College of Arts & Sciences

Department of English, Philosophy & Modern Languages


Welcome to the Department of English, Philosophy and Modern Languages


Our Department houses three disciplines leading to a variety of majors and minors, and our faculty members are committed teacher-scholars in literature, linguistics, languages, writing, philosophy, and religious studies. The Department also houses MSUB's Writing Program, which serves all undergraduate students, and a graduate program Certificate in Teaching Creative and Expository Writing.


The mission of the undergraduate English Program is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the development and aesthetic achievement of literatures in English – including the cultural, linguistic, and historical influences on English, American and world literatures – as well as preparation in the craft of creative writing: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other genres. In Philosophy and Religious Studies, the Department provides students with diverse ethical, philosophical, religious and cultural perspectives. In Modern Languages the Department’s mission is to provide students with critical skills in the use of the Spanish language and familiarity with the cultures and literatures of that language, both Peninsular and Latin American. The Department also offers French, German, and other languages.


Why the Humanities?


The term humanities, broadly defined, refers to the study of human cultures, languages, and systems of meaning and values. Students of the humanities explore the interrelated disciplines of philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language. The MSUB Department of English, Philosophy & Modern Languages prepares students to engage in these disciplines with historical perspective and an appreciation for complexity, nuance, and difference.  We encourage our undergraduates to develop their own positions and arguments, to articulate them clearly and incisively, and to be leaders in a rapidly changing century. See also:


Why Study the Humanities?

Unexpected Career Paths for Majors (from Carlton College)

On Humanities in the 21st century workplace

What Can I Do With an English Degree?

Stanford University: "Why the Humanities Matter"

Junot Diaz on the Power of Art

"How Humanities Can Help Fix the World"

"Why Everyone Should Study the Liberal Arts, Even Future Doctors and Engineers"

"Why Med Schools Are Requiring Arts Classes"



Fall 2018 Courses


Recent Faculty Publications

Department News



 Retort Launch Party



Faculty member Danell Jones has a new book -- An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B. C. Merriman-Labor -- out in September. Use code ADISTA5 to save 30% when ordering from Oxford University Press!


African in Imperial London


In a world dominated by the British Empire, and at a time when many Europeans considered black people inferior, Sierra Leonean writer A. B. C. Merriman-Labor claimed his right to describe the world as he found it. He looked at the Empire's great capital and laughed. In this first biography of Merriman-Labor, Danell Jones describes the tragic spiral that pulled him down the social ladder from writer and barrister to munitions worker, from witty observer of the social order to patient in a state-run hospital for the poor. In restoring this extraordinary man to the pantheon of African observers of colonialism, she opens a window onto racial attitudes in Edwardian London.An African in Imperial London is a rich portrait of a great metropolis, writhing its way into a new century of appalling social inequity, world-transforming inventions, and unprecedented demands for civil rights.

 Danell Jones


Danell Jones’s poetry, fiction, essays, and reviews have appeared in various publications including the Denver Quarterly, Beyond Baroque, Gingko Tree Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Tonopah Review, The Virginia Woolf Miscellany, and Virginia Woolf: Themes and Variations. She has been awarded the Jovanovich prize for poetry from the University of Colorado and has been a finalist for both the Breadloaf Writers’ Conference Poetry Prize and the PEN/Nelson Algren in Fiction. Jones has a Ph.D. from Columbia University, where she was awarded a Whiting Fellowship in the Humanities and a Bennett Cerf Award for her work on Virginia Woolf. She is the author of The Virginia Woolf Writers’ Workshop: Seven Lessons to Inspire Great Writing (Random House), Desert Elegy (Finishing Line), and An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B. C. Merriman-Labor (Hurst). She is a founder and instructor for the Big Sky Writers’ Workshop.



Professors Regele and Berru-Davis led a trip to Peru in May!


Peru 1






Long-time faculty member Randall Gloege’s collection of poetry The Bunch Grass Motel is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award in Poetry.  


The Grass Bunch Motel


Faculty member Bernie Quetchenbach's collection of essays Accidental Gravity is an Honorable Mention for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year in Essays.


Accidental Gravity


Laura-Ashlee Twiford teaching at Stream Academy in Anchorage, AK


“I'm currently teaching middle school at Stream Academy, a brand new charter school in Alaska. It's the first year of the charter and my first year teaching, so I am quite tired as well (and not just with grading). I'm the only Language Arts teacher of 77 students with two sections of 6th grade, a section of 7th, and a section of 8th. Oh, and I also teach a social dance elective. Whew! 


All things considered, I really do love middle school. It took me a while to calibrate, but they are really delightful. 


I've decided that I really should do better with keeping in touch with everyone from the English Department. There's something about being a part of something so meaningful for such a short period of time that makes me sad and proud at the same time.”


- Laura-Ashlee Twiford, ‘16