Language, Literature and Composition


English, ESOL, and Professional Writing

The English major and minor focus on British, American and world literature, professional writing, writing in digital environments, English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), linguistics, rhetoric, film, literary theory and creative writing.

Creative Writing

The creative writing minor includes courses in autobiography, creative nonfiction, drama, novels, poetry and stories in a range of genres.




World Languages, Translation, & Global Studies

USC Upstate students can open new worlds of opportunity at home and abroad by studying one of our five languages: American Sign Language, Chinese, French, German, and Spanish.

As our largest world language program, the Spanish major prepares students to communicate in Spanish and to connect Spanish with various professions in the competitive global marketplace of the Upstate and beyond. Students pursuing a B.A. in Spanish focus on the language, literature, and culture of Spanish and Latin American countries and communities both past and present. Literature, film, and culture courses as well as study abroad opportunities in Spain, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica immerse students in the life and experiences of the Spanish-speaking world.

Minors in world languages allow students to combine their interest in language and culture with a major in business, health care, engineering, technology, communications, criminal justice, child advocacy, or nearly any other field. Our minors prepare students to research, analyze, create, and communicate more effectively across audiences and cultures. These skills can significantly increase career competitiveness. Minors in French, German Studies, Spanish and Spanish Translation/Interpreting prepare students for careers working with companies, organizations, schools, and communities from throughout the world, including Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and South America. Global companies like BMW, Michelin, Dräxlmaier, and others headquartered in the Upstate region seek talented employees who can communicate and work across languages and cultures as they carry on business around the globe.

World language teachers are also in high demand, and students with advanced language skills may use them to gain certification to teach through PACE or other post-graduation certification programs. The Minor in Global Studies combines intermediate-level study of Chinese, French, German, or Spanish with a broader exploration of global cultural interactions, including a study abroad experience. This minor also meets the cultural and language requirements of USC Upstate’s Peace Corps Prep Program.

Minors in Spanish translation/ interpreting learn both theory and practical applications of translation and interpreting in healthcare, legal, business, and education professions. Advanced coursework in translation, interpretation, and Spanish for the professions helps students prepare for careers in a bilingual marketplace, while internships and service learning opportunities in translation and teaching English to speakers of other languages demonstrate the way Spanish can help make a real difference in many lives.

African American Studies

African American Studies Minor includes courses in African American literature, culture, arts, history, social sciences and critical race theory.

Film Studies

The film studies minor includes analysis, theory and production of films

Preface & First-Year Writing

The Preface First-Year Reading Program Includes readings, cultural events and exhibits designed to bring together the University community and first-year students in discussion of a single text and the issues it raises.

 More Information

Students and Faculty in the News
Recent Books by Faculty Members

Celena Kusch's textbook Literary Analysis: The Basics 
Routledge, April 2016

Literary Analysis The BasicsLiterary Analysis: The Basics offers an introduction to analysing a wide range of literary forms. Providing a clear outline of the methodologies employed in twenty-first century literary analysis, it introduces readers to the genres, canons, terms, issues, critical approaches, and contexts that affect the analysis of any text. It addresses such questions as:

  • What counts as literature?
  • Is analysis a dissection?
  • How do gender, race, class and culture affect the meaning of a text?
  • Why is the social and historical context of a text important?
  • Can digital media be analysed in the same way as a poem?

With examples from ancient myths to young adult fiction, a glossary of key terms, and suggestions for further reading, Literary Analysis: The Basics is essential reading for anyone wishing to improve their analytical reading skills.

Colleen O'Brien's Race, Romance, and Rebellion: Literatures of the Americas in the Nineteenth Century
University of Virginia Press, October 2013

Race Romance RebellionAs in many literatures of the New World grappling with issues of slavery and freedom, stories of racial insurrection frequently coincided with stories of cross-racial romance in nineteenth-century U.S. print culture. Colleen O’Brien explores how authors such as Harriet Jacobs, Elizabeth Livermore, and Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda imagined the expansion of race and gender-based rights as a hemispheric affair, drawing together the United States with Africa, Cuba, and other parts of the Caribbean. Placing less familiar women writers in conversation with their more famous contemporaries—Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Fuller, and Lydia Maria Child—O’Brien traces the transnational progress of freedom through the antebellum cultural fascination with cross-racial relationships and insurrections. Her book mines a variety of sources—fiction, political rhetoric, popular journalism, race science, and biblical treatises—to reveal a common concern: a future in which romance and rebellion engender radical social and political transformation.             


What Are Our Alumni Doing?

  • Studying in Graduate School at Brandeis, American University, the Medical University of South Carolina, Clemson University, the University of Kentucky, Winthrop University and many more
  • Working as journalists
  • Practicing law
  • Serving as officers in the military
  • Leading community organizations
  • Working as public relations professionals
  • Writing creatively
  • Editing
  • Blogging
  • Freelancing
  • Making films
  • Working with Teach Charlotte, Teach for America, Americorps and other national and regional service organizations
  • Teaching as college professors
  • Working in libraries
  • Teaching in K-12 schools
  • Managing and recruiting in the human resources industry
  • Living life