• Word salad of English-related words
  • Read with Matty the Matador
  • English careers bulletin board
  • AGSE
  • Literary Theory Club and Course 407 posters
  • Oviatt Library
  • Open book with letters rising from it


Welcome to the Department of English

Welcome to the Department of English, one of the largest and most diverse departments on campus and a part of the College of Humanities at California State University-Northridge. We offer a wide variety of courses and programs in the field of literature, language, composition, rhetoric and creative writing; on the undergraduate and graduate level.  We are dedicated with providing students with analytical and critical thinking skills, studying British and American literature and gaining knowledge on their literary and cultural history. We will help students and cultivate their imagination while challenging them to write effectively and read critically.The faculty and staff of the Department of English are committed to helping students meet their educational goals and expects its majors, especially, to be able to write clearly and correctly.

Our Mission


  1. A commitment to teaching the knowledge and skills for critical reading, writing, and thinking

    We teach the conventions, terminology, and practice(s) of the discipline at the university level. We teach the historical and intellectual backgrounds for the study of literature, creative writing, composition, and linguistics. We encourage students to use this knowledge to develop and extend the discipline through their own creative and intellectual endeavors. We teach the value of language and literature within a broader social context.

  2. A commitment to preparing students to be informed and responsible participants in a democratic society

    We encourage students to develop a commitment to cultural and other forms of diversity in and beyond the classroom through an engagement with various literatures, theories, and creative works. We teach respect for all people(s) while recognizing both the differences and commonalities that contribute to a diverse, democratic society. In addition, we encourage students to participate in service learning, to seek community involvement, and to pursue other forms of non-traditional education.

  3. A commitment to fostering life-long learning among students as they pursue personal and professional goals

    We believe that studies in language, literature, and writing establish a strong foundation for a life of intellectual curiosity, creative activity, and personal development. Therefore, we seek to make students aware of the ways in which reading and writing, like language itself, can be experienced as open-ended and ever-developing activities that significantly enrich personal experience and can contribute to professional advancement. We aim to provide students with the literacy skills and critical capacities to frame guiding questions that will sustain reading and writing throughout their lives.

  4. A commitment to fostering professional development among colleagues

    We believe effective teachers continue to learn and also to share their knowledge through publication and other professional activity. Through our activities, we expand our own knowledge, disseminate our ideas to contribute to ongoing professional conversations, deepen our understanding of pedagogy, and update our teaching skills.

  5. A commitment to sharing knowledge beyond the university classroom in a variety of venues

    As active professionals and public intellectuals, we seek to share and develop knowledge by disseminating our work in a variety of public forums. We seek to foster connections among students, faculty, and various cultural, academic, and community-based organizations for mutual enrichment through service, shared knowledge, and creative activity.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Undergraduate Program

  1. You will gain the ability to read critically.
  2. You will gain the ability to write effectively.
  3. You will gain a broad knowledge of and the ability to engage with relevant theories.
  4. You will gain a broad knowledge of literary and cultural history with an emphasis on British and American literature and culture.
  5. You will gain knowledge of the cultural diversity of literature.
  6. In addition to these primary learning outcomes, the Department of English has designated the additional learning outcomes for the following options:

Students in the Creative Writing Option are expected to reach the following Learning Outcomes

  1. You will learn to write and revise creative work using techniques and strategies employed by experienced writers.
  2. You will develop the critical ability to read and understand poetry, narrative, and/or drama.
  3. You will learn to reflect on your own creative writing in relation to relevant literary and theoretical traditions.
  4. You will work at advanced levels in at least one creative writing genre.

Students in the Subject Matter Option are expected to reach the fol­lowing Learning Outcomes

  1. You will gain knowledge of the nature and structure of the English language and its relationship to other human languages.
  2. You will gain knowledge of and the ability to apply rhetorical and composition theory.
  3. You will develop the ability to participate in discourse pertaining to the disciplines of English.

In addition to the above Subject Matter Option Learning Outcomes, students in the Four-Year Integrated and Junior-Year Integrated Subject Matter Options are expected to reach the following Learning Outcomes:

  1. You will develop the ability to engage and support all secondary students (grades 6-12) in learning.
  2. You will develop the ability to create and maintain effective environments for secondary student learning.
  3. You will develop the ability to make subject matter comprehensible for student learning.
  4. You will develop the ability to plan instruction and design learning experiences for all secondary students.
  5. You will develop the ability to assess secondary students’ learning.
  6. You will give evidence of the ability to develop as a professional educator.

