TOP 25

English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies' online degree was once again listed in Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in English Programs, ranking in the top 25 nationally.

Rankings are based on the quality of the program.

Department of English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies


The mission of the English program is to offer courses in five areas of concentration–Children’s & Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, Film Studies, Literary Studies, and Rhetoric/Professional Writing–that lead to a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree.  The English program aims to prepare students for graduate school, professional school, and careers in fields where effective communication skills are required.  Programs in English also support the university’s mission to deliver “accredited degree programs and comprehensive learning experiences to prepare students for regional and global professions ‘by focusing upon aesthetic, cultural, and ethical issues and by promoting both diversity and tolerance.'”


Bachelor of Arts in English (MAJOR)

Concentrations available in:

  • Children’s & Young Adult Literature (ENYA)
  • Creative Writing (ENCW)
  • Film Studies (ENFS)
  • Literary Studies (ENLS)
  • Writing and Rhetoric (ENWR)

Students can also earn a Bachelor of Arts in Secondary Education with a concentration in English or French Education through the Department of Teacher Education.


Available in:

  • Creative Writing
  • English
  • Film Studies
  • French
  • Literary Studies
  • Professional Writing
  • Spanish

Have questions? Contact a department advisor:

Dr. Todd Kennedy – Film Studies Advisor

Dr. Patrick Perkins – Athletics Advisor

Ashley Goedker – Creative Writing Advisor

Ms. Elka Staley – Literary Studies Advisor

Dr. Bryant Smith – Foreign Languages Advisor

Dr. Michele Theriot – Undergraduate Advising Department Coordinator and Nicholls Online Advisor

Dr. Ellen Barker – Writing and Rhetoric Advisor

Ms. Karen Cheramie – Interdisciplinary Studies Program Coordinator


Here are the advantages of pursuing a degree or minor from the Department of English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies:

  • Get a strong background in traditional English, American, and World Literature.
  • Increase your marketability with communication skills and/or a second language.
  • Study abroad in English, French, and Spanish.
  • Learn in small classes all taught by faculty holding the M.A., M.F.A., or the Ph.D.–no teaching assistants and no mega-sections.
  • Take special interest courses like Sports Literature, Harry Potter, Irish and/or Gothic Literature, Banned Books, and many more. These courses are offered at the 200 level to attract students from across the university.
  • Take courses virtually, in computer classrooms, or in regular lecture classrooms.
  • Be mentored by faculty who understand that advising is not just scheduling.
  • Connect with people across barriers of language, culture, and history.
  • Become a valuable asset in a global economy.

And don’t forget to fill out your Four-Year Career Plan from Nicholls Career Services.


Welcome New Faculty and Staff!

We are pleased to welcome six new faculty and staff members to the Department of English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies.  Assistant Professors, Katie Collins …

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Students on Field Trip

Field Trips in the Time of Zoom Teaching

Dr. Michael Martin’s ‘Literature of Hunting and Fishing’ (English 215) class experienced an “on campus field trip.” The class met with Dr. Gary LaFleur, Biology …

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Mosaic Release and Virtual Issue

The student editors of Mosaic are pleased to announce the release of the 2020 issue of Mosaic. Mosaic is a student edited literary magazine featuring …

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Student Awards for 2019-2020

Congratulations to our award winning students. Today, the Department English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies announces its award for the 2019-20 academic year. Kaden Vanderbrook–the …

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Alumni Talk about Language, Teaching English in Spain, & Taking Chances

Alumni Stu Babin (IDS Fall 2013) and Martha Castell (English-Creative Writing Spring 2014) sat down to talk about language use, their time at Nicholls as …

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Mosaic Flyer

Virtual 2020 Mosaic Release

Virtual release of the 2020 issue of Mosaic coming in April. Print copies of Mosaic will be waiting on campus in the fall, but we …

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“I love teaching creative writing in a region with such a thriving artistic and creative culture. South Louisiana is rich with history, vivid in its settings, rife with creative potential for young writers. In my ten years teaching at Nicholls, I have been repeatedly impressed by the talent and dedication of my students, especially those who work with me on Mosaic, the student literary magazine. The student editorial board single-handedly solicits, selects, and edits student writing for each year’s issue. Students also design the lay-out and cover art of each issue. This project provides them with hands-on experience creating a printed, published artifact for the University’s student body and the Bayou region as a whole.”

