- Advising Resources
- Making the Most of your major
- Advice from Current Students
- Major Requirements
Welcome to the Department of English site for Prospective Students! Here you will find a wealth of information about our undergraduate program. Are you interested in creative writing? Check out the courses that we offer in writing prose and poetry, as well as opportunities to submit your creative work to our student literary magazine, Laurus, or work on our internationally known literary journal, Prairie Schooner. Are you interested in honing your research and expository writing skills? Check out the many courses we offer in composition and rhetoric, and visit our Writing Center, located in Andrews 115. If you are interested in studying literature, we offer a wide variety of courses--everything from Shakespeare to Native American Literature to Children's Literature. One of our specialties is the cutting-edge field of Digital Humanities-the use of emerging technologies to study, analyze and create texts, collaborate on projects using digital tools, and develop new ways of thinking about what the task of being a humanist can be. Check out, for example, one of our new courses, "Being Human in a Digital World." Finally, we are interested in helping you explore career opportunities. Being an English major, as we like to say, is a way to explore the world.
Professor and Chair,
Department of English
On behalf of the Literary League, welcome to the Department of English at UNL! I discovered my perfect fit at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as an English major, and I’m confident you will, too. The English major has afforded me with small classroom settings, knowledgeable instructors, and influential experiences outside of the classroom. The English department student organization, the Literary League, built on my academic experience by offering film presentations, guest speakers and poetry slams. These activities are both entertaining and educating. Another highlight has been the opportunity to publish my own creative work in The Laurus magazine, UNL’s undergraduate literary publication. From polishing a Frost poem, analyzing inner-city youth, or reading Thackeray’s views on vanity, English studies at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has given me the knowledge and skills that will always be valued no matter where I go in my life. Literature lends to reality, it doesn’t just simply describe it. Reading and studying literature provides the necessary experiences that our daily life requires, and the bountiful dreams that our knowledge demands.
Karen N. Wohlgemuth
The English Advising Center exists to help you succeed in your undergraduate career at UNL. Follow this link to find about meet the department advisor, view office hours and location, and access the resources and forms available in the Advising Center.
Hosted by various majors within the humanities and social science department, this special event brings together a panel of alumni to share their experiences within their respective fields and offer advice on navigating both professional networking and career building skills in the humanities.
ENGL100: Career Planning for English Majors
Starting in the spring semester of 2013, this new course will be offered to al students who are in the beginning stages of an English major. Designed as an orientation to the major, students will develop a working knowledge of the academic and professional work required of the degree and will leave the class armed with intellectual and civic skills necessary for today’s global economy.
Freshman Advising Event
Every Fall semester, the English Undergraduate Advising Office hosts a special advising event for new English majors and freshman in the department. Together with major advisers from History, Political Science, and the College of Arts and Sciences advising center, students can meet one-on-one with an adviser to ask questions about the enrollment process and to consult about their next semester’s academic schedule.
In the Spring semester, the advising office sponsors an interdisciplinary panel that explores the how to add professional experience to the English major through internships. Students are encouraged to ask questions of the panel and leave the event with a better knowledge of the variety of opportunities available and ready to find the intership that is best for them.
Preparing for Graduate School
This event brings together a panel of speakers experienced with preparing for the graduate application process, including a current graduate student and the career services representative..
Making the Most of your major
There are a number of advantages to getting involved in our department! Not only do you have the opportunity to build camaraderie with your peers and create relationships with faculty mentors but you can also participate in ongoing events that will enrich your own academic program.
Recent writers and poets include ZZ Packer, Randall Kenan, Alicia Ostriker and Nikola Madzirov
Robert Knoll Lecture
The Knoll Lectures bring renowned scholars to the university to talk about relevant literary topics . All faculty, students, staff, and members of the public are invited. The series commemorates the late Dr. Robert Knoll, a distinguished professor of English. Recent speakers include Brad Morrow, Marjorie Perloff, and Achsah Guibbory.
Humanities on the Edge
The Humanities on the Edge lecture series is co-organized by Dr. Marco Abel and Dr. Roland Vegso. Guest scholars lecture about various theoretical topics in the humanities. Recent speakers include Sarah Geyer, Sande Cohen, and Michael Hardt.
