Some of the content on this website requires JavaScript to be enabled in your web browser to function as intended. While the website is still usable without JavaScript, it should be enabled to enjoy the full interactive experience.

Skip to Main Navigation. Each navigation link will open a list of sub navigation links.

Skip to Main Content

University Catalog|Office of the Registrar

Department of English

Peter Parolin, Department Chair
201 Hoyt Hall
Phone: (307) 766-6452, FAX: (307) 766-3189


SUSAN ARONSTEIN, B.A. Seattle Pacific University 1980; M.Sc. Edinburgh University 1984; Ph.D. Stanford University 1987; Professor of English 2006, 1987.
SUSAN C. FRYE, B.S. Smith College 1974; M.A. University of New Mexico 1981; Ph.D. Stanford University 1986; Professor of English 2001, 1986.
ALYSON HAGY, B.A. Williams College 1982; M.F.A. University of Michigan 1985; Professor of English 2008, 1996.
CAROLINE McCRACKEN-FLESHER, M.A. University of Edinburgh 1980; M.A. Brown University 1986; Ph.D. 1989; Professor of English 2004, 1989.
DAVID ROMTVEDT, B.A. Reed College 1972; M.F.A. University of Iowa 1975; Professor of English 2008, 1995.

Associate Professors:

CAROLYN ANDERSON, B.A. Auckland University 1981; M.A. 1984; Ph.D. Stanford University 1992; Associate Professor of English 2001, 1993.
JEANNE E. HOLLAND, B.A. Auburn University 1978; M.A. 1981; Ph.D. State University of New York-Buffalo 1989; Associate Professor of English 1995, 1989.
KELLY KINNEY, B.A. Purdue University 1992; M.A. University of Nebraska-Omaha 1996; Ph.D. Ohio University 2005; Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Programs 2015.
MICHAEL KNIEVEL, B.A. Creighton University 1995; M.A. 1997; Ph.D. Texas Tech University 2002; Associate Professor of English 2009, 2002.
CLIFFORD J. MARKS, A.B. University of Michigan-Ann Arbor 1983; M.A. State University of New York-Buffalo 1988; Ph.D. 1992; Associate Professor of English 2000, 1993.
KATE NORTHROP, B.A. University of Pennsylvania 1991; M.F.A. University of Iowa 1995; Associate Professor of English 2009, 2008.
ERIC W. NYE, B.A. St. Olaf College 1974; M.A. University of Chicago 1976; Ph.D. 1983; Associate Professor of English 1989, 1983.
PETER PAROLIN, B.A. University of British Columbia 1988; M.A. University of Pennsylvania 1991; Ph.D. 1997; Associate Professor of English 2003, 1997.
CASKEY RUSSELL, B.A. Western Washington University 1993; M.A. 1996; Ph.D. University of Oregon 2001; Associate Professor of English 2009, 2004.
BRAD WATSON, B.A. Mississippi State University 1978; MFA University of Alabama 1985. Associate Professor of English 2009, 2005.

Assistant Professors:

JASON BASKIN, A.B. Harvard University 2000; M.A. Princeton University 2006; Ph.D. 2008; Assistant Professor of English 2010.
MICHAEL EDSON, B.A. Virginia Tech University 2003; M.A. University of Delaware 2005; Ph.D. 2011; Assistant Professor of English 2014.
ANDREW FITCH, B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison 1997; Ph.D. Graduate Center of the City University of New York 2009; Assistant Professor of English 2009.
ERIN FORBES, B.A. Reed College 2002; M.A. Princeton University 2005; Ph.D. Princeton University 2009; Assistant Professor of English 2010.
SCOTT HENKEL, B.A. Western Michigan University 1997; M.A. Ohio University 2000; Ph.D. Michigan State University 2007; Assistant Professor of English 2015.
JULIA OBERT, B.A. University of Western Ontario 2004; M.A. University of British Columbia 2006; Ph.D. University of California, Irvine 2011; Assistant Professor of English 2011.
DANIELLE PAFUNDA, B.A. Bard College 1999; M.F.A. New School University 2002; Ph.D. University of Georgia 2008. Assistant Professor of English 2008.
JASON THOMPSON, B.A. Pacific Lutheran University 1996; MFA University of Arizona 2000; Ph.D. 2008; Associate Professor of English 2009.
ARIELLE ZIBRAK, B.A. University of Rochester 2003; M.A. Boston University 2007; Ph.D. 2013; Assistant Professor of English 2014.

