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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 in order to 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

Student Experience

Inside the Degree

Take a deeper look inside the English and Literature programs.

Inside the Degree

Inside the Degree

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

B.A. Emphasis

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.

Poetry slam


B.A. Emphasis

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.

Two students talking in the library

Literature and the Environment

B.A. Emphasis

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.

Students gathered around a fire

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.

Learn More: Tidal Echoes

Tidal echoes cover

Learning Environments

Learning On-Campus

Attending 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.
Two students walking down classroom building hallway

Learning Online

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 thumbnail

"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."

Program Faculty

Kevin Maier, Ph.D.

Kevin Maier, Ph.D.

Professor of English

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.

Profile and contact info

Emily Wall, B.A., M.F.A. (she/her)

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.

Profile and contact info

Forest J. Wagner, M.A.

Forest J. Wagner, M.A.

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Studies, Humanities Department Chair

Profile and contact info

Math Trafton, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D. (he/him)

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

Jay Szczepanski II, M.A. (he/him)

Term Assistant Professor of English

Profile and contact info