Feb 28, 2024  
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024 
Butler University Bulletin 2023-2024


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Lee Garver, PhD, Department Chair

Dan Barden, MFA; Joseph R. Colavito, PhD; Hilene Flanzbaum, PhD; Chris Forhan, MFA; Jason Goldsmith, PhD; Andrew G. Levy, PhD; Carol Reeves, PhD; Ania Spyra, PhD

Associate Professors
Michael Dahlie, MFA; Lee Garver, PhD; Brynnar Swenson, PhD; William Watts, PhD

Assistant Professors
Mira Kafantaris, PhD; Natalie Lima, MFA

Senior Lecturers
Barbara Campbell, PhD; Natalie Carter, PhD; Bryan Furuness, MFA; Angela Hofstetter; PhD, Alessandra Lynch; MFA, Sunny Romack, PhD; Robert Stapleton, MFA

Instructors and Lecturers
Bryce Berkowitz, MFA

Department Website

Why Study English?

The English major offers students the tools to master close reading, formal analysis, literary history, critical theory, research strategies, and creative expression. English majors enjoy the beauty of great works of art as they simultaneously ask important questions about the relationship between language and the production of meaning and value. Our students learn to discuss and write critically about the many ways literature and language have influenced the values and lived experiences of societies over centuries, among genders and classes, races and ethnicities, and across geographical boundaries. When English majors head out into the world, we expect that they will carry with them a passion for reading and writing, and a commitment to use language clearly, purposefully, and with sophistication and elegance.

Why Study English at Butler?

The English Department at Butler University balances the study of the traditional fields of English and American literature with a commitment to interdisciplinary work, including gender, women, and sexuality studies, film studies, comparative literature, cultural studies, video game studies, the rhetoric of science, professional writing, and creative writing. Our full-time faculty includes literary critics and theorists, cultural historians and rhetoricians, and novelists and poets. Our course offerings are diverse and wide ranging: students can choose a traditional literature major, or a major with a concentration in creative writing; literary theory, culture, and criticism; or public and professional writing. In each case, students will find small classes, dedicated teachers, and an active and engaged group of fellow students.

Butler’s English Department is home to one of the country’s most important Visiting Writers Series, which encourages a sense of literary and creative community that goes beyond the classroom. Recent visitors to the series have included Joyce Carol Oates, Richard Russo, Yusef Kumonyaaka, Elmore Leonard, Jorie Graham, and Junot Diaz. The popular Visiting Writers Series course offers students the chance to meet and talk to many of these writers. The department’s secondary programs include summer study abroad courses in England, Ireland, and Scotland, a student-edited literary magazine titled Manuscripts, a city-wide creative writing camp, a large peer-tutoring program where students help students across the University with their writing, an award-winning Writing in the Schools service-learning initiative, and an internship program where students gain invaluable work experience in classrooms, museums, non-profits, pressrooms, and in small and large businesses.

English Student Learning Outcomes

Our students graduate as incisive readers, cogent thinkers, and powerful writers, well prepared for any profession requiring a rigorous understanding and mastery of language. Because of their exposure to a vast array of human experiences in literature, English majors are more likely to be able to listen to the voices of opposition and disagreement; to accept the persistence in the world of ambiguity and complexity without resorting to facile simplification, cliché, or stereotypes; to consider evidence rather than rush to judgment; and to react to human dilemmas and suffering with compassion. English majors also carry with them a lasting ability to take informed pleasure in all forms of literature and creative production. We believe that the education our majors gain as readers and writers is invaluable whether they work in education, the legal field, the arts, electronic communication, publishing, business, the nonprofit sector, government, or other careers.

Degree Programs

  • Major in English (BA) with concentrations in Literature; Creative Writing; Professional Writing; and Literary Theory, Culture, and Criticism
  • Minor in English with concentrations in Literature; Creative Writing; and Professional Writing
  • Master of Arts in English (MA)
  • Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing (MFA)


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