May 22, 2024  
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of English & Communication

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Faculty and Fields of Interest

Anupama Arora post-colonial theory and literature, especially from Africa, the Caribbean, South Asia and its diaspora; women’s studies; Asian American literature; colonial literature; literary criticism and theory

Anthony Arrigo visual rhetoric, technology and culture, multimodal literacy, technical communication, cultural studies

Jerry Blitefield rhetoric and composition, rhetorical theory and criticism, history of rhetoric, creative nonfiction, fiction

Julie Bowman first-year English, literature

Elisabeth Buck (Director, Multiliteracy and Communication Center) Composition and rhetoric, peer tutoring, writing center administration, first-year English

Eric Casero first-year English, literature

Katherine DeLuca new and digital media, rhetoric, professional writing

Christopher Eisenhart (Chairperson) rhetorical criticism and theory, professional and political communication, discourse studies

Eli Evans first-year English, literature

Shari Evans multicultural literature and African-American literature, contemporary women writers, feminist and critical race theory

Meghan Fair first-year English, literature

Caroline Gelmi poetry and poetics, nineteenth- and twentieth-century American literature

Karen Gulbrandsen (Graduate Program Director, Director of Teaching Fellows) technical communication, technology transfer, rhetoric of science and technology

Laurel Hankins early American literature, nineteenth-century American literature, transatlantic literary culture, theories of moral sentiment

Stanley Harrison rhetoric, professional writing, advanced computer applications

Tracy Harrison American and British literature, first-year English

Thomas Hertweck first-year English, literature

Jenny Howe first-year English, literature

Elizabeth Lehr science communication, composition

Lucas Mann creative nonfiction, journalism, professional writing

William Nelles (Emeritus) narrative theory, medieval literature

Jackie O’Dell first-year English, literature

Morgan Peters drama, creative writing, filmmaking, oral traditions

Nicholas Santavicca (Director, American Language and Culture Institute)  ESL/ELL education, discourse and culture

Judy Schaaf (Emeritus) medieval and Renaissance studies, 19th-century American literature, travel and nature writing

Zack Sitter first-year English, literature

Alexis Teagarden (Director, First Year English) rhetoric, college writing pedagogy, assessment, public policy

Robert P Waxler (Emeritus) romanticism, Jewish studies, professional writing, communication theory

Charles W White III (Emeritus) American literature, film

Mary Wilson transatlantic modernist fiction, domesticity and sexuality in literature

Yuan Zhang first-year English, ESL

Jay Zysk Renaissance/early modern British literature

The English & Communication Department serves a diverse group of majors: a group that includes those who intend to go on to graduate study; those who intend to enter the teaching profession and those who plan careers in such areas as public relations, editorial work, journalism, technical and professional writing, creative writing, personnel work and the like. The department also serves many other majors: those students who elect English and Communication courses in order to gain some acquaintance with the rich cultural heritage that English, American and comparative literature provide; and those who, through advanced courses in writing, wish to improve their powers of communication.

In addition, the department provides a first-year English program that includes introductory composition courses (ENL 101 and 102), testing and evaluation of the writing ability of incoming students, English-as-a-second language instruction and professional communications courses for students in business, science, technology, engineering and computer science programs.

English & Communication students may choose major options in English or in Communication.  English majors may choose our B.A. in English which balances studies in literature and writing, or may choose some greater specialization in one of two concentrations: Literature & Criticism or Creative & Professional Writing. These options reflect the department’s conviction that perceptive reading, effective writing and clear thinking are interconnected.

Communication majors take a core of requirements but then have flexibility among their electives to develop pathways of specialization such as Journalism, Strategic Communication, Multimodal & Visual Communication, and Technical Communication.

The English & Communication Department offers a graduate program leading to a Master of Arts degree in Professional Writing & Communication designed to give students a background in rhetorical and communication theories and the advanced skills necessary for professional jobs in business, government, technology or publishing, as well as continued academic studies. For more information go to:

The English & Communication Department offers a 4+1 option for qualified majors to earn the Master in Professional Writing & Communication degree in just a single year of graduate study. For more information go to

Teacher Preparation Program Option:

Enrollment in the 4+1 (BA/BS-MAT) Teacher Preparation program allows undergraduate students to explore teaching as a profession through completion of graduate-level education coursework and field experiences within local public school settings. Students pursing teacher preparation at UMass Dartmouth graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in their chosen major, a Master’s degree in Teaching, and a Sheltered English Immersion endorsement.  In order to develop a plan towards a license to teach, students should indicate their interest to both their English major advisor and the Coordinator of Teacher Preparation Programs. Students may enroll in the 4+1 program once they have earned 30 credits with a 3.0 GPA or above.


Learning Outcomes:

English B.A. Learning Outomes

  • Explain key concepts from English studies
  • Develop and write original texts across genres and modes
  • Understand and apply concepts and ideas related to issues of diversity such as race, class, sexuality, gender, ethnicity and others to texts across multiple genres and modes
  • Conduct research effectively in both traditional and new and emerging formats
  • Evaluate and employ resources effectively, using disciplinary conventions for citation and documentation


English Literature & Criticism Learning Outcomes

  • Understand literature as a mode of expression that is more than informational, but also aesthetic, imaginative, and generative
  • Examine and address human conditions, causes, and contexts and how they are embedded in language, narrative, and structure in literary texts
  • Analyze a variety of literary texts through close reading of language, genre, and form
  • Describe and analyze how literary texts and theories engage with issues of race, class, sexuality, gender, and ethnicity
  • Participate in inquiry-based and student-centered dialogue by listening to others’ perspectives, asking productive questions, and articulating original ideas
  • Articulate and engage a variety of perspectives and points-of-view with both openness and critical engagement
  • Conduct original research in literary studies that interprets, evaluates, synthesizes and integrates primary and secondary sources
  • Write to discover, interpret, analyze, argue, and persuade


English Creative & Professional Writing Learning Outcomes:

  • Write and compose original texts
  • Apply key concepts writing analytically, creatively, and professionally across multiple genres and modes based on audience needs and information design principles
  • Identify and summarize foundational concepts in creative writing, literary studies, and rhetorical studies
  • Understand and apply concepts and ideas related to issues of diversity such as race, class, sexuality, gender, ethnicity and others to texts across multiple genres and modes
  • Analyze the compositional and rhetorical strategies used in texts across multiple genres and modes
  • Synthesize primary and secondary sources, using appropriate research and writing methods across genres and modes
  • Evaluate the appropriateness of compositional and rhetorical strategies used in texts


Communication B.A. Learning Outcomes:

  • Create written texts using appropriate supporting materials and theories in communication and rhetoric
  • Communicate ideas orally within multiple contexts
  • Use information design principles to produce texts appropriate for audience, purpose, and context
  • Summarize and apply key concepts in communication and rhetorical theory
  • Evaluate the historical and cultural contexts of communication practices and describe their ethical, social, or environmental implications
  • Understand and apply concepts and ideas related to issues of diversity such as race, class,
  • sexuality, gender, ethnicity and others to texts across multiple genres and modes
  • Evaluate messages from a variety of media and technologies using methodologies in communication and rhetoric

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