Read the world. Write your future.
The Department of English seeks to provide for the diverse needs of its students by offering them the opportunity to read widely, to understand and enjoy what they read, and to express themselves both orally and in writing with ease, force and clarity.
Through the practice of writing and the study of language and literature, the department strives to stimulate humanistic learning and the capacity to respond rationally and imaginatively to literature and the life it reflects.
Kenneth is an English major in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He likes to do undergraduate research and hopes to be a professor some day.
Hannah is an English major in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Someday, she would like a career in the publishing industry. She was an intern with the University of Nebraska Press
Dillon is an English major in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He had an internship at The Prairie Schooner literary magazine and is now the opinion editor at The Daily Nebraskan, the student newspaper. Dillon studied abroad in China. Hear why he chose UNL.
Write YOUR story as an English major!
Oct 7: Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell was an English major and creative writing student at UNL and has gone on to publish four novels, including Fangirl, a young adult novel (and the first Tumblr Reblog Book Club selection) set partly in a UNL creative writing classroom. Eleanor & Park has been on the New York Times YA bestseller list for more than 40 weeks, and has won many awards, including the Boston Globe--Horn Book of the Year. Her latest book is Landline, a novel for adults and a New York Times top 10 bestseller.
Rainbow Rowell Reading and Book Signing
Author of the New York Times bestselling novels Eleanor & Park and Landline
Tuesday, Oct 7, 2014 - 7:00 pm
University Bookstore, UNL city campus
(lower level of student union, 1400 R St)
Sponsored by the creative writing program of the UNL English Department
NovelTM project will study 1 million novels
A team of digital humanities researchers including our own Matthew Jockers have launched NovelTM, a project which will crunch data from more than 1 million books to study the development of the novel. The project is powered by a six-year grant from Canada's Social Science and Humanities Research Council. "I think it's fair to say we're working on the research agenda for the rest of my career," said Jockers. Read More from the UNL Newsroom.
Collaboration establishes 5 poetry libraries in Africa
A partnership between UNL's Prairie Schooner magazine, University Libraries and the African Poetry Book Fund has established poetry reading libraries in five African countries. A partnership between UNL's Prairie Schooner magazine, University Libraries and the African Poetry Book Fund has established poetry reading libraries in five African countries. The African Poetry Library initiative, a continuation of the APBF's mission to spread the poetic arts, started as an idea by Kwame Dawes, who serves as APBF series editor. Read the full story from the UNL Newsroom.
English major crowned Homecoming king
Jeffrey Story of Omaha, a student in the English department at UNL, was crowned Homecoming king on September 27, 2014. Story is a political science and English double major with a minor in education. He was crowned at halftime of the Huskers' home football game vs. Illinois at Memorial Stadium, alongside Homecoming queen Shelby Kruse of Lincoln.
Stephen Behrendt gave the April 16 Nebraska Lecture “So What Good Are the Humanities, Anyway?” which focused on the value of imagination, and how it inspires critical thinking and new ideas.
More articles about the value of a humanities degree:
- Tracy Prince received her Ph.D. in 1997 and is now a Scholar in Residence at Portland State University's Portland Center for Public Humanities.
- Nina Shevchuk-Murray translated Oksana Zabuzhko's The Museum of Abandoned Secrets, a multigenerational saga of love, sex, friendship, and death spanning sixty tumultuous years of Ukrainian history.
- Attorney-at-Large, Gaynell Gavin’s novella, is forthcoming this year from Main Street Rag Publishing, which previously published her poetry chapbook, Intersections.
- Cara Morgenson has been awarded a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Poland.
- John Duncan Talbird (Ph.D. 2004) is associate professor of English at Queensborough Community College-CUNY where he is assistant director of the writing program and co-coordinator of WID/WAC.
- Ian Olney was enrolled in the English doctoral program at UNL from 1998 to 2003 and pursued a course of study focusing on film.
- Karen Head earned her Ph.D. in English from UNL in 2004. Now an Assistant Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology, she is also the Director of GT's new state-of-the-art Communication Center.
