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...]


Spring 2021 registration 

Advising season for Spring 2021 registration has begun! It’s time to get your plans in place, and meet with your advisor!

 Our Spring offerings include a number of exciting special topics courses, alongside returning favorites.

 You’ll find 300-level classes on: 

  • Poetry II
  • Fiction Writing II
  • Extra/Ordinary: Writing Surreal and Speculative Fiction
  • The Environmental Imagination: Writing Nature
  • Writing Across Context
  • Technical Writing
  • Milton
  • Advanced Composition
  • Making End-User Documentation
  • The Female Gothic     
  • Studies in American Film
  • Black Women Writers
  • Young Adult Literature
  • Mark Twain

We also offer ENGL 290: Nation of Immigrants: American Literature & Identity (taught by Prof. Duvall), along with our regular 200-level classes in Poetry Writing; Fiction Writing; Intro to Writing Studies; Cinema History and Criticism; and the Core Curriculum (201, 202, 207, 299).

The Spring 2021 English department list of courses, including detailed descriptionsis now available, along with a listing of classes and the requirements they fulfill. They are also listed according to their instructional mode (on campus face-to-face hybrid; online synchronous; online asynchronous [a.k.a."Online Exclusively"]). 

To determine your registration entry time, you can check this schedule. You will need to know your current number of credits, which you can find in DegreeWorks. Registration begins for seniors on November 5.


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”

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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  Stay up-to-date with all of our department news and events
   by following us on FacebookTwitter, & Instagram!


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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

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


January 19th 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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January 19th from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm
The Department of Political Science invites you to a virtual panel discussion Gibbs Knotts, Karyn Amira, Christopher Day, Jordan Ragusa and Claire Wofford, moderated by Hollis France. Register and jo [...]
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January 19th from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Join CofC, MUSC, Trident Technical College, The Citadel and Charleston Southern University as we celebrate 31 years of partnership during Black History Intercollegiate Consortium's annual Martin Luthe [...]
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January 21st from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Join the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art for an artist talk featuring Larson Shindelman on their exhibition Larson Shindelman: Geolocation.   Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman will join cur [...]
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February 4th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
The College of Charleston’s German Program; School of Languages, Cultures, and World Affairs; Career Center; and School of Business, in partnership with The Citadel and Trident Technical Colle [...]
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February 4th from 2:00 pm to 4:45 pm
Held in a completely virtual environment due to the ongoing pandemic, the fifth annual German-American Business Summit brings together German companies in the southeastern U.S. and beyond that ar [...]
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February 4th from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm
The Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art is excited to produce "Maps, Politics, and Graphic Design," a lecture by Scott Reinhard in conjunction with our current exhibition Larson Shindelman: Geol [...]
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February 11th from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Christin Stewart '11, quality improvement advisor for Upstream USA, presents "My Career Journey to Public Health: A Convoluted Path that Started in Trujillo" via Zoom. Christin Stewart graduated with [...]
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