English and Creative Writing


Writing in the digital age: "Look at Her"

Writing in the 21st century involves more than the black-and-white of words on a page. At Oswego State University, instructors in many first-year writing courses ask students to experiment with digital stories--short films centered on spoken-word scripts. The films incorporate texts, images, music, sound effects and film clips. "Look At Her," by Ruth Perez, is an example of what English 102 students at SUNY Oswego are doing with this powerful form.

Spectral Transmission

Spectral Transmission is a science fiction anthology TV series created by Cinema and Screen Studies Assistant Professor Jacob Dodd and six undergraduate students at SUNY Oswego. Each 22-minute episode was filmed in Central New York and shot on 16mm film. SUNY Oswego students wrote, directed, and produced the series, with funding from a Student-Faculty Collaborative Challenge Grant. The show begins this October on WTOP-10, SUNY Oswego's student-run television station. 

Our department of English and Creative Writing is the most comprehensive in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Our full-time and part-time faculty members work together to offer three complete majors, two minors, eight interdisciplinary majors and minors, a range of programs and a master of arts in English.  With a choice of in-depth study in Literature, Creative Writing, Cinema and Screen Studies, African and African-American Studies and Women's Studies, our students benefit from our faculty's pursuit of the ongoing transformations that are the new humanities. 

Our location in the multi-use, state-of-the-art Campus Center provides an ideal environment for a rich diversity of courses and a multitude of extra-curricular opportunities in intimate settings:  big ideas and ambitions in small seminars and workshops, student writing projects for local business partners, film screenings, guest speakers, and performances from visiting writers and artists.

Student Opportunities

Home to an extraordinary array of activities, the department of English and Creative Writing offers students opportunities on and off-campus. Earn some cash as a Writing Tutor, earn some credit as an Undergraduate Teaching Assistant; study literature and culture in Cape Town or performance theory in London. And here's just a few more ways to get involved:

  • Creative Writing Club (student writing group)
  • Film Scholars Guild (film theory collective)
  • The Great Lake Review (student literary magazine)
  • The Living Writers Series (visits by contemporary writers)
  • New Voices (professional staging of student plays)
  • Oswego Independent (student filmmaking group)
  • The Oswegonian (student newspaper)
  • Sigma Tau Delta (honor society)
  • Springside (students lead workshops in the senior living community)
  • Sunset Film Festival (student films in competition)
  • Words in the World (student consultancies with community and business)

After Oswego

"Switching my major to English was a sea-change in my life. Always open to me and to my needs, the department makes students the priority. The department lives and breathes textual studies, of literature, of film, of everything. Studying English didn't just give me a way to think about reading, it gave me the tools to read life." -- Elizabeth Bishop '08, Doctoral Student, Emory University.

"It's rare to find a professor that seems genuinely excited about teaching; rarer still to find one that is able to excite the students to learn. What then, are the odds that a student would be fortunate enough to have more than one such professor? Overwhelmingly good if that student's a Creative Writing major at SUNY Oswego." -- Shawn Lucas ‘06, Video Game Developer.

"When I think about my time at Oswego, it's the people I met there that I value the most. The friends and mentors I had as a student at Oswego are still my closest personal and professional relationships. My daily life is continually enriched by my time as a student at SUNY Oswego." -- Jay Garrett '96, Screenwriter, Los Angeles, CA.

"English professors were the most singular on campus, marked by their abiding optimism and unabashed joy for what they taught. It was contagious; and I am still filled with both whenever I open a new book or write a new sentence." -- Matthew Hoffman ‘02, teaches AP English in a northern Virginia high school.

"Without the encouragement from the professors of the English and Creative Writing Department at SUNY Oswego, I would have never realized my dream to be a writer. Now that I am a poet and teacher, I understand just how dedicated and hardworking an instructor needs to be in order to teach the craft of writing. I feel very lucky to have had such talented professors." -- Christina Matthews ‘05, full-time English Instructor at Fort Valley State University.

"Whenever I think of Oswego, I immediately envision the professors. Always driven by an immediate and genuine passion for their subject, they drew me into academic niches and genres I never before saw myself entering. I owe it to them, especially the Creative Writing and English gurus, for my newly opened mind, my ambition, my decision to pursue what I love. I wouldn't be in Michigan, chasing after an MFA, if it weren't for their unbridled dedication and energy." -- Emily Engelhard ‘09, Teaching Fellow, MFA Program at Northern Michigan University.

"The education and support that I received during my studies in the English Department at SUNY Oswego greatly shaped the trajectory of my research as a scholar of critical theory, literature and visual culture. The interdisciplinary nature of the program exposed me to a wide variety of methods that continue to inform my projects. It was a privilege to work with and learn from the department's outstanding faculty." -- Julia Friday ‘01, Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Binghamton University, English Instructor, SUNY New Paltz.

"The faculty, staff, and students of the English Department at Oswego taught me the importance of reading carefully and writing thoughtfully, never forgetting that both activities are rooted in a responsibility for the communities in which I work and live." -- Jack N. Morales B.A. '03, M.A. ‘05, Professor of English, Community College of Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pa.

"The English Department's challenging and intellectually rewarding faculty and courses laid the groundwork for my continued interest in literary studies. Without their encouragement, help, guidance, and inspiration, I would not have made it this far." -- Joshua L. Brazee '04, Doctoral Student, University of Wisconsin.

"Oswego's English Department was an important part of my success after college. The faculty are some of the most knowledgeable, personable, and deserving in the field. Their guidance, humorous and thoughtful lectures, and generosity taught me life -long lessons that classical and contemporary literature can't." -- Jason Smelski '05, English Teacher, Plato Academy Charter School, Clearwater, Fla.