Jun 25, 2018  
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


Return to: USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences  

The Department of English offers a broad range of courses in English, American and Anglophone literature of all periods and genres, and in related areas such as creative and expository writing, literature and visual arts, ethnic literature and cultural studies, history of the English language and of literary criticism, and literary and cultural theory. Instructors assign extensive reading and writing in order to help students become perceptive readers, critical thinkers and strong writers. Class sizes are kept at 19 to enable full discussion in literature classes and at 12 in creative writing workshops.

Taper Hall of Humanities 404
(213) 740-2808
Email: english@dornsife.usc.edu

Chair: David St. John, MFA


University Professor and Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature and Professor of English, Art History and History: Leo Braudy, PhD

Distinguished Professor: Percival Everett, AM

USC Associates Chair in Humanities and Professor of English and American Studies & Ethnicity: John Carlos Rowe, PhD

Aerol Arnold Chair of English: Viet Nguyen, PhD*

Florence R. Scott Professor of English and Professor of English and Comparative Literature: Tania Modleski, PhD

Judge Widney Professor of Poetry and Public Culture: Dana Gioia, MBA

Provost Professor of English and Art History: Kate Flint, PhD

Writer in Residence: Geoffrey Dyer

Professors: Aimee Bender, MFA; Joseph A. Boone, PhD; Joseph A. Dane, PhD; Lawrence D. Green, PhD; J. Jack Halberstam, PhD (American Studies & Ethnicity); Susan McCabe, PhD; Edwin McCann, PhD (Philosophy); Carol Muske-Dukes, MFA*; David Rollo, PhD*; David Román, PhD*; Margaret E. Russett, PhD; Hilary M. Schor, PhD; David St. John, MFA; Daniel Tiffany, PhD; David Treuer, PhD; Marianne Wiggins

Associate Professors: Emily Anderson, PhD*; Alice Gambrell, PhD*; Thomas Gustafson, PhD*; William R. Handley, PhD; Mark Irwin, PhD; Heather James, PhD*; Dana Johnson, MFA; Anthony Kemp, PhD; Rebecca Lemon, PhD; Karen L. Tongson, PhD

Assistant Professors: Devin Griffiths, PhD; Anna Journey, PhD; Elda Maria Román, PhD

Professor (Teaching): Christopher Freeman, PhD

Associate Professors (Teaching): Mary (Molly) A. Bendall, MA; Richard Berg, PhD; Michael Du Plessis, PhD (Comparative Literature); Susan Segal, MFA; Thea Tomaini, PhD

Professor Emeritus of English and Aerol Arnold Professor Emeritus of English: James R. Kincaid, PhD

Leo S. Bing Professor Emeritus: Jay Martin, PhD

Leo S. Bing Professor Emeritus of English and American Literature: Paul K. Alkon, PhD

Florence R. Scott Professor of English Emerita: Marjorie Perloff, PhD

Distinguished Emerita Professor: Virginia J. Tufte, PhD*

Distinguished Professor Emeritus: T. Coraghessan Boyle, PhD

Emeritus Professors: Charles B. Berryman, PhD; Donald C. Freeman, PhD; Max F. Schulz, PhD

Emeritus Associate Professors: William H. Brown, PhD; David Eggenschwiler, PhD; Stephen C. Moore, PhD

*Recipient of university-wide or college teaching award.

Undergraduate Degrees


All students meet with a faculty adviser before registering for courses each semester. Faculty advisers help students shape their majors according to their evolving interests and the requirements of the majors. Students should consult the director of undergraduate studies and the undergraduate staff adviser about departmental clearances and course substitutions.

Double Majors

The department strongly encourages majoring in both English and in another department in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences or in another school of the university.

English Honors Program

Candidates for the B.A. in English can receive a designation on their transcripts of departmental honors by successfully completing a senior honors thesis while enrolled in ENGL 496 , and having a 3.5 final GPA. ENGL 491 Senior Seminar in Literary Studies  is a prerequisite for ENGL 496 . Students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 overall and 3.5 in English courses can apply for ENGL 496 ; application is due at the start of fall semester of senior year. For additional information, contact a departmental adviser or the director of undergraduate studies.

Teaching Credential Requirements

Credential requirements in California and elsewhere are complex and changeable. Students interested in preparing for public school teaching should contact the Credentials Office, Rossier School of Education (or refer to this catalogue page ), and the undergraduate adviser in the English department for up-to-date information. The English department usually offers courses that satisfy most, if not all, of these requirements.

Graduate Degrees

Admission Requirements

Requirements for admission to study in the department of English include: GRE scores that are satisfactory to the department on both the verbal portion of the General Test and the literature Subject Test of the Graduate Record Examinations; evidence of competence in writing English and interpreting English literature, as demonstrated by two samples of written work by the applicant on literary subjects; a satisfactory written statement by the applicant of aims and interests in graduate work; letters of recommendation from at least three college instructors (English instructors preferred); and grades satisfactory to the department earned by the applicant at other institutions.

Degree Requirements

These degrees are under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to The Graduate School  section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degrees must be courses accepted by the Graduate School.

Common Requirements

Transfer of Credit

A Transfer Credit Statement is prepared by the Degree Progress Department for students admitted to full graduate standing. The application of any available transfer credit is contingent on successful completion of the screening procedure and is determined by the director of graduate studies no later than the end of the second year according to the following guidelines: credit will only be allowed for courses (1) from accredited graduate schools; (2) of grade B (3.0 on a four-point scale) or better; (3) constituting a fair and reasonable equivalent to current USC course work at the graduate level and fitting into the program for the degree; and (4) approved by the Graduate School. Graduate transfer credit will not be granted for life experience, credit by examination, non-credit extension courses, correspondence courses or thesis course supervision.

The maximum number of transfer credits which may be applied toward the Master of Arts degree is four units. The maximum number of transfer credits that may be applied toward the PhD degree is 12 units. The Graduate School stipulates that transfer units must have been completed within 10 years of admission for the doctoral program to be applied toward the degree.

Experience in Teaching

This requirement may be fulfilled by one or more years' service as an assistant lecturer in the Writing Program or equivalent experience as determined by the director of the Graduate Studies Program.

Graduate Activity and Support

The English Department is committed to the development of its graduate students as professionals. To this end, the department provides a number of opportunities for professional activity. In addition, the Association of English Graduate Students (AEGS) hosts a variety of lectures, discussions and forums throughout the year. To support the student's professional activities outside of USC, the department also provides some funding for travel to conferences and professional meetings, along with a full range of placement, advising and support activities. Graduate creative writing students will host lectures, discussions and forums in poetry and fiction studies.


    Bachelor's DegreeMinorMaster's DegreeDoctoral Degree


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