English Division

English Division

Why Study English at SMC?

As an English pre-major at Spartanburg Methodist College, you will learn how to read texts critically; analyze non-fiction, fiction, and visual texts; and write effectively and persuasively.

Your time spent in composition and literature courses at SMC will ensure that you succeed in upper-level English classes when you transfer to a 4-year university.

And the close relationships you form with your English professors will provide you with the support, encouragement, and push to succeed in college and beyond.

Spartanburg Methodist College offers a wide range of English courses, including:

  • Composition
  • Creative Writing
  • Journalism
  • British and American Literature
  • World Literature

All of the English faculty at SMC hold advanced degrees in their field and bring their specialized knowledge of rhetoric and literature to the classroom.

Because SMC maintains small class sizes, English faculty are able to work closely with you as you develop your skills as a writer and grow as a student of the liberal arts.

English Faculty

BayneHarry Bayne, Professor

Office Location: Ellis Building, Office 233
Email: BayneH@smcsc.edu
Phone: (864) 587-4381

Dr. Bayne received his BA and MA degrees from Clemson University and his PhD from the University of Mississippi. His research and teaching interests include American literature, 1900-1945; Southern literature, 1829-1965, particularly Poe, Glasgow, Faulkner, Wright, Welty, Williams, O’Connor, and writers and artists of the Charleston Renascence; British literature, 1785-1920, especially Romantic, Victorian, Decadent, and World War I poetry; African-American literature; Gothic literature; and film as a literary genre. Dr. Bayne is also the advisor for The Blue Granite Review, Spartanburg Methodist’s College literary magazine.


CogginsJoyce Coggins, Adjunct Instructor

Office Location: Ellis Building, Office 231
Email: cogginsj@smcsc.edu
Phone: (864) 278-5982

Professor Coggins received her BA in English from Western Carolina University and her MEd in English from Converse College. Professor Coggins’s recent research has focused developing effective strategies for developmental vocabulary instruction at the 2-Year College and teaches courses on academic writing, developmental reading, college success, and British Literature.


DennisLitasha Dennis, Professor

Office Location: Ellis Building, Office 232
Email: DennisL@smcsc.edu
Phone: (864) 587-4215

Dr. Dennis received her BA and MA degrees in English from Winthrop University and a PhD in English from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Dr. Dennis teaches American literature, Composition, and Writing Fundamentals.  Her research interests are in 20th Century American literature and Race and Gender issues. In her spare time, Dr. Dennis enjoys trying new recipes and reading.

“I enjoy teaching at SMC because it feels like very purpose driven work to me.  Because of our mission to give students a chance who might not be given one elsewhere, I feel like I am doing real work that matters and that empowers the larger community.  Often times the only difference between our students and students at other schools is that nobody has consistently made our students believe in themselves and believe that they can be greater than they think in the classroom.”


NeilKelly Neil, Professor

Office Location: Ellis Building, Office 223
Email: neilk@smcsc.edu
Phone: (864) 587-4290

Dr. Neil received her BA and MA degrees in English from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro and her PhD in British Literature from the University of California, Davis. Dr. Neil teaches courses in composition and literature, including British Literature 201: Beginnings to the Eighteenth Century. Her research interests include early modern drama including Shakespeare, women writers, and early modern law and politics. When Dr. Neil isn’t reading Shakespeare, she is usually cooking or walking her dog, a husky-mix named Lucy.

“I was drawn to SMC because it is a place that fosters meaningful relationships between students and professors within the model of a liberal arts education. In my composition and literature classes, I urge students to take advantage of that liberal arts education by making connections between the wider world and the things we do and read in class.”


smc-placeholderBethany Perkins, Professor

Office: Ellis Building, Office 222
Phone: (864) 587-4257
Email: PerkinsB@smcsc.edu

Dr. Perkins is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana. She completed her undergraduate work at LSU and received a Master’s Degree from UNC-W and Ph.D. from UNC-G. Her scholarly interests include southern regionalism, international studies, women’s studies and popular culture. She lives in Spartanburg with her husband, daughter, three dogs, a cat, two pet rats, a flock of chickens and a pond full of fish. Her favorite part of teaching is seeing students practice new ways of analyzing and thinking.


WillardMalinda Willard, Adjunct Instructor

Office Location: Ellis Building, Office 235
Email: willardm@smcsc.edu
Phone: (864) 278-5983

Dr. Willard received her BA degree from Converse College and her MA and Ph.D. degrees from the University of South Carolina. Her specialty is American Literature, and her dissertation was a comparison, contrast of Jonathan Edwards and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Dr. Willard has also taught at Converse College and North Greenville University. She is an active member of First Presbyterian Church in Spartanburg, where she sings in the Chancel Choir. She is also a member of Delta Kappa Gamma International Society for Women Educators and have served as president of the local Eta Chapter.


Susan Hughes, Adjunct Instructor

Office: Ellis Building, Office 235
Phone: (864) 278-5983
Email: hughess@smcsc.edu

Fall will begin Professor Hughes’s 6th year with SMC. She retired from Spartanburg School District Two after 28 years. Her degrees are: BA in Secondary English Education, MA in English, Ed.D. in Education and teacher leadership. Professor Hughes currently works as an adjunct in the English department and also teaches Education 101. Professor Hughes really enjoys helping students learn about public school teaching and helping them determine if they want to go into a teacher education program at another college once they leave SMC. Professor Hughes and her husband are proud parents of two dogs and a cat. In her spare time, Dr. Hughes enjoys reading, cards, jigsaw puzzles, all TV food competitions, and the Home and Garden channel.


CoyleJill Coyle, Professor

Office: Ellis Building, Office 234
Phone: (864) 587-4290
Email: coylej@smcsc.edu

Dr. Coyle received her doctorate in classical studies from Duke University in 2002. She returned to school and completed a master’s degree in British and American literature at North Carolina State University in 2013. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in Classics from the College of the Holy Cross. Dr. Coyle has experience teaching classical languages, literature, and culture, as well as English literature and composition at various colleges and universities in the Carolinas. She also has a strong interest in creative writing and is an award-winning poet and essayist. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, traveling, yoga, and reading.

Dr. Coyle believes in a holistic and personal teaching approach that nurtures each student as a unique individual. She is excited to be part of the supportive, student-centered educational environment that is the hallmark of SMC.


IresonHolly Ireson, Adjunct Instructor

Office: Ellis