The organizations and programs listed below all bear strong ties to the English Department. Many are directed—or were founded—by English Department faculty; others operate under the aegis of English or benefit from especially strong participation by English faculty and students. In all cases, these affiliations promote values central to English Studies, enrich the learning experiences of our students, and contribute to the cultural life of the university and the larger community.
WCU Poetry Center
The WCU Poetry Center promotes the study and appreciation of poetry, particularly traditional poetic forms. Founded in 2000, the Center offers a diverse slate of activities and programs—including a prestigious annual Poetry Conference—that helps to expand its mission of bringing poetry to an ever-widening audience.
College Literature: A Journal of Critical Literary Studies
College Literature has long been one of the premier literary-studies journals in North America, publishing original and innovative scholarly research. Founded in 1974, the journal has its editorial offices at WCU.
University Writing Center
The University Writing Center offers writing free writing consultation services to all members of the WCU community. The Center is directed by English faculty and regularly employs English majors and graduate students as writing tutors.
iCAMP is a free summer media academy offering Philadelphia high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to work as media developers-in-residence for one week each summer at WCU. Students produce films, games, podcasts, and websites that effect meaningful social change. The program's founder and director is Dr. Laquana Cooke, a professor of Digital Rhetoric in the English Department at WCU.
West Chester Writing Project
The West Chester Writing Project (formerly the Pennsylvania Writing & Literature Project) is one of the oldest and largest sites of the National Writing Project. Founded in 1980, WCWP works in multi-dimensional ways to improve the teaching of writing and literature in schools and communities.
Poetry by the Sea: A Global Conference
Founded in 2014 by our late colleague Professor Kim Bridgford, Poetry by the Sea takes place each May in Madison, Connecticut, right on the beach on Long Island Sound. The conference's aim is to embrace the poetic excellence in a range of constituency groups and voices.
Frederick Douglass Institute
WCU's Frederick Douglass Institute seeks to advance multicultural studies across the university curriculum and sponsors research, programs, awards, and teaching that honor the legacy of Frederick Douglass. The Institute was founded in 1995 by Emeritus Professor of English C. James Trotman.
Women's & Gender Studies Program
WCU's Women's & Gender Studies Program shares with the English Department a commitment to empowering students to challenge preconceptions about race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. English professors have served as past WGS program directors, and many teach for the program as affiliated faculty.
Rustin Urban Community Change Axis (RUCCAS)
Created by English professor Hannah Ashley, RUCCAS comprises both the Urban Community Change (RUX) major and the interdisciplinary Youth Empowerment & Urban Studies (YES) minor. Both programs offer students across campus the opportunity to work with youth in urban settings in hands-on, community-engaged ways that can help to bring about real social change.
Aralia Press teaches students at WCU the art of fine printing, including the use of hand-set type and letterpress. Founded in 1983 by Emeritus Professor of English Mike Peich, the press is housed on the fifth floor of the FHG Library.
West Chester Center for Book History
The West Chester Center for Book History, founded by English professor Eleanor Shevlin, sponsors courses, workshops, talks, seminars, book-making, and a graduate certificate in publishing, all as part of an effort to provide a multidimensional, interdisciplinary forum for the history and study of the written word.