College of Letters and Sciences

DEPARTMENT OF LITERATURE, WRITING, AND FILM

Welcome to one of the most dynamic and creative departments on campus!  Whether you are interested in writing the next ‘Great American Novel,’ pursuing a career in the ever-evolving field of professional writing, or becoming a visual storyteller through the medium of film, this department offers varied and practical program opportunities that help students achieve their personal and professional goals.

UW-Whitewater has been training future English teachers since the university began as Whitewater Normal School in 1868.  Today we are proud to have one of the most vibrant English Education programs in the state. Our programs in Creative Writing and English literature allow students to develop their creative talents and hone their analytical skills.  The Professional Writing and Publishing program prepares students for a wide range of employment opportunities involving writing, editing, publishing, and visual rhetoric, and our Film Studies program combines film analysis with opportunities for practical, hands-on experience.

From First-Year English to senior capstone courses and independent research projects, our esteemed faculty teach and mentor students at all stages of their academic careers at UW-Whitewater. We serve the community through a range of public outreach efforts, and publish scholarly and creative work with distinguished presses and in leading national and international journals. 

In addition, the Department of Literature, Writing, and Film supports a range of co-curricular activities, including internship opportunities, our student literary magazine TheMuse, our thriving annual Creative Writing Festival that draws authors, students, and teachers from across the region to campus, and Hawk Cinema, our film club.  Come join a vibrant community where you can explore your interests, enhance your creative talents and analytical skills, and prepare to meet the challenges of a complex, culturally evolving society.

Contact us

Jonathan Ivry
Department Chair & Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-5061
Location: Laurentide Hall 3207

Elizabeth Lamb
Department Assistant
Phone: 262-472-1036
Location: Laurentide Hall 3209

Literature Writing Film Icon


Our history

 

Black and white image of Whitewater Normal School.

Old Main, an architectural focal point of the UW-Whitewater campus as it appeared in 1880. All English courses were taught here until a devastating fire destroyed the building in 1970.

 

The Department of Literature, Writing, and Film is one of the oldest departments on campus and has gone through several transformations since the founding of the University in 1868. Because the origins of UW-Whitewater are intertwined with education, first as Whitewater Normal School in 1868 and then as Whitewater State Teacher’s College in 1927, the careful instruction of English and literature, along with writing and critical thinking, has been foundational to the identity of this campus.

Black and white photo of Dr. John A. Heide.

Pictured, right: Dr. John A. "Jack" Heide. Heide Hall, where the majority of the department's classes are taught, was named for Jack Heide shortly after his death. Two departmental scholarships are named in his honor.

A key milestone for this department occurred shortly after World War II when John A. “Jack” Heide became the department chair in 1948. His leadership for the next twenty years coincided with massive enrollment increases at the university during the 1950s and 1960s, and he subsequently built the department into the largest on campus. During his tenure, requirements for the two-semester sequence of First Year English (101 and 102) were put in place. Dr. Heide was also a firm believer in small class sizes so that all students might have easy access to their professors.

Jack Heide’s vision is still a reality here at UW-Whitewater where dedicated faculty and small class sizes continue to provide an educational advantage to our students. In the 21 st century, the department has also evolved to reflect the changing nature of communication in the digital age. Our robust Professional Writing and Publishing Major provides students with a wide array of career options, while our dynamic Creative Writing Major has also seen remarkable enrollment growth, supported and enhanced by nationally prominent faculty. Finally, the most recent addition of our Film Studies Major furthers the mission of the Department of Literature, Writing and Film by equipping students with the visual language necessary to be creative, adaptable thinkers as they engage and connect with others as citizens in a global society.

The impact of our educators in the past and the present

Marilyn G Annucci

Marilyn G Annucci

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

annuccim@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3233 |

(262) 472-5042

Daniel G Baumgardt

Daniel G Baumgardt

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

baumgard@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3214 |

(262) 472-5051

Michael Y Bennett

Michael Y Bennett

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

bennettm@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3270 |

(262) 472-5037

Maija  Birenbaum

Maija Birenbaum

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

birenbam@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3253 |

(262) 472-7398

Deborah M Fratz

Deborah M Fratz

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

fratzd@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3231 |

(262) 472-1047

Nicholas A Gulig

Nicholas A Gulig

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

gulign@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3220 |

(262) 472-1041

Anna T Hajdik

Anna T Hajdik

Lecturer 2

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

hajdika@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3221 |

(262) 472-1242

Rossitza P Ivanova

Rossitza P Ivanova

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

ivanovar@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3267 |

(262) 472-7399

Jonathan B Ivry

Jonathan B Ivry

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

ivryj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3207 |

(262) 472-5061

Donald C Jellerson

Donald C Jellerson

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

jellersd@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3217 |

(262) 472-1979

Tanya  Kam

Tanya Kam

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

kamt@uww.edu

Mccutchan Hall 04 |

(262) 472-4976

Evelynn Elise Kersting

Evelynn Elise Kersting

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

kerstine@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3254 |

Elizabeth  Lamb

Elizabeth Lamb

Department Assistant

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

lambe@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3209 |

(262) 472-1036

Jessica  Lauer

Jessica Lauer

Assistant Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

lauerj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3260 |

(262) 472-5054

Elena L Levy-Navarro

Elena L Levy-Navarro

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

levye@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3227 |

(262) 472-5047

Joshua D Mabie

Joshua D Mabie

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

mabiej@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3239 |

(262) 472-1738

John  McGuigan

John McGuigan

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

mcguigaj@uww.edu

Mccutchan Hall 218 |

(262) 472-5057

Amy L Menzel

Amy L Menzel

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

menzela@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3269 |

(262) 472-5062

James S Miller

James S Miller

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

millerjs@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3241 |

(262) 472-5058

Patrick J Moran

Patrick J Moran

Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

moranp@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3273 |

(262) 472-5773

Erica L Moulton

Erica L Moulton

Assistant Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

moultone@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3256 |

(262) 472-1081

Jason J Nado

Jason J Nado

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

nadoj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3252 |

(262) 472-5041

Casey  O'Ceallaigh

Casey O'Ceallaigh

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

oceallac@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3271 |

(262) 472-7392

Rick  Oehling

Rick Oehling

Lecturer 2

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

oehlingr@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3272 |

(262) 472-5046

Heather  Osborn

Heather Osborn

Lecturer 2

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

osbornh@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3250 |

(262) 472-5077

Olesya  Ostapenko

Olesya Ostapenko

Lecturer 2

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

ostapenko@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3258 |

(262) 472-5040

Dana E Prodoehl

Dana E Prodoehl

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

prodoehd@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3219 |

(262) 472-7397

Asmahan  Sallah

Asmahan Sallah

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

sallaha@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3225 |

(262) 472-5052

Micah-Jade C Stanback

Micah-Jade C Stanback

Assistant Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

stanbacm@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3251 |

(262) 472-5055

Jeff A Sternstein

Jeff A Sternstein

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

sternstj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3261 |

(262) 472-5056

Barrett E Swanson

Barrett E Swanson

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

swansobe@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3216 |

(262) 472-1033

Janine M Tobeck

Janine M Tobeck

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

tobeckj@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3215 |

(262) 472-5039

Lisa  Ulevich

Lisa Ulevich

Senior Lecturer

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

ulevichl@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3255 |

(262) 472-7391

Jonathon B Walter

Jonathon B Walter

Lecturer 1

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

WalterJB05@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3259 |

(262) 472-7393

Holly J Wilson

Holly J Wilson

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

wilsonh@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3218 |

(262) 472-1040

Trudi D Witonsky

Trudi D Witonsky

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

witonskt@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3237 |

(262) 472-1045

Mark J Zunac

Mark J Zunac

Associate Professor

Department(s): Literature, Writing, & Film

zunacm@uww.edu

Laurentide Hall 3213 |

(262) 472-1056

There are numerous scholarship opportunities available to students, both through the university, the College of Letters and Sciences and the Literature, Writing, and Film Department. To make life a little easier, all of the university's scholarship applications and requirement listings are available online.

The Burrows Award

Established by a former departmental chair and faculty member, Professor Bob Burrows, (now emeritus) and his wife, Marion, this award is given annually to an outstanding English Literature or English Education major with at least junior standing who is nominated by English Department faculty. Burrows Award winners have achieved a 3.0 G.P.A. overall and in the major. Students in the English Education major who intend to teach in public schools are given top consideration.

Renewable by nomination.

NOTE: This award is granted by nomination only. Burrows Award recipients do not apply for this scholarship.

 

Corinne E. Forster Scholarship

Corinne taught Secondary Education English in the College of Education at UW-Whitewater from 1945-1984. She completed her bachelor's degree at UW-Madison, and her masters from the University of Minnesota, where she wrote her thesis on Jane Austen. Corinne cared deeply for her students, and was committed to their learning and achievement. In addition to her love for teaching and literature, Corinne traveled the world. She was a spirited woman and had a contagious passion for learning, great works, and writing "for the real world." She established this endowment to support students' pursuit of writing, in keeping with her motto: "The pleasure of doing good never wears out."

This award grants four tuition waivers to English majors from each track: Literature, Secondary Education, Creative Writing, and Professional Writing. Students must submit a 20-page portfolio of their writing, which may include course papers, journal entries, creative writing, and selections from writing projects. Individual pieces in the portfolio should be titled. Judges recommend submitting a diverse portfolio of thoroughly edited and proofread work.

Non-renewable.

 

Edie Thornton Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship is endowed in memory of Edie Thornton, who taught in the Department of Languages & Literatures and Department of Women's Studies at UW-Whitewater from 1998-2007. She was a highly regarded teacher who inspired students and faculty. She is known for her groundbreaking research and presentations on Edith Wharton and was active in both the Edith Wharton Society and the American Literature Society. This scholarship is to memorialize and encourage Edie's passion for teaching and scholarship. It is designated for students majoring and/or minoring in English and/or Women's Studies.

The candidate must be a full-time student at UW-Whitewater with sophomore or junior status. The scholarship is designated for students majoring and/or minoring in English and/or Women's Studies, and preference will be given to students who major in one (English or Women's Studies) and minor in the other (English or Women's Studies). Students should show exceptional academic promise and a record of service. Additional preferences include a demonstrable interest in Edith Wharton and/or women authors of her historical period, aspirations for future graduate study, and financial need.

Non-renewable.

 

Jack Heide Creative Writing Award

The Heide award is given to the writer of an outstanding creative text. This award is open to all majors. A registered UW-Whitewater student receives a tuition credit. The work will be judged by the creative writing faculty.

Non-renewable.

 

Jack Heide Outstanding Major Award

The Heide Outstanding Major award is granted to junior or senior English Major in the year before graduation. There is no application or nomination; the awardee must have attended UW-Whitewater for at least two years, and is selected for the highest cumulative GPA.

Non-renewable.

NOTE: This award is granted by nomination only. Jack Heide Outstanding Major Award recipients do not apply for this scholarship.

 

Joe and Becky Hogan Scholarship

This scholarship was established by Joseph (Joe) and Rebecca (Becky) Hogan, both emeriti professors of English, after joining the UW-Whitewater faculty in 1984 and retiring in 2011. Becky and Joe met as undergraduate students at the University of New Mexico in 1967 and married in 1968. They received their PhDs from the University of Colorado in 1984. Joe's specialty was Romanticism and the Renaissance and Becky's focus area included nineteenth-century English and Russian novel and autobiography. During their years of dedicated teaching and service to UW-Whitewater and its students, Joe served as Chair of the Languages and Literatures Department for three years and as the Chair of the Faculty Senate for two years. Becky taught Feminist Theories, Women's Voices/ Women's Lives, or Individual and Society in Women's Studies each semester during her tenure at UW-W. Joe and Becky were both active in many curricular changes, particularly the committee that designed World of Ideas. Becky also helped design the Women's Studies version of Individual and Society and served for many years on the Letters and Sciences Curriculum Committee. Joe was on the committee that completely revised the English emphasis and served as the chair of the committee that developed the Professional Writing and Book Publishing sub major. Since 1985, the Hogans actively worked as editors and leaders of a/b: Auto/Biography Studies -a journal of scholarship published semi-annually by the University of North Carolina with support from UW-W. The Hogans reside in Whitewater, having made it their home all these years.

This scholarship awards a UW-Whitewater sophomore, junior, or senior English or Women's Studies major with a minimum overall G.P.A. of 3.0 and 3.2 in the major. Preference is given to those students majoring in both English and Women's Studies, or majoring in one and minoring in the other. Faculty from both English and Women's Studies will choose the winning applicant, taking into consideration the scholarship materials, extracurricular activity in English or Women's Studies events and clubs, and financial need.

Renewable with new application.

 

Kristine Grimsrud Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was established through the estate of Richard and Wilma Grimsrud, in memory of their daughter Kristine. Kristine was a 1970 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater with a degree in English, and a passion for poetry and creative writing.

Kristine Grimsrud was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1948. She grew up in suburban Wauwatosa and attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, graduating with a degree in English in 1970. After one year of teaching high school English in Hustisford, Wisconsin, she spent a year traveling in Europe and working on an Israeli kibbutz. In 1973, she began a post graduate program in Comparative Literature at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. However, she decided to change course after one semester and traveled to Germany with a friend, hoping to find employment. She returned to Wisconsin in May of 1974 and received a realtor's and broker's license. Wauwatosa Realtors employed her until her death from injuries sustained in a place crash on October 30, 1974.

She was always interested in writing, especially poetry and fiction. After her untimely death, family members found a multitude of poetry and prose in her files. Her poems, written between 1966 and 1974, were compiled into a book entitled Touching a Dream, self-published in December of 1974. A second book, a selection of poems entitled Waiting for a Flash of Brilliance, was self-published in 2015.

The scholarship shall be made only to students who have declared their major in English with a Creative Writing emphasis, and who have demonstrated financial need.

Renewable with application and new written work.

Ray Griffith Memorial Scholarship for International Students

This scholarship is made possible through gifts by family and friends in honor of Ray Griffith, who taught English at UW-Whitewater from 1978 until 1995. During those years Ray became well known as a teacher and poet. He especially loved to teach American Literature and English for International Students. He was the recipient of the David Saunders Excellence in Teaching Award. Outside of the university, he was best known for his six years of cultural commentary on Wisconsin Public Radio. Ray was a source of inspiration for students and teacher alike for his lively wit and his compassion for others.

The scholarship is specifically designate for international students who will be majoring in English at UW-Whitewater to honor Ray Griffith's lifelong association with the international community, from his teaching in Korea and India, to the adoption of four children from Korea, to his volunteer teaching in China, Indonesia, Romania, and Ghana after he retired.

The candidate may be a high school or transfer student, or a current UW-Whitewater student majoring in English.

Renewable by maintaining a 3.4 G.P.A. and full-time status as an English major.

 

Silver/Savage Literature, Writing and Science Scholarship

The Silver/ Savage Scholarship is given by Donna Silver and George Savage, both ardent supporters of liberal education: Donna, through her work at UW System (1987-2009) and then as Secretary of the Academic Staff at UW Madison (2009-2012); and George, as Languages & Literatures faculty (1984-2012) and as L & L Department Chair (2001-2007) at UW-Whitewater. Both Donna and George were enthusiastic supporters of the Humanities and Sciences. Both served on SAGLA (System Advisory Group for Liberal Arts) from its inception in 2004. This group was the main catalyst for LEAP (Liberal Education and America's Promise) in the UW System campuses. As members of SAGLA, Donna and George were especially involved in the annual statewide essay competitions and were the primary organizers of the 2008 statewide conference on liberal education "Only Connect." At Whitewater, George organized a variety of conferences, from Earth Day celebrations, to a conference on war and peace, to a statewide conference for English faculty.

This scholarship was made possible through the generous inheritance from George's mother, Nellie Savage, who remained remarkably curious to the very end of her ninety-seven year lifespan. Early in her life, Nellie showed a talent for writing poetry and essays. During the Depression she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Pennsylvania. Later she was actively engaged in civic life in her hometown, Titusville, PA, serving and President of the Titusville Women's Club, an Elder in the Presbyterian Church, and a leader of the Titusville chapter of the American Field Service. Her leadership in AFS led her to become a world-wide traveler, as she kept in touch with many of the international exchange students who had attended Titusville High School. She was the quintessential life-long learner. Nellie was married to Dr. William C. G. Savage, a veterinarian, who worked with farm animals as well as pets. His interest in science and nature began in high school when he was an avid birdwatcher and ended, fittingly, on the final day of his life as he explored the Great Rift Valley in Kenya.

Nellie's interest gravitated to the humanities; William's toward the sciences. This scholarship is meant to encourage the melding of both these worlds.

In his seminal lecture "The Two Cultures," C. P. Snow spoke pessimistically of the problem of the growing divide between the humanities and the sciences. In his 2003 book The Hedgehog, the Fox, and the Magister's Pox, Stephen Jay Gould more optimistically envisions a "consilience" between the humanities and the sciences. In his view, mastery of the humanities and the sciences will result in unexpected intellectual and social windfalls. It is in the spirit of consilience between the two cultures -humanities and sciences -that this scholarship is created. To that end, the scholarship is granted to a student who has taken at least nine credit hours of upper-level literature or creative/professional writing plus at least seven upper-level credit hours in any of the physical sciences.

Not Renewable.

One of the easiest ways to get involved at UW-Whitewater is to join a student organization. Our campus offers more than 200 organizations, including Professional Writing Core.

Learn more »

The Muse, our annual literary magazine, features art, poetry, essays, short stories and more.

Learn more »

The Film Analysis Guide is a beginner's guide to the terms used by filmmakers and analysts alike to describe how films are made. In this guide, you'll find terms for describing such things as:

  • Camera positions, movements, composition and focal length (cinematography)
  • Set, lighting and costume design (mise-en-scene)
  • Cuts, dissolves, fades and eyeline matches (editing)
  • Sound design

View the Film Analysis Guide »

The Creative Writing Festival workshops cover a wide range of topics including poetry, novels, creative nonfiction, and juvenile fiction. Students can learn new writing techniques, explore different genres, and gain insights from published authors. The festival also provides a space for networking and building connections with fellow writers and professionals in the industry.

Learn more »

Students are strongly encouraged to gain practical experience in writing, editing and publishing through internships, which are available in public and private organizations. Organizations that have worked with English interns in recent years include:

  • Winkhaus Corporation, Whitewater
    Write, edit and prepare press release for an international corporation
  • University of Wisconsin Press, Madison
    Proofread and copyedit longer literary projects
  • Motorcycle Product News, Madison
    Edit, proofread and write articles about motorcycles and accessories
  • Cygnus Publishing, Fort Atkinson
    Copyedit, write, and proofread article for trade publications
  • Nasco, Fort Atkinson
    Write and prepare documents for education material
  • News and Public Affairs, UW-Whitewater
    Write press releases, stories for The Reporter; do research and conduct interviews.
  • The Week, Walworth County, Delavan
    Copy editing, feature stories, interviews.
  • WHAD, Wisconsin Public Radio, Milwaukee
    Work on talk show production, news reporting, community outreach.
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
    Writing public service announcements, news releases, feature stories.
  • Celebrate Midwest, Milwaukee
    Handle reader correspondence, photo copying, filing, editing, fact checking.
  • City of Milwaukee
    Various positions. Work approx. 20 hours per week. Must pass a medical exam and an oral exam.
  • Shepherd Express, Milwaukee
    Possible freelance story assignments.
  • Feminist Voices, Madison
    Write stories, reviews, etc.
  • Johnson Hill Press, Fort Atkinson
    Copy editing, product descriptions, press releases, possible feature articles.
  • Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, East Troy
    Editing, report writing, research.
  • a/b: Auto/Biography, UW-Whitewater English Department
    Copy editing, journal production.
  • Whitewater Chamber of Commerce

For more information, contact the Languages and Literatures Department, in Laurentide 3112, at x1036 or english@uww.edu.

 

Possible Internship Opportunities:

The UW-Whitewater Creative Writing faculty are a distinguished group of writers who actively publish in their chosen genres.

Marilyn Annucci (MFA, University of Pittsburgh) is the author of two chapbooks: Waiting Room, which won the 2012 Sunken Garden Poetry Prize, selected by Tony Hoagland (Hill-Stead Museum, 2012), and Luck (Parallel Press, 2000). Her work has appeared in various journals online and in print, including Verse Wisconsin, Prairie Schooner, Southern Poetry Review, North American Review, Wisconsin People & Ideas, Poetry Daily, and Indiana Review. 

Patrick Moran (MFA, Iowa Writer's Workshop) is the author of four books of poetry: The Book of Lost Things (Augury Books, 2012), Tell a Pitiful Story (MWPH, 2011), Doppelgangster (Main Street Rag Press, 2012), and Rumors of Organized Crime, Poems & Plays' 2013 Tennessee Chapbook Prize winner. He is also the author of "The Ampersand: Casual Vortex or Engraver's Shortcut," which appeared in the 2013 September issue of The Writer's Chronicle. His poems and translations have appeared in many journals, including the New Republic, The Antioch Review, The Prairie Schooner, The Southern Review and The Boston Review.

Holly Wilson (MFA, Wichita State University and PhD, Florida State) has published fiction in Narrative Magazine, Redivider, Northwest Review, Opium Magazine, Short Story, The Portland Review, and Eye-Rhyme: Journal of New Literature. Her story "Night Glow" won Third Place in Narrative's First-Person Story Contest and was anthologized in 2009's New Stories from the South. An excerpt from her first novel, The Lonely, was published by Narrative Magazine in 2014. She was a 2009 Kingsbury Fellow at Florida State University and a 2009 Tennessee Williams Scholar at Sewanee Writers' Conference.