College of Arts, Languages & Letters
Kuykendall 402
1733 Donaghho Road
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7619
Fax: (808) 956-3083
Email:; see list of contacts on webpage


*Graduate Faculty

*S. Shankar, PhD (Chair)—postcolonial theory & literature, creative writing, critical caste studies, cultural journalism, literary theory & cultural studies, translation & translation studies, U.S. literature of immigration
*S. Allen, PhD—classical rhetoric, rhetorical theory, composition theory, eco-rhetorical theory
*N. Chandra, PhD—Marxism, critical theory, popular culture, comparative modernisms (Asian film and literature), childhood studies, comics and graphic novels, South Asian literary and cultural history
*R. W. Dasenbrock, PhD—modernism, literary theory, post-colonial literature, comparative literature
*D. Desser, PhD—rhetorical history, theory, and criticism; writing and difference; Jewish identity construction and negotiation; the Holocaust and life-writing; film and literature of the Holocaust; writing pedagogy
*L. Fantauzzo, PhD—creative writing, nonfiction writing, journalism, Southeast Asian literature, Philippines literature, Philippine American literature, mixed race and third culture identity
*A. Feuerstein, PhD—Victorian studies, 18th and 19th century British literature and culture, cultural histories of British slavery and empire, Black studies, posthumanism, and animal studies
*C. Franklin, PhD—contemporary U.S. literatures, critical ethnic studies, life writing, disability studies, queer and feminist theory, genre studies, cultural studies, university politics, Palestine
*C. Fujikane, PhD—Hawai‘i literatures; Asian American literature/theory; Kanaka Maoli and critical settler cartographies; Indigenous knowledges and climate change; decolonial and abolitionist futures; critical ethnic studies
*D. Higginbotham, PhD—late medieval English literature; early modern literature; literary history; Shakespeare and his contemporaries; queer theories/gender studies/feminist theories; Marxism and economic criticism; queer African literatures
*K. Ho‘omanawanui, PhD—Native Hawaiian literature, literatures of Hawai‘i, folklore and mythology, children’s literature, translation studies
*C. Howes, PhD—biography and life writing, 19th-century literature, literary theory, drama and performance, research methods, professional editing, Hawai‘i literatures
*R. Hsu, PhD—modernism, ethnic literature, Asian American literature, feminist criticism
*K. Kahakauwila, MFA—creative writing and craft theory, fiction writing, creative nonfiction writing, journalism, travel writing, Oceanic/Pacific literature, contemporary Native American literature
*L. Lyons, PhD—post-colonial literatures and theory, Irish literature, cultural studies
*H. Manshel, PhD—American literature pre-1900, law, Black studies and literatures, Indigenous studies and literatures, queer studies, decolonization, abolition
*G. Nordstrom, PhD—contemporary rhetorical theory, empirical research, indigenous rhetorics/pedagogy, place-based writing pedagogy, literacy and language as social justice, writing center studies, & collaboration
*D. Payne, PhD—composition and rhetoric, computer-mediated writing, collaborative learning
*C. S. Perez, PhD—creative writing, international poetry, indigenous literature and theory, Pacific and Chamorro studies
*N. Revilla, PhD—creative writing; spoken word; Indigenous and decolonial poetics; Native Hawaiian literature and theory; Pacific poetry and performance; feminist studies; queer theory; cultural studies
*S. Ryan, MA—craft of fiction, Asian American literature, Taiwan history and politics, 20th and 21st century American fiction
*T. Sammons, PhD—Renaissance and 17th-century English literature, Milton, early modern drama, science fiction, rhetoric, writing center pedagogy
*D. Seid, PhD—American film and television history; film theory; narrative studies; feminist and queer media studies; critical race and ethnic studies; Marxist cultural studies; Asian American literature and culture; transgender studies
*J. Taylor, PhD—African American literature, visual culture, critical theory
*S. Vie, PhD—rhetoric and composition, digital rhetoric, social media, video gaming, popular culture, qualitative research
*J. Warren, PhD—Native Hawaiian literature and theory, Pacific literature and theory, ethnic American literature, indigenous studies, postcolonial literature, blackness in the Pacific, Native and black feminisms
*E. West, PhD—18th-century literature, material culture and textual materiality, gender and sexuality studies, embodiment, history of science, children’s literature and childhood, animal studies
*J. Zuern, PhD—life writing studies, contemporary fiction, narrative studies, comparative literature, digital literature

Degrees Offered: BA (including minor) in English, MA in English, PhD in English

The Academic Program

The Department of English encourages students to develop their critical reading, writing, and creative skills through study of a variety of literatures in English, composition and rhetoric, and creative writing. The department recognizes the unique diversity of cultures in Hawai‘i and employs a variety of approaches, including multicultural and Asia Pacific perspectives, to address this uniqueness. Students work directly with faculty in relatively small classes. The department participates actively in UH Mānoa’s Honors Program and its Study Abroad Semester and offers professional internships for interested students in the senior year.

