Research and Scholarship
In the Department of English, both research and scholarship help us process the past, make sense of our lives, and imagine other worlds. Our authors, poets and scholars help us better understand and appreciate our very humanity.
There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.
Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Our faculty and students augment their creativity and imagination with cutting-edge technologies. Whether through digital humanities, sociolinguistics, rhetoric, film studies or any of a range of explorations into the spoken or written word, we look for meaning, and in the process, we find purpose.
Featured Research More Department News
Finding King’s Speech
An NC State English professor's research is allowing the world to hear the first time Martin Luther King Jr. uttered the famous words, "I have a dream."
Rescuing a Script from Extinction
After trending toward extinction for decades, Vietnam’s ancient script, Chữ Nôm, now has a healthier outlook. With a few strokes on the keyboard, anyone with a computer can write in Nôm. The character 字, for instance, represents the Nôm word for “word.” NC State English professor John Balaban has helped lead many of the developments that kickstarted Nôm’s recovery, turning an endangered calligraphic way of writing into a preserved tradition.
Online Tool Aims to Help Researchers Sift Through 15 Centuries of Data
Digital humanities scholars from NC State University and Texas A&M University are launching a powerful new system to help researchers more quickly and accurately sift through hundreds of thousands of archives and articles related to materials dating from 450 A.D. to the 20th century. The new tool, called BigDIVA, will be formally unveiled later this month.
Students at all levels engage in meaningful research here. Undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students work alongside faculty mentors or pursue projects of their own. They participate – and win prizes – in the university’s research symposia for students. They travel to present their research at conferences across the state and nation. They contribute to books, and sometimes write their own. As a student of English, you will be challenged to hone your writing and communication skills, and encouraged to follow your passions through research and scholarship.
‘A Lee Chip’ Captures the Sound of an Island
When Caroline Myrick, currently a Ph.D. student in sociolinguistics, first went to the Caribbean island of Saba in 2012, she had no idea that she’d be publishing a dictionary on the native language four years later.
Research Explores How Hurricane Warnings Reach the Public
NC State graduate student Laura Zdanski studies how hurricane warnings are communicated to the public. As part of a recent literature review of public perception and response to hurricane flooding, Zdanski explored the flow of technical information from experts to those at risk (the public) and those responsible for mitigating risk (governmental agencies).
What the Dog Knows
Cat Warren, professor of journalism, teaches science writing, editing and reporting. In a completely different role, and working alongside the cadaver dog she trained, Warren also helps law enforcement officials search for missing and presumed-dead people.
In What the Dog Knows (Touchstone Books, 2013), Warren combines science, history and memoir to explore the world of working dogs that sniff out bodies, bombs and drugs, even unmarked graves of Civil War soldiers.
Fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry … . Our faculty are prolific writers. Here’s a short, short list of some of our faculty’s many, many books:
- John Kessel, The Moon and the Other (Simon and Schuster, forthcoming)
- Belle Boggs, The Art of Waiting: On Fertility, Medicine and Motherhood (Gray Wolf Press, September 2016).
- Leila May, Secrecy and Disclosure in Victorian Fiction (Routledge, 2016)
- Paul Fyfe, By Accident or Design: Writing the Victorian Metropolis (Oxford University Press, 2015)
- Jason Miller, Origins of the Dream: Hughes’s Poetry and King’s Rhetoric (University Press of Florida, 2015)
- Rebecca Walsh, The Geopoetics of Modernism (University Press of Florida, 2015)
- Huiling Ding, Rhetoric of a Global Epidemic: Transcultural Communication about SARS (Southern Illinois University Press, 2014)
- Wilton Barnhardt, Lookaway, Lookaway (MacMillan, 2014)
- Jeffrey Reaser and Walt Wolfram, Talkin’ Tar Heel (UNC Press, 2014)
- Susan Katz, Start Your Career: Five Steps to Finding the Right Job After College (TIPS Technical Publishing, 2014)
- James Mulholland, Sounding Imperial: Poetic Voice and the Politics of Empire, 1730-1820 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013)
- Elaine Orr, A Different Sun (Berkley/Penguin, 2013)
- Marc Dudley, Hemingway, Race and Art: Bloodlines and the Color Line (Kent State University Press, 2012)
- Dorianne Laux, The Book of Men (Norton, 2012)
- Barbara Bennett, Scheherazade’s Daughters: Ecofeminism Storytelling (Peter Lang Publishing, 2012)
Young and Teen Writers
Workshops for Young and Teen Writers
Sponsored by the English Department and held on NC State's campus, these summer workshops nurture the creative spirit and teach creative writing skills and techniques.
We share our love of the written and spoken word – of literature, film, poetry, of rhetoric and dialects – with the world around us.
Our annual statewide poetry and fiction contests are among the largest in the southeast. And there’s no cost to participate.
Each summer, we hold writing workshops for teens and for younger aspiring writers.
We organize film series and host an exciting list of public readings throughout the year.
Annual Poetry Contest
This annual contest is open to all North Carolina residents, except tenured/tenure-track professors in the University of North Carolina system; writing instructors teaching at NC State (teaching assistants and graduate students are eligible); poets with a published book by an independent press; and previous winners. We feature a special judge each year and winners receive cash awards.
Annual Short Story Contest
The annual event, open to all NC residents (some exceptions apply), is one of the largest free literary competitions in the South. The contest has two categories boasting separate cash prizes as well as honorable mention awards, and is judged yearly by a special guest judge. Contestants may enter in both the longer fiction and shorter fiction categories for a chance to win a cash prize.