We read the world
With 55 full-time faculty, 500 undergraduate majors, and over 200 graduate students, English is one of the largest and most vibrant departments at Georgia State University. We are proud of the breadth and excellence of our programs, which range from the two-semester Freshman Composition sequence to Ph.D. programs in literary studies, creative writing, rhetoric and composition, and secondary education. In addition to these traditional concentrations, we teach classes in digital humanities, folklore, literary theory, cultural studies, professional and technical writing (including electronic editing and publishing), and a variety of eclectic fields and topics such as ethnic literature, graphic novels, African literature, editing, and the ever-popular practical grammar.
Faculty research and creative writing have been recognized by major awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Fulbright Commission and the Guggenheim Foundation. We publish in the top journals and presses in the field: take a look at the brimming bookcase outside our front office for a sampling of what we’ve been up to lately.
Our undergraduate and graduate students have opportunities to participate in international exchange and study abroad programs (in England, France, Italy, Germany, China, and elsewhere), faculty research, and service learning and internships. Many students gain editorial experience through one of the many publications housed in our department: the award-winning literary journal Five Points; The South Atlantic Review; Studies in the Literary Imagination; new south; and The Eudora Welty Review. Our location in the heart of downtown Atlanta and our diverse student population allow us to take advantage of both the historical and cultural richness of the region and the resources of its fastest-growing and most international urban center.
Robert Brennan, Class of 2014
Among the hundreds of undergraduates who will receive their degrees on May 10, there is one English major whose journey to his degree has been a long one and given him a lifetime of stories to tell. Robert Brennan is eighty-five years old and will be receiving his BA in English. Bob is a decorated veteran of the Korean War who has pursued a career in journalism, beginning with the Hearst organization and on into the evolving medium of television. As the Southern Bureau Director for CBS News in Atlanta during the 1960s, Bob met and reported on many of the important figures of the Civil Rights era. Bob was instrumental in launching the careers of a number of African American journalists who learned their trade during his tenure as news director for WAGA-TV. He was active in the early years of formation of the Peachtree Road Race and active in the development of women’s running in Atlanta. He worked tirelessly in the effort to bring the Olympics to Atlanta in 1996 and served as Press Chief during the Games.
Bob enrolled in the 62-Plus program at Georgia State University in fall, 2008 to resume his pursuit of the degree that was interrupted in the mid-fifties. Despite failing eyesight, Bob persevered in his studies, and is completing his final project as an English major, working with Pearl McHaney and Dan Marshall in a two-semester directed reading focusing on contemporary memoir and autobiography, while at the same time writing his own memoirs of his remarkable life. His working title is Splits: The Times of My Life. Bob’s story speaks to all of us about courage, persistence, and quiet humility.