Department of English

Overview

The Department of English offers minors and immersions that embrace technology and promote lifelong learning. You will gain skills in writing, textual analysis, language analytics, creative production, and digital culture. Our faculty work to inspire “thinkers” and “tinkerers” who develop into responsible communicators capable of adjusting to the rapidly transforming social environment and global society. The department offers a wide variety of courses, from creative writing workshops in world building and poetry, to analyzing literature by authors from around the world, to advancing language science and natural language processing that is used in top technologies such as voice-enabled smart speakers and phones.

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Minors: creative writing, digital literature and comparative media, English, and language science

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Immersions: creative writing, digital literature and comparative media, English, human language technology and computational linguistics, and language science

$28K

In sponsored research (2019-2020)

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Minors and Immersions

A series of creative writing courses offers students a practical, theoretical, and historical understanding of the art and craft of writing nonfiction, fiction prose, and poetry, as well as experimenting in digital storytelling and interactive media. The immersion encourages students to use these skills and insights for interdisciplinary projects and the enrichment of their careers and personal lives.

Learn More about Creative Writing Immersion 

The creative writing courses offers students a practical, theoretical, and historical understanding of the art and craft of writing nonfiction and fiction prose and poetry, as well as experimenting in digital storytelling and interactive media. The minor encourages students to use those skills and insights for interdisciplinary projects and the enrichment of their careers and personal lives.

Learn More about Creative Writing Minor 

We encounter digital texts and codes every time we use a smart phone, launch an app, or interact online. This immersion explores innovative and evolving questions and practices of text and code in literature, creative writing, and interactive media. It invites students to explore the social, cultural, and technological significance of text, code, and their interrelations.

Learn More about Digital Literatures and Comparative Media Immersion 

The courses in the digital literatures and comparative media minor challenge students to think about how the digital in new comparative media affects the way we read, study, and understand literature: What happens to literature and the literary in an age of digital technology and new forms of media? Courses examine a varied collection of print genres and electronic literature in order to understand the current state of this new literary field and its relation to traditional concepts of literary study. The minor provides an entry point into investigating particular aspects of the general category of the digital and its comparative relation to the literary.

Learn More about Digital Literatures and Comparative Media Minor 

Study literature and other cultural works, as well as linguistics, and creative writing. The immersion is flexible in order to accommodate student interest in areas such as specific literary historical periods or geographic areas, multimedia and the visual arts, or literary genres and forms such as science fiction, the novel, the short story, poetry. Courses in the immersion emphasize the ability to read literature and other mediums analytically and write critically.

Learn More about English Immersion 

Explore literature and other cultural works, as well as linguistics, and creative writing. The minor familiarizes students with works composed or translated into English and provides them with the opportunity to explore a variety of historical periods and geographical regions. Courses in the minor explore literary genres such as science fiction and fantasy; literary forms such as the novel, the short story, poetry, and graphic storytelling; and literary practices across media and multimedia arts. The minor builds an awareness of methods, theories and technologies for both the creation and analysis of literary texts, and provides an introduction to critical or creative writing.

Learn More about English Minor 

The human language technology and computational linguistics immersion provides exposure to computational linguistics and relevant language science course work. Students gain knowledge and practical skills in computational natural language processing and technical linguistic analysis, useful for analytics and modeling with language data and for developing, evaluating, and maintaining language technology software.

Learn More about Human Language Technology and Computational Linguistics Immersion 

The language science immersion prepares students in the interdisciplinary scientific study and analysis of human language. Language science is directly applicable to students interested in computing and media, human-computer interaction, brain and cognition, language acquisition, human health, interpreting, relevant branches of engineering, and policy studies. Students can complete the immersion irrespective of their skills in languages other than English. Besides a core course on linguistic principles, students choose electives covering the technology of language, philosophy of language, and language in culture and society. Electives allow students to customize the immersion to their interests and needs, with the support of a faculty adviser.

Learn More about Language Science Immersion 

The language science minor prepares students for the study and analysis of human language. The minor is directly applicable to students interested in computing and media, human-computer interaction, brain and cognition, language acquisition, human health, interpreting, relevant branches of engineering, and policy studies. Students can complete the minor requirements irrespective of their skills in languages other than English. Electives allow students to customize the minor to their interests and needs, with the support of a faculty adviser. The minor is an excellent complement to majors such as computer science, game design, information technology, psychology, sign language interpreting, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, bioengineering, science, or a foreign language.