- Xaviera Flores is the Project Archivist for the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Grant project "Labor Rights are Civil Rights/Los Derechos de Trabajo son Derechos Civiles" at Arizona State University Libraries' Archives and Special Collections.
- On February 7, 2012, UNL alum emily m. danforth's debut novel—The Miseducation of Cameron Post—will be published by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.
- Vanessa Steinroetter received her Ph.D. in English from UNL in May of 2011. She started her position as an Assistant Professor of English at Washburn University in Topeka, KS, in August, 2011, after spending four weeks as a Caleb Loring, Jr. fellow at the Boston Athenæum over the summer.
- Frank Wheeler received his MA in English from UNL in May of 2010.
- Sarah Knight graduated with a B.A. in English in 2009. In May 2012, she will complete a master's degree in library and information science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
- Ryan Wiegert attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from 1999-2004 and graduated with a B.A. in English.
- Derek Driedger (Ph.D. 2007) received the Dakota Wesleyan University Faculty Professional Excellence Award for the 2010-2011 school year.
- On August 2, 2011, Dave Madden's book, The Authentic Animal, will be available in bookstores.
- Faculty Faces at Hendrix College has featured Tyrone Jaeger in a recent article on their website.
- Jennifer Sinor earned her BA in English and Russian from UNL in 1991.
Heard anything new or exciting about fellow alumni?
If you have any alumni news or information to be passed along and shared, please, send an e-mail to .
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Listen to Ted Kooser reading "So This Is Nebraska"
The transcript of this video follows.
I wrote this poem - Bill Kloefkorn, the state poet was one his way out to Grand Island [Nebraska] one time for a writing engagement out there. And I was sort of resentful that I hadn't been invited. And I thought I'd go home and write a real snotty poem about Nebraska, and have Bill read it out there in my absence. And I got home and I started to work on the poem. And I as the poem developed, I began to understand how much I really loved the state. This is that poem. Read So This is Nebraska.
Video by Wessels Living History Farm.
Frame by Frame
Recent Books Published by Department Faculty
On the left a random book title by one of the English Department's faculty will appear. You can also view a complete list of recent books or click the Random Title link to see another book by one of our faculty.
- Humanities on the Edge
- The Dickens Project
- Walt Whitman Archive
- Willa Cather Archive
- Nebraska Writing Project
- Center for Digital Research in the Humanities
Watch the "trailer" for "Humanities on the Edge" here.
Inaugurated in fall 2010 and co-organized by Dr. Marco Abel and Dr. Roland Végsö, "Humanities on the Edge" is a cross-disciplinary speaker series focusing on theoretical research in the Humanities. Each year the series features a special topic. For 2010/11, it was the "Political Turn" in the Humanities; for 2011/12 it was "Biopower/Biopolitics;" and for 2012-13 it is “Aesthetics/Performance/Politics.”
During its inaugural year, the series featured four speakers: Steven Shaviro (Wayne State U), who talked about his current work on Eastern European Cinema and argued that it might help us envision political alternatives to the capitalist status quo; Jeffrey Nealon (Penn State), who discussed the role literature might play as a tool for living in the age of "just-in-time capitalism"; Sande Cohen (California Institute for the Arts), who addressed the vexed issue of the role criticism plays in what he calls "the Age of Anti-Intellectualism"; and the world-renowned Argentine political theorist, Ernesto Laclau, lectured on "The Discursive Construction of Social Antagonisms."
In the fall 2011, Sara Guyer (U Wisconsin) presented John Clare's Grave and the politics of life; and Jodi Dean (Hobart and William Smith Colleges) provided an incisive critique of social media and its relation to the discourse of democracy in the age of communicative capitalism. In the spring 2012, Michael Hardt (Duke) discussed the cycle of struggles of 2011 (the encampments and occupations) as manifesting a refusal and inversions of the very subjectivities that the ongoing economic and financial crisis produces; and Cesare Casarino (U Minnesota) discussed the need for a "Universality of the Common" as a strategy for imagining and producing a non-capitalist future.