The goals of the undergraduate English program are: (a) to offer a comprehensive range of courses in literary and cultural studies, composition, rhetoric, and creative writing; (b) to develop students’ critical thinking and reading skills; and (c) to develop students’ interests and abilities in rhetoric and writing across a variety of genres. Many of our courses recognize Hawai‘i’s geographical and cultural location in the Pacific.

The graduate program enriches students’ knowledge of literature, composition and rhetoric, creative writing, and cultural studies. MA students are asked to take approximately half of their course work in a specific concentration so that they begin to develop an area of expertise while broadening their understanding of other areas of study. The MA thesis or final project at the end of the program gives them the opportunity to do extended research and writing on a topic of their own choosing.

The doctoral program prepares students to become professionals in the field. Required courses are not its focus; rather, it offers students considerable latitude in course selection and requires disciplined, independent work on examinations and the dissertation. Candidates completing the program should have the skills and experience to function as critics, scholars, and writers in an area associated with the profession of English.

Undergraduate Study

Bachelor’s Degree

The Department of English offers the BA degree with informal emphases or pathways in creative writing; literary histories and genres; cultural and literary geographies; composition, rhetoric, and pedagogy; writing, editing, and digital media. Details can be found at


One FW and one ENG 270–276 course are prerequisites for upper-division English courses. Majors must complete 33 credit hours of upper division courses, as follows:

Level Requirements

  • at the 300 level:
    A. ENG 320, Introduction to English Studies; this course is foundational and should be taken in the student’s first or second semester of upper division English work; 3 credits
    B. 5 300-level courses are recommended in addition to ENG 320; 15 credits. Several of these courses should be in areas prerequisite to/preparatory for specific courses at the 400 level
  • at the 400 level (ENG 320 and one 300-level course, or consent, are prerequisite to most Studies courses):
    C. Single Author (440 Single Author; 442 Chaucer; 445 Shakespeare; or 447 Milton); 3 credits
    D. 2 additional elective courses; 6 credits. At least one 400-level course must be a designated Studies course
  • at the 300 or 400 level:
    E. 2 elective courses; 6 credits

Total: 33 credits

Breadth Requirements

Breadth of Field: the five 300-level courses in addition to ENG 320 must come from at least two different categories:

  • Composition/Language/Rhetoric (300B, 300C, 302, 303, 306, 307, 308, 311)
  • Creative Writing (311, 313)
  • Genre (361, 362, 363, 364, 365, 366)
  • Literature and Culture (372, 373, 374, 375, 376, 380, 381, 382, 383, 385, 388)
  • Literature of Hawai‘i and the Pacific (370, 371, 378)

Historical Breadth: of the 10 courses in addition to Introduction to English Studies, one must be pre-1700, one 1700-1898, and one after 1898.

A single course may be used to fulfill the Single Author requirement and the appropriate Historical Breadth requirement. This allows the student to complete another ENG 3XX or 4XX elective in place of the historical course. In addition, a single course may be used to fulfill the Studies requirement and the appropriate Historical Breadth requirement. This allows the student to complete another ENG 3XX or 4XX elective in place of the historical course.

Only courses in which a student receives a C or better may be counted toward the major.

For a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to programsheets/.

Non-English Department Course

With the consent of the student’s advisor and the director of the undergraduate program, one appropriate three-credit upper division course from outside English may be counted as a major elective.

Residence Requirement

Majors must complete at least 15 of their 33 upper-division credit hours in English courses at UH Mānoa.


Advising is mandatory for majors; new majors will be assigned an advisor when they meet with the director of the undergraduate programs for their required orientation session. Schedule a session on


English offers a fifteen-credit minor for students who wish to emphasize a specific aspect of English studies without completing the actual major. Beyond the two required courses, the minor may focus on literary studies, creative writing, cultural studies, or rhetoric and composition.