Students in the Honors Option are expected to reach the following Learning Outcomes

  1. You will gain the ability to articulate clear interpretations of cultural texts
  2. You will gain the ability to engage in independent research and scholarship.
  3. You will gain the ability to present a scholarly paper.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Graduate Program in Literature

  1. You will gain the ability to apply major critical approaches to the study of English language and literature.
  2. You will gain the ability to conduct advanced literary research, including bibliographical and historical study.
  3. You will gain the ability to write advanced analyses that take into account current schools of critical methodology and are informed by professional standards of literary research.
  4. You will gain the ability to present scholarly analyses through confer­ence presentations, including the annual Honors Colloquium and AGSE Spring Conference.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Graduate Program in Creative Writing

  1. You will develop the ability to apply major critical approaches to the study of English language and literature.
  2. You will demonstrate improvement and a growing sophistication in the application of creative writing techniques.
  3. You will demonstrate familiarity with contemporary literature and proficiency with a variety of poetic, dramatic, and narrative forms, and with the critical vocabulary for discussing those forms.
  4. You will demonstrate an understanding of aspects of the writing profession, including literary publishing, performance, reviewing, and participating in professional conferences.

Student Learning Outcomes of the Graduate Program in Rhetoric and Composition

  1. You will gain the ability to apply major critical approaches to the study of English language and literature.
  2. You will gain the ability to conduct research appropriate to rhetoric and composition, including bibliographical, historical, ethnographi­cal, and classroom research.
  3. You will gain the ability to write advanced analyses that take into account current schools of rhetorical theory and criticism, and con­temporary theories of composition and communication.
  4. You will gain the ability to write and present textual analysis of data-based and qualitative research that would be appropriate for academic dissemination in the fields of composition and rhetoric.
  5. Those intending to be classroom teachers will gain the ability to think critically and reflectively about their teaching as informed by professional modes of inquiry.

Department News

The Department and Campus will be closed Monday January 19th in observance of Martin Luther King Day.

The Spring 2015 semester begins Tuesday, January 20. Saturday only classes begin Saturday January 24

Classes still open for students:

English 360: The Bible as Literature
Professor Fred Field
TR 1400
VITAL course for all English majors and minors! 
The King James (or Authorized Version) of the Bible has had an immeasurable impact on English literature.  In fact, many say that it is impossible to understand British literature (e.g., during the Renaissance Period of Early Modern English and authors such as Donne, Milton, and Shakespeare) without understanding the many allusions to biblical concepts.
English 360, The English Bible as Literature, therefore, examines the form (language), theme (topics), and literary styles of the King James Bible.  The course surveys this classic work with particular attention to the people (e.g., Moses, Job, Abraham and Sarah), places (Land of milk and honey), and events (the parting of the Red Sea)—the particular allusions that AP Literature courses cover in secondary education.  For those unfamiliar with Western cultural symbols, this course is a must.
No prior knowledge of the Bible is necessary.    Contact Professor Field if you have questions:  fredric.field@csun.edu


English 400: History of the English Language
Dr. Scott Kleinman
MW 2-3:15 pm

This course covers the history of the English language from its origins to its present-day form, with an emphasis on the literary period between 700 and 1800. It explores the development of English grammatical structures (pronunciation, word forms, word order) and vocabulary, along with their interaction cultural and literary development such as colonization of the New World and the development of new poetic forms. As such, it provides an invaluable body of knowledge and skills for understanding the way language works and the textual production of the early period of English literary history, as well as a foundation for interpreting more recent literary and linguistic history.

Please contact Professor Scott Kleinman if you have questions: Scott.kleinman@csun.ed


English 428: Children's Literature
Professor Dorothy Clark
TR 1400

Children's Literature:  it's not just for teachers!
This course WAS restricted, but is no longer: all are welcome.

This course presents an overview of children's literature, examining its history as well as its social and psychological dimensions.  We will explore how the "discovery of childhood" in the Late Renaissance became a stimulant to the literary and visual imagination. From a variety of critical and cultural perspectives, we will attempt to understand what distinguishes children’s literature from other literatures, examine representative texts of various genres, consider the way these texts present cultural and pedagogical issues pertinent to the classroom, and develop an understanding of what constitutes a “good” text for children. 

Because "text" for children involves electronic and digital representations, this course will include film, TV shows, video games as well as print texts.

There is no textbook.  In addition to reviewing how to read a picture book and the history and structure of fairy tales, the texts include:   Blume, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Burnett, The Secret Garden; de Anda, The Immortal Rooster and Other Stories; George, Julie of the Wolves; Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Lowry, Number the Stars;  Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone; Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are; White, Charlotte's Web; Voigt, Homecoming

Contact Professor Clark if you have questions:  dorothy.g.clark@csun.edu


English 457IL: Transnational Literatures
Professor Haake
T 1600
Capstone narrative course for students in the Creative Writing Option (equivalent to English 490).  If you need 490, you can take this class instead.

