English & Literature
Study the words and ideas that shape thought and culture.
UAS Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Liberal Arts programs provide a broad foundation in the liberal arts as well as options for focusing on writing and literature. Professors will introduce students to world literatures and literary theory, study the lasting ways storytelling and ideas have shaped thought and culture across human history. Graduates use critical thinking, close reading, and communication skills for a variety of career paths. These programs prepare students for careers and graduate programs in literature, teaching, environmental education, journalism, media, law, the public sector, and publishing.
English & Literature Degrees
Engaging Material & Contagious Energy
“I've had the opportunity to teach inside the local prison through an internship with the English department, I have substantial out of class conversations with my professors, and I love the sublime beauty that encompasses the University of Alaska Southeast."—Emily King, B.A. English
Creative writing students gain experience in essay, memoir, and nature writing as well as fiction and poetry. Students explore form and craftsmanship while trying their own hand at various types of literary writing.
The emphasis in literature ventures beyond the recognized masterpieces, encompassing Tlingit oral literature, world literature, and literature of Alaska from Native and non-Native perspectives.
Literature and the Environment
In this emphasis area, students explore cultures, literary form, and a variety of theories and perspectives. With deep ties to history and philosophical studies, professors and students learn to approach literature with more questions than answers. Students explore major authors, time periods, and genres, as well as exciting and surprising special topics.
Students in Literature and the Environment capitalize on the unique setting of Southeast Alaska, participating in outdoor excursions and projects that focus on the relationship between people and place.
Tidal Echoes Literary and Arts Journal
UAS students, mentored by a professor, edit and produce Tidal Echoes, a literary journal showcasing the art and writing of Southeast Alaskans. The journal fills a unique literary niche — a forum for an eclectic blend of readers and artists to meet and engage.
Tidal Echoes aims to bring together the voices and visions of Southeast Alaska. Each year, students have the opportunity to intern with the journal, gaining skills in design, editing, project management, networking, communication, and broadcasting.
The Flying University
The Flying University is a collaboration between UAS and the Lemon Creek Correctional Center, an education project with incarcerated students. Inspired by the underground philosophy taught behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, students and inmates collaborate to create poetry, short stories, drawings, and photography while studying literature, philosophy, and theater.
Learning On-CampusAttending classes on-campus provides ready access to your professors and on-campus resources like the learning centers, libraries, student services, and more. Traditional classrooms and specialty classrooms with a range of technologies create vital spaces to connect and learn from each other.
Providing specially-designed courses and even full programs online is essential to our students’ success. Each online course is delivered by the best method for that particular subject combined with individual attention and high-level engagement from our professors. Some programs combine a segment on-campus with an online curriculum. Some utilize a cohort model, where students in the program progress together in a supportive group. All have access to the supportive and dynamic classroom environments found within Blackboard and UAS Connect. Learn more at uas.edu.
"The beauty of an English degree is that it gives you a sense of perspective, a sense of history, and a framework for understanding the world through a variety of disciplines."
Kevin Maier, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English, Humanities Department Chair
While my training is in 19th and 20th century American literature, my interests have always been in the cultural components of environmental concerns, often seen from the angle of sport hunting and fishing. Which is to say: I like to mix my outdoor recreation with hard questions about climate change, equity, and environmental justice.
Associate Professor of English
Most of my research and teaching takes shape as a response to historical violence, transgenerational trauma, and memory. As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation living in the Raven bioregion, I am especially interested in staging dialogue between descendants of victims and perpetrators of colonial violence. In 2012, I started the Flying University—a prison education program that brings university students inside the prison for mutual and collaborative study.
Emily Wall, B.A., M.F.A.
Professor of English
My passion is for poetry. I’ve been studying, writing, and publishing poetry for 20 years. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a connected and supportive writing community throughout Alaska.
Richard F. Simpson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Humanities, Geography and Environmental Studies BA Coordinator
Literary Theory; Literary Urban Studies; Material Cultures of Education; Nineteenth-Century Labor and Economic Theory; Allegory and the Essay; Cultures of Finance Capital
William Elliott, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of English
Growing up in rural Alaska, we were always reading, especially the snow. Today I am still reading, nose in a book, nose to the air. As a teacher, and scholar of literature and environment, my work attends to the ways that our experiences are both socially constructed and materially grounded, shaped by stories and signs that are often curved along the contours of a more-than-human world.
Forest J. Wagner, M.A.
Assistant Professor of Outdoor StudiesProfile and contact info
Rod Landis, M.Litt.
Professor of EnglishProfile and contact info
Math Trafton, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of English
In the classroom, Dr. Trafton is committed to empowering students through rigorous interdisciplinary exercises that challenge students according to their interests and their abilities. He strives to support students in developing the experience, confidence, and skills to discover their voice and to use it effectively.Profile and contact info
Teague Whalen, B.A., M.F.A.
Associate Professor of English & CommunicationProfile and contact info