Welcome to the English Department

The English Department at Portland State University is a vibrant community of scholars, writers, and teachers with diverse interests and approaches to the study of English. We offer undergraduate majors in English and Creative Writing as well as minors in English, Writing, and Film Studies and a certificate in Comics Studies. For qualified undergraduates in the department, we also offer an accelerated program that leads to a BA or BS and MA in English. At the graduate level, students can study for an MA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, an MA or MS in Book Publishing, and an MA or MS in Technical and Professional Writing.

Ooligan 20th Anniversary Logo

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Ooligan Press

The Graduate Program in Book Publishing at PSU was started in 2001 by Dennis Stovall, combining traditional academic study with hands-on experiential learning. Twenty years later, there are over 500 book publishing alumni and Ooligan Press has published 60 books.

Explore the Department

Upcoming events

Captions and Corpses: How to read an EC Comic

Join PSU's Comics Studies program for a talk with Professor Qiana Whitted…
Add to my Calendar 2021-04-14 23:30:00 2021-04-10 00:03:11 Captions and Corpses: How to read an EC Comic Join PSU's Comics Studies program for a talk with Professor Qiana Whitted. In her talk, Prof. Qiana Whitted draws from her recent book on EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest to explore the 1950s publisher’s effort to distinguish between “entertaining” and “educational” reading practices that were mindful of the public’s anxieties over how comic books could influence young readers. Her discussion will consider the ways that EC’s writers and artists arranged the verbal and visual dynamics of the comics page to steer the potential impact of notorious crime and horror titles such “The Whipping” and “The Guilty.” Evaluating these creative choices raises important questions about the taboo combination of explicitness, incredulity, and reading pleasure that EC branded as “shock comics," engaging complex social messages amid the thrills and chills.Qiana Whitted is professor of English and African American Studies at the University of South Carolina. A graduate of Hampton University with a PhD from Yale University, her research and teaching focus on Black literary and cultural studies, and American comics and graphic novels. She is the author of the Eisner Award-winning book, EC Comics: Race, Shock, and Social Protest and co-editor of the collection on Comics and the U.S. South. Many of her published essays explore race, genre, and identity in comics representations of historical figures such as Nat Turner, Stagger Lee, and Emmett Till. She is currently editing a collection of essays on blackness in early American comics. She is also the editor of Inks: The Journal of the Comics Studies Society and chair of the International Comic Arts Forum. REGISTER FOR WEBINAR Remote skirtley@pdx.edu skirtley@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Meet the PSU Technical Writing Faculty: Aaron Bannister

Welcome to the winter edition of the PSU Technical Communication Meetup.…
Add to my Calendar 2021-04-21 18:00:00 2021-04-21 19:30:00 Meet the PSU Technical Writing Faculty: Aaron Bannister Welcome to the winter edition of the PSU Technical Communication Meetup. The purpose of the meetup is to create community around Tech Comm at PSU for students, staff, alums, prospective students and community friends.  This spring we continue a new meetup topic series—"Meet the PSU Tech Writing Faculty." This series is an opportunity to meet the excellent PSU tech writing faculty. All of our faculty have expertise and experiences that go far beyond what they bring to their classrooms at PSU. Prepare to hear wisdom, possibly be entertained and definitely plan to learn something new. On April 21, we will meet Technical Writer and Tech Editing Instructor Aaron Bannister. Zoom link: https://pdx.zoom.us/j/82365326095 https://pdx.zoom.us/j/82365326095 eng@pdx.edu eng@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Making Comics with Ebony Flowers

Join award-winning comics creator Ebony Flowers, author of Hot Comb, for a…
Add to my Calendar 2021-04-28 23:00:00 2021-04-10 00:03:11 Making Comics with Ebony Flowers Join award-winning comics creator Ebony Flowers, author of Hot Comb, for a hands-on and generative workshop. Participants will develop their ability as a writer, picture-maker, and observer while exploring spontaneous storytelling practices. By the end of the workshop, each participant will have a working draft of a short creative non-fiction comic. No drawing experience necessary! The synchronous workshop will be held on April 28 at 4pm on Zoom. An additional asynchronous (complete at your own pace) workshop will be available to registrants on April 5. Register here. Meet Your Instructor: Ebony is a cartoonist and an ethnographer. She was born and raised in Maryland. She holds a BA in Biological Anthropology from the University of Maryland College Park and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she wrote her dissertation as a comic (mostly). Her expertise is in qualitative research and evaluation, picture-based methods, curriculum studies, and S.T.E.A.M. education. Ebony is a 2017 Rona Jaffe Award recipient, a 2020 Ignatz Award recipient for Outstanding Graphic Novel, a 2020 Eisner Award recipient for Best Short Story and a 2020 Believer Award recipient for Fiction. She was also nominated for a 2020 NAACP Image Award for Literacy (Young Adult Fiction). She lives in Denver, CO. Zoom (Register below) comics@pdx.edu comics@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public

Fantasy Literature and the Holocaust: A Conversation with…

The 2021 Lorry I. Lokey Program Presents a Conversation with Special Guest…
Add to my Calendar 2021-05-06 11:00:00 2021-05-06 12:00:00 Fantasy Literature and the Holocaust: A Conversation with Special Guest Ruth Franklin The 2021 Lorry I. Lokey Program Presents a Conversation with Special Guest Ruth Franklin Join us for an intriguing conversation between our own Professor Michael Weingrad and special guest Ruth Franklin, literary critic and author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction. They will discuss aspects of Holocaust portrayal in fantasy literature and how writers have wrestled with the ethical and aesthetic challenges involved. There will be a question and answer period. Ruth Franklin, author of A Thousand Darknesses: Lies and Truth in Holocaust Fiction (2011), is also author of the award-winning biography Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life (2016). Her essays and articles appear in many publications, including The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Review of Books, and Harper’s. She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship in biography, a Cullman Fellowship at the New York Public Library, a Leon Levy Fellowship in biography, and the Roger Shattuck Prize for Criticism. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Michael Weingrad, Professor of Judaic Studies, Portland State University, is the author of American Hebrew Literature: Writing Jewish National Identity in the United States and the editor and translator of Letters to America: Selected Poems of Reuven Ben-Yosef. He is a regular contributor to the Jewish Review of Books and Mosaic magazine. He is currently working on a book about Jews and fantasy literature. A selection of his recent writing can be found at www.investigationsandfantasies.com. REGISTER FOR WEBINAR The 2021 Lorry I. Lokey Program is presented by the Harold Schnitzer Family Program in Judaic Studies at Portland State University with the generous support of Lorry I. Lokey and a grant from the Jerry & Helen Stern Grandchildren's Fund at the Oregon Jewish Community Foundation. Co-sponsors include PSU's College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and English Department. Remote judaicst@pdx.edu judaicst@pdx.edu America/Los_Angeles public