Name: Dr. Emily Williams, Chair
Phone: 713.313.7957

Dr. Emily Allen Williams

Welcome to the Department of English at Texas Southern University!

As Department Head of English Graduate and Undergraduate Programs, it is my pleasure to share the news of our passion for the written and spoken word. We are dedicated to preparing leaders to excel in diverse careers that demand artistically and technically driven communication. The global community is attuned to the words – written and spoken – that connect and define as well as delineate our lives towards creating communities that reimagine the explicit and implicit shaping of social, political, and economic change.

Faculty in the Department of English at Texas Southern University (Houston, TX) are at the forefront in providing expert instruction as well as internal and external experiential opportunities that prepare expert communicators towards evolutionary means of communication whether in nonfiction, fiction, or poetic arenas.

Our curriculum includes courses in African-American, American, British, Caribbean, and Postcolonial literatures, as well as Creative Writing. Foundationally, the department prepares students for intensive literary study through courses in the history and structure of the language, intensive grammar review, and advanced composition studies.  

The English major (graduate and undergraduate levels) at Texas Southern University (TSU) requires students to immerse themselves in close reading, analyzing, and writing about literatures. TSU English courses are defined by in-depth textual discussions, primary and secondary analyses, and documented research. The requirements for the major ensure students acquire a foundation in literary history, as well as many opportunities to select courses that reflect and develop their potential career interests. Students majoring in Literary Studies choose from an array of courses organized by the following:

  • Authors
  • Critical Theories
  • Genres
  • Periods
  • Surveys
  • Themes

A system of rotating course topics assures that students have a wide variety of courses to choose from during their years at Texas Southern University.

In Academic Year 2014-15, the English Department will host a Visiting Writer-in-Residence through invitations to nationally and internationally renowned writers (including alumnae writers) for public readings and writing workshops. This program will be an on-going initiative of the department.

English majors are encouraged to take one or more creative writing courses to develop their writing and as another way of looking at literary texts. English majors also may take advantage of internship opportunities in the City of Houston at magazines, newspapers, publishing houses, theaters, public relations firms, and radio and television stations.

A major in Literary Studies at TSU prepares students for prominent careers in which analysis and communication skills (oral and written) are premium. Many of our graduates go on to professional and graduate work in legal studies, literature, journalism, and publishing. Recent admissions and teaching positions include:

  • Clark Atlanta University
  • Howard University
  • Rice University
  • Texas A & M University
  • University of Houston

About the Department Head, Dr. Emily Allen-Williams
Dr. Emily Allen-Williams is a Fulbright Scholar with a former residency at the University of the West Indies (Jamaica). She has served as Founding Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Paine College. She also has served as Founding Director of the MFA Professional Writing Program at Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta Campus and Tenured Professor of English at Morehouse College (Atlanta, GA).

She is the author of Beyond the Canebrakes: Caribbean Women Writers in Canada (Africa World Press, 2008); Changing Currents: Transnational Caribbean Literary and Cultural Criticism (Africa World Press, 2006); The Critical Response to Kamau Brathwaite (Praeger Press, 2004); Anglophone Caribbean Poetry, 1970-2001: An Annotated Bibliography (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2002); and Poetic Negotiations of Identity in the Works of Brathwaite, Harris, Senior and Dabydeen (Mellen, 1999).

Williams is the Founding Editor of Caribbean Vistas: Critiques of Caribbean Arts and Cultures, a peer-reviewed online journal. Her essays, interviews, and reviews appear in the journals WasafiriCanadian Literature ReviewAfrican American ReviewThe Caribbean WriterJournal of African American Men, CLA Journal, and Studies in the Literary Imagination,among others. Williams has been interviewed on a number of international radio forums on Caribbean Literature. Dr. Williams currently has several forthcoming books (under contract) that focus on the internationally renowned author Kamau Brathwaite, Caribbean Women Writers in Canada, and The Harlem Renaissance.