Department of English


Distinguished Teaching Professor
Jeffrey Berman, Ph.D., Cornell University

Distinguished Teaching Professors Emeritus/a
Judith Fetterley, Ph.D., Indiana University (Collins Fellow)
Eugene K. Garber, Ph.D., University of Iowa
Stephen North, D.A., University at Albany, SUNY (Collins Fellow)

Professors Emeriti/ae
Judith E. Barlow, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania (Collins Fellow)
Ronald Bosco, Ph.D., University of Maryland (Collins Fellow)
Donald J. Byrd, Ph.D., University of Kansas
Thomas D. Cohen, Ph.D., Yale University 
Frances Colby Allee, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Randall T. Craig, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison (Collins Fellow)
Lydia Davis, B.A., Barnard College (Writer in Residence)
Teresa Ebert, Ph.D., University of Minnesota
Judith E. Johnson, B.A., Barnard College
Pierre Joris, Ph.D., Binghamton University
Eugene Mirabelli, Ph.D., Harvard University
Marjorie Pryse, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
Martha T. Rozett, Ph.D., University of Michigan (Collins Fellow)

Thomas Bass, Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz
Glynne Griffith, Ph.D., University of the West Indies, Mona              
Michael Hill, Ph.D., Stony Brook University
William Kennedy, B.A., Siena College
Edward L. Schwarzschild, Ph.D., Washington University      
Charles Shepherdson, Ph.D., Vanderbilt University
Lynne Tillman, B.A., Hunter College (Writer in Residence)

Associate Professors Emeriti/ae
Langdon Brown, Ph.D., Cornell University
Lana Cable, Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
Richard M. Goldman, Ph.D., Indiana University
Edward M. Jennings, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin
Rudolph L. Nelson, Ph.D., Brown University       
Frederick E. Silva, Ph.D., Indiana University
Donald B. Stauffer, Ph.D., Indiana University
Carolyn Yalkut, Ph.D., University of Denver

Associate Professors
Richard A. Barney, Ph.D., University of Virginia
Bret Benjamin, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin      
Helen Regueiro Elam, Ph.D., Brown University
Erica Fretwell, Ph.D., Duke University               
Eric Keenaghan, Ph.D., Temple University (Department Chair)
Kir Kuiken, Ph.D., University of California, Irvine
James Lilley, Ph.D., Princeton University
Ineke Murakami, Ph.D., University of Notre Dame
Wendy Roberts, Ph.D., Northwestern University (Undergraduate Director)
Helene E. Scheck, Ph.D., Binghamton University
Paul Stasi, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Laura Wilder, Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin

Visiting Associate Professor
Mary Valentis, Ph.D., University at Albany, SUNY

Assistant Professor Emeritus
George S. Hastings, Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professors
Aashish Kaul, D.A., The University of Sydney
Elliot Tetreault, Ph.D., University of Louisville 

Full-Time Lecturers
Jill Hanifan, D.A., University at Albany, SUNY
Vesna Kuiken, Ph.D., Columbia University

Teaching Assistants (estimated): 20


The curriculum of the Department of English is designed to aid students to write effectively, to read critically, and to acquire a sense of the development of literature written in English and of its relation to society. English majors also have the option of applying for admission to the honors program. Students planning to take the GRE for graduate study in English are strongly urged to include course work in pre-1800 British and American literature. All English majors are strongly encouraged to study at least one foreign language. Students may count up to 3 credits toward their English electives from the list of Approved Courses for English Electives from outside the English Department. The Department also offers a Writing Concentration in the English major. The Department also offers a minor in English and a minor in Creative Writing. See Minors section of this bulletin for requirements for each program.

Careers for the English Majors

The major in English prepares students for further graduate or professional study and for careers in any field that requires a broad liberal education with special strength in language, critical analysis, and research. English graduates find careers in theater and film, government, counseling, broadcasting and media management, arts, nonprofits, museum curation, public policy and administration, social services, medicine, banking, international relations, retailing and manufacturing, as well as writing, editing, publishing, education, library science, advertising, and public relations. The English major is also excellent preparation for advanced study in such professional graduate programs as law, medicine, librarianship, social welfare, theology, and education.

Degree Requirements for the Major in English (36 credits)

  • 9 credits from required courses: A ENG 205Z, 305V, 310
  • 6 credits from the following literature surveys: A ENG 261, 291, 292, 295, or 297
  • 3 credits from 200 to 400 level courses*
  • 12 credits from 300 to 400 level courses
  • 6 credits from 400 level courses

*Students may count 3 credits towards their 200 to 400 level English electives from topically appropriate courses offered by other departments, as approved by the English Advisement Office.

Degree Requirements for the Major in English with a concentration in Writing (36 credits) 

  • 9 credits from required courses: A ENG 205Z, 305V, 310 
  • 6 credits from the following literature surveys: A ENG 261, 291, 292, 295, or 297
  • 3 credits from A ENG 240Z
  • 6 credits from A ENG 300, 302, 309, or 402
  • 3 credits from A ENG 306, 350, 360, or 450
  • 3 credits from 300 to 400 level courses
  • 6 credits from 400 level courses 

*Students may count 3 credits towards their 300 to 400 level English elective from topically appropriate courses offered by other departments, as approved by the English Advisement Office. 

Students in the Writing Concentration may not minor in Creative Writing. 

Course Progression Restrictions
A grade of C or higher in A ENG 205Z is required to register for A ENG 305V. A grade of B or higher in A ENG302Z or A ENG 302W is required to register for A ENG 402. A grade of C or higher in A ENG 210 or completion of A ENG 310 is required to register for most 400 level courses in English. Completion of A ENG 305V, or permission of instructor, is required for most 400 level courses.

