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Areas of Study

Creative Writing

Students at Clemson have three creative writing options available: drama, fiction, and poetry.

A minor concentration in any of the creative-writing options requires 15 credits in English or Theater above the sophomore level, arranged as follows:

Drama--Thea 3470 (Structure of Theater which is cross-listed as Engl 3470),Thea 4470 (Playwriting Workshop which must be taken twice; crosslisted as Engl 4470), Engl 4300 (Modern Drama), and any one of the following: Engl 3120 (Advanced Expository Writing), Engl 4100 (Drama of the English Renaissance), or Engl 4110 (Shakespeare).

Fiction--Engl 3450 (Structure of Fiction),Engl 4450 (Fiction Workshop which must be taken twice), Engl 4320 (Modern Fiction), and any one of the following:Engl 3120 (Advanced Expository Writing), Engl 4180 (The English Novel), Engl 4250 (The American Novel), or Engl 4260 (Southern Literature).

Poetry--Engl 3460 (Structure of Poetry), Engl 4460 (Poetry Workshop which must be taken twice), Engl 4310 (Modern Poetry), and any one of the following: Engl 3120 (Advanced Expository Writing), Engl 4130 (Later English Renaissance), Engl 4160 (The Romantic Period), or Engl 4170 (The Victorian Period).

Film and Screen Writing

The English Department at Clemson has always housed the film program. Born in the early 1970's with one film professor and a 16 millimeter camera, the film program has taken on a life of its own, serving the interests of students who want to study the critical analysis of cinema, from its history to its cultural and societal relevance. From one film course designed over 30 years ago, Introduction to Film Studies (English 3570), the film studies interests have so increased that Clemson now offers over eight courses related to cinema studies. These include Film Theory and Criticism, Film Genres, Great Directors, Sexuality and the Cinema, Introduction to Screenwriting Principles and Screenwriting Workshops, along with many independent study courses on everything from film history to more specific studies of film greats such as D.W. Griffith and Sergei Eisenstein.

Clemson students are able to choose between two minors that are film-related. The first, a straightforward film minor, concentrates on providing a broad understanding of cinema criticism and techniques. The second, Screenwriting, teaches students the practices, techniques and business of writing and selling a screenplay both within the Hollywood system and in alternative venues.

For 15 years now, the film studies program has sponsored the Southern Circuit, a group of six filmmakers who visit Clemson's campus each year, screen their films, and teach sessions with the students. In the past many years, Clemson has played host to a diverse group of film makers, from Academy Award winner Alli Light (IN THE SHADOW OF THE STARS) to the controversial MARLON RIGGS. The English Department also sponsors an active film club.

Writing and Publication Studies (WPS)

The professional writing emphasis helps students to communicate effectively in various professional settings. Professional writing combines work in theory and research with a comprehensive emphasis on written, oral, and visual communication in professional contexts. The emphasis can prepare students to work in industry or public service. In addition, the program provides the background necessary to pursue an M.A. in rhetoric or technical communication or opt for a career working in a variety of media across the industries.

The Masters of Arts in Professional Communication program at Clemson provides numerous resources for undergraduate students to utilize. In addition, the Campbell Chair in Technical Communication, the Pearce Center for Professional Communication, and the Effective Technical Communication program in engineering constitute a network of professors who can enable students to work in professional communication in a variety of disciplines.

Language, Criticism, and Theory

It is safe to say that all of the faculty members in the English department have research interests and teaching experience that intersect with issues in linguistics, criticism, and theory.

With this field, the department offers perspectives on the history and grammar of the English language, on the history and techniques of literary criticism, and on the methodological terms and debates within contemporary literary and cultural theory.

Because it is a field that traverses and informs all the others, gaining a perspective in this field help us see different ways of approaching all the other areas of the department’s course offerings.