• Department of English
Department of English

Lifelong learning.

» About the Department

Student StudyingThe Department of English at Chapman University encourages students to read widely and deeply, to write boldly and thoughtfully, and to engage in interdisciplinary scholarship and creative activity. Coursework ranges across literature, rhetoric, and cultural studies; creative writing; journalism; digital humanities; and creative and cultural industries. Our English students and faculty explore and create the stories that shape our worlds.

Undergraduate students may pursue a BFA in Creative Writing or a BA in English with a concentration in either literature, rhetoric, cultural studies or journalism. Minors in English, journalism and special studies are also available to students majoring in fields across the university.

Our graduate students pursue an MA in English, an MFA in Creative Writing, or a unique "Dual-Degree" program that combines the two. Students in the MFA can focus on fiction, poetry, nonfiction, or even screenwriting and are encouraged to work in more than one genre. All our graduate students take courses in and across specialized areas that include literature, theory, rhetoric and composition and digital humanities.

Did you know? The National Endowment for the Arts projects writer and author occupations to increase by 15 percent through 2018!

Our Department Mission

Throughout their time at Chapman, students are offered exiting opportunities to apply their ideas and critical thinking skills in real-world situations. Our Mission is to foster creative and intellectually rigorous thinking, clear and original written expression of ideas, in-depth knowledge of cultural and literary traditions, and exploration of a variety of subject matter through both reading and writing. The English Department offers students innovative and personalized instruction as the basis for lifelong learning and literary citizenship. 

Department Statement on Diversity and Inclusion
December 2016

For at least half a century now, English as an academic discipline has been at the forefront of scholarly work and pedagogy in feminist theory, critical race studies, ecocriticism, queer theory, disability studies, working-class studies, postcolonial theory, multiculturalism, linguistic diversity, and student agency. The English Department at Chapman University works in all these areas and endorses Chapman’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. We pledge to vigorously support all our students; to welcome all students into our classrooms irrespective of immigration status; to contest racism, sexism, classism, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, imperialism, anti-Semitism, and anti-environmentalism; and to resist deportations.

+ - Student Opportunities

Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honors Society, plays a critical role in connecting our students with each other and opportunities in the field through the organization's activities and discussions.

Several student news and creative writing publications, including Calliope and Prowl Magazine, offer students hands-on experience in writing, editing, and publishing.

The John Fowles Center for Creative Writing and Tabula Poetica: The Center for Poetry at Chapman University host annual reading series that bring our undergraduate and graduate students in direct conversation with accomplished writers a variety of genres. Recent featured authors include Salman Rushdie, Rae Armantrout, Elizabeth George, Allison Joseph and Willis Barnstone.

Visiting writers such as Victoria Chang and Samantha Dunn have taught semester-long courses, and Presidential Fellows such as Carolyn Forché, Marjorie Perloff, and Rebecca Skloot visit twice each year for personalized experiences with our students.

The department also encourages students to study abroad and our travel courses bring literature and culture to life.

+ - Support Our Program

The Department of English at Chapman University is a dynamic group of faculty and students who read widely, write boldly, and think deeply about how language and stories give meaning to our lives and shape our ideas.

We welcome contributions to the MFA Memorial Fund, which honors MFA alumnae Peggy Hesketh (author of Telling the Bees), Tracy Boone Swan (Fulbright scholar), and other wonderful writers we’ve lost too soon. All contributions made in the memory of MFA alums will be used to support the research, writing, and networking of current MFA students. Please note your memorial contribution in the online form.

We also welcome support for our vibrant programs beyond the classroom, which include the John Fowles Center, Tabula Poetica, Chapman University-Orange High School Literacies Partnership, Pub(lishing) Crawl, and WordTheatre, all of which host events open to the public. Any level of contribution is welcome.

We’d like you to be part of creating amazing experiences for our students in English. Go to our online form to make your difference.

We’re happy to talk with you about the possibilities for fostering our exciting work. For more information, please contact Mary Shockey, Development Coordinator, at (714) 532-6017 or shockey@chapman.edu.

Contact Us

Wilkinson Hall 217
Chapman University
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866


Administrative Assistants:

Kristen Laakso
Laakso@chapman.edu (Preferred)
(714) 997-6750

David Krausman
Krausman@chapman.edu (Preferred)
(714) 532-6026

Department Chair:

Dr. Joanna Levin
Jlevin@chapman.edu (Preferred)
(714) 997-6534

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