English Announcements and News


English grad to speak at Commencement

ECU's Spring 2016 Commencement speaker is Rick Atkinson, a 1974 graduate of the English department. A prolific author and Pulitzer Prize winner, Atkinson served as a reporter, foreign correspondent, and senior editor for 25 years at the Washington Post. Click the link to read more about Atkinson's life and career from ECU news:

Dr. Solveig Bosse

Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Solveig Bosse

Where are you from?

I grew up in Verden (Aller), Germany.

What brought you to ECU?

There are very few jobs for graduates with doctorate degrees in Linguistics available, especially on the more permanent tenure-track. ECU offering me a tenure-track position was a great opportunity, so I accepted and came here.

What is your field and how did you first become interested in it?

Officially, I am a theoretical linguist. Most of my research is in theoretical syntax with an added interest in formal semantics. In simpler terms, I analyze the sentence structures of sentences in different languages and try to explain why the sentences have the structure they do and why the sentences mean what they mean.

Read more here!


Shields featured in "A Colony Lost"

Associate Professor of English Tom Shields was featured in a recent documentary on UNC-TV. The documentary, "A Colony Lost," was broadcast on UNC-TV's Explorer channel Jan. 6.

This documentary produced by ECU students about the Roanoke "Lost Colony" also features three other ECU faculty members (Charlie Ewen, Anthropology; Chris Oakley, and Larry Tise, History) telling about what we don't know about the 1587 "Lost Colony" and how we don't know it. The 30-minute documentary was created by nine students in connection with a film production course in the ECU School of Art and Design. The show is the first in a series of planned collaborations with UNC-TV.


Alum wins Saturday Evening Post's 2016 Great American Fiction Contest

Celeste McMaster (formerly Pottier), a graduate of East Carolina's MA program in English, was recently announced as the winner of The Saturday Evening Post's 2016 Great American Fiction Contest.

McMaster, who concentrated in literature at ECU and subsequently obtained a PhD from the University of South Carolina, took the prize with her story "Zelda, Burning." Read it here. The prize won her publication in The Post and online, and a prize of $500.

The Post reports that the story developed over an eight-year period. 

"My American literature professor suggested I write on Zelda Fitzgerald, so she planted the seed, but I didn't follow her advice until I went to graduate school," McMaster told the Post. "I started the story in a creative writing class imagining what Zelda must have felt in her last years." 

McMaster, who served as an editorial assistant for both North Carolina Literary Review and Tar River Poetry during her time at ECU, also has published in literary journals, including New Delta Review, Dos Passos Review, and Arkansas Review.