Associate Lecturer:

APRIL HEANEY, B.A. University of Wyoming 1998; M.A. 2000. Associate Lecturer in English 2009, 2005.
MARGARET VAN BAALEN-WOOD, B.A. University of Wyoming 1983; M.A. 2003. Assistant Lecturer in English 2004.
PAUL BERGSTRAESSER, B.A. Oberlin College 1989; M.A. Northern Michigan University 2000; Ph.D. University of Illinois, Chicago 2007; Associate Lecturer in English 2013, 2007.
VAL PEXTON, B.A. Humboldt State University 1986; B.A. University of Wyoming 1998; M.A. 2001; M.F.A. 2008; Associate Lecturer in English 2013, 2009.
JOYCE STEWART, B.A. Felician College 1994; M.A. Creighton University 1998; Associate Lecturer in English 2013, 2008.

Assistant Lecturers:

RICK FISHER, B.A. University of Wyoming 2002; M.A. 2006; Assistant Lecturer of English 2011.
JASON KIRKMEYER, B.A. University of Wyoming 2002; M.A. 2004; Assistant Lecturer of English 2011.


Study in the English department today embraces literature, creative and expository writing, and the nature and workings of language. Students in the department's programs can learn to read with pleasure and understanding, to write with grace, clarity and force, and to think with greater penetration and breadth. With these accomplishments, students are prepared for lives and work in which their power to understand, read, write and communicate will serve themselves and others, some specifically in careers in writing or teaching, some in professions of law, medicine, administration or almost any other field.

English studies center on the reading of what people have said, sung or written about their lives, their desires and the whole experience of being human. Literature is a great inheritance, a tradition that reaches back through the centuries, but it is also continually growing and changing. New theories about literature, and new and rediscovered literature itself, renew the ancient functions of literature to reflect, support and enhance the lives of the men and women who read it.

Assessment of English Undergraduate Learning

Through an active and ongoing assessment of our program, we have identified the following outcomes that are expected of each student graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English. We will continue to assess our curriculum to ensure these outcomes are being met:

UW students graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English will have demonstrated an ability to:

1. Read, interpret, and write about a diverse range of texts in English, for example literature, film, digital media, and popular culture;
2. Understand those texts analytically and critically;
3. Understand those texts on the basis of careful close reading;
4. Understand those texts through past and current literary theory;
5. Understand that those texts are culturally constructed in time, place, and tradition;
6. Understand how those texts inform culture;
7. Participate in the critical and cultural discourses of English;
8. Participate clearly and appropriately through multiple spoken and written forms

Undergraduate Major



Lower-division surveys of literature in English
2425, 2430, 2435


Shakespeare or Renaissance Literature
4110, 4120 or 4170


4000-level courses in literature before 1900, in two different periods-4140, 4160, 4180, 4190, 4200, 4210, 4220, 4240, 4250, 4260, 4310, 4320, 4360, 4830 (exclusive of the Shakespeare/Renaissance requirement)


Emerging fields and approaches
3610, 3710, 4450, 4460, 4470, 4640, 5360, or 5870


Senior Seminar 4990


Electives (At least 6 hours must be at the 4000-level; courses in professional writing count as electives)


Total hours


(Courses in creative writing and professional writing may count as electives toward the major.)

Concentration in Literary Studies: Students wishing to concentrate in literary studies, including students interested in pursuing graduate degrees in English, should attempt to take the following upper-division courses: a course in Chaucer or in Medieval literature; a Shakespeare course; another course in English literature before 1800 (exclusive of Chaucer and Shakespeare); a course in 19th-Century English literature; two courses in American literature; a course in literature after 1900; the Senior Seminar; a course in Emerging fields and approaches.

