The fundamental mission of the Department of English is to develop students’
critical reading, writing, and creative skills through the study of various
literatures in the English language, composition and rhetoric, and creative
writing. In carrying out this mission, the Department places particular
emphasis upon the diversity of cultures in Hawai‘i, Asia, and the Pacific.
Faculty members are committed to quality research and scholarship, generous
public service, and exemplary teaching, working directly with students in
relatively small classes to allow close attention.
With over 400 undergraduate majors and minors, 100 graduate students, and some
60 faculty members, the English Department is the largest in the UHM College
of Languages, Linguistics, and Literatures (LLL). The Department offers a
flexible yet challenging 33-credit undergraduate major with emphases in
literary studies, creative writing, composition/rhetoric, and Asia/Pacific
studies. The English minor consists of 15 upper-division English credits and
allows the student three elective courses in addition to two required courses.
Pursuing Honors in English offers students a dynamic and focused intellectual
experience as they select from a range of Honors tutorials, work closely with
faculty members and one another, and write creative or scholarly theses.
Our graduate program offers both the MA and the PhD. Students may pursue the
MA with a concentration in Literary Studies in English, Composition and Rhetoric,
Creative Writing, or Cultural Studies in Asia/Pacific. Doctoral candidates in
creative writing may submit creative work for the dissertation.
The English Department faculty includes not only many award-winning teachers,
but American Council of Learned Societies, American Philosophical Society,
Folger Library, Fulbright, Guggenheim, Huntington Library, National Endowment
for the Humanities, and Newberry Library fellows, and among our current PhD
candidates is a Ford Foundation fellow. On our Creative Writing faculty are
several recipients of the National Endowment for the Arts award and winners
of the Hawai‘i Award for Literature, the Cades Award for Literature, the
Kapalapala Po‘okela book awards, a Pulitzer Prize nomination, Kiriyama Prize
nominations, the Pushcart award for short fiction, the PEN-USA West Award in
Fiction, the O. Henry Award, a Rockefeller Residency, the Montana Book Awards
in New Zealand, and the NIKKEI Asia Prize in Culture.