Recognized Student Organizations are a fantastic way to meet peers with interests similar to your own. The Literary League is open to any UNL student who has an interest in literary studies. The group hosts distinguished guest speakers, participates in philanthropic book drives, and much more!
Advice from Current Students
English and Film Studies Majors are a diverse group of students with equally diverse interests. Below, our students are eager to share their advice for new Majors:
There is no place like...the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The collegiate community extends beyond the campus to foster relationships within the city life of Lincoln to create the pride and reputation of being a Husker. The stimulating experiences on campus are bountiful in increasing your intellectual capacity, getting involved, building relationships, and making an impact. The English Department is overflowing with knowledgeable faculty who are willing to lend their expertise, and make you feel like the scholar you are. The English classes cover such a wide range of topics that you are studying film, literature, writers, and your own writing that together encompass a major in culture. Rhetoric is everywhere, and there is no better place to study it than here.
-Karen N. Wohlgemuth
The most influential classes for me has been the history of literature classes, specifically the novel from 1700 through modern fiction. Learning about the history of literature and writing through the ages forms a fundamental groundwork for understanding everything that comes later. It provides a solid and influential foundation, and you also get exposed to some very interesting reading.
New English Majors, if they have not already, should start with one or two composition classes, especially if they do not already have a college level comp class under their belt. Doing so will push them into the habit of writing on a daily basis and make them more comfortable with using words. I would also recommend that they take a class that is outside of their comfort zone. For instance, if you are comfortable with fictional prose, take a class on poetry. It could introduce you to something that you may end up loving, but at the least it will flex your mental muscles, which will help you in the area that you prefer.
Tips from Megan Ramey for other English Majors:
If you are a transfer student like I was when I cam to UNL, it is very important to make connectins imediately--find a group that shares your interests on campus, take a class from a professor who specializes in something you are interested in learning more about and utilize office hours, apply for internship opportunities that intrest you and can teach you useful tools. Also, volunteering in your community goes beyond a bullet point on your resume, it creates friendships and connections that could turn very fruitful.
GET AS MUCH READING DONE AS YOU CAN BEFORE THE SEMESTER EVEN STARTS. Also, if you have one of those rare free weekends early on in the semester, READ THE LAST BOOKS SCHEDULED TO BE DISCUSSED ON YOUR SYLABBI. That way, when you are stressing about all of your final papers, you can at least feel good about being on top of your reading for classes.
Take some literature classes that are outside of your comfort zone. You will become aware of connections between different literary genres that will become useful in analysis and writing.
Discuss what you are reading with friends and classmates. Participate in class discussions. Your perspective and the perspectives of your friends are peers are immensely helpful in the development of ideas and themes, and it is great to have people to talk with when it comes time to write those papers.
On Paper Writing...
Utilize your professor's office hours. Seriously. Don't think they will be annoyed when talking with you about your ideas and paper topics. On the contrary, they will be much happier when reading your essay knowing you put work into it, and seeing that you have developed ideas worth reading. And when you read your work, you will be happier for it too.
Please do not procrastinate. If you want to live to see age 70, don't put yourself under that kind of stress, it isn't good for you, or your writing. Also, you owe it to yourself and future employers to write something of worth. As an English major, you will be judged on your writing ability when applying for jobs and/or graduate programs. Your writing will also play a huge role in the amount of money you receive from grants and scholarships you choose to apply for. Also, REVISE.
It is easy to get bogged down by all of the reading and essays assigned to you through the semester. Don't forget you are an English major, that you signed up for this because you do, in fact, love reading and writing. Not meaning to overdo the sentiment, but in ways it is hard not to; do not let reading and writing become a chore. Studying in the humanities should not be tiresome. Remember the high you get from reading, from discussing, from writing something you believe in enough to argue. Remember that high when doing your work. If you didn't enjoy the addictive nature of knowledge, you wouldn't be here.
Check out our prospective student newsletter Adventures in English! A brief account of the extraordinary, intriguing, and sometimes even glamorous world of English at UNL.