UMN Morris is a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Top Producing Institution. In spring 2021, recent English major Trina Vue (‘20) received a Fulbright to teach English in Thailand. At UMN Morris, Trina conducted research on Hmong composition practices with the support of the Multicultural Summer Research Opportunities and Undergraduate Research Opportunities programs. Now she’s putting her research into practice as she works with students in Thailand.
Students in ENGL 3063: Environmental Justice Literatures, an interdisciplinary course, connect their reading to the real world through a bicycle “toxic tour” and urban farm service activity in Minneapolis with the organization Tamales y Bicicletas. T&B empowers local Latinx and immigrant communities through environmental and food justice advocacy.
English majors Bailey Kemp and Sarah Severson interview visiting award-winning author David Ebershoff at a public event as part of a research collaboration with Prof. Michael Lackey.
Award-winning poet Danez Smith (far left) poses with students and professors during their campus visit as part of ENGL 3015: Writing Poetry for the 21st Century.
ENGL 1509: Literary Studies students perform a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest in full costume.
Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Liberal Arts Heid Erdrich talks with the campus community about Native American poetry.
Anishinaabe singer-songwriter Annie Humphrey talks with English students during her campus visit.
Creative writing students gift poems to an American basswood on campus with visiting Vancouver poet Ariel Gordon.
Visiting writers talk with the UMN Morris community at the annual Prairie Gate Literary Festival.
English faculty member and poet Athena Kildegaard speaks at the EcoStation Dedication (2015).
English Professor and Academic Dean Janet Schrunk Ericksen works with literature students.
“A story matrix connects all of us...And the story begins exactly where it is supposed to begin. We cannot skip any part.” —Joy Harjo, from Crazy Brave: A Memoir
The English Discipline at Morris is made up of faculty who are dedicated and accomplished scholars, creative writers, and teachers. Our diverse course offerings introduce students to a wide range of literatures written in English, while also offering opportunities for focused study. The English major and minor provide students with a foundation for success in any career. We also offer a creative writing minor. Our faculty help students achieve intellectual independence; clear, confident expression; broad perspectives; and a value for a diversity of histories, cultures, and forms of expression—the types of skills students need to tackle the complex problems and opportunities of the 21st century.
English literature and creative writing classes are small at UMN Morris. Small classes facilitate dialog across difference; camaraderie, collaboration, and friendship among students; unexpected discoveries and an in-depth grasp of subject matter; and close mentoring relationships between students and professors.
English students choose from a variety of electives, and these electives make up more than half of the credits toward their major. Students often work with faculty to shape programs of study that focus on specific topics that interest them. Through elective coursework, students can emphasize and develop expertise in:
- African American literature
- Creative writing
- Environmental literature
- Feminist and queer literature
- Genre fiction
- Medieval literature
- Multiethnic literatures
- Native American and Indigenous literatures
The English Discipline strongly encourages study abroad. A spring term or semester abroad can usually be quite easily integrated into the curriculum.
UMN Morris English students and faculty are among the most active on campus. There are ample opportunities for students. Students can:
- Edit or contribute to campus publications
- Give a public reading
- Join Floating World, the campus creative writing club
- Participate in a community-outreach program
- Serve as a research assistant to a faculty member
- Volunteer at the Prairie Gate Literary Festival
UMN Morris English students are highly successful! Current and recent English majors are among the recipients of and semi-finalists for the Fulbright international exchange program. Our graduates also pursue a range of career and graduate school opportunities.
- English alumna (’20) Trina Vue receives a Fulbright to teach English in Thailand.
- Prof. Josh Johnson publishes an environmental epic fantasy novel, The Forever Sea.
- Prof. Athena Kildegaard co-edits a poetry anthology on motherhood.
- English majors are among five Fulbright semifinalists at UMN Morris.
- English majors interview award-winning author David Ebershoff as part of a research collaboration with Prof. Michael Lackey.
- Prof. Michael Lackey publishes Conversations with Biographical Novelists, a collection of interviews.
- Prof. Angela Hume publishes an anthology, Ecopoetics: Essays in the Field.
- English major Zoe Blumhardt pursues an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) project on children’s biofiction.
- Prof. Becca Gercken publishes an anthology, Gambling on Authenticity: Gaming, the Noble Savage, and the Not-So-New Indian.