Shaping the next generation of impactful writers

  • About This Program

    The English program at UNH Manchester is a tightly knit community of students and teachers who do what they love, in fields ranging from literary study and teaching English to creative writing and professional writing in the digital age. Whatever your pursuit, you'll find a vibrant, supportive environment in which you can master the great traditions and the newest innovations.

    English majors thrive in every profession that values communicating with power and precision. Here's what employers and graduate schools know: English majors are superb writers and excellent researchers. They deserve their reputation for asking smart questions, digging into the right sources, arguing ethically, and marshaling all the eloquence the language affords.

    As the novelist Ian McEwan observed, "Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essence of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality." Our program helps you forge the connections that matter most, whether to others at home and at work, to local issues and global perspectives or to a life of meaningful work.

    Areas of Study

    The English program offers diverse areas of study, allowing you to tailor your degree to the future you want.

    Creative Writing, Journalism and Professional and Technical Writing develops your proficiency in creative writing (fiction, nonfiction and poetry), occupational writing (professional, technical and journalistic) and emerging genres.

    Literature gives you a body of specialized knowledge with a disciplinary history. With courses in American and British literature, Shakespeare, crime fiction and more, you’ll explore many aspects of the literary world.

    Teaching English prepares you to be an expert teacher of middle or high school English, with a cost-saving and accelerated path to UNH’s Master of Arts in Teaching. Read more about the English Teaching program here.

  • Minor(s)

    English

    From critical thinking to persuasive and creative expression, the English minor gives you the transferable skills that employers look for.

    Professional Writing

    Our Professional Writing minor gives you a competitive edge in any industry, exploring in-demand areas like technical writing, social media, journalism and more.

  • Meet Our Faculty

    staff photo

    Susanne Paterson

    Program Coordinator and Associate Professor
    English Program
    Humanities Division
    Pandora Mill Building
    603-641-4115
    Susanne.Paterson@unh.edu

    staff photo

    Seth Abramson

    Assistant Professor of English and Writing Specialist
    English Program
    Humanities Division
    Pandora Mill Building
    Seth.Abramson@unh.edu

    Gail Fensom

    Associate Professor of English & Director of the First-Year Writing Program
    English Program
    Humanities Division
    Pandora Mill Building
    603-641-4162
    Gail.Fensom@unh.edu

    staff photo

    Susan Walsh

    Interim Division Chair and Associate Professor
    English Program
    Humanities Division
    Pandora Mill Building
    603-641-4105
    Susan.Walsh@unh.edu

    staff photo

    Robert Michael Pugh

    Senior Lecturer in English and ESOL
    Center for Academic Enrichment

    English Program
    Humanities Division
    Pandora Mill Building
    603-641-4155
    Michael.Pugh@unh.edu

  • Experience

    Internships

    Our campus is in the heart of the region’s cultural, economic, entertainment and government activity — putting unlimited internship opportunities at your doorstep. We’ve partnered with local businesses to give you the real-world experience that sets you apart. English majors have interned at many high-profile organizations in the area, including:

    • Franco-American Centre
    • Green Alliance
    • Manchester Historic Association
    • Mariposa Museum of World Cultures
    • New Hampshire Historical Society

  • Get More Info Now

    Tell us a little bit about yourself to access our downloadable major sheets, which include more information and the course sequence for each program.

    Request more information about our campus and programs!

  • Your Career

    As an English major, you’ll graduate with a type of expertise that is not just rare, but uncommonly transferable. While some English department alumni immediately put their skills to use in diverse workplaces, others translate their experience into graduate study.

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects positive growth in many English-related professions between 2012 and 2022. The skillsets organizations most covet — the ability to think critically, communicate effectively and imagine audaciously — are all central to the mission of our English department. The skills you’ll gain prepare you for a rewarding career in publishing, journalism, digital media, advertising, politics, law, education and more.

