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English Graduate Student Union
Creative Organization of Writers (COW)
Computers and Electronic Discussion Lists
Professional Presentations
Spring Graduate Student Colloquium
Writing Contests
Professional Publications
Folger Institute Seminars
Virginia Butts Sturm Creative Writing Workshop
Center for Women’s Studies
Center for Black Culture and Research
Colson Job Market

English Graduate Student Union

The English Graduate Student Union, active at West Virginia University since 1976, serves as a forum for graduate student interests and concerns. It organizes sessions for professional development, acts as a voice in discussions with the department and university over issues of qualities of life, and generally attempts to make graduate student time as productive and positive as possible. Membership is open to all graduate students in the English Department, with elections for EGO officers held in the middle of the spring semester.

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Creative Organization of Writers (COW)

The Creative Organization of Writers (COW), active at West Virginia University since January 2004, serves as a forum for MFA students to organize sessions for professional development, and to participate more fully in the life of the program. Membership is open to all graduate students enrolled in the MFA program, with elections for COW officers held at the beginning of the spring semester.

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Computers and Electronic Discussion Lists

Students interested in computer instruction should investigate the Center for Literary Computing, which is run by the Department of English, in 203 Armstrong Hall.

The Department of English sponsors two electronic discussion lists. WVUENG-L, which includes both faculty and students as subscribers, and hosts electronic conversations about topics of professional interest. The department also sponsors WVUEGS-L, an email listserv for graduate students only. Contact the graduate secretary for instructions on how to be added to either of these listservs.

All WVU students are issued electronic mail accounts upon enrollment. The department has a limited number of personal computers that may be issued to graduate teaching assistants upon request. Doctoral students are given priority in the distribution of personal computers.

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Professional Presentations

All graduate students are encouraged to present papers at professional meetings. The graduate supervisors and department faculty are eager to work with students whose research might warrant a professional presentation. A few conferences at which graduate students have presented papers are:

  • American Studies Association (ASA)
  • Group for Early Modern Culture Studies (GEMCS)
  • Midwest Modern Language Association (MMLA)
  • Modern Language Association (MLA)
  • Northeast Modern Language Association (NEMLA)
  • Popular Culture Association Society for Literature and Science
  • South Atlantic Modern Language Association (SAMLA)
  • West Virginia Association of College English Teachers West Virginia
  • Shakespeare and Renaissance Conference
  • West Virginia University Modern Literature and Film Colloquium

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Spring Graduate Student Colloquium

The Department sponsors an annual two-day Spring Graduate Student Colloquium. Students present papers and act as respondents for this forum, where a nationally-recognized guest speaker offers the keynote address.

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Writing Contests

Graduate students are encouraged to submit their writing to three department-sponsored contests: the graduate divisions of the James Paul Brawner Expository Writing Contest and the Waitman Barbe Creative Writing Competition in Fiction and Poetry; and the Russ MacDonald Creative Writing Contest. Entries for these contests are submitted in January and February, and the winners, who receive cash awards, are announced in April.

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Professional Publications

Doctoral students are encouraged to publish their research in professional journals and other venues. Faculty members are eager to help students prepare their work for submission. Within the last two years, students have published in journals such as Genders, European Journal of Women’s Studies, Modern Fiction Studies, and Quarterly Review of Film, as well as various edited collections such as: The Encyclopedia of American Conspiracy Theories, Writer of Boundaries, Culture, Theory and Critique, and Holiness and Masculinity in the Middle Ages.

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Folger Institute Seminars

The Folger Shakespeare Library and Institute in Washington, D.C., recognized for studies in Shakespeare, the Renaissance, and the eighteenth century, offers opportunities for semester-long seminars on a variety of topics. Graduate students doing research in areas from the Renaissance to the eighteenth century are encouraged to apply for admission to the Folger Seminars. They will earn academic credit and receive the stipend offered by the Folger to help cover travel and lodging expenses. Application is made through the West Virginia University Folger representative.

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Virginia Butts Sturm Creative Writing Workshop

This annual workshop in the fall semester, led by a writer in residence, is open to all WVU students. The workshop is limited to 12 students and requires the completion of an application process to be selected to participate in the workshop. For more information concerning the dates of the workshop, or application process, email Marsha Bissett.

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Center for Women’s Studies

The Center for Women’s Studies offers many programs and activities of interest to graduate students in English. In addition to a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) with an emphasis in women’s studies (available through the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences), the Center coordinates graduate level courses in English and other disciplines with a primary focus on women and gender. It also offers independent study courses and professional field experience. Plans are in progress for a graduate certificate in women’s studies, which would complement a master’s or doctoral degree program. Through the West Virginia University Fireside Chat series and through on-campus, statewide, and national conferences, the Center also provides opportunities for graduate students in English to hear and present research on women’s studies and gender. Further information is available at the Center for Women’s Studies, 218 Eiesland Hall (304-293-2339).

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Center for Black Culture and Research

Although the Center for Black Culture and Research does not offer classes for graduate credit, it does sponsor speakers, exhibits, and other opportunities for intellectual exchange. Further information on the Center’s mission and programs is available at the Center for Black Culture and Research, 590 Spruce St. (304-293-7029).

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View More Events

December 6: English 418 Capstone Reading, 5:30 p.m.,130 Colson Hall

March 20: Mary Moore Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 10: Clare Beams Reading, 7:30 p.m., Robinson Reading Room WVU Downtown Library

April 20: Calliope Reading, 7:30 p.m., 130 Colson Hall

April 27: MFA Reading, 7:30 p.m., Gold Ballroom, WVU Mountainlair