Mentorship: English majors are expected to meet with their faculty mentors, assigned by the English Undergraduate Advisement Office, to discuss academic and career goals at least once prior to the start of senior year.

Areas of Study: The University at Albany English Department organizes its course offerings into eight areas of study in order to clarify the issues, topics, and projects that English students engage with and that define our faculty areas of expertise. English majors may wish to select courses in one or more of these areas of study to focus their work: American Literature and Culture, British Literature and Culture, Environmental Humanities, Film, Screen Media, and Visual Cultures, Postcolonial Literature and Culture,
Social Justice, Teacher Preparation, and Writing.

Honors Program in English

The honors program in English is designed to promote intellectual exchange and community among able English majors and to prepare them to do independent work. Students who successfully complete the program earn an Honors Certificate in English and, if they meet University GPA requirements, are eligible for a nomination to graduate from the University with "Honors in English."

Admission to the honors program is selective, based primarily on the evaluation of a critical writing sample and secondarily on instructor recommendations. Only declared English majors or English double majors are eligible to apply. One normally applies in the spring semester of sophomore year, but students can apply through the spring semester of junior year. Transfer students may apply upon acceptance to the University and declaration of the English major. An applicant is recommended to have a 3.25 cumulative GPA and a 3.50 GPA in the English major. When applying, students should have completed already, or will complete by the end of that semester, 12 credits that count toward the English major, including A ENG 205Z and A ENG 310. A ENG 305V also is recommended. Those who plan to write a creative thesis should have taken A ENG 302W (or 302Z) and/or A ENG 402Z. Alternately, they should be involved with an on-campus writing community, such as editing a student-run creative writing magazine or interning at a professional literary or cultural magazine sponsored by the English Department or elsewhere at the University. They also are encouraged to submit, in addition to a critical essay, a short creative writing sample.

Faculty members on the departmental Honors Committee review applications and decide on admissions. When appropriate for individual cases, they may waive any of the above entry requirements and recommendations.

While students are registered for the English honors sequence courses, the Honors Director monitors their progress through regular meetings with the students and, during the thesis year, through communications with each student’s project advisor. A student can be disallowed from continuing in the program if the Honors Director and/or the student’s thesis advisor judge his or her performance in A ENG 399Z and/or A ENG 498 to fall short of the program’s expectations. Similarly, if a student’s performance in his or her other English courses suffers, he or she might be dismissed from the program so as to be able to remediate the situation and be better able to graduate successfully. Any student who leaves or is dismissed from the honors program is held responsible for the English major requirements.

The English faculty member supervising the independent project evaluates the honors thesis, usually researched and written during the senior year. A second reader from the English Department or from another academic unit at the University supplies additional guidance and/or feedback about the thesis in the late stages of its development. Conferring with the Honors Director, the project advisor and second reader assign a letter grade (A-E) for A ENG 499 that evaluates the end product of the thesis research, while also considering other variables in the year-long project, such as: the student’s intellectual development, the student’s self-motivated performance in an independent study scenario, the student’s regular and timely consultation with supervisors, and the student’s public presentations or publication of project-related research and writing. Upon students' completion of program requirements, the Honors Committee recommends eligible candidates for a BA degree with “Honors in English.”

Degree Requirements for Honors in English (37 credits)*

  • 9 credits from major core courses: A ENG 205Z, 305V, 310
  • 10 credits from required courses: A ENG 399Z**, 498, 499
  • 6 credits from the following literature surveys: A ENG 261, 291, 292, 295, or 297
  • 3 credits from 200 to 400 level courses***
  • 9 credits from 300 to 400 level courses

** With advisement from the Honors Director and the thesis advisor, during the thesis-writing year an English Honors student can substitute A ENG 399Z with a 400-level course, preferably (if available) a course that is relevant to his or her project.

***Students may count 3 credits towards their 200 to 400 level English electives from topically appropriate courses offered by other departments, as approved by the English Advisement Office.

To graduate with “Honors in English” a student must complete the program course sequence (or approved substitutions), as well as conclude his or her undergraduate studies with a minimum grade point average of 3.50 in the English major and a minimum 3.25 cumulative GPA. If one graduates with the distinction of “Honors in English,” and completes the degree requirements specified above, the regular requirements of the English major are waived. If a student does not meet mandated GPA minimums at the time of graduation, he or she is responsible for the usual English major requirements but can count the honors sequence courses toward elective credits in the English major.

Combined B.A./M.A.: English Program and English/Liberal Studies Program

The combined B.A./M.A. program in English and the combined B.A./M.A. in English and Liberal Studies provide opportunities for students of recognized academic ability and educational maturity to fulfill integrated requirements of the undergraduate and master's degree programs from the beginning of their junior year.

The combined B.A./M.A. in English requires a minimum of 140 credits, of which at least 32 must be graduate credits. The combined B.A./M.A. in Liberal Studies requires a minimum of 138 credits, of which at least 30 must be graduate credits. In qualifying for the B.A., students must meet all university and college requirements, including the requirements of the undergraduate major described previously, the minor requirements, the minimum 90 credit liberal arts and sciences requirement, the general education requirements, and residency requirements. In qualifying for the M.A. in English or Liberal Studies, students must meet all university and college requirements as outlined in the Graduate Bulletin, including completion of a minimum of 32 graduate credits for English or 30 graduate credits for Liberal Studies and any other conditions such as a research seminar, thesis, comprehensive examination, professional experience, and residency requirements. Up to 12 graduate credits may be applied simultaneously to both the B.A. and M.A. programs.

Students may be admitted to the combined degree program at the beginning of their junior year, or after the successful completion of 56 credits. A cumulative grade point average of 3.20 or higher and three letters of recommendation from faculty are required for consideration. Students will be admitted upon the recommendation of the Graduate Admissions Committee of the department.