Experience English: Live the Written Word

Pursue a degree in English and live what you love.  The English department at IUE will afford you the chance to grow as a writer, examine the timelessness of the world's greatest writers, and become a part of a dynamic program.

English Department Mission

The English Department affirms its crucial role in building intellectual, artistic, and professional knowledge through the study and writing of literature and language in one of our four areas of study: composition studies, creative writing, literature, and technical and professional writing.

Bachelor of Arts in English Concentrations

Creative Writing: Within the English degree, students can choose to concentrate in Creative Writing, with courses in Fiction, Poetry, and Creative Nonfiction.  Students will explore writing in various forms: short stories, novels, poetry, memoir, documentary writing, and more.  Creative opportunities include Tributaries, the IUE literary magazine; internships; visiting writers; and field trips.

Literature: A literature concentration allows majors to concentrate their courses in British, American, and world literatures.  The concentration is recommended for students intending to pursue graduate work in literature.  Students are encouraged to take as many classes as possible in the British literature sequence and the American literature sequence. Through these classes, students will have covered the major authors and periods in both British and American literature.  Additionally, students will take world literature for an appreciation of non-English literatures.  Beginning with English L202 Literary Interpretation, students will round off their experiences with literary criticism English L371.

Technical and Professional Writing: A concentrated study in the techniques of professional and technical writing including document design, digital writing, technical editing, and technical writing. Create brochures, websites, presentations, reports, blogs, and more. Fine tune your professional writing skills for the world of technical writing, editing, marketing, advertising, publishing, journalism, and many other areas which require excellent writing skills.


Faculty Spotlight

Travis Rountree

Travis Rountree, Writing Program Director, English Originally from Richmond, VIRGINIA, Travis earned his BA in English with a minor in American Studies from James Madison University. While there, he fell in love with the mountains and mountain culture which led him to pursue his MA in English with a teaching certificate in Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University.  After his graduate work, he stayed at App. State for 6 years where he became the assistant director of composition and worked as a Writing Across the Curriculum consultant.  He soon left his beloved mountains to go to the University of Louisville to earn his PhD. While there he was the assistant director of composition for two years.  He completed his dissertation titled “‘Hard to See Through the Smoke’: Remembering the 1912 Hillsville, Virginia Courthouse Shootout” in May 2017.  The dissertation examines the rhetorical depictions of the shootout specifically by the media, ballads, recent plays, museums, and portrayals of women.  He continues to research the shootout because of its fascinating public history.  While at Louisville he received the Barker Endowment for Southern Letters and the Barbara Plattus Teaching Award. Travis is also the treasurer for the Appalachian Studies Association.

Travis teaches composition, pedagogy, and directs the Writing Program.  When he’s not in his office in Whitewater, you might find Travis gardening, running, or enjoying music of all kinds (even though he still hasn’t learned guitar but he might soon).

Student Spotlight

Lloyd Mullins

lloydLloyd Mullins, the Outstanding Undergraduate in English for 2016-17, received his BA in English from IU East in December 2016. He is hoping to be accepted into an MFA program in Creative Writing with a focus on fiction. During his tenure as an English major at IU East, he learned to apply his love of books and storytelling to writing. A number of his short stories and essays were published in Tributaries, both in 2015 and 2017. His short story, “A Kentucky Courtship,” won first prize for fiction in the 2015 issue. Lloyd also served as fiction editor for the 2016 issue of Tributaries and presented a number of papers at various conferences.

Lloyd is also retired from the United States Air Force, and creator of the modestly popular blog moonsthoughts.com, which has allowed him to stretch his writing muscles even more. He hopes to make a living as a writer, as he has held numerous regular jobs over the years and didn’t care for it. When not obsessively checking his email for news from graduate programs, he is currently working on two novels, a dystopian comedy, and a supernatural thriller set in the Great Depression. 

Philip R. Jones

4Philip R. Jones is the 2017 Outstanding Graduate Student in English for the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) at Indiana University East (IUE).  A 2016 graduate if IUE’s Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies Program, Philip will receive the Master of Arts degree in English from IUE in May 2017. 

Philip holds a Ph.D. in Education – Adult, Professional, and Community Education with a research concentration in rhetoric and composition from Texas State University.  He also holds a M.A. in English Literature from University of Houston-Clear Lake and a B.M. in Vocal Music from The University of Houston.  Philip has a passion for teaching freshman English composition and for the advancement of literacy education (writing and reading) as a whole. During his time in the M.A. in English program at IUE, Philip further developed the wealth of rhetoric and composition coursework that he completed during his previously earned Graduate Certificate in Composition Studies.  He was able to develop a focused and professional level of expertise in the area of writing pedagogy, theory, and research methods in the field of rhetoric and composition.  This focused master’s level of study in composition pedagogy has enabled Philip to more effectively teach writing at both the community college and university level, and has better strengthened his pedagogical background in the area of rhetoric and composition.   

Alumni Spotlight

Here is some news from recent graduates:

  • Sara Baxter, Managing Editor of Tributaries and first-year MA student in English who earned her BA in English at Indiana University East, has been accepted into the prestigious Kenyon College Summer Writers Workshop: Poetry in Session Two (July 7-14). This is a “peer-reviewed” workshop; Sara’s admittance was based on the merit of a selection of her poetry she sent to the committee. 

  • Steph Beckner, Editor in Chief of Tributaries and MA student in English has agreed to enroll in West Virginia University’s MFA in Creative Writing program (creative nonfiction) this Fall.  She will have full funding and tuition remission. She’s also being considered for a publishing position with WVU, and she said that the last two grad students who have held that position have gone on to work in publishing houses. Anthony Swofford, who wrote Jarhead, teaches at WVU, along with his wife Christa Paravanni who wrote Her: A Memoir. Paravanni told Steph that her work "won their hearts.”

  • Kaylyn Flora is attending the University of North Carolina Wilmington to study for an MFA in CW.
  • Katie Yohey is going to graduate school and working at Ball State University.
  • Lindsey Dirksen started her first year as a graduate student at Ball State where she’s pursuing a Master of Arts degree in English with an emphasis in Creative Writing (Poetry).
  • Whitney Reeves is enrolled in the MA in Philanthropic Studies at IUPUI. She is also teaching Visual Art at Test Middle School.
  • Emily O’Brien and Chase Eversole are continuing their studies at Miami University. Emily is completing an MA in English and Chase an MFA in poetry. Emily is also looking for PhD programs.
  • In addition, Tyler Groff, Secondary Education English major, is completing a PhD in literature (ABD) at Miami.
  • Lauren Murray works full time at IU East as secretary for Academic Support Programs and is currently enrolled in a graduate course in English at IU East.


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