    Job Title Job Growth Average Salary
    Advertising, Promotions or Marketing Manager 12% $115,750
    High School Teacher 6% $55,050
    Human Resources Specialist 18% $55,640
    Middle School Teacher 12% $53,430
    Public Relations Specialist 12% $54,170
    Technical Writer 15% $65,500
    Writer or Author 3% $55,940
  • Course Descriptions

    Click on each course title to read the full description. For all courses offered at our campus, click here

      ENGL 400 - English as a Second Language

      Improves the competence of foreign students in listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing. Recommended as preparation for ENGL 401. May be repeated up to a total of 16 cr. Writing intensive. Special fee. Cr/F.
      Credits: 1-1

      ENGL 401 - Freshman English

      Training to write more skillfully and to read with more appreciation and discernment. Frequent individual conferences for every student. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 401A - Freshman English for English as a Second Language Students

      A special section of Freshman English for students whose native language is not English. Training to write more skillfully and to read with more appreciation and discernment, with special attention to the problems of non-native speakers of English. Supplemental work on listening and speaking as necessary. Frequent individual conferences for every student. Students may not take both ENGL 401 and 401A for credit. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 419 - Introduction to Critical Analysis

      Critical analysis of fiction, poetry, and drama. Frequent short papers. This course, or 529, is a prerequisite with a minimum grade of C for those intending to declare an English major. Students may not take both ENGL 519 and 529 for credit. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 500 - Writing about Reading: Writing about Nonfiction

      Emphasis on close reading of a variety of nonfiction sources and on intensive writing to develop interpretive skills. Prereq: ENGL 401 or permission. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 501 - Introduction to Creative Nonfiction

      A writing course that explores types of creative nonfiction such as nature writing, the profile, the memoir, and the personal essay. Extensive reading of contemporary authors to study the sources and techniques used in creative nonfiction. Regular papers, conferences, and workshops. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 502 - Professional and Technical Writing

      A writing course introducing students to the effective communication of technical information through various workplace documents inclduing resumes, memos, business letters, reports, brochures, etc. Special emphasis on an introduction to professional conventions and genres and to the transferable skills of rhetorical and audience analysis, document design and collaborative work. Special fee (fee doesn't apply to UNH Manchester students for spring). Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 503 - Persuasive Writing

      Writing of all types of persuasive nonfiction prose, including argumentative essays and position papers. Special attention to argumentative structures and analysis of audiences. Weekly papers of varying lengths and formats, frequent conferences. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 511 - Major Writers in English

      In-depth study and discussion of a few American and/or British writers. Topics and approaches vary depending on instructors. Writing intensive.

      This summer the course focuses on novels by Toni Morrison, an American writer who won both the Pulitzer Prize and the Nobel Prize in Literature.


      Credits: 4

      ENGL 512 - The Nature Writers

      Fiction, poetry, and nonfiction books on the natural environment. Such books as Thoreau's Walden or Maine Woods, Leopold's Sand County Almanac, Beston's Outermost House, Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek—books by naturalists who observe nature vividly and knowingly and who write out of their concern for the environment. Writing intensive
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 513 - Survey of British Literature II

      Selected works in poetry and prose considered in chronological order and historical context. Attention to the works and to the ideas and tastes of their periods. The Stuart Monarchy to the Age of Enlightenment. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 514 - Survey of British Literature

      Selected works in poetry and prose considered in chronological order and historical context. Attention to the works and to the ideas and tastes of their periods. 1800 to the present.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 515 - Survey of American Literature

      From the beginning of American literature to the Civil War.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 516 - Survey of American Literature

      From the Civil War to the present. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 517 - Introduction to African American Literature and Culture

      An introduction to African American literature in the context of a variety of cultural perspectives. Course topics may include: major writers, literary genres, historical periods, Harlem Renaissance, Black Arts Movement, fine and folk arts, religion, music, and film. (Also offered as AMST 502.) Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 526 - Beginning Fiction Writing: From Personal Experience to Fiction

      Introduction to aspects of fiction writing.: Specific detail, description, point of view, tense, dialogue, the arc of the story, showing versus telling, structure, and an understanding of how voice and language can be powerful tools in constructing a story. As writers learn to shape their personal experiences into narratives, fictional aspects will be nudged forward. Frequent in class exercises, reading responses and revisions. Prereq: ENGL 401. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 531 - Introduction to Drama

