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The English Department at NDSU

The mission of the English Department at North Dakota State University is to cultivate understanding, knowledge, and appreciation of the English language, its speakers and writers, and its literatures and cultures, such that students and department members use the language creatively, critically, and effectively to participate ethically in civic and professional life.

Assistant Professor of Professional/Technical/Scientific Rhetoric and Writing Position Open

The English department at North Dakota State University seeks a full-time, tenure-track new or advanced Assistant Professor in Professional/Technical/Scientific Rhetoric and Writing or related field for employment beginning August 16, 2017.

For more information, see full listing here.

English Graduate Students Presentation

NDSU English graduate students Tony Albright and Luc Chinwongs presented at the National Writing Project's Annual Meeting, November 16-18, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. Their presentation, "Transformative Narratives of the Journey to and from Soldierhood: What Writing Projects Can Learn from Working with Veterans," was chaired by Associate Professor Kelly Sassi and included a literature review presented via video by NDSU English undergraduate Camille Forlano, a McNair scholar.

Scholarship Applications for 2017-2018

Scholarship applications for current and incoming students are accepted beginning December 1, 2016 through March 1, 2017 for the English department. 

To complete the online scholarship application please use the following link: and click on the "apply now" button.  You will then be asked to log in using the same credentials that you use for blackboard. 

We hope you find the system easy to use.  For general information, you can also refer to the video on the scholarship information page 

 All external scholarships will also be listed on the same site so log in often to see if new opportunities have been added for you.

REMEMBER: Be sure to observe the criteria and deadline for each scholarship. It is the student's responsibility to submit the scholarship application and respond to all additional questions posed.

High School Students are invited to join this free writing workshop with pizza lunch.

Featured Workshop Leader: Steve Stark

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Thursday, October 20

Reimers Room of NDSU

McGovern Alumni Center

More information

Register here!

1066@950: Commemoration of the Battle of Hastings

14 October 2016, 4:00-6:00 p.m.

Barry Hall, North Dakota State University


A cooperative event of English, history, modern languages, and religion departments at Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, and North Dakota State University:

Sharable Facebook Event


On October 14th, 1066, the English language was changed forever by William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings and the subsequent infusion of French and Latin vocabulary into English. On the 950th anniversary, please join us to reflect on this event and its establishment of the British class system, which Americans inherited and still contend with today. 

 4:00-4:10 Opening comments at statue of Rollo, first Duke of Normandy (next to Barry Hall, downtown NDSU campus)

 4:15-6:00 Concurrent sessions, repeated during each hour

Language sessions, 126 Barry Hall

4:15–4:27 and 5:09–5:21

Co-mingling of Old English, French, and Scandinavian vocabulary in medieval England

Claudia Tomany, NDSU Modern Languages Dept.

4:28–4:40 and 5:22–5:34

Why French is easy for English-speakers to learn

Jeanne Hageman, NDSU Modern Languages Dept.

4:41–4:53 and 5:35–5:47

Differences in literary forms following the Norman Conquest

David Sprunger, Concordia College English Dept.

4:54–5:06 and 5:48–6:00

The legacy of the Norman Conquest on how we judge writing today

Bruce Maylath, NDSU English Dept.

Potpourri sessions, 120 Barry Hall

4:15–4:27 and 5:09–5:21

Viking Age weapons and material culture

Markus Krueger/Tim Jorgensen, Hjemkomst Center

4:28–4:53 and 5:22–5:47

The Bayeux Tapestry (double session)

Jill Frederick, MSUM English Dept.

Annette Morrow, MSUM HLCRW Dept.

4:54–5:06 and 5:48–6:00

Spiritual Formation: The Spirits of 1066

Roy Hammerling, Concordia Religion Dept.

Why it is important to commemorate the Battle of Hastings and the start of the Norman Conquest?

Although Britons are taught the significance of the Norman Conquest in 1066, which the French clinched by vanquishing the English at the October 14th Battle of Hastings, Americans are mostly oblivious to what happened, yet every time they choose a word, they confront the Conquest’s impact on the English language. Should they say “stick out” or “protrude”? “hindsight” or “retrospect”? “watertight” or “impermeable”? In each of these pairs, the first choice comes from Old English, but the second choice comes from French or its mother language, Latin, via the Norman Conquest or its aftermath.

Few Americans realize that the official language of the English royal court was not English but French, for a period of about 250 years after William the Conqueror, Duke of Normandy, invaded England. Not until the rule of King Henry V was English given equal standing to French—in England. In time, and in part due to the popularity of The Canterbury Tales, written in English by Henry V’s aide Geoffrey Chaucer, did English surpass French in standing. However, it was no longer the same English as before the Conquest. Now it was filled with French and Latin synonyms.

As native English speakers recognize from the words in the pairs above, the dual vocabulary of English today perpetuates a class divide, with the French conquerors above and the conquered English below. To this day, the wealthiest families in England are descendants of the Norman conquerors, bearing Norman names like Mountbatten and Montgomery. The British class system took its present shape in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest. Americans inherited British notions of class hierarchy and still contend with them today, even when choosing words.

Why are NDSU, Concordia and MSUM working together to commemorate the battle with this local event?