Dr. Katherine Conner

Associate Professor of English, Faculty Advisor of Mosaic, Chief Editor of Gris-Gris: An Online Journal of Literature, Culture, and the Arts


Graduates from the Department of English, Modern Languages, & Cultural Studies are highly attractive to employers and graduate schools. Knowing how to communicate, especially in a foreign language, is valuable in every field and in our global marketplace.

Possible careers include:

Administrative Officer
Advertising Occupations
Broadcasting/Communications Occupations
Community Relations Worker
Computer Systems Analyst
Education Occupations
Film Editor
Foreign Service Officer
Freelance Writer
Information Manager
Job Analyst
Literary Agent
Magazine Publisher
Newspaper Editor
Personnel Director
Public Relations Manager
Public Relations Specialist
Radio/Television Coordinator
Speech Writer
Teacher/College Professor
Technical Writer

Sample work settings include:

Advertising Companies
Aircraft Industry
Book Publishers
Broadcast Media/Radio
Commercial/Specialty Magazines
Company/Independent Newsletters
Corporate Communications Departments
Educational Institutions
Federal Agencies
Community Colleges
Legal Firms
Local and State Government
Magazine Publishers
Non-profit Organizations
Public Relations Firms

Four-Year Career Plan

During your four years as an undergrad, you should be working on improving skills that will help you with your future career.  

  • In addition to your earned degree, employers are interested in your skills and work experience.
  • Use your time in college to apply for part time jobs that will help you get experience in your field of interest.
  • Employers are looking for workers who show qualities of a leader and work well as a team player!
  • Take advantage of these four years to strengthen your professional skills, work ethic, social skills, etc., so that you can have a successful career!

Use our four-year Career Plan to help guide you through your college journey towards a successful career.


A+ Scholarship Award 2012:

This year’s A+ Scholarship for the Department of Languages and Literature was awarded to Kelia Dufrene.  Kelia graduated from John Curtis High School in May 2012 with a 3.5 gpa, and is currently majoring in English Education. The A+ Scholarship amounts to $250/semester for four semesters. This year, the department raised enough money that, for the fall 2013 scholarship drive, we will award two scholarships.

A+ Scholarship Award 2013:

This year’s A+ Scholarship for the Department of Languages and Literature was awarded to Jazmin Burns and Hailey Verdun. Jazmin and Hailey are both English majors. The A+ Scholarship amounts to $250/ semester for four semesters for both scholarship recipients.

Who’s Who 2013:

The Languages and Literature Department is pleased to announce that it has two students that have been selected to be included in the 2013-2014 Edition of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges. Congratulations to Clyde Acosta and Brandon Naquin.

Honors Banquet ~ Spring 2013:

Each spring, the Department of Languages and Literature honors its outstanding students at the College of Arts & Sciences Honors Convocation Banquet.  In May 2013 the following awards were presented at the banquet.  We extend a special “thank you” and congratulations to all recipients and presenters.

