English Major

Program Summary

The Samford English Department cultivates knowledge of literary and cinematic traditions and empowers students to pursue intellectual and vocational endeavors that engage diverse communities with creativity and compassion.

Objectives and Goals

Our Faculty Value

  • Effective classroom teaching that models intellectual curiosity and development.
  • Lifelong learning through the rigorous study of literary and cinematic traditions that have shaped the modern world.
  • Significant contributions to the scholarly community through original research.

Our Students Develop

  • Creative and critical works that demonstrate intellectual depth and sophistication.
  • Skills in analysis, communication, and creativity.
  • Diverse perspectives on the world and seek to engage all facets of the global community.

Our Graduates Demonstrate

  • A flexible skill set suited to success in a wide range of workplace environments.
  • Excellence in critical thinking, persuasive writing and speaking, information literacy, interpretation, and project management.
  • The ability to work effectively with diverse groups and foster a commitment to civility and justice.

Is This Program for Me?

  • Curious
  • Creative
  • Analytical
  • Reader
  • Writer

What Makes Us Different?

  • Great internship opportunities
  • Accessible, nurturing faculty
  • Excellent scholarships
  • Vocational guidance
  • Job preparation

Career Preparation

Market Ready

  • Curriculum designed with an eye to workplace preparation
  • Networking opportunities
  • Workplace skill building through publications
  • Project management included in course work and various extracurricular club activities

Career Opportunities

  • Teaching
  • Law
  • Ministry
  • Nonprofit
  • Publishing/writing/editing
  • Medicine

Internships

Companies and organizations where students have held internships.

  • Alabama Possible
  • Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
  • American Heart Association
  • BASS Ltd (Bassmasters.com)
  • Blueprints College Access Initiative, Impact Alabama
  • Campus Outreach
  • The Christian Family Publication, Inc.
  • Country Living magazine, Hearst Publishing
  • Daxco
  • Documentary filmmaker: Mr. T.N. Mohan
  • Ebsco Industries
  • Empower Ministries
  • The Freedom Center: Public Policy Institute
  • Healthy Travel and Fit and Well magazines
  • Homewood Chamber of Commerce
  • Jessie’s Place
  • Make-a-Wish Foundation
  • One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center
  • Over the Mountain Journal 
  • Oxmoor House Books
  • Red Sky Studios
  • Sidewalk Film Festival
  • Southern Living magazine
  • Stockholm Network (London, UK)
  • Starnes Publishing, 280 Magazine
  • Woodlawn Innovation Network
  • Women’s Missionary Union, Missions Mosaic, New Hope Publishers, etc.

Fellowships

Companies and organizations where students have held fellowships

  • Fulbright Ministere de l’education national, de la jeunesse et de la vie associative, Bischeim, France
  • Mary Baldwin University-Shakespeare and Performance
  • Alabama School of Law

Accolades, Alumni and Faculty

Awards and Recognition

Samford Awards

  • President’s Cup, 2014 - Caroline Reid (’14)
  • President's Cup, 2015 - Audrey Ward (’15)
  • Mann Center Award, 2015 - Laura Ann Prickett

Scholarships

  • Andrew Young - MA Film Studies, Emory University (Full scholarship)
  • David Rodriguez - Ph.D. SUNY-Stony Brook
  • Audrey Ward - Comparative Literature, UNC
  • Alyssa Duck - Emory University, scholarship to both the T. S. Eliot International Summer School at the University of London and the Samuel Beckett Summer Project at Trinity College Dublin.

Alumni Careers

  • Law
  • Higher Education
  • Ministry
  • Film Studies
  • Publishing

Notable Alumni

Heather Jassy - Senior VP Values Aligned Business at Etsy
Kathryn Ormsbee - author, blogger
Brit Blalock - MFA NYU, 2012 Pushcart Award nominee, Copywriter & content marketer at Directorpoint, Birmingham, AL
Christopher George - Pastor-Smoke Rise Baptist Church, Mobile, AL
Preston Miller - Lawyer, Kings Simmons, Birmingham, AL (former Presidential Scholar at Cumberland School of Law)
Frances Isbel - JD University of Alabama
Deandra Little - PhD
Christopher Hill - PhD
David O’Dell - MBA, Branch Manager, America’s First Federal Credit Union, Birmingham, AL
Matt Ennis - Health Care, Director, Cahaba Valley Health Care, Birmingham, AL

Curriculum

Concentrations

Creative Writing Concentration

The concentration in creative writing combines a foundation in the study of English literature with a strong component in writing poetry, short fiction, and literary nonfiction. Students will learn the history and theory of literary forms alongside the craft of writing. Because the study of creative writing requires extensive reading, creative writing students should expect in-depth study of genres and pivotal literary movements. However, the cornerstone of the creative writing education is the craft-based workshop, small classes where student work is considered along with the work of proven masters. During senior year, students in this concentration will demonstrate their knowledge by writing a thesis that incorporates their own creative writing alongside critical study of published authors.

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Film Studies Concentration

The English major with a concentration in film studies combines a foundation in the study of English literature with a strong film studies component. While studying a fundamental literary subject such as Shakespeare, students will learn about the history of cinema and the contributions of influential auteurs, as well as the complex dynamics between film and literature. Students will also have the opportunity to perform in-depth studies of important genres and pivotal movements or nationalities. The study of film necessarily includes reading films critically, researching current scholarship, and writing original arguments. During their senior year, students will demonstrate their knowledge by writing a thesis that features film exclusively or combines film and literature.

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