      Course introduces students to the art of drama, using a variety of plays and film adaptations of plays from America and Britain, as well as English translations of European plays. We will study tragedies and comedies, contemporary, modern, and period plays. Particular focus on the development of techniques and themes of the dramas, and how these translate onto the stage or screen. Writing Intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 534 - 21st Century Journalism: How the News Works

      This class explores ways new technology, including social media, has affected the practice of journalism, and examines journalism past and present. Students discuss libel law, ethics and how to define plagiarism in the digital age. This survey is meant not only to lay a foundation for prospective journalists, but also to provide a broad understanding of the news media for those interested in how the news works.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 581 - Introduction to Postcolonial Literatures in English

      Survey of contemporary Asian, African, and Caribbean fiction, drama, nonfiction, film, and poetry from the 1950s to the present. Introduces the political, cultural, and historical contexts within which these literary forms are produced. Key questions to be explored: What does it mean to be "colonized" and to be a "colonizer"? How are identities and values determined and maintained under colonial and postcolonial conditions? What effects do colonization and independence have on the traditions and relationships that define reality, freedom, family, gender, and community? How does this literature portray the ideas and feelings of alienation, belonging, and "home"?

      Meets the Diversity requirement for the English Major


      Credits: 4

      ENGL 595 - Literary Topics

      This fiction-writing workshop will inspire students interested in popular fiction to consider writing as a process and to experiment with new approaches to their craft. Our guiding assumption will be that popular fiction, which includes such subgenres as Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, Mystery, Romance, and Thrillers, requires of its authors the same skill and intellectual rigor as does the "literary fiction" that is more commonly the focus of creative writing workshops. Students will also be encouraged to explore trends in fiction-writing that have achieved prominence in just the last few decades, including Fan Fiction, Metafiction, Antinovels, Magical Realism, Conceptual Fiction, Metamodernism, Alternate History, Slipstream, and The New Weird. Through wide-ranging discussions of students' own novel excerpts, readings in a number of popular fiction subgenres, and an extensive review of the craft and form of fiction, class members will develop a greater appreciation for popular fiction and an improved ability to write compellingly within their chosen genre(s). This course is ideal for students with an interest in both the writing and reading of popular fiction, who are not afraid to challenge their longstanding assumptions about creative writing, and who would like to develop a regular creative writing practice. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 1-4

      ENGL 608 - Arts and American Society: Women Writers & Artists 1850-Present

      Team-taught course studying the impact of gender definitions on the lives and works of selected American artists. Considers lesser-known figures such as Fannie Fern, Lilly Martin Spencer, and Mary Hallock Foote as well as better-known artists such as Willa Cather and Georgia O’Keeffe. Prereq: permission or one of the following: WS 401, HIST 566, ENGL 585, 586, 685, 785, or a 600- level art history course. (Also offered as ARTS 608, HIST 608, and HUMA 608.) Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 619 - Critical Approaches Literature

      Selected methods of literary criticism applied to fiction, poetry, and/or drama with critical approaches varying from year to year. A follow-up of 519, course provides a second semester of training in critical reading and writing, and examining such major modern strategies as formalist, biographical, archetypal, psychological, sociological, historical, feminist, and structuralist criticism. Prereq: ENGL 519, 529, or equivalent. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 623 - Creative Nonfiction

      Intensive writing course emphasizing the blend of basic elements that constitute creative nonfiction: research, observation, and personal experience. Also readings and discussion of some of the best published creative nonfiction. Prereq: B or better in ENGL 501 and written permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit with approval of the journalism director. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 627-628 - Writing Poetry

      Workshop in the fundamental techniques of poetry writing. Class discussion and criticism of poems written by students. Individual conferences with instructor. Prereq: ENGL 501 or equivalent. Written permission of instructor required for registration. May be repeated for credit with the approval of the department chairperson. Special fee. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 632 - Fiction

