Welcome to the English Department

English majors learn to synthesize information and to present their ideas and opinions skillfully. They find employment in fields where the sophisticated use of language is necessary for advancement. Many graduates go on to postgraduate study, not only in writing, film studies and literature, but in medicine, law, education, journalism and business. In today’s job market, as job titles and responsibilities shift constantly, English majors have an advantage because they are used to analyzing situations critically and communicating the results effectively.

Job choices for English majors go beyond the obvious options of teaching, attending graduate school, or becoming a writer, because graduates also excel in many other areas. English majors have learned how to write, analyze material, and communicate effectively, so they work in many different fields, including broadcasting, sales and marketing, management, government and entertainment.


Join the University Communications Team!

Calling all writers looking for experience in journalism and publicity! The University Communications Content Team is looking for a Content Writer Student Assistant to write stories on all things CU Denver. Learn more about responsibilities and qualifications on Handshake. Link->

Alex Lumans' Story Makes the Distinguished Stories of 2020 List

We are thrilled to share that Alex Lumans’ short story “Amchitka: Three Tests” was honored as one of the Distinguished Stories of 2020 in the 2021 Best American Short Stories anthology, edited by Jesmyn Ward. The anthology will be published in October. The story appeared in Territory last year for their "Alaska"-themed issues. It's available online to read at: Link:. Congratulations, Alex!

Summer Reading Recommendations

If you are looking for summer reading, Professors Nicky Beer and Jeff Franklin both made Pride month recommendations as part of the CU Denver News “Wonderwork” series. Nicky recommended Saaed Jones’ memoir How We Fight for Our Lives  and Jeff recommended the poetry of Randall Mann, especially his collection Breakfast with Thom Gunn.

Handmaid's Tale Writer and Alum Lynn Renee Maxcy Shares Experiences and Encouragement

Lynn Renee Maxcy is a successful film and television writer who is most known for her work on hit shows like The Handmaid's Tale and Covert Affairs. She is also a proud CU Denver alum who graduated from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' creative writing program. In advance of the new season of The Handmaid's Tale—Hulu's critically acclaimed adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s masterpiece of speculative fiction—Maxcy reflected on her work for the first three seasons of the series. Additionally, she offered advice for other aspiring writers and shared how she made her way from Denver to Los Angeles. Full Story ->

The Portrait of Britney Spears: On Media Celebrity 4.26.21 

We talk about the documentary “The New York Times Presents: Framing Britney Spears,” directed by Samantha Stark. The documentary traces Britney’s rise to stardom and the events that ultimately led to her being placed in a conservatorship, examining the role of the media in the framing of female celebrities. 

​We parse out the complexities of the frame with Dr. Rodney Herring. We discuss the lore of celebrity culture and how celebrities are portrayed in traditional and social media, limning the differences between how Britney is portrayed by the tabloids and by The New York Times. We look at some of the arcs of Britney’s portraiture that emerge in the documentary and how she is variously framed, now as a relatable and empowered role model for young people, now a panoramic laughingstock or monetized public meltdown. We consider these portraits along the theme of control in Britney’s mental health, her body and sexuality, and even her own capacity of personhood at the hands of her conservatorship. Full Story ->

English Department Student Awards

We are very happy to announce that Caleb Sanford has won the 2020-21 Rex Burns Award for best graduate student essay of the year for “The Echo of Ekphrasis: Affective Function from Aberrant Form in House of Leaves.”

Congratulations also to Sara Webster and James Watkins for winning honorable mentions.

The winners of the 2020-21 Michael S. Gorniak scholarship in Creative Writing are Sang Dao, Alejandro Lucero, and Christina Tegrotenhuis. Congratulations to all three winners.

We are very happy to announce that Rachel Davis, Lejla Muric, and Jonathan Prater are co-winners of the Richard T. Dillon Scholarship award, which recognizes undergraduate excellence in the English Department.  Congratulations to Rachel, Lejla, and Jonathan on the well-deserved honor!

English Department Student and Alumni Accomplishments 

Creative Writing alumnus Taylor Kirby’s essay, “The Scopophiliac’s Gift Shop,” which was originally published in Cream City Review, is now listed as a Notable Essay in Best American Essays 2021. Congrats to Taylor!

Kayla Drummond, who is completing an MA degree, will be chairing a panel on “Folklore and Fairy Tale in Gothic Literature and Film” at the 2022 NEMLA conference. Congrats to Kayla on the panel’s acceptance! CU Denver students and faculty are invited to submit abstracts, due by Sept. 30, through the following Link ->. The 2022 NEMLA conference will be held in Baltimore from March 10-13.

Congratulations to Steven Espada Dawson, an alumnus of the Creative Writing program, on being a finalist for a Ruth Lily and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. Well done, Steven!