English Department Honors

English Honors is a flexible program designed to offer interested and motivated English majors the chance to earn the English honors designation on their transcripts by participating in innovative seminars and working with a faculty mentor in the writing of an original thesis.  English and English education majors with a 3.5 gpa or higher in their English courses are invited by the English Department Honors Director to participate in the program.  Most students need to have completed 45 credit hours in order to be invited.

The program requires three 3-credit courses: two seminars (ENG 396) and a thesis (ENG 497). The seminars are unique courses, limited in enrollment, designed by faculty around especially engaging questions, topics, and texts. Some are interdisciplinary; some involve both critical and creative writing; others are organized around a particular period, theme, critical approach, or major writer. Typically one English honors seminar is offered each semester. The honors thesis is a long paper, written on a topic of the student’s own choosing under the direction of a faculty mentor, the culmination of a semester’s reading, researching, and writing.

English Honors course information can be viewed here.

Please contact Amy Wolf, PhD, the current director of the English Department Honors Program (Churchill Tower 903, x2627) for more information.

Recent Honors Seminars

Spring 2008

Woolf and Her Readers

Jane Fisher, PhD

Fall 2008

Rise of the American Novel

Jen Desiderio, PhD

Spring 2009

Verbal and Visual Blake

Rita Capezzi, PhD

Fall 2009

American Autobiography

Bob Butler, PhD

Spring 2010


Rev. Jim Pribek and Mel Schroeder

Fall 2010


Sandra Cookson, PhD

Spring 2011

Narratives of Illness and Disease

Jane Fisher, PhD

Fall 2011

Early Modern Women Writers

Rachel Greenberg, PhD

Spring 2012

Innocents Abroad: Americans in London

Roger Stephenson, PhD

Fall 2012

Crime Fiction

Jean Gregorek, PhD

Spring 2013

Monsters in Medieval and Early Modern England

Lindsey Row-Heyveld, PhD

Fall 2013


Sandra Cookson, PhD

Spring 2014


Rev. Jim Pribek

Fall 2014

The Modern Hero and Anti-Hero

Bob Butler, PhD

Spring 2015

Dr. Rita Capezzi 

Representations of the City: Institutions and the Crimes They Commit


Recent Honors Theses

Bieron, Joseph. "From Tom Sawyer to Satan: Mark Twain's Development as a Writer." (Spring 2011) Dir. by Bob Butler, PhD

Golebiewski, Teresa. "The Truth Behind Inclusion: Examining the Ongoing Struggle of Students with Learning Disabilities." (Fall 2009) Dir. by Betsy Dellebovi, PhD

Gorman, Kelly. "'Are you--Nobody--Too?': Destabilizing the Myth of Emily Dickinson and Understanding Her as an Artist" (Spring 2013) Directed by. Dr. Jennifer Desiderio

Harrington, Megan. "Ruthless and Rootless: An Examination of the Limits of the Female in American Democracy and the Morality of Money in the Male Marketplace in Ruth Hall and The House of Mirth" (Fall 2012) Directed by Dr. Jennifer Desiderio

Lyszewski, Aletha. "The Textual Captivity of the Female Author Figure." (Spring 2007) Dir. by Jen Desiderio, PhD

Marrese, Alicia. "A Feminist Approach to Marriage: An Evaluation of Jane Austen's Feminist Characters." (Spring 2011) Dir. by Rev. James Pribek

Pontillo, Jason. "The Evolution from Nihilism to Existentialism in the Novels of Kurt Vonnegut." (Spring 2009) Dir. by Robert Butler, PhD