Outstanding Graduate in English – Mr. Gavin Johnson

Outstanding Graduate in English – Ms. Sandi Lirette

Outstanding Graduate in English – Ms. Amanda Voisin

Outstanding Graduate in Creative Writing ~ Fiction – Ms. Jessi Suire

Outstanding Graduate in Creative Writing – Mr. Andre St. Romain 

Outstanding Graduate in Creative Writing ~ Poetry – Mr. Anthony Plaisance

Outstanding Graduate in Rhetoric and Professional Writing – Ms. Sarah Hickman

Outstanding Graduate in Rhetoric and Professional Writing – Mr. Joseph Bennett

Outstanding Achievement in Creative Writing – Ms. Susan Price

Outstanding Achievement in Film Studies – Mr. Brock Thibodaux

Sonny Norris Book Award – Mr. Jacob Williams

Sonny Norris Book Award – Ms. Tamika Smith

Academic Excellence in French by a Graduating Senior – Mr. David Guidry

Academic Excellence in Spanish – Mr. Alvin “AJ” Barrilleaux

Academic Excellence in Spanish – Ms. Shannon Leblanc

The department’s majors and minors are encouraged to apply for local, state and national scholarships offered by professional organizations. Other scholarships are available through the Financial Aid office.



“Piloting the Brave New World of Developmental Writing: Co-Requisite Enrollment at a Regional State University” with Ellen Barker and Louie J. Charpentier. Council of Writing Program Administrators, Savannah, Georgia, July 17-21, 2013.

“Tony Pastor and his Theaters: Crossroads of Nineteenth-Century Transatlantic Popular Culture.” North American Victorian Studies Association. “Victorian Networks” at the University of Wisconsin. Madison, WI. Sept 27-30, 2012.

“The Real World as New Media Classroom:  Four Takes on Digital Citizenry.”  Computers and Writing 2011.  May 19-22, 2011.  University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Writing Program Administrators Conference.  “Frameworks for Success,”  July 14-17, Baton Rouge, LA., attended on behalf of the Department  of Languages and Literature to gather information for continued development of First Year Writing Program.

Scholarly Publications:

‘A Bookkeeper, Not an Accountant’: Representing the Lower Middle Class from Victorian Novels and Music Hall Songs to Television Sitcoms.” Journal of Popular Culture. 44.1 (Feb. 2011): 16-36.

“‘The Daily Male’: Vesta Tilley and the Performance of Masculinity on the Victorian Music-Hall Stage.” Hunks, Hotties and Pretty Boys: 20th Century Representations of Male Beauty. Eds. Steven Davis and Maglina Lubovich. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008. 112-142. Print.

Ally Sloper’s Half Holiday: The Geography of Class in Late-Victorian Britain.” Victorian Periodicals Review 41.2 (Summer 2008): 150-173. Print.

Published Poetry:  “North & East of Boise,” “Desert Rising,” and “Word by Word.”  North Dakota Quarterly.  76.3.

Recent Book Reviews: 
Review of The Forgotten Writings of Bram Stoker, ed. John Edgar Browning. Victorian Periodicals Review 46.2 (Summer 2013): 283-84. Print.

Grants Awarded:  Hobby Family Fund Fellow at the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin. $3,000. Research the business and personal papers of Tony Pastor. June 2012.

Student Technology Fee Grant, Nicholls State University. $37,509.70. Upgrade Languages and Literature computer classroom:  PEL 120. April 2012.

Student Technology Fee Grant, Nicholls State University.  $38,355.20. Upgrade Languages and Literature computer classroom: PEL 131.  April 2011.

Dean’s Library and Equipment Grant.  $6,100.00 to upgrade faculty computers and equipment for Languages and Literature’s Multimedia Project Studio, April 2011.

Student Government Grant.  $418.29.  Assisted undergraduate student Gavin Johnson in applying for the grant for a flat bed scanner for Languages and Literature’s Multimedia Project Studio, March 2011.


