The Department of English is sincerely committed to Grand Valley State University's mission of internationalizing its curriculum, and it continues to honor that commitment by offering various world-centered courses for English majors, minors, and graduate students, as well as for students from across the university who enroll in the department's General Education courses. By fostering "student development as citizens in a democratic society and as members of the global community of the 21st century," the department actively endorses the goal of cultivating a global perspective among students as highlighted in the mission statements of the university and of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS mission statement).
The English Department offers three opportunities to study abroad during the spring term (early May to mid-June). Led by English department professors, these programs are affordable and offer credit hours that count towards an English degree in Language and Literature, Secondary Education, and Elementary Education.
Department faculty members hail from six different countries, and many more have studied, taught, researched, disseminated scholarship, or lived abroad. Three faculty members hold advanced degrees in Comparative Literature, and several more teach, research, translate, and publish on literatures of the world, as well as on contemporary language issues with international ramifications. Meet our faculty who teach, research, or translate international literatures.
World Literature, Contemporary Postcolonial Anglophone Literature, North African Literature
World Literature, Contemporary Postcolonial Anglophone Literature, Caribbean Literature
In the past, the Department of English has hosted scholars from around the world including the South African playwright and novelist Zakes Mda, the Antiguan novelist and essayist, Jamaica Kincaid, the Irish-language poet, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill, as well as the university's first visiting Fulbright scholar from Africa, Dr. Kwadwo Opoku-Agyemang, whose year-long sojourn at GVSU led to the creation of an exchange program with the University of Cape Coast in Ghana. We are currently hosting two visiting scholars.
Through several of our literature and language courses, the Department of English is performing a key role in pursuing GVSU's aim of teaching students the values, heritage, problems and perspectives that accompany global citizenship. Eight of the department's undergraduate courses have entirely international content, and many more focus on global themes and incorporate world literature. Many courses offered in Linguistics introduce students the major language families of the world and explore varieties of World Englishes, from both socio-cultural-linguistic and critical linguistic approaches. The following list represents courses with an international focus.
ENG 203 World Literature
ENG 204 World Mythology
ENG 275 Ancient Drama
ENG 303 Studies in World Literature
ENG 304 International Literature for Children and Young Adults
ENG 375 Studies in Comparative Literature
ENG 378 Contemporary Latin American Literature
ENG 382 Literature and the Environment
ENG 383 "Make It New'': Literary Modernism
ENG 384 Literature of War
ENG 385 Writing and Revolution in the Americas
ENG 616 World Literature in English
ENG 641 History of the English Language