      Modern novels and/or short stories. The way in which fiction communicates its meanings; the tools and methods at the fiction writer's disposal, primarily as they function in individual works. See course descriptions available in department office for further information. (Not offered each semester.) Writing Intensive
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 650 - Studies in American Literature and Culture

      Special topics in American studies, varying from year to year. (Not offered every year.) Writing intensive
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 657 - Shakespeare

      Ten major plays representative of the main periods of Shakespeare's career and the main types of drama which he wrote (tragedy, comedy, history). Live and filmed performances included as available. Restricted to undergraduates and designed for both English majors and students majoring in other fields. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 685 - Women's Literary Traditions

      Intensive study of themes, topics, and techniques in women's literature. Topics vary from year to year. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 685W - Women's Literary Traditions

      Intensive study of themes, topics, and techniques in women's literature. Topics vary from year to year. May be repeated for credit, barring duplication of topic. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 693 - Graphic Novels

      This course will explore the theory, craft, and cultural significance of graphic storytelling and visual narrative. In considering a number of graphic novels published in the last thirty years, we will make use of contemporary critical perspectives, including visual literacy studies, metamodernism, and intersectionality. Our aim is to come to a better understanding of how and why the graphic novel has become one of the most popular, problematic, and generative literary forms in American literature. Our in-depth study of a number of primary texts will teach us about the longstanding relationship between sequential art and geopolitical, sociocultural, and psychosocial critiques. Course texts will include a wide variety of graphic novels, from narratives of superheroism (Watchmen, Midnighter, Ms. Marvel, Hawkeye, and Deadpool) to autobiographical and fictional graphic memoirs (Fun Home, Maus, and Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth); from post-apocalyptic epics (Saga, Low, and Descender) to several works that defy easy description (Achewood, The Abominable Charles Christopher, and Here). We will also read prose by Tim Leong, Will Eisner, Scott McCloud, and others to better appreciate the theoretical as well as formal and stylistic dimensions of graphic novels. This course meets the post-1800 requirement for the English major. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4.0

      ENGL 710 - Teaching Writing

      Introduction to various methods of teaching writing. Combines a review of theories, methods, and texts with direct observation of teaching practice. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 2/4

      ENGL 716 - Curriculum, Materials, and Assessments in English as a Second Language

      How do curriculum, materials, and assessment work together to inform good teaching of English language learners? This course addresses this guiding question through analysis and practical application of issues in and principles of ESOL curriculum and assessment design and implementation. State and national assessment policies and practices are also addressed.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 742 - American Literature, 1815-1865

      Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in the period of romanticism, transcendentalism, nationalism. Individual works and cultural background. (Not offered every year.) Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 743 - American Literature, 1865-1915

      Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry in the period of realism, naturalism, industrialism, big money. Individual works and cultural background. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 744 - American Literature, 1915-1945

      Fiction, poetry, and drama in the period of avant-garde and leftism, jazz age, and Depression. Individual works and cultural background. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 745 - Contemporary American Literature

      A gathering of forms, figures, and movements since 1945. Individual works and cultural background. Writing intensive
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 750 - Special Studies/American Literature

      Topics vary from year to year. Examples: the Puritan heritage, ethnic literatures in America, landscape in American literature, five American lives, pragmatism, American humor, transcendentalism, women regionalists. May be repeated for credit, barring duplication of topic. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 768 - Literature of the Later Eighteenth Century

      Poetry, drama, fiction, letters, journals, essays, and biography from the period that culminated in the American and French Revolutions. Works by such figures as Henry Fielding, Samuel Johnson, Frances Burney, Laurence Sterne, William Blake, and Mary Wollstonecraft studied in historical context. Examples from the colonial world and the continent (in translation) when appropriate. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 771 - English Victorian Period

      The English Victorian Period-Fiction, nonfiction and poetry from 1832-1900. Money, Science, and Love. Authors include the Bronte's, Dickens, Hardy, Wilde, Tennyson. (Not offered every year.) Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 772 - English Victorian Period

      Fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from 1870-1900. The social conflicts created by gender politics and imperial expansion, with particular emphasis on aesthetics and gothic horror. Thomas Hardy, Oscar Wilde, R.L. Stevenson, Bram Stoker. (Not offered every year.) Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 773-774 - British Literature of the 20th Century

