Literature in English majors and minors are passionate about what they’re reading. Our curriculum reflects both respect for intellectual traditions and an appreciation for the way those traditions have been transformed by the inclusion of other voices. As you learn how to interpret complex texts, relating them to each other and to various traditions, as well as to meaningful cultural and cross-cultural contexts, you will become an insightful reader, a perceptive critic, and an expert writer. Such skills are essential to living productive and imaginative lives, providing excellent preparation for careers in journalism, law, and teaching, as well as advertising, business, public or private sector service, and even medicine, to name some of the most popular choices of those who major in Literature in English.
B.A., University of Chicago; M.F.A., George Mason Unversity
Liz Egan is a writing instructor and the Writing Center coordinator at Millsaps College. She believes writing centers are important spaces for inquiry, discovery, idea generation, intellectual conversation, and of course, writing practice. Egan envisions the Millsaps Writing Center as a space for all writers, at all skill levels, and in all stages of the writing process. Egan is particularly interested in writing pedagogies that serve multilingual writers and invites students and faculty alike to visit the Writing Center to learn more about teaching or studying with multilingual writers.
Egan embraces multiple modalities of writing and of teaching writing, so her approach to teaching is to blend traditional forms of writing instruction and independent practice with small group workshops and technologies that facilitate interactive approaches to text generation and revision. The idea that writing is both process and social enterprise is at the core of Liz's teaching philosophy.
Egan comes to Millsaps from George Mason University, where she served as assistant director of the GMU Writing Center and taught writing courses including Composition, Reading and Writing about Texts, and Intro to Creative Writing, a craft course that surveys artistic techniques of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama. She earned her B.A. in English Language and Literature from the University of Chicago in 2007 and earned her M.F.A. in creative writing with an emphasis on fiction from George Mason University in 2014. Her thesis was an original collection of short fiction about military culture. Egan also serves as a co-editor of Gazing Grain Press, an inclusive feminist chapbook press that publishes poetry, prose, and hybrid texts.
B.A., University of California—San Diego; M.A., Ph.D., University of California—Los Angeles
Dr. Laura Franey specializes in the literature of Victorian England, but she enjoys teaching a range of classes – from Sex Comedies of the 18th Century to Mysteries of Human Behavior (Freshman Seminar) to Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies.
Intrigued by questions of how literature both reflects and creates social values and hierarchies, she encourages students to ask questions about what they read and see, to form connections between the different classes they are taking, and to appreciate all genres (prose fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction) by learning how to analyze individual cultural texts. As students who have taken her classes know, she believes students learn best when engaged in creative, interactive activities; for that reason, she has students write dialogues between characters from different books or imagine how they would change a famous novel's plot for a movie adaptation.
Franey earned her Ph.D. in English at UCLA in 1999 and began teaching at Millsaps immediately afterward. She is the author of Victorian Travel Writing and Imperial Violence: British Literature on Africa, 1855-1902, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2003. Four years later, working with Edward Marx of Ehime University, she brought out the first annotated, scholarly edition of the first novel ever published in the United States by someone of Japanese descent—Yone Noguchi's The American Diary of a Japanese Girl (originally published in 1902). She is currently engaged in a book project in which she looks at how women are portrayed traveling by train, boat, and horseback in Victorian novels and narrative paintings.
B.A., Pomona College; M.A., Ph.D., University of Iowa
I’m known to many students and faculty colleagues as simply “Griff,” and I’m chair of the English Department. Although I teach many kinds of classes, my specialty is Renaissance studies. So classic writers from this era—including English ones like Shakespeare, Spenser, and Milton, and even Italian or Spanish ones like Petrarch, Ariotso, and Cervantes—tend to make appearances in my syllabi. In fact, one of my most popular courses, The Romance, features all of these writers in order to trace a literary tradition that extends from medieval times, through the Renaissance, and on down to the present day via J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Monty Python, and even Game of Thrones. I love seeing what happens when students are turned loose to come up with their own romance-inspired projects while reading these authors. If I can help you unlock your own creative sensibilities, that’s when I’m really teaching.
"My Shakespeare classes have also been some of the most popular on campus. It may sound clichéd, but a college education is incomplete without a Shakespeare class. And I’m not talking just to English majors. I’ve had anthropology, education, classics, modern foreign language and psych majors take Shakespeare with me, and lots of pre-meds and business majors, too. Shakespeare permeates our culture; my students get intimate with him.
"And because my own research focuses on the English- and Spanish-speaking worlds, in 2009 I helped found the Millsaps Latin American Studies Program, which I currently direct. In this capacity I often lead summer study abroad trips to the college’s facilities in Yucatán. I hope you’ll join me there!"
B.A., Rice University; M.A., Ph.D., University of Virginia
Dr. Anne C. MacMaster's areas of teaching interest include modernist fiction, drama, and poetry, as well as the art of adaptation—turning fiction into film. Courses that she has offered recently include Homer's Odyssey and Joyce's Ulysses, Twentieth-Century African American Fiction, and Faulkner, Film, and Social Justice, and authors whom she has published on include Wharton, Woolf, James, Keats, and Milton.
B.A. Millsaps College; M.A. Boston University; Ph.D. University of Virginia
"I graduated from Millsaps in 2004 and I’m excited to be back at the College as Assistant Professor of English and Creative Writing. In my English classes, I teach students how to interpret literary texts and understand why this activity matters. In my creative writing classes, I help students cultivate a fuller awareness of the writing process, find their voices, and make informed choices about their work.
"One of my own teachers said something to me once that I have never yet forgotten. You can’t love what you don’t know, he said: knowledge conduces to love, and love conduces to wonder. I aspire to teach students to know literary texts so that they can love them, so that in loving them they can feel a greater sense of wonder at the world we share."