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
Mary Clearman Blew, Ivan Doig, A.B. Guthrie, Jr., Jim Harrison, Richard Hugo, William Kittredge, Norman Maclean, Deirdre McNamer, Thomas Savage, Grace Stone Coates, and James Welch all produced some of their best work here.
Montana Western’s English department is staffed with faculty who are well-published poets, fiction novelists and non-fiction writers, giving students the unique opportunity to learn from real authors.
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:
Bethany Blankenship has a passion for helping students become better readers and writers.
She implemented two new programs for freshmen writers at Montana Western: Directed Self-Placement and Stretch English. These programs have empowered students to take responsibility for their own learning and become confident, fluent writers. Blankenship also encourages service learning activities in her classes.
Students in her classes have worked on behalf of the Beaverhead County Humane Society, the Dillon Public Library, and the Dillon Tribune.
Diana Francis is a published fantasy novelist. She has published seven novels with Penguin Books and another with Pocket Books. She has forthcoming titles from Pocket Books and HarperTeen. Her titles include “Path of Fate,” “Path of Blood,” “Path of Honor,” "The Crosspointe Chronicles," and "The Horngate Witches" series.
Francis teaches fiction writing, literary theory, literature and publication classes at Montana Western. She is also the faculty advisor for Twisted Ink, Montana Western’s creative writing club.
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.
University of Montana Western English professor Alan Weltzien is a champion of Montana literature.
The 2010 Montana Professor of the Year is continuing a proud tradition at Montana's premier teacher education institution.
Rebecca Petersen is a living testament to the proud tradition of teaching educators at the University of Montana Western.
Montana Western's biology program is now competitive in the national arena thanks to nearly $2 million in grants secured by Mike Morrow.