Scholarly Publications: “Neshoba,”  Shenandoah.”  Washington and Lee University’s literary magazine

“Panther Stalks Hinds County.”  Blackbird, Virginia Commonwealth University’s literary magazine

“The Giraffe Keeper.” Copper Nickel

“Scraps,” Burnt Bridge (nominated for Pustcart Prize)

Book Reviews:  My Bright Midnight by Josh Russell in The Southeast Review

How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly by Connie May Fowler in The Southeast Review


Grants Awarded:  $120,000 LaSIP Grant, “Incorporating WETSHOP in the Louisiana Science Curriculum, 2011-2012.” (Project Director)



Fulbright Scholarship, Jordan Fall 2015

Louisiana State University’s Distinguished Dissertation Award :  Reading Out of Doors:  How Nature Becomes Text and Vice-Versa (2010)

Scholarly Publications:

“Buying the Wilderness: The Commodification of the Sublime” Perspectives, Vol. 4 (UC, Dublin), (Fall 2012)

“Songs for Maria Luisa” (translations of four poems by Basilio Fernández), Stand, Vol. 8 (2)pp. 27-29 (Spring 2008)

Conferences:  “Ventoux’s Oracle: Reconsidering Petrarch’s Ep. Fam. IV.1”: International Congress on Medieval Studies, (Kalamazoo, May 2012)

“Convivencia in Place and Poetry: Mozarabic Poetry of al-Andalus”: Sociedad Expañola, (New Orleans, Nov. 2010).

“The Gita and the Concord: Resurrecting River and Language in H.D. Thoreau’s A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers”: Southern Comparative Literature Association (Baton Rouge, 2010)

“Garden and Wilderness: Thoreau and Knowing Beans”: Association of Literary Scholars and Critics Colloquium (Baton Rouge, LA September 2010).

Seminar Organizer: “Polluted Places/Impure Spaces”: American Comparative Literature Association (New Orleans, 2010) -“Mountain Awe: Petrarch and Thoreau at the Limits of Language”: Association of Literary Scholars and Critics Colloquium (Baton Rouge, LA, March, 2010)

Seminars:   “Taking it Outside: Reading and Walking in Pursuit of Thoreau”: Northeast Modern Language Association, Boston, MA (2013)

“Life Without Principle’ and the Birth of the Wild Pastoral”: Association of Literary Scholars, Critics, and Writers, Athens, GA (2013)

Reviews:  “Dieter Schultz. Emerson and Thoreau, or Steps Beyond Ourselves: Studies in Transcendentalism.” (Heidelberg: Mattes Verlag, 2013), for Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture, and Environment (fall 2012)

Invitations: Sociedad Espanola de Nueva Orleans Cervantes Day Lecture:  “The Perils of Don Quixote.” (2013)

Joined:  National Outdoor Leadership School as field instructor.

Performances:  Ghost and Gravedigger in Nicholl’s State University’s campus production of “Hamlet”. (spring 2013)



Scholarly Publications:  “Off with Hollywood’s Head:  Sofia Coppola as Feminine Auteur.”  Film Criticism.  XXXV, 1 (Fall 2010):   37-59.

Reviews:  “Films by Gordon Ball.”  Studies in American Culture.  (Fall 2011)

Conferences:  “On the Road to ‘Some’ Place:  The Postmodern Hobo – Hero in Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere,” presented at Popular and American Culture Associations of the South Conference, October 2011.

“Remixing the Relationship between Media and Composition: Digital Rhetoric for a Visual Age.” Conference on College Composition and Communication. March 17-20, 2010. Louisville, Kentucky.


Scholarly Publications:  “Bird Shot.”  Southern  Review.  (short story)

“Flint,” Southern Review. (short story)

“Whose Will They Be?” Ellipsis (short story)

“Landscapes,” Fiction:  Review. (essay)

Major League Final Standings Projection:  “Major League Central, Final Standings,” in Hobart

Awarded:  Distinction at University of New Orleans for MFA Thesis, short story collection, The Tools of Ignorance.


Scholarly Publications:  Profile on Kevin George for Voila! (article)

Six poems published in the 13th (2011) Jubilee Jambalaya publication.