In the fall of 2012, Mark Greif (Professor of Literary Studies, New School University), discussed the role aesthetic production plays for the status of reality in the age of Realty TV, and Lutz Koepnick (Professor of German, Film and Media Studies, and Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis) turned to Werner Herzog’s documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams about the famous Chauvet Caves in Southern France in order to reflect on contemporary media aesthetic and the politics of time. In the spring of 2013, E. Patrick Johnson (Carlos Montezuma Professor of Performance Studies and African American Studies, Northwestern University) gave a lecture entitled “Going Home Ain’t Always Easy: Performance and Ethics in the Black Gay South,” which included a performance based on his book Sweat Tea; and in her lecture “Communal Luxury,” Kristin Ross (Professor of Comparative Literature, New York University) revisited the Artists’ Manifesto proclaimed during the 1871 Paris Commune as a means to reexamine ideas developed by the Communards regarding education and the status of the artist from the perspective of our own moment, a context that includes the contemporary assault on higher education as well as the world-wide uprisings of 2011.
The Dickens Project is an important consortium for research on Charles Dickens and nineteenth-century literary and cultural studies centered at the University of California. With its official membership in the consortium, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln joins some of the finest institutions in the country including Stanford, MIT, Princeton, Columbia, Cornell, Vanderbilt, and NYU along with fellow Big Ten and CIC members Indiana, Penn State, Iowa, and Ohio State. The Project sponsors an annual Research Institute and collaborative symposium in early August on the Santa Cruz campus, a graduate conference on nineteenth-century British literature and culture held on another consortium campus each spring, occasional international conferences, as well as other institutes, colloquia, and lectures throughout the year. Through their participation in these conferences, UNL graduate students have the unique opportunity to meet and develop collegial relations with Victorianists from a wide range of research-intensive universities.
The Walt Whitman Archive is an electronic research and teaching tool that sets out to make Whitman's vast work, for the first time, easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers. Whitman, America's most influential poet and one of the four or five most innovative and significant writers in United States history, is the most challenging of all American authors in terms of the textual difficulties his work presents. He left behind an enormous amount of written material, and his major life work, Leaves of Grass, went through six very different editions, each of which was issued in a number of formats, creating a book that is probably best studied as numerous distinct creations rather than as a single revised work. His many notebooks, manuscript fragments, prose essays, letters, and voluminous journalistic articles all offer key cultural and biographical contexts for his poetry. The Archive sets out to incorporate as much of this material as possible, drawing on the resources of libraries and collections from around the United States and around the world. The Archive is directed by Kenneth M. Price (University of Nebraska-Lincoln) and Ed Folsom (University of Iowa).
The Willa Cather Archive is an ambitious endeavor to create a rich, useful, and widely-accessible site for the study of Willa Cather's life and writings. To that end, we are providing digital editions of Cather texts and scholarship free to the public as well as creating a large amount of unique, born-digital scholarly content. The Archive is a product of a partnership between the Archives and Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, University of Nebraska–Lincoln Center for Digital Research in the Humanities, The University of Nebraska Press, and the Cather Project at the University of Nebraska. More...
The Nebraska Writing Project (NEWP) is a network of professional educators and affiliated writers that provides opportunities to improve, enhance and celebrate writing for classrooms and communities across Nebraska.
NEWP believes that:
- The best teachers of writing are writers themselves.
- Teachers provide the best instruction for other teachers.
- Anyone, no matter their ability level, can improve their writing in a supportive context with other practicing writers.
- True school reform comes through democratic partnerships across grade levels.
- Teachers, students and communities benefit when teachers form networks with other teachers and draw on collective expertise.
The Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH) at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln (UNL) is a joint initiative of the University Libraries and the College of Arts & Sciences.
The Center advances interdisciplinary research in the humanities by creating unique digital content, developing tools to assist scholars in text analysis and visualization, and encouraging the use (and refinement) of international standards for humanities computing. CDRH offers forums, workshops, and research fellowships for faculty and students in the area of digital scholarship.
Though the primary responsibility of the Center is to work with humanists, the CDRH will provide advice to faculty in the social sciences and sciences engaged in interdisciplinary projects that may cross over into the humanities.