English, Department of



LSU English is home to world-renowned faculty, innovative course offerings, and talented students. At the heart of our work is an attention to verbal communication in spoken and written form – what humans do with language, how we do it, why we do it, and to what effects. Through the study of literature, linguistics, rhetoric, film, theory, and the craft of writing in a variety of genres and forms, we challenge students to ask questions of texts, to read beyond literal meanings, to understand how context and text interact, and to create compelling texts of their own. The value of an English degree is that the person who can write with elegance and precision, and who has the skills to interpret and analyze texts, is needed – and valued - in every area of work and life.  

Go to Undergraduate and Graduate Course Descriptions to see examples of what our Department has to offer and browse “About Us” to learn about our faculty, graduate students, publications, events, and more. 

Professor Sue Weinstein
Chair, Department of English

Distinguished English Major Graduates with Honors

Evan Leonhard is graduating summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and minor in philosophy, as a Distinguished Undergraduate Researcher and aEvan Leonhard University Medalist.  Evan has served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Delta Journal, LSU’s premier undergraduate research journal, and has published multiple pieces of non-fiction, poetry, and photography in that and other regional journals.  He has also served as an opinion columnist for LSU’s student newspaper, the Reveille, since 2019.  Throughout his undergraduate career, Evan regularly presented his research on aesthetics and romanticism at LSU Discover Days and undergraduate research conferences around the country.  In the spring of 2022, he was selected as one of 10 students from around the US to participate as a visiting student in the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas, or The Angelicum, in Rome, Italy.  He then joined as a student in the Ogden Honors in Oxford study abroad program.  This spring he was named a recipient of a Fulbright ETA Fellowship for Greece, but he has decided to return to Oxford in the fall to pursue a Master of Studies in English Literature at Exeter College, Oxford University.  We wish Evan all the best as he continues his studies and congratulations.


English Department Awards Ceremony
May 2, 2023

Creative Writing Awards - Undergraduate Students

Dara Wier Award for Poetry - Pulitzer Prize winning poet Dara Wier is the author of numerous volumes of poetry, and has been published in Best American Poetry. She currently directs the MFA Program for Poets & Writers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

   Winner: Ingrid Jensen for "Coyote Takes the Bus"

John Ed Bradley Award for Fiction - Named in honor of celebrated novelist and sports journalist John Ed Bradley. His most recent book is the young adult novel The Road to Wherever.

   Winner: Rachel Claire Huye for "Memento Mori"

Audrey ColdwellGus and Leanne Weill Award for Playwriting - Gus Weill was a distinguished playwright, novelist, and political consultant. Leanne Weill is a Baton Rouge advertising and public relations executive.

Winner: Audrey Coldwell for "Craniotomy"


Amy RuckmanRex Reed Award for Screenwriting - Rex Reed is a film critic and the former co-host of the syndicated television show "At the Movies." He currently writes the column "On the Town with Rex Reed" for The New York Observer.

Winner: Amy Ruckman for "Hark! A Recipe for Paprika Hendl"

Matt Clark Awards from Delta Undergraduate Journal - Named in memory of Matt Clark, a prolific short story writer and the author of the novel Hook Man Speaks. While a graduate student at LSU, he was a fiction editor of the New Delta Review.

   Prose Winner: Jessica Michelet
   Poetry Winner: Jonah Webster 

English Department Awards Ceremony
May 2, 2023 

Creative Writing Awards - Graduate Students

Halley McArnWilliam Jay Smith MFA Award for Poetry - William Jay Smith was the author of ten books of poetry, two of which were nominated for the National Book Award. From 1968 to 1970, he was Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress.

Winner: Halley McArn for "Highway Medicine: Onset"

Sunny RosenDavid Madden MFA Award for Fiction - David Madden is an award-winning novelist, poet, literary critic, and playwright. For many years he taught at Louisiana State University, where he served as writer-in-residence and director of the creative writing program. He is also the founder of the university's U. S. Civil War Center.

Winner: Sunny Rosen for "There Are Certain Things Your Body Cannot Do"

Zach ShultzKent Gramm MFA Award for Literary Nonfiction - Kent Gramm teaches at Gettysburg College and is a prolific author. His books include Gettysburg: A Meditation on War and Values and Somebody's Darling: Essays on the Civil War.

Winner: Zach Shultz for "Searching for Terry Miller"

Ruth Elizabeth McClain Cassidy MFA Award for Screenwriting - For many years Betty Cassidy and her family have been stauch and generous supporters of LSU's English Department and the Creative Writing Program.

   Winner: Jake Zawlacki for "Desert Trip"

Cory CalabriaThe Robert Penn Warren Award for Best MFA Thesis - During the years Robert Penn Warren taught in the LSU English Department, he founded The Southern Review, began writing All the King's Men, and developed New Criticism, the literary theory which would revolutionize the teaching of literature.  He received the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for his novel All the King's Men (1946) and the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1958 and 1979. He is the only writer to have won Pulitzer Prizes for both fiction and poetry. On the second floor of Allen Hall, a conference room is named in his honor.

   Winner: Cory R. Calabria for "Lab Rat: A Pharmaceutical Life"


English Department Awards Ceremony
May 2, 2023

Department Awards

Jackie Wintle Scholarship Award - Casey Schaefer

Lisi Oliver Scholarship Award - Cali Frank

Tyron J JohnsonCaffee Award for Best Essay Written in a University Writing Class - Tyron J. Johnson



Lewis P. Simpson Distinguished Dissertation Award - Taylor Scott

James Olney Distinguished Dissertation Award - Stephanie Rambo

Seohye Kwon


Dickens Project at LSU Essay Prize - Seohye Kwon;



Honorable Mention for Dickens Project - Krista Barrett

Gale Carrithers, Jr. Outstanding Critical Essay Award - Rei Asaba

Lewis P. Simpson English PhD Student Travel Award - Rachel Howatt

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Award - Tyler Sheldon

College of Humanities and Social Sciences Diversity Committee Excellence in Teaching Award - Denis Waswa

EGSA Awards

Rebecca Stobaugh


Sarah Liggett Teaching Award (EGSA) - Rebecca Stobaugh



Borck Essay Contest (for Mardi Gras Conference, EGSA) - Jake Zawlacki for "Unintended Consequences: Spawn as 'Superman Black'"

English Leadership Awards (co-sponsored by the English Department and EGSA, given to graduate students for leading English-sponsored conferences and initiatives: Mardi Gras Conference and Underpass) -Co-President - Amber Jurgensen; Co-President - Elizabeth Robertson; Mardi Gras Conference Chairs - Taylor Thompson and Adanna Ogbonna-Oluikpe

English Department News


Boyd Professor Gerald Kennedy has been awarded the 2023-24 Gerald KennedyLillian Gary Taylor Fellowship in American Literature at the University of Virginia to work on a cultural biography of Edgar Allan Poe.


In 2021, the SEC provosts established an emerging scholars program to help current doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers prepare to be future members of the faculty through professional development and networking. Seohye Kwon, PhD doctoral student in the Department of English, is one of five that have been selected as LSU's SEC Emerging Scholars for 2023-2024.   Seohye Kwon



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Graduate Course Offerings

Undergraduate Course Offerings