Learn More about Language Science Minor 

Awards

The Department of English offers numerous awards for students. These awards include:

These awards acknowledge exceptional undergraduate work in RIT Creative Writing courses.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students
  • 3 Creative Writing categories: Poetry, Prose, Creative Nonfiction
    •     Analog and digital entries welcome
    •     Each category has specific submission guidelines
  • Work must have been written in an RIT Creative Writing course within the past year
  • Students self-nominate by submitting required materials
  • Annual submission (by students) deadline in March
  • Winners read their work at the April Creative Writing Awards ceremony
  • Submission Details:
    • Must be original creative writing
    • Writer must be an RIT student enrolled in the 2018 Spring semester
    • Work must have been written for an RIT Creative Writing class
    • Work must have been produced from Spring 2017 semester through Spring 2018 semester
    • Winners are chosen based on an entire body of submitted work (see requirements below)
    • Categories:
      • Poetry
      • Prose (Fiction)
      • Creative Nonfiction
    • Submit:
      • Open to analog or digital submissions
      • Poems: 3-6 (a minimum of 3 poems is required)
      • Prose/fiction: 2-4 pieces of 10-60 pages in total (a minimum of 10 pages is required, regardless of how many pieces you submit, with a maximum of 60 pages)
      • Creative nonfiction: 2-4 pieces of 10-60 pages in total (a minimum of 10 pages is required, regardless of how many pieces you submit, with a maximum of 60 pages)
      • For digital submissions, please provide a similar representative sample of your work, either uploading files or submitting publicly accessible URLs in a Word document
      • Writers can submit in multiple categories but each genre must be submitted separately
      • If work straddles two genres (for example, poetry and prose), choose the genre to which you feel the work is most closely aligned and submit in that category only
      • Submit work to https://ritenglish.submittable.com/submit/101354/creative-writing-award…!
    • Deadline: Friday, March 23, 2018 at 5:00pm EST
    • Winners will be selected in April 2018 by faculty in the RIT English Department.
      • Award winners are invited to read their work as part of the RIT English Department Creative Writing awards, to be held Tuesday, April 17.
      • Cash prizes will be awarded in all categories.
    • Questions? Email kmvgla@rit.edu

The fund awards undergraduate and graduate students for demonstrated excellence in language science/computational linguistics, with attention to project/research achievements.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT undergraduate or graduate students
  • Nominations are made by Language Science Faculty Group
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in Spring    

This award is for a graduating undergraduate student demonstrating excellence in the study of literature.

  • Open to one currently enrolled, graduating RIT student
  • Nominations are made by English Department faculty
  • Nominations made for students meeting these requirements:
    •     Minimum of 3.5 GPA in ENGL courses
    •     Exceptional contribution to RIT that draws on ENGL coursework and/or the study of literature
  • Application must include:
    •     Three best examples of the student’s accomplishments in the field of English and study of literature (e.g., top three papers, papers and presentations, papers and student group or extracurricular activities related to literature)
    •     Student-compiled portfolio of work in all ENGL courses taken
    •     Cover letter
    •     Letter of recommendation/support from at least two English Department faculty
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in March

The Kearse awards recognize students who have written the most outstanding research papers or projects in areas of study in the College of Liberal Arts. There is one faculty-nominated awardee from each COLA department. Henry J. and Mary Geirin Kearse, lifelong advocates of education, endowed the award.   

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students for papers written in College of Liberal Arts courses
  • One awardee from each COLA department
  • Student writing projects are nominated by English Department faculty, who select one to represent the department
  • Administered by the College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office
  • Annual nomination (by faculty) deadline in March
  • Winners are presented their awards at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April

The McKenzie Prize honors students from First Year Writing courses for comprehensive portfolios of writing, research and critical reflections. Submissions are open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations. The award is administered by the University Writing Program.

  • Open to currently enrolled RIT students for work completed in an RIT First Year Writing course
  • Open to faculty nominations or student self-nominations
  • Administered by faculty of the University Writing Program, based on a full writing portfolio of work including multiple drafts, revisions and a reflection statement
  • Annual nomination deadline in February
  • Winners are awarded at the Liberal Arts Undergraduate Writing Awards in April

For submission details and required forms, see https://www.rit.edu/academicaffairs/writing/stan-mckenzie-prize

RIT 2019 English Department Awards

Language Science and Computational Linguistics Student Excellence Awards

  • Alex Hedges
  • Leo Holman
  • Katharine MacLaren

Stan McKenzie Shakespeare Writing Prize

  • Eli Heisey

Creative Writing Awards

  • Poetry: Mickey White
  • Fiction: Valerie Clark
  • Creative Nonfiction: Red Smith-Sweetser

Student Organizations and Resources

Here you will find additional resources for the Department of English, such as affiliated clubs and centers and awards.

Explore student organizations and resources for the Department of English