This is content from the Catalog 2019–2020 back issue. Please visit the current catalog for current information.

Department Chair: Kirsten Mollegaard , Ph.D.

Email: mollegaa@hawaii.edu

Humanities Division Office :
Office: Kanakaʻole Hall, Room 214
Tel: (808) 932–7216

Website: hilo.hawaii.edu/depts/english/

Professor Emeritus:

  • Kenith L Simmons, Ph.D.


Assistant Professors:



The mission of the undergraduate degree program in English is to offer a well-rounded, culturally balanced approach to English Studies through introductory and specialized courses in composition, literature, film, and creative writing. Our program reflects the diversity of our student population, our institutional values as expressed the UH Hilo Strategic Plan, and our location in the Pacific. Our curriculum aims at developing students' critical thinking and writing, strong communication skills, and cultural awareness through the study of literature, composition, visual narrative, and language.

In addition to foundational topics in British and American literature, the UH Hilo program offers a range of courses on specific topics such as the literature of Hawaiʻi, mythology and folklore, film, gender studies, cultural studies, ethnic studies, creative writing, play writing, and comics and graphic novels.

Student Learning Outcomes

Note: ENG 100 Composition I (3) or ENG 100T Composition with Tutorial (3) or ESL 100 Composition/Nonnative Speakers (3) or ESL 100T Composition/Non-nativeTutorial (3) is required for all other English courses. Any additional prerequisites for courses are indicated as needed.

For English 100/100T:

Students who successfully complete the course will:

  1. Compose a thesis-driven essay using a process approach including,
    • Generating ideas (e.g. mapping, brainstorming, outlines, etc.)
    • Multiple drafts
    • Incorporating feedback at all stages in writing
    • Rewriting
    • Proofreading
  2. Identify and compose writing for different purposes and audiences;
  3. Analyze and evaluate their own writing;
  4. Identify appropriate information needed for their writing assignments;
  5. Evaluate sources and information for reliability, accuracy, and bias;
  6. Recognize the difference between APA and MLA conventions of documentation;
  7. Incorporate multiple sources within an original essay using an appropriate academic convention of documentation;
  8. Demonstrate control over syntax and mechanics in their writing.

For all English courses above the 100 level:

Written Communication

Students will

  • develop original research projects and/or original creative work that communicates ideas/arguments effectively and persuasively;
  • integrate complex ideas and theories from multiple sources in their writing;
  • analyze various types of texts (including literature, non-fiction, film, and visual media) using appropriate techniques, such as paraphrase, synthesis, and comparison/contrast;
  • demonstrate an understanding of writing as a process that requires revision, editing, and compliance with writing conventions;
  • write college-level prose and use appropriate grammar;
  • demonstrate proper citation styles for the humanities (MLA) in their writing.

Oral Communication

Students will

  • communicate and argue clearly and effectively in various settings, including small group discussions, oral presentations, readings in class, and in symposiums or conferences.

Quantitative Reasoning

Students will

  • demonstrate competence in written analysis of numerical and quantitative information.

Critical Thinking

Students will

  • analyze visual and written texts using critical literary perspectives;
  • apply and/or integrate a range of analytical methods and theories to the study of literary texts;
  • evaluate, construct, and situate argumentative literary analyses in relevant historical, cultural, economic, social, and gendered contexts;
  • investigate and question assumptions about literary conventions, genres, and cultural functions of written and visual texts.

Information Literacy

Students will

  • demonstrate competence in information technology and digital literacy (i.e. formatting in Microsoft Word);
  • critically examine and utilize online as well as textual materials in their assignments;
  • identify, analyze, and present appropriate data from oral sources (e.g. interviews), visual media (e.g. film or visual arts), and/or various types of print and digital literature (fiction, non-fiction, and graphic texts).

For more information, please visit the English Department’s website.