Literary Judge:  “Poetry Out Loud” competition hosted by the Houma Regional Arts Council


Scholarly Publications:  “Celebrating Idleness:  Antony and Cleopatra and Play Theory.”  Comparative Drama

“Embracing Lucia:  Reading Robert Herrick’s ‘The Vine.’”  The John Donne Journal

Otiose Leisure:  Idleness and Idolence in British Literature,” chapter in Idleness in Early Modern England, forthcoming

“William Faulkner’s ‘Barn Burning”:  Ante-bellum Architecture and ‘Negro Sweat,’” presented at 36th Southern Comparative Literature Association Conference.


Co-Founder:  “Tac Tac in 218″.  Featuring a selection of international films for students.  (spring 2013)

Conferences: “Cradle Rocker to Knife Wielder: The Evolution of the Horror Heroine.”  South Central Modern Language Association (November, 2012)

Co-host of the Breakout Session: “Understand Our Students’ Language: A Closer Look at South Louisiana English.”


Conferences: “Travelin’ Light:  Teaching Travel Lit Online.”  Louisiana Conference on Composition, March 19, 2011.

Software Production:  Created first cloud-based software system for managing writing assignments:  courseDocs (courseDocs was also represented at three prestigious conferences on writing:  Louisiana Conference on  Composition, March; Conference on College Composition and Communication, April; Writing Program Administrators’ Conference, July.


Grants Awarded:  $183,456.00 for “Teaching What Matters:  Building Literacy Skills Using Content Reading and Writing Knowledge” (received the Top Ten Grant Writer’s Award from OSRP).


Scholarly Publications:  Recent poems have appeared in North American Review, Verse Daily, International Psychoanalysis, Rattle, and The Pedestal.

“Anonymous.” Prairie Schooner (Winter 2012)

“Grief Songs.” Spillway (Winter 2012)

“Exodus.” Cincinnati Review (Spring 2013)

“Before Leaving.” Cumberland River Review (Spring 2013)

“Fledging,” “Showing Forth,” “Reading Blind.” Red Earth Review (Summer 2013)

“To an Armadillo,” “Louisiana 1 South in Winter.” The Gulf Stream: Poems of the Gulf Coast (Summer 2013)

“Jesus Walks in Blue Above Louisiana” and “Blessing of the Beasts.” Minnesota Review (Forthcoming)

Literary Fellowship:  2010-2011, Nevada Arts Council:  gave readings and conducted workshops with various audiences, including elementary and high school students, homeless families, and the elderly.

Performances:  Featured in “Beats and Blue Notes” at the University of Nevada, performing his original poetry while accompanied by graduate students from the Department of Jazz and Improvisational Studies.

Creative Writing Reading Series – sponsored by creative writing faculty – Nicholls State University

Conferences:  Associated Writers and Writing Programs Conference, Boston, MA (March 2013)

Jambalaya Writers Conference, Houma, LA : Poetry Reading and Panel Presentation (“Where Poems Come From and What to Do With Them When They Get Here” (April 2013)


Conferences:  “Bayou Region French Activists,” Invited Session of the American Association of Anthropologists, New Orleans, LA

“Eloi Landry Plantation Log:  A Reading of Acadian Material Culture,”  The Symposium of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts, Madison, GA

 “Creole Contradictions:  A Reading of Sidonie de La Houssaye’s National and Ethnic Fallacies in Les Quarteronnes de la Nouvelle-Orleans (1895), Southern Comparative Literature Conference

Scholarly Publications:  “George Rapp and the Harmony Society,” Translation from the French and Introduction.  Communal Societies:  Journal of Communal Studies Association, Vol. 30: 1.

Reader:  Advanced Placement, French, Cincinnati, Ohio, June 2011.

Co-Founder:  “Tac Tac in 218″.  Featuring a selection of international films for students.  (spring 2013)


Q: How can I find out the reading list for a class I’m taking before the first day?
The schedule of classes  in Banner lists the instructor for each course. E-mail the instructor ( to request the course reading list. Also check with the University Book Store.  Some instructors also post that information on their faculty pages.