In addition, in order to introduce its majors to language, culture, and comparative literature, the English department requires three semesters of a single foreign language. The choice of language should be made in consultation with the student's advisor and in consideration of career plans. For instance, students planning graduate study in literature may wish to choose a relevant modern or classical language. Or, a student in disability studies may substitute American Sign Language or Braille with permission of the assistant chair.

Within the framework above, each student should construct, with the help and approval of the adviser, a balanced and coherent program.

Only those courses in which a grade of C or better has been earned may count toward the 36 hours required for the B.A. (the B.S. is not offered) and the foreign language requirement. No 1000 courses count toward the B.A.

Advanced Standing

Advanced standing in English is required for all majors prior to taking the senior seminar (ENGL 4990). To be eligible for advanced standing in English, the student must have completed 24 hours of English coursework above Writing A, including the 3 required survey courses (2425, 2430, 2435). Each course must have been passed with a grade of C or better. Approved transfer courses from other institutions will satisfy the prerequisites for advanced standing. English 4990 should be taken in the next-to-last-semester before graduation.

English Honors Program

Requires a 3.5 GPA and a senior honors paper and defense. See the English Department for information.

Minor in Literary Studies

To minor in literary studies, a student must complete the following sequence of courses:



2000/3000-level surveys


(2425, 2430, 2435, 3150, 3180, or 3380)
4000-level literature courses 


Alternatively, a student, in close consultation with an English department adviser, may construct his or her own program. Only those courses in which a grade of C or better has been earned may count toward the Literary Studies minor. For more information, please come to the English Department office, 201 Hoyt Hall.

Minors in Writing

The writing minors are designed to be used with any major. English majors may choose to have a minor in creative or professional writing, but at least 12 credit hours in the minor must be from courses not counted toward the student's major. All courses counted toward the writing minors must be completed with grades of C or better. Students in either minor must consult with an adviser from the minor in designing their programs.

Minor in Creative Writing. The creative writing minor consists of six courses (18 hours) in creative writing and literature. Four of these courses will be in creative writing (12 hours) and must adhere to the following sequence: ENGL 1040 Intro to Creative Writing, two Lower Division Creative Writing courses (at the  2000-level), and an Upper Division course (4050). In addition, two courses will be in literature (6 hours), one of which must be at the 3000- or 4000-level. All courses must be completed with grades of C or better.

This minor is designed to be used with any major and must be designed in conjunction with a creative writing advisor. English majors may choose to have a minor in creative writing, but "at least 12 credit hours in a minor must be from courses not counted toward the student's major" (UW University Catalog). Each course must be passed with a grade of C or better.

Minor in Professional Writing. This minor is designed for students in any major who are considering careers in professional or technical writing (including teaching, publishing or editing, web authoring, public relations, and journalism) as well as for students who simply seek writing expertise beyond the General Education requirements. The minor will offer in-depth instruction in writing that will prepare them for the numerous careers in which effective written communication is highly valued.

To complete the 18 credits required for the minor, students take the foundations courses (ENGL 2005 or ENGL 2035 AND ENGL 4000), at least two upper-division professional writing courses (ENGL 4010, 4020, 4025, 4030, 4050, and/or 4075), and up to two additional elective courses approved by their adviser (0-6 credits).

Teacher Certification

Students seeking the B.A. in English may also be certified for public school teaching by completing additional requirements set forth by the College of Education, via a concurrent major in English and English Education.


Most 2000-level courses require the completion of the WA requirement. Normally, 3000‑4000-level courses have the prerequisites of 6 hours of 2000-level literature courses. Students without certain prerequisites should consult the English Department for permission to enroll.

Graduate Program

The M.A. program in English offers two concentrations leading to the master of arts degree: Literary Studies, and Composition and Rhetoric. The department also offers an M.F.A. in creative writing: a 40-hour studio degree in poetry, fiction, or creative non-fiction.

Program Specific Admission Requirements

Master of Arts in English

In addition to the minimum requirements set forth in this Catalog, the Department of English requires that students demonstrate by means of an official transcript that they have a solid undergraduate record with course work in English. That said, the department welcomes degrees in English or other disciplines from four-year colleges or universities.