      Poets and novelists of the modernist and post-modernist periods. 773: W. B. Yeats, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, D. H. Lawrence, and other modernists. 774: a selection of postmodernist or contemporary writers, such as William Golding, Doris Lessing, John Fowles, Philip Larkin, Seamus Heaney, Margaret Drabble, and others. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 780 - Drama of Shakespeare's Contemporaries

      Shakespeare was not the only playwright of the English Renaissance period. This course will offer you the opportunity to get to know some of the plays written by his close contemporaries. These plays, from the classic city comedies of Ben Jonson's Bartholomew Fair and Thomas Dekker's The Shoemaker's Holiday, to the tragedies of John Webster's The Duchess of Malfi and the intriguing anonymous "true crime" drama Arden of Faversham, present a diverse picture of Renaissance theater and life. The plays have been selected because they explore and complicate an array of themes which reflect the concerns of the Renaissance period in England, many of which still preoccupy us today: among other things, the conflict of knowledge, power, and spirituality; how to reconcile a person's appearance with their true identity; the place of women in family life; the ramifications of madness and love; the relationship between different social classes.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 785 - Major Women Writers

      This course focuses on renowned and lesser-known works published by women in 19th-century Britain. It is designed to help participants achieve three objectives: to become expert readers of novels, poems, essays, and travel narratives that speak to pressing issues of their day; to become astute critics of 20th and 21st-century adaptations and reinventions of 19th-century classics; and to become versatile theorists able to consider texts from multiple viewpoints--for instance, from the perspectives of history, psychology, science, gender, postcolonial theory, and queer theory. We'll draw upon Peter Barry's Beginning Theory as we study such writers as Jane Austen (Pride and Prejudice), Mary Shelley Frankenstein), Charlotte or Emily Bronte (Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights), Christina Rossetti (Selected Poems), Elizabeth Barrett Browning (poems), Florence Nightingale (Cassandra), Mary Kingsley, Mary Seacole, and Clementina Black (excerpts), George Eliot (The Mill on the Floss), Amy Levy (The Romance of a Shop), and Michael Field (poems). We'll conclude with Affinity, a neoVictorian mystery novel by Sarah Waters.

      This course will be especially useful for future English teachers interested in extending interpretive range and historical knowledge. A Writing Intensive course, English 785 satisfies the diversity requirement within the B.A. in English and the B.A. in English Teaching.
      Credits: 4.0

      ENGL 787 - Experimental Narrative

      This capstone Senior Seminar explores the theories, methods, and ambitions behind contemporary experimental narratives. While our broader focus is innovative storytelling in the postwar period, we will pay special attention to how digital authorship has complicated our understanding of narrative. Across several media, we will study the many modes of narrative composition used by both domestic and international experimental writers: for instance, collaborative, interactive, immersive, transmedia, multimedia, cross-genre, multi-genre, appropriative, and metamodern. A partial list of authors to be considered in print, at times in excerpt, includes the following: William S. Burroughs, Julio Cortazar, Thomas Pynchon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Italo Calvino, Clarice Lispector, Robert Coover, Cormac McCarthy, Lydia Davis, Salman Rushdie, Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Mark Z. Danielewski, Roberto Bolano, Karl Ove Knausgard, Jonathan Safran Foer, Richard McGuire, and Eimear McBride. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4.00

      ENGL 791 - English Grammar

      Survey of the grammar of English (pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence structure, punctuation, dialect variation, historical change) with special attention to the distinction between descriptive and prescriptive grammar and to the problems students have with formal expository writing. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 792 - Teaching Secondary School English

      Methods of teaching language, composition, and literature in grades 7-12. Required of all students in the English teaching major. Open to others with permission. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 4

      ENGL 795 - Independent Study

      Open to highly qualified juniors and seniors. To be elected only with permission of the department chairperson and of the supervising faculty member or members. Barring duplication of subject, may be repeated for credit up to a maximum of 16 credits. Writing intensive.
      Credits: 1-1

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