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Mission

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.