green! You do not have to be a Spanish major or minor to participate – it is for all students, faculty and staff members who would like to p [...]
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March 26th from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Join the Halsey Institute staff and the Studio Art Department as we celebrate the opening of Young Contemporaries 2021 and the Salon des Refusés and announce this year’s award w [...]
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