Department of English
Rhodes Tower 1815
Jeff Karem, Chair
James Marino, Graduate Program Director
Imad Rahman, Director, Creative Writing Programming
Mary Murray, Director of the Writing Center
Areas of Study
Literature and Critical Interpretation
The Master of Arts in English offers two concentrations: literature and creative writing. The literature concentration emphasizes research and the application of various critical approaches to problems in literature and composition. The creative writing concentration emphasizes professional writing and the analysis of literary works from the point of view of the practitioner. Both concentrations provide graduate students with course work in practical criticism, electives in literature and linguistics, and opportunities for the study of composition theory and the practice of teaching writing to beginning students. The program is designed to meet the needs of part-time and full-time students. Core courses and graduate seminars are offered in the evenings. Students are advised to take their core-course requirements during their first two semesters of graduate study. A departmental Committee on Graduate Studies, chaired by the Director of Graduate Studies, governs the Master of Arts program in English. The Committee on Graduate Studies administers admission of new students, appointment of graduate assistants, selection of Andrews Award winners, student petitions, and policy issues concerning the Master of Arts curriculum. Prospective and current students should consult the Handbook for Graduate Studies in English at: http://www.csuohio.edu/class/sites/csuohio.edu.class/files/GraduateHandbook.pdf
Faculty Research and Resources
The graduate faculty of the English Department has published over thirty books and several hundred major articles in the fields of literary scholarship, linguistics, and critical theory. The range of research interests is illustrated by a partial list of books published by the faculty. Renaissance and early modern studies are represented by Brooke Conti’s Confessions of Faith in Early Modern England (University of Pennsylvania Press) and James Marino’s Owning William Shakespeare: The King’s Men and Their Intellectual Property (University of Pennsylvania Press). Eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century studies are represented by Gary Dyer’s British Satire and the Politics of Style (Cambridge University Press), by Rachel Carnell’s Partisan Politics, Narrative Realism, and the Rise of the British Novel (Palgrave Macmillan), and by her scholarly edition of the works of Delarivier Manley (Pickering & Chatto). Modern and contemporary literature is represented by Adrienne Gosselin’s Multicultural Detective Fiction: Murder from the “Other” Side (Garland), Jeff Karem’s The Romance of Authenticity: The Cultural Politics of Regional and Ethnic Literatures (University of Virginia Press) and The Purloined Islands: Caribbean-U.S. Cross-currents in Literature and Culture, 1880-1959 (University of Virginia Press) by Jennifer Jeffers’ The Irish Novel at the End of the Twentieth Century: Gender, Bodies, and Power (Palgrave), and by her Britain Colonized: Hollywood’s Appropriation of British Literature (Palgrave Macmillan). Critical theory is represented by Jennifer Jeffers’ Uncharted Space: The End of Narrative (Peter Lang Publishers), Composition studies are represented by Mary Murray’s Artwork of the Mind: An Interdisciplinary Description of Insight and the Search for It in Student Writing (Hampton Press), Ted Lardner and Arnetha Ball’s African American Literacies Unleashed: Vernacular English in Composition Classroom (Southern Illinois University Press) and by Ted Lardner and Todd Lundberg’s Exchanges: Reading and Writing about Consumer Culture (Longman). Research in Language Arts is represented by Adrienne Gosselin’s Reflections Sweet and Sour: Language Arts and Prevention Assessment (Rose Dog Press). Nineteenth-Century American studies is represented by Adam Sonstegard’s Artistic Liberties: American Literary Realism and Graphic Illustration, 1880-1905 (University of Alabama Press).
The creative-writing faculty has published poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction in dozens of creative-writing periodicals, have plays performed, and have read or performed poetry in a variety of venues. Book titles include, in the field of fiction, Sheila Schwartz’s Imagine a Great White Light, winner of the Pushcart Editor’s Book Award, and Neal Chandler’s Benediction (University of Utah Press).
The English Department is home to The Cleveland State University Poetry Center, which has published more than 135 poetry books since 1971 and averages three new books a year. Recent publications include Gaspar Pedro Gonzalez’s A Dry Season: Poems in Q’anjob’al Maya (one of the few books of contemporary Mayan poetry to be published anywhere), Alison Luterman’s The Largest Possible Life, and Ohio poet Nin Andrews’ The Book of Orgasms. The Poetry Center has won several national and regional awards for its publications. Carol Potter’s Short History of Pets won the 2001 Balconnes Prize for Poetry. Jared Carter’s After the Rain won the 1995 Poets’ Prize. In 1996, The Poetry Center’s Off the Page, a videotape of performance poetry, won the Ohio Board of Regents’ W. E. B. DuBois Award for Service to the Community.
The English Department is also home to Whiskey Island, a student-edited literary magazine.
Current faculty information can be located on the Cleveland State University Faculty Profile page.
Graduate assistantships in English provide students with an opportunity to teach in the Writing Center, assist faculty on editorial or other academic projects, and in some cases to teach Freshman English classes. All graduate assistantships provide tuition waivers and a stipend. A few tuition waivers may be available for part-time students. Students must apply to the English Department by February 1 in order to be considered for a graduate assistantship in the following academic year. Applications are available from, and should be submitted directly to, the Department’s Director of Graduate Studies. Incoming students who wish to apply for an assistantship should have their applications to the Graduate College (including all supporting materials) completed by the February 1 deadline. The department also provides tuition scholarships as prizes in annual creative-writing contests and an annual Andrews Award to assist a graduate student in the completion of a thesis of exceptional merit.
Students who are pursuing the MA in English as a means of enhancing their teaching careers should select the literature concentration. Students who are taking the MA as preparation for doctoral study in English should select the literature concentration, should take as many research seminars (ENG 695 ) as possible, and should take ENG 506 - Composition Theory in order to enhance their eligibility for doctoral teaching assistantships at other universities. This course of study also is recommended for students who are preparing for careers teaching writing or administering writing centers in community colleges and schools. The creative writing concentration is recommended for students who desire increased competitiveness in creative and professional writing fields or in allied careers in editing, communications, and public relations.
A baccalaureate degree with a major or concentration in English, and an overall grade-point average of 2.75 or higher and a 3.0 average in courses in English, are minimum requirements for admission, though satisfying those requirements will not guarantee admission. (A concentration is defined as a minimum of 24 quarter hours or 16 semester hours beyond Freshman English). Students without a sufficient number of undergraduate courses in English will take undergraduate courses, as required by the Graduate Director. Such concentrations normally emphasize British and American Literature surveys and courses that stress writing about literature.
Those interested in applying for admission must meet the following requirements:
- All regular application materials for admission–including the application, two letters of recommendation, and official transcripts from all colleges attended–must be submitted directly to Campus 411, All-In-1. Students must indicate whether they are applying for the literature track or the creative writing track.
- All applicants, including those applying to creative writing, must submit samples of their academic writing (between ten and twenty pages of work submitted from prior courses; a term paper from an advanced English course is ideal) to the Director of Graduate Studies in the Department of English.
- Applicants for the creative writing track shall, in addition, submit a creative portfolio in the genre they intend to study (30 pages of prose, 15 poems, or a complete one-act play) for consideration by the Department’s creative writing faculty.
- Applicants shall be admitted either to the literature track or the creative writing track at the time of application.
- An applicant whose undergraduate major was in a field other than English may be required to take a certain number of undergraduate English courses as a condition for admission to the M.A. program. These courses do not count toward degree requirements.
Apply Now: http://www.csuohio.edu/graduate-admissions/how-apply
Students may petition the Committee on Graduate Studies to take up to eight elective credits in graduate courses outside the English Department, in cases where such courses meet the students’ particular research needs. A student combining TESOL endorsement with the MA in English, for example, may be allowed to count graduate-level Methods in TESOL courses as English electives.