English 457IL is an intensive selected topics creative writing class that looks at recent transnational literatures with a special emphasis on the concerns of the practicing writer. Not a class on translation, but in translation, in it we’ll explore a wide range of writing the work of translation makes available to us – a range that’s especially noteworthy because only about three per cent of literary writing published annually is translated work. Given the extraordinary richness of this three per cent, the class will take place as both a celebration and a lament – how great is this?/what might be we missing? Each week we will read new short work from such remarkable writers as Roberto Bolano, Cesar Aira, Haruki Murakami, Bohumil Hrabal, and László Krasznahorkai; and we will be writing our own. Some questions we’ll ask include: how does writing grow out of and respond to the particular cultural and historical moment of its production? what might an expanded literary conversation have to teach us about sustainable literary practices in a globalized world? and wherever in the world are we headed next?
As a hybrid course, this course will attempt to balance practices of both reading and writing – reading as writers, writing as readers – as we expand our writing conversation to include the work of new writers from around the world.

Now fulfills capstone requirement in the Creative Writing Option.

While this course has a hard prerequisite of English 308, 309 or 310, please do consider taking it even if you did not take one of those courses.  You can talk with Professor Haake to see if you are at the right place in your degree progress to take the class and if you are, she will give you a permission number.

Contact Professor Haake at kate.haake@csun.edu if you have questions


English 459RS: Rhetoric of Science
Professor Steve Wexler
TR 1400
Core course for minor in Writing and Rhetoric!

This course looks closely at the rhetoric and history of science. Biology, chemistry, psychology, and physics yield epistemic realities that influence education, health care, and citizenry. A rhetorical understanding of science reveals the ideology and materiality behind the pursuit of truth, “specialization” to be a value-laden division of labor.

We'll attempt to answer some important questions through the semester including:  

1. What are the implications of Cartesian certainty for the project of Modernity?

2. What are the limits to Darwinian theory and a science of race, gender, and intelligence?

3. What are the ethics of genism (e.g., genetic testing and cloning)?

4. What does the debate between quantum non-locality and Einstein locality suggest about Western culture and the politics of science?

5. What are the rhetorics of informational dis/embodiment? 

No one enrolled in this course need be well-versed in science only willing to consider how science influences daily life and daily life, science.    

Primary Texts

Aczel. Entanglement

Gould. The Mismeasure of Man

Hayles. How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics Kuhn. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions Toulmin. Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity Watson. The Double Helix

 Contact Professor Wexler if you have questions:  steve.wexler@csun.edu


English 654: Literacy, Diversity, and Technology (RC/Lit Hybrid)
Professor Santosh Khadka
Tuesday, 7-9:45 p.m.,
This hybrid course incorporates topics both from literary studies and rhetoric and composition, and focuses primarily on digital literary studies, new media composition, grant writing conventions, and diversity as it pertains to creative and academic writing practices. The course aims to foster knowledge and praxis of critical and reflective analysis of fiction and non-fiction texts as well as an actual production of a range of texts in multiple media and modes--podcast, website, e-portfolio, documentary, and a grant proposal. And, the course materials include, among other things, readings on digital literary studies, some sci-fi novels/short stories and feature films (Her, and Avatar), articles, books and videos on new media and multimodal composition, and some theories and samples of non-profit grant writing.


New Faculty

Welcome to our two new faculty members, Dr. Santosh Khadka and Dr. Jennifer Lee.
Dr. Khadka comes to us from Syracuse University with his PhD in Rhetoric and Composition and Dr. Lee joins us from University of Rhode Island where she completed her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric.

 In Memoriam: Marvin Klotz

November 2, 2014- Emeritus Professor Marvin Klotz has passed away. More information forthcoming.

In Memoriam: Robert Reid

April 2, 2014 - Emeritus Professors Robert Reid has passed away. Read more

In Memoriam: Susanne Collier-Lakeman

April 2, 2014 - It is with a very heavy heart we announce that our colleague Susanne Collier-Lakeman has passed away. Read more

In Memoriam: Lary Gibson

April 2, 2014 - We are very sorry to report that Emeritus Professor Lary Gibson has passed away after a struggle with pneumonia and heart problems. Read more

Professor Kleinman helps develop search tool Serendip-o-matic

February 19, 2014 - Serendip-o-matic has won the Digital Humanities Awards 2013 Best use of DH for fun category! Read more

Professor Kleinman Awarded NEH Grant to Expand Access to Rare Early Middle English Texts

July 24, 2013 - English professor Scott Kleinman has received a $200,000 Scholarly Editions and Translations grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities Read more

View all English Department News