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Department of English

Our Mission

The English Department values critical and creative thinking, innovative research and writing, and ethical engagement in our communities.  Students and faculty explore writing in inventive, transdisciplinary ways and foster an understanding of the ways in which literature and writing are created, studied, and understood in their historical, cultural, and political contexts.  Our graduates are prepared for the evolving career landscape with skills in writing, reading, communication, research, synthesis, analysis, and reflection. 

English Studies Can Build a Meaningful life and career

All the reading and writing you do as an English student serves as excellent preparation for a job market built on information and communication. Your classes will promote your reading, writing, and presentation skills -- the skills employers want.

You'll learn to work both independently and as part of a team to address complex problems and create noteworthy content. Through your classes, you'll also develop cultural awareness and a heightened sensitivity to the view and ideas of others, while cultivating your own personal values and ethics: A must in the global marketplace.  

Do you want to learn more about the English major? Need facts and figures to prove why the English major is right for you? Visit our "Why Study English?" page. 

Potential Careers
  • Web Copywriter
  • Socia Media Manager
  • Librarian
  • Lawyer
  • Retail Manager
  • Grant Writer 
  • Public Relations
  • Marketing & Communication
  • Broadcast Journalist
  • Editor
  • Administrative Professional
  • Political Consultant
  • Publisher/Literary Agent
  • Novelist
  • Staff, Advising & Student Life Positions in Higher Ed
  • Sales Representative
  • Entrepreneur
  • Community Organizer
  • Technical Writer
  • ...and others!
Our Alumni
Samuel Phillips, '09
Image of Sam Phillips
Sam began an organization called The Running Word, which hosted twice-monthly open mic nights at The Bean Haus in Mainstrasse, Covington. After this, he organized the Covington City Lights Poetry Slam. He said of it - "I would like the poetry slam to be part of a revolution for this area to just rise up in more spoken word arts other than just poetry."
Jan Mueller, '04
A non-traditional student, Jan found her passion for "non-fiction, historical research, and local history" in part from projects in her classwork in the English major. After graduating she published a history of the Newport Public Library called Soul of the City and in the acknowledgements cited Dr. Gary Walton's influence on her work.
Jason McGlone, '03
Image of Jason McGlone
After receiving a BA in English focusing on both Creative Writing and Literature, McGlone went on to work for the Better Business Bureau in Cincinnati, where his main job consists of analyzing ads for quality and accuracy. According to an article in the Kentucky Enquirer, in the span of six months he processed 354 cases of questionable advertising.
Jill Dunne '01
Image of Jill Dunne
Jill Dunne entered NKU wanting to be a writer, and after Dr. Robert Wallace helped her find and receive an internship at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, she followed that experience and went on to become the Director of Marketing and Communications for the Cincinnati Art Museum.
Kathy Witt, '97
Image of Kathy Witt
After graduating NKU, Witt went on to pursue many different avenues of writing. She has published books about local travel, doll artists in America, and even writes children's books.
News from the Department
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The NKU Department of English is now on LinkedIn! Our page will be a place where we share departmental news, news from the English field, job interview techniques, and job positions around our community, as well as any other opportunities that arise. This page is meant not only to serve current students, but also our alumni. We are very excited to build this new profile and hope that you will follow us.

English Faculty Award Winners

At NKU's own faculty awards, Dr. Donelle Dreese was recognized for Excellence in Online or Technology Enhanced teaching; Dr. Jen Cellio for Excellence in University Service; and Dr. Jessica Hindman for Excellence in Research/Scholarship/Creative Activity.

Virginia Woolf Conference Infographic 2019

NKU undergraduate English majors Lauren Turner, Zorada Porter, and Anna Camele have been accepted to present their research at the 29th Annual International Virginia Woolf Conference!

Lauren’s paper, “Gender Inequality in Virginia Woolf’s The Years: Rose and Martin,” breaks new ground by comparatively analyzing the impact that gender makes not only on Rose Pargiter but also on her brother Martin. Her analysis introduces complexity into the ongoing critical conversation in Woolf studies about the negative influence of patriarchy on individuals.

In “Pedagogy as Art: How Virginia Woolf Writes Fiction as Pedagogy,” Zorada explores the ways in which Woolf uses stylized stream-of-consciousness techniques and the symbolic use of commonplace diction to illuminate ideas about critical and aesthetic thought usually reserved for an academic context. By examining Woolf’s pedagogy in novels including To the Lighthouse, The Waves, and Three Guineas, she argues, we gain crucial insight into the ways in which Woolf’s characters understand their identities.

Finally, in “Virginia Woolf’s Feminism vs. Feminism Today,” Anna draws a line from Woolf’s feminist polemic Three Guineas and feminism’s third wave. For Anna, Woolf’s arguments resonate today, and they help us to understand how far women still have to go in their fight for equality.