Depending on their undergraduate preparation, some successful applicants may be required to take additional or specific courses toward the English master's degree.

Students must show knowledge of one foreign language, ordinarily ancient or modern European. Students may complete a language requirement concurrently with their program.

Candidates must submit GRE general test scores, a writing sample, and a 500-word statement of purpose.

Students should consult the M.A. web site or contact the department for specific admission information and deadlines.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing

In addition to the minimum requirements set forth in this bulletin, the Creative Writing M.F.A. Program requires that students demonstrate by means of an official transcript that they have a solid undergraduate record. The M.F.A. program welcomes degrees in any discipline from four-year colleges or universities. Candidates must submit GRE general test scores, three letters of recommendation, a writing sample consisting of no more than 25 pages of prose or 10 pages of poetry, and a 500-word statement of purpose. Students should consult the M.F.A. web site or contact the department for specific admission information and deadlines.

Program Specific Graduate Assistantships

Teaching assistantships are available to qualified applicants. Full assistantships carry an annual stipend and a remission of full-time tuition and fees, and require the teaching of freshman English - currently one section per term. (Sections meet three hours each week and are composed of a maximum of 23 students.)

Each fall the department conducts a week-long orientation for new teaching assistants and a subsequent series of colloquia for all graduate assistants. Each assistant is assigned an experienced teacher in the department as a mentor, to be available throughout the semester for consultation on teaching and grading techniques.

Program Specific Degree Requirements

Master of Arts in English Plan A (thesis)

The Department of English offers two concentrations within the master of arts degree. A concentration consists of three courses chosen from among those designated by the department as belonging to that concentration, together with other courses to total 26 hours. The concentration insures coherence in each student's graduate program; breadth is insured by a distribution of courses. Much of each student's program is taken in courses outside the concentration. Seminars will usually include students from all concentrations.

Literary Studies. Working from a variety of perspectives, this concentration focuses on the study of literature and of other culturally significant texts and materials, including, for example, film, oral materials, and political documents.

Rhetoric and Composition. Founded in the reflective practice of different kinds of writing, this concentration emphasizes the theory, research, and scholarship bearing on the production of discourse; it offers training for writing and for teaching that can include teaching of ESL, composition, and creative writing.

26 hours of coursework and a thesis for 4 additional hours (ENGL 5960).

A 1 credit course in bibliography and research methods.

A course in contemporary theory.

Courses in at least three different periods, genres, major figures, or approaches.

A reading exam and final oral examination covering coursework as well as the thesis.

With approval of the graduate adviser, a student may take a maximum of 3 hours credit outside the department.

Students take most of their courses at the 5000 level; a student may take no more than two 4000-level courses toward the M.A. degree.

Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing Plan A (thesis)

The Creative Writing M.F.A. Program offers three areas of concentration: poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction.

A concentration consists of three workshops, a minimum of 10-12 semester hours, in the appropriate area. (An additional workshop outside the student's main genre is also required.)

M.F.A. students follow the guidelines for Plan A. The M.F.A. degree requires 34-36 hours of courses and a thesis for 6 additional hours of thesis research as ENGL 5960 for a total of 40-42 hours.

Only those courses in which a B or better has been earned may be applied to the graduate program of study.

All courses must be taken for a grade unless offered for S/U only. No graduate credit is allowed for grades S and U.

The cumulative GPA must be at least 3.0 to receive a degree. Courses below 4000 will not count toward the degree nor will they be figured in the GPA, although they will appear on the transcript.

Four workshops, normally 4 credit hours each, 14-16 hours (one workshop must be outside the student's main genre).

3 elective courses, 9 hours min.

Thesis, at least 6 hours (may be taken incrementally).

Professional internship, 3 hours.

English (ENGL) Courses

Share This Page:

Footer Navigation

University of Wyoming Medallion
1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071 // UW Operators (307) 766-1121 // Contact Us // Download Adobe Reader // Accessibility Accessibility information icon