While most Americans are unaware of the battle’s and Conquest’s significance, those who study English, French, history, and culture are acutely aware. When I approached the faculties at NDSU, Concordia and MSUM about holding a 950th anniversary commemoration, they jumped at the opportunity.

Who is invited to attend?

The public at large is invited. We know that we’ll see ample representation from Fargo-Moorhead’s academic community, but we hope that anyone curious about how America and the English language got to be the way they are will come and learn.

What do you hope attendees will gain from the presentations?

Those who attend the language sessions will learn why English is a language with so many synonyms and so many exceptions to its own “rules.” Those who attend the potpourri sessions will learn about the invasion itself, especially the Battle of Hastings, and the Norman Conquest’s role in developing surprising class divides, including the introduction of French wine to a beer-drinking nation.

2016-2017 Scholarship Recipients

Each year the English Department, in conjunction with the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences awards more than $9,000 to deserving undergraduate and graduate students. Please join us in congratulating this year's recipients on their honors and achievements.

Richard L. Johnson Scholarship- Emilee Ruhland

Rooney English Graduate Scholarship- Alison Driscoll

Ralph Engel Scholarship- Andrew Wolf

Hal & Alice Dickey Memorial Scholarship- Natalia Martinez

G. Wilson Hunter Scholarship- Natalia Martinez

Mart & Lois Vogel Scholarship- Shaylee Thomas & Alex Lien

Pamela O'Connor Scholarship- Shaylee Thomas, Jenna Murphy, & Andrew Wolf

Madeline S. Gittings Scholarship- Jenna Murphy, Margaret Silvernail, Sarah Silvernail, & Justin Atwell

William Cosgrove Scholarship- Nathan Kurtti

English Faculty Scholarship- Neelam Jabeen & Adam Copeland



W-Challenge Award Winners:


1 – Joe Jessop

2 – Molly Scherer

3 – Krista Foerster


1 – Olivia Vogt

2 – Andrew Wolf

3 – Austin-Alexius Klein


1 – Jared Melville

2 – Benjamin Norman

3 – Emily Lange


1 – Alexis Pearson

2 – Alyssa Voelker

3 – Alexandra Howatt, Michelle Klose, Nicholas Hugo, and Abby Lange

Foreign Languages:

ESL: Qiying Ma

French: Michael Pfau


Greg Schlangen

Jonathan Materi

Sarah Gibbs Schnucker

Chinese: Mengkun Yang


Sundog (Overall) Winner: Jared Melville

Sundog (Overall) Honorable Mention: Olivia Vogt

Bruce Maylath has Published Two Co-authored Book Chapters

Bruce Maylath has published two co-authored book chapters:

Maylath, Bruce, and Steven Hammer. "The Imperative of Teaching Linguistics to Twenty-First-Century Professional Communicators." Teaching Culture and Communication in Global Contexts. Ed. Kirk St. Amant and Madelyn Flammia. Piscataway, NJ: Wiley-IEEE Press, 2016.

Lisaité, Donata, Sonia Vandepitte, Bruce Maylath, Birthe Mousten, Susana Valdez, Maria Castel-Branco, and Patricia Minacori. "Negotiating Meaning at a Distance: Peer Feedback in Electronic Learning Translation Environments." Translation and Meaning. Ed. Barbara Lewandowska-Tomaszczyk and Łukasz Bogucki. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2016. 99-113. Łódź Studies in Language, New Series, vol. 1.


Gordon Fraser Invited to Attend First Book Institute Summer 2016

Gordon Fraser, assistant professor of English, has been awarded a $1,500 fellowship from and invitation to the First-Book Institute at the Center for American Literary Studies at Pennsylvania State University. Hosted by Sean X. Goudie (Penn State) and Priscilla Wald (Duke), the institute aims to help early career faculty complete manuscripts for their first scholarly monographs. About 10 percent of applicants to the institute are invited to the one-week seminar.

Congratulations, Dr. Fraser!

Adam Goldwyn Received Fellowship

Adam Goldwyn received an academic year (September to May) fellowship at Dumbarton Oaks, Harvard University’s center for Byzantine Studies in Washington, DC, to complete a manuscript of his book project, Byzantine Ecocriticism: Humans, Nature, and Power in the Medieval Greek Romance. The book will analyze environmental ideology in Greek literature of the 12th-15th centuries. He will also complete his translation of the 12th century grammarian John Tzetzes’ Allegories of the Odyssey for Harvard University Press, which follows on his translation of the Allegories of the Iliad (Harvard UP, 2015).

Also, his lecture at the Cambridge Classical Reception Seminar Series in May, entitled "Myth, Misogyny, and Magic: Mansplaining Medea in the Middle Ages” is now officially online (scroll down a bit on the webpage):




Kelly Sassi and Denise Lajimodiere's Article Accepted for Publication

Kelly Sassi and Denise Lajimodiere's article “Culturally Responsive Art and Writing Workshop at a Native American School” has been accepted for publication in Ubiquity: The Journal for Literature, Literacy, and the Arts.


Mailing Address

English Department
NDSU - Dept. 2320
P.O. Box 6050
Fargo, ND  58108-6050
Office Location:
 Minard 318
Office Phone: 701-231-7143

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Published by the NDSU Dept. of English

Last Updated: Tuesday, December 13, 2016 11:13:10 AM
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