I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.
— John Steinbeck
The English department at the University of Montana Western is an intellectual haven for students with a passion for reading and writing. Students who investigate literature and language at UMW do so in an environment that promotes open inquiry, critical reading, analytical writing and rich dialogue.
Moving beyond traditional approaches, the English program encourages students to develop their own voices. Students respond critically, culturally and creatively to literature in seminars and small classes that promote active learning and experiential opportunities.
UMW English majors graduate prepared for careers in editing, journalism, public relations, communications and other related fields. A major in English also positions students to succeed in graduate school in journalism, creative writing, English, education and law.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in English.
This degree will prepare the graduate for a career in editing, journalism, public relations, communications and related fields as well as preparing the graduate for further education in graduate or professional school. Majors include:
Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Secondary English Education.
This degree will prepare students to teach English in middle school or high school.
Here are just two great examples of English courses at Montana Western. For a full course selection, please see the current catalog.
This class is designed to familiarize students with small press publishing. It focuses on varied facets of the acquisitions, editing, design, promotion and marketing process. The course includes an orientation to Lost Horse Press, a working, nonprofit literary press. The course will address the following areas of small press publishing: history of the small press movement, manuscript acquisitions, editing, publishing as a business, design aspects of publishing, copyright law and permissions, promotions and marketing, fundraising, sales and distribution venues, writing genres, and the history and aesthetics of the book.
Students will participate in all aspects of publishing: editorial, design, publicity, and marketing activities for the spring 2012 Lost Horse Press releases. This course offers in-depth, real-life experience with a working publishing house, meeting actual publishing deadlines and schedules in preparation for national distribution of Lost Horse Press books.
Introduction to the principles of linguistics and examination of the evolution and characteristics of the English language and human languages in general, with particular attention to semantics and major revisions of American English. Instruction will be a combination of lecture, group discussion, and other experiential activities.
An English degree will prepare you for a career as:
Ashley Carlson has a bachelor’s in English and French from Chapman University. She earned her PhD in English Literature from the University of New Mexico in 2011. Her research has focused on 19th and 20th century literature, cultural studies, feminism, women’s literature and popular culture.
Ashley recently published “Genius on Television,” a book of essays about the portrayal of brilliant characters on television, such as “The Big Bang Theory,” “Bones,” “Sherlock,” “Scandal,” and “Fringe.”
Bethany Blankenship has a passion for helping students become better readers and writers.
The primary architect of Stretch English, a course in college composition extended over two blocks, Blankenship encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and become confident, fluent writers. An avid supporter of service learning, Blankenship has overseen student work on behalf of the Beaverhead County Humane Society, the Dillon Public Library, and the Dillon Tribune.
Blankenship’s research on teaching and learning can be read in the books “The MLA Guide to Approaches” to Teaching The Canterbury Tales and “Linked Courses for General Education and Integrative Pedagogy.” Her book, “The Sociology of Women’s Reading Throughout History” is forthcoming from Sense Publishers.
Alan Weltzien is a published non-fiction writer and editor. He most recently published a memoir entitled “A Father and an Island” in addition to “The Norman Maclean Reader” and “Thomas Savage: a Forgotten Novelist.” Weltzien has received two Fulbright Fellowships and one University of Montana Faculty Exchange Award.
Weltzien incorporates hands-on experiences and practical contact with the literature he teaches.
Shane Borrowman is a teacher of writing and editor/co-editor of six collections of original scholarship, including "Trauma and the Teaching of Writing," "Rhetoric in the Rest of the West," and "On the Blunt Edge: Technology in Composition's Pedagogy and History." He has also edited/co-edited three writing textbooks, including "The Promise of America" and "The Cost of Business." As a writer, his work has appeared in publications as diverse as "Renaissance Magazine," "Brevity," and "Rhetoric Review." Borrowman has written on topics ranging from boxing in medieval England and the value of the astrolabe to Renaissance navigation to medieval Arabic scholars on Aristotle and Jeannette Rankin's overlooked importance in the history of the American peace movement.
For more information about English at Montana Western, contact Bethany Blankenship, Department Chair:
Main Hall 313B
Coming to Montana Western was part of fulfilling a childhood dream of becoming a doctor for Lindsey Densmore.
Kolby Brown is a literature major at the University of Montana Western.
Recent Montana Western graduate Taeler Rodriguez has been accepted to the University of Denver’s graduate program.
UMW grad Justinn Marshall was accepted into the University of Washington's regional medical education program.
Marcus Williams came to Montana Western to play football and major in business administration.