Q: How do I find out who my adviser is?
Once accepted into the major, each concentration has its own departmental advisor.

Create Writing Concentration: Ashley Goedker

Film Concentration: Dr. Todd Kennedy

Literary Studies Concentration: Ms. Elka Staley 

Foreign Languages Advisor:Dr. Bryant Smith

Writing and  Rhetoric Concentration: Dr. Ellen Barker

Departmental Advising Coordinator, Dr. Michele Theriot.  Dr. Theriot is also the Nicholls Online  English Degree advisor.

Please Note: ALL Freshmen are advised within University College.

Q: What are the job possibilities with this major?
A: Graduates become teachers, lawyers, politicians, technical writers/editors, managers, web developers — the career possibilities are so broad because the skills gained are highly valuable to employers.

Q: What jobs other than teaching have faculty members held?
A: Nicholls Department of Languages and Literature faculty members have held diverse positions, including web developer for a children’s hospital, freelance writer/editor, documentation and training consultant for a Midwestern IT company, personnel director for Lafourche Parish, director of Lafourche Parish Head Start, obituary writer for the Daily Comet, owner of Taliessin Bookstore (now Cottonwood Books) in Baton Rouge, novelist, journalist for the Houma Daily Courier and other publications, editor of educational software, book Coordinator and publisher, public relations specialist, advertising design and sales representative, YWCA program coordinator, oral history collector, cemetery surveyor/documenter, administrative assistant, assistant director at University Press of Mississippi, land title researcher for an attorney, mock jury analyst for an attorney, proofreader of Bibles and editor of Athlon sports magazine.

Q: What kind of classes are required for the degrees?
A: The degree in English offers three areas on concentration:  literary studies, rhetoric and writing, and creative writing.  Students will take a core unit of courses, an introduction to the discipline and surveys in American and British Literature.  Then they will choose from English electives outlined for each area of concentration.  The department offers a wide variety of courses in each area of concentration, such as digital rhetoric, special topics in the study of ancient to contemporary rhetoric, composition pedagogy, studies in social media; studies in the writing of fiction, non-fiction, flash fiction, poetry, drama, and screenwriting; all areas of the established literary canon plus courses in multi-cultural literature, women’s literature, major authors, African-American literature, and a number of exciting special topics courses.  We also offer courses in film, folklore, cultural studies, and linguistics.

Q: Do students in the writing concentrations have a heavier workload?
A: Earning a concentration does not add hours to the degree requirement; it only dictates how students use some of their English electives.

Q: What minors would be attractive with the degrees/concentrations?
Minors that may be of interest include humanities, international studies, biology, government, history, art history, music, sociology, criminal justice, English (for French majors), French (for English majors), computer science, business administration, management, marketing, business information systems, family and consumer sciences, psychology.  The answer depends on the student’s career goals.

Q: How long does it take the average person to complete this degree/concentration?
The program is designed to be completed in four years with a full load. Students may take longer for a host of reasons, including being late to declare their major, dropping classes and having personal or work obligations that prevent a full courseload. Students should meet regularly with their advisers to assist with timely completion of the degree.

Q: Are electives truly elective? How open are my choices?
Read the catalog carefully. Some electives have to come from specific disciplines, such as art or history, and some electives have to be chosen from courses numbered 300 or above.

Q: Are there any graduate-level courses offered?
Yes. Students can earn graduate credit in a number of our courses.  Please refer to the current catalog.  All courses with an asterisk can be taken for graduate credit.   There are also a number of courses at the 500 level, which are designated graduate classes.

Q: Are there any seldom-offered-but-required classes I should know about?
A: Classes are on a three year rotational schedule, which enables students following a four year academic program to complete courses required for the major.  We do require that students take ENGL 220, 315, 316, 321, and 322.  After completion of these courses, students have a number of electives they may take to complete their area of concentration for the major in English and for the minor in English.