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English, Film and Cultural Studies

As an English major with the Film and Cultural Studies concentration, you understand better than anyone how ideas and stories can be represented visually and verbally. That's because you're studies at Parkside have provided hands-on opportunities to sharpen your skills in research, critical analysis, communication, and the ability to articulate and defend opinions. The concentration empowers you to pursue careers that require an ability to comprehend and appreciate film or other cultural productions, as well as positions in content creation for digital media and film or television.

Learn more about the Film and Cultural Studies Concentrtaion of the English major by visiting the Literatures and Languages Department page.

So, you'd like to get published? The annual Straylight literary magazine features short fiction, poetry, and artwork from Parkside students and from writers and artists worldwide. The online version is called Villa and allows students to read a variety of works, conduct book reviews, and to interview well-known critically acclaimed authors. Podcasts add to the website's popularity, which garners 3,000 viewers per month. 

In addition to the major, you may choose to complete certificates that advance your skills and expose you to additional specializations in your field. The professional writing certificate is great for those who want to enhance their writing for their career. The digital media and production certificate is ideal if you plan to pursue a career producing content for digital media.

Careers include: Story Editor, Gaming Content Writer and/or Editor, Writer/Producer, Education Storyteller, Script Developer, Podcast Writer, Creative Content Writer for games, videos, blogs, vlogs, etc, Comedy Writer, Film or Television Producer, Visual Storyteller, Production Coordinator, Programmer, Archiving and Restoration Specialists, Event Manager, Multimedia Author, Grant Writer, Journalist, Film and Video Director, Convention Director, Art and Media Journalist, Media or Film Critic, Press and Media Agent, Community Arts Worker, Freelance Writer or Editor, Corporate Videographer, Web Content Manager, Social Media Manager, and many more.


The Literatures and Languages Office | (262) 595-2331

Faculty Highlights

  • Parkside English Faculty Josef Benson

    Josef Benson
    Assistant Professor

    Josef Benson offers courses in contemporary literature, African American literature, gender studies, poetry writing, fiction writing, and composition. He is the author of J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye: A Cultural History (Rowman & Littlefield 2018) and Hypermasculinities in the Contemporary Novel: Cormac McCarthy, Toni Morrison, and James Baldwin (Rowman & Littlefield 2014). Additionally, Dr. Benson’s work has appeared in over twenty publications, including: Journal of Medical Humanities, Journal of Bisexuality, Southwestern American Literature, The Raymond Carver Review, Saw Palm, Moon City Review, The Adirondack Review, and Prick of the Spindle. Dr. Benson holds creative writing degrees from Missouri State University and the University of South Florida, as well as a Ph.D. in literature with a heavy emphasis in gender theory also from the University of South Florida, where he studied primarily with Susan Mooney, John Henry Fleming, and Jay Hopler. He is currently working on two books under contract, one for the University Press of Mississippi in collaboration with Dr. Doug Singsen entitled Whiteness In American Comics and Graphic novels (2019), and another for Rowman & Littlefield entitled Star Wars: The Triumph of Nerd Culture (2020).

  • Parkside English Faculty Mary Lenard

    Mary Lenard, Ph.D.
    Department Chair, English

    Mary Lenard grew up in Falls Church, Virginia, has a B.A. from the University of Virginia (1989) and a M.A. (1991) and Ph.D. (1996) from the University of Texas at Austin. She started at UW-Parkside in 1998, after having taught at Alma College in Michigan for two years. Her first book, Preaching Pity: Dickens, Gaskell, and Sentimentality in Victorian Culture, was published in 1999. She lives in Racine, has taught at UW-Parkside for almost twenty years, and is currently serving as the Chair of the English Department.

  • Jay Mcroy

    Teaching interests include: Cinema Studies, Digital Video Production, Critical Theory, 20th Century Literature. Research interests include: Digital Video, Film Theory, Cinema History, Underground Cinema, Experimental Cinema, Avant-Garde Cinema, European Cinema, East Asian Cinema, Critical Theory.

  • Parkside English Faculty Dana Oswald

    Dana Oswald
    Associate Professor

    Dana Oswald completed her Ph.D. in 2005 at The Ohio State University. She has published articles on monstrosity, gender, and sexuality in Old and Middle English literature, and on best teaching practices in the university literature and writing classrooms. Her book, Monsters, Gender and Sexuality in Medieval English Literature, was published in 2010

  • Tara Pedersen
    Associate Professor

    Tara E. Pedersen received her Ph.D. from The University of California at Davis. She teaches Shakespeare, literature surveys, courses in Early Modern literature, The Bible as Literature, Women and Literature, Literature of Science and Magic, and Composition. Her research focuses on knowledge production in early England, and her book, Mermaids and the Production of Knowledge in Early Modern England, was published by Ashgate Press in 2015.

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