One FW and one ENG 270–276 course are prerequisites for upper-division English courses. All UH Mānoa courses applied to the English minor will come from the Department of English or cross-listed courses. Appropriate upper division transfer credits may apply toward the minor.

The minor consists of:

  1. ENG 320, Introduction to English Studies. This course is foundational and should be taken in the student’s first or second semester of upper division English work; 3 credits
  2. Single author course (440 Single Author; 442 Chaucer; 445 Shakespeare; or 447 Milton); 3 credits
  3. 300-level ENG elective; 3 credits
  4. 400-level ENG elective; 3 credits
  5. 300- or 400-level ENG elective; 3 credits

Graduate Study

The department offers the MA in English with four concentrations: Literary Studies in English, Composition and Rhetoric, Creative Writing, and Cultural Studies in Asia/Pacific. It offers the PhD in these and other areas because the doctoral program is sufficiently flexible to allow students to develop individualized courses of study. Students applying for the MA are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in English or a closely related field. PhD applicants normally will have completed the MA in English. All applicants must submit an application, transcripts, three letters of recommendation, a comprehensive statement of professional goals and objectives, and a critical writing sample. Also, applicants interested in the Creative Writing concentration must also submit a creative writing sample. Application deadlines are December 1 for the PhD program and January 1 for the MA program. Complete information on the application process is provided on the department’s website.

Courses for the MA and PhD are to be selected from the list of English (ENG) courses, although advanced courses in other disciplines may be substituted with the prior approval of the graduate director.

Master’s Degree

Graduates of the MA program in English have taught in secondary schools, community colleges, and universities. Some have pursued doctoral work; others have combined their work in English with another professional field (e.g., business, law, library studies). Still others have found employment in writing, editing, or research-related fields.

Plan A (Thesis) Requirements

Plan A is applicable only to students admitted to the Creative Writing concentration. Students complete 33 credits:

  • 27 credit hours of course work:
    • ENG 625D and ENG 625B, C, or E
    • 9 credits of course work in creative writing and 12 credits outside of creative writing.
    • One course must be pre-1900
    • One course must have substantial Hawai‘i/Asia/Pacific content
  • 6 credits of work on the MA thesis

Students must also achieve intermediate level knowledge of a second language and attend four departmental events (lectures, readings, colloquia) each semester.

Plan B (Non-thesis) Requirements

Plan B is applicable to students in the Literary Studies in English, Composition and Rhetoric, and Cultural Studies in Asia/Pacific concentrations. All Plan B students complete 33 credits–30 credits of course work and 3 credits of work on the MA final project. One course must have substantial Hawai‘i/Asia/Pacific content. Students must also achieve intermediate level knowledge of a second language and attend four departmental events (lectures, readings, colloquia) each semester.

  • Requirements for students in Literary Studies in English: ENG 625B and ENG 625C, D, or E; 9 credits minimum in LSE. One course must be pre-1700.
  • Requirements for students in Composition and Rhetoric: ENG 625C and ENG 625B, D, or E; ENG 605, 705, and 709; 12 credits minimum in other concentrations. One course must be pre-1900.
  • Requirements for students in Cultural Studies in Asia/Pacific: ENG 625E and ENG 625B, C, or D; 9 credits minimum of course work in CSAP and 12 credits minimum in other concentrations. One course must be pre-1900. 3 credits may be taken outside of the English department with the permission of the concentration advisor.

Concentration-specific program requirement sheets are available on the English Department website.

Doctoral Degree

Since the PhD program offers diverse courses and the opportunity to specialize in a range of different areas, graduates may pursue careers from among several professions, including teaching, research, and writing.


PhD candidates must fulfill the residency requirement and are required to take seven graduate-level courses in the Department of English; two courses, normally at the 400 level or above, in a field outside of English but related to the student’s research interests; one course with substantial content in Asia/Pacific at the graduate or 400- level, in or out of the English department, while in residence at UH Mānoa. They must pass area examinations and a comprehensive examination and demonstrate competence in two languages other than English (one of which, if appropriate to the candidate’s research, may be a computer programming language) or in one language at an advanced level of proficiency. Students in course work must attend four departmental events (lectures, readings, colloquia) each semester. Candidates will be required to complete an original scholarly or creative dissertation representing a substantial contribution to the discipline of English, suitable for publication, and a final oral examination on the dissertation.