English in the Community

The Department of English at Arizona State University is dedicated to enriching lives throughout our communities. To that end, we offer myriad outreach opportunities for our faculty, staff, students and alumni.

Adult and Family Literacy Project (MTESOL Internship)

Masters of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MTESOL) students serve at-risk English language learners in the greater Phoenix area by teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) using the latest methodology and socially-embedded teaching practices. The Adult & Family Literacy Project partners with community agencies to provide ESL classes in the greater Phoenix area through which adult English language learners gain free access to high quality ESL instruction, while MTESOL students gain valuable teaching experience.

Antislavery Literature Project

Provides educational access to the literature and history of the antislavery movement in the United States. The project, which reaches over a half-million unique visitors annually, encourages public use of and participatory contributions to literary and historical scholarship of slavery, through historical research, digitization, and production of electronic editions and annotated texts via the Internet. Further, the website links to the work of the community of digitization projects that have created publicly available and not-for-profit electronic editions of antislavery literature.

Arizona State University Corporate Training in Business Writing

The Department of English offers to our corporate neighbors high-quality on-site training in business writing skills. The training covers essentials for writing professional emails, letters, and memoranda, and for preparing and giving professional business presentations using PowerPoint or other presentation software.

The Department of English has a tradition of excellence in teaching both academic and professional writing skills. For example, our partnership with the W.P. Carey School of Business provides a critical business writing course (ENG 302 Business Writing) for W.P. Carey students and we offer a similar course (ENG 301 Writing for the Professions) to students from all disciplines.

Arizona Universities Faculty Exchange Lecture Series

Exchanges faculty from Arizona universities and colleges for research presentations, readings, and lectures, providing students and faculty the chance to share knowledge and scholarship with the greater Southwest learning community.

Beowulf Symposium

Invites campus and community members to participate in events aimed at showcasing Beowulf's relevance to modern society, often including performances, films, and a communal reading of the text.

Central Arizona Writing Project

The Central Arizona Writing Project (CAWP), a collaboration between Arizona State University and area schools, offers programs designed to improve the writing of Arizona's K-12 students and teachers. Founded in January 2009 as a site of the National Writing Project, CAWP is a professional development program in the teaching of writing and critical literacy at every level of education and across all disciplines. It conducts a Summer Institute in Composition and Critical Literacy for selected outstanding teachers each summer to develop a cadre of teacher-leaders who conduct school site inservice programs for schools, school districts, and colleges throughout central Arizona. In its philosophy, principles, and model of professional development CAWP follows the example of the Bay Area Writing Project, founded at UC Berkeley in 1974 by James Gray and Miles Myers and their colleagues in Bay Area schools and colleges.

Chaucer Celebration

Commemorates the life and work of medieval author, Geoffrey Chaucer with events such as film festivals, concerts, performances, and academic discussions.

Come Home to English: ASU Homecoming Celebration

Invites alumni, faculty, staff, current students, and all community members “home” each fall in celebration of the Department of English's past, present, and future accomplishments.

Community Engagement Committee

The Department of English’s Community Engagement Committee interfaces with local service organizations. Headed by ASU Lecturer Karen Dwyer, the group secures donations of time, goods, and money from faculty, staff, and students, benefiting animal rescue groups, food banks, schools, and social service societies. The committee offers an internship for ASU students, who choose the structure as well as the non-profit organization with which they'd like to work.

Department of English Internships

Places students in work environments in which they will gain professional experience in writing. Students may work with professional writers and public information experts in a corporate communications department, nonprofit organization, publishing house, public utility, healthcare organization, research consulting firm or government agency. Interns provide valuable service to these organizations while gaining career-related skills and representing the ASU Department of English.

Edgework Series

The Department of English at ASU promotes thinking, reading, writing, and acting in robust and significant ways to meet new challenges. This is work that takes us to the limits of what we already know. The Edgework series is dedicated to our efforts at these edges, hosting scholars for boundary-shattering lectures, workshops, and conversations throughout each academic year.

Emeritus Faculty Occasional Lecture Series

Hosts English professors emeriti for special lectures to share scholarship and expertise with the greater learning community. An exciting fusion of past and present knowledge arises from these meetings between attendees and established scholars.

English Alumni Occasional Lecture Series

Features productive, outstanding ASU Department of English graduates of state, national, and international stature as visiting writers and presenters. Facilitated by the English department's Research & Creative Activities Committee, all Alumni Lectures are advertised university-wide, and are free and open to the public.

English Service Learning Internships

Three-credit, graded courses provide opportunities for civic engagement and experiential learning through academically-linked service to the community. ASU students provide academic enrichment and mentoring to children in communities with very low high school graduation rates. Interns work with students one-on-one or in small groups, leading them in fun, hands-on literacy activities.

Film and Media Studies Guest Speaker Series

The Department of English’s Film and Media Studies Guest Speaker Series brings artists, industry executives, and scholars to ASU for presentations or short residencies throughout the academic year.

Ian Fletcher Memorial Lecture

Hosts highly-regarded scholars for a distinguished lecture, typically in the field of Victorian Studies. This lectureship honors the memory of Ian Fletcher, a Victorianist at ASU in the 1980s, and his importance in the field of Victorian Studies. The events are free of charge and open to the community.

International Study and Teaching Opportunities

The Department of English at ASU engages with several universities worldwide to provide, for students and faculty, learning and teaching experiences beyond our borders.

MFA Reading Series

The MFA Reading Series, presented by English's Creative Writing Program, brings notable writers to the ASU community for readings and discussions about writing and their literary works. All readings are free of charge, open to the public, and take place on the Arizona State University campus in Tempe. Past readers have included Ian McEwan, Michael Martone, Rabbi Joseph Telushkin, Richard Garcia, Matthew Gavin Frank, and Jennifer Spiegel.

Poesía del Sol—Poetry of the Sun

Master of Fine Arts candidates and alumni compose poems based on conversations with terminally ill patients at Mayo Clinic Hospital, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Prison English

A comprehensive prison outreach with several aims: 1. to provide book donations to understocked prison libraries, 2. to coordinate writing workshops in prisons through student internships and faculty involvement, and 3. to offer courses for ASU students on topics such as prison literature and teaching. The library-stocking arm of the program solicits, organizes, and delivers book donations to prison libraries. The Department of English offers undergraduate and graduate internships in cooperation with the New Mexico Corrections Department and Arizona prison authorities. A new online English course introduces students to prison literature.  An online Prison Writing & Literature Group helps organize these activities.

Project Yao

Project Yao engages in public scholarship by providing a free, Internet-accessible, and permanent database documenting literary translation relations between China and the United States. There exists a lengthy translation relationship between the two countries dating from at least the mid-nineteenth century; it has had deep influence on both nations. This online tool enables the study and mapping of this relationship, as well as constituting a major new reference site. This project represents collaborative digital humanities research co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Iowa State University, and Sichuan University. 

rl txt: Arizona State University Young Writers' Institute

rl txt is a summer writing program for young writers (going into grades 3 -12), which offers them a non-evaluative environment in which to explore the power of writing. Within this collaborative atmosphere, participants will have opportunities to mirror the craft of "real" writers producing "real" texts. The sessions include guest presenters, daily writing workshops, activities to promote creativity, and much more. rl txt is a service of the ASU Tempe Department of English, and staffed by veteran K-12 English teachers.

Shakespeare Birthday Bash

Commemorates the life and work of William Shakespeare with engaging, accessible campus events, open to the public, in April every other year.

Simon Ortiz and Labriola Center Lecture on Indigenous Land, Culture, and Community

Addresses topics and issues across disciplines in the arts, humanities, sciences, and politics. Underscoring Indigenous American experiences and perspectives, this series seeks to create and celebrate knowledge that evolves from an Indigenous worldview that is inclusive and that is applicable to all walks of life.

Words over Water

Loosely based on the gregueria form, 400 granite tiles—each engraved with a short, water-themed poem—surround the Tempe Town Lake (Ariz.). A collaboration between artist Karla Elling and poet Alberto Ríos, this public art project's purpose is to recognize the abiding relationship in our lives between desert and water.

Write Your Ticket to College

Facilitated by ASU English Assistant Professor Jessica Early, this project supports underserved, college-bound, multi-ethnic students in writing admissions essays and applying to four-year colleges. The participants are high school seniors who were nominated by their English teachers for their potential to go on to a four-year college despite their academic underachievement. All of the students come from low-income families in high-poverty communities and have been negatively affected by recent legislation limiting financial aid to students of undocumented parents.

Young Writers Program

Young Writers Program (YWP) is a 4th–12th grade arts-based, standards-aligned creative writing outreach program with a focus on serving underserved communities. YWP provides the K-12 community with trained teaching artists and other arts-based resources to improve student writing. Through key partnerships, YWP connects talented Master of Fine Arts students from ASU’s Creative Writing Program and select distinguished visiting writers with Arizona’s k-12 community.