Central to the core mission of the Department of English is imaginative reasoning: the ability to think hypothetically about the world in all its diversity—the past, present, and future; the local and the global—in order to engage critically with social and political phenomena, envision what is possible, and dream up audacious solutions to seemingly insoluble problems. Imaginative reasoning is the tool that enables us to create a rupture in the seemingly smooth flow of daily information by helping us re-frame how we look at the world—at ourselves and others, as well as at institutional structures and social, economic, and political constraints... [ continued ]
Our Core Values
Pursuing social justice
Engaging with a broad array of real and imagined communities based on empathetic understanding
Joining readers and writers around the world, the Department of English mourns the passing of one of the giants of world literature. To show our respect, we offer here a poem by Kwame Dawes, Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner, Chancellor’s Professor of English, and founder of the African Poetry Book Fund.
The English Department’s mission is deeply informed by a sense of social justice and unequivocal affirmation of diversity and inclusion; for this reason we want to reiterate our commitment to the LGBTQA community. Our department was among the first in the country to offer courses on gay and lesbian literature -- the Crompton-Noll Award, a national prize given by the Gay and Lesbian Caucus of the Modern Language Association, is named in honor of Louis Crompton, the UNL English professor and pioneer in LGBTQA scholarship. Today, our LGBTQA graduates are shaping the literary culture... Our faculty is proud of our decades-long commitment to the intellectual development and professional guidance of our LGBTQA students, and our provision of safe spaces for learning in Andrews Hall. [ continued ]
The English Department Development Fund supports a range of department programs and student needs: assistance to undergraduate and graduate students, writing and scholarship awards, visiting lecturers and writers, and special opportunities for the department and the community.
Mattison Merritt, a junior English major at UNL, spent last semester at Chicago's high-profile comedy club, The Second City, through a program sponsored by Columbia College. The program, "A Semester at Second City," allowed her to take classes on sketch writing, the history of comedy, improvisation, acting and a professional comedian class that was about the industry. “It’s very unique because it’s like a study abroad program,” Merritt said “There’s not really any other program that’s comedy specific.”
The Second City is a comedy club, theatre and school of improvisation with live shows every night in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood. For over fifty years it has served as a training ground and launch pad for comedians, actors and directors, including Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris, Bill Murray, Tim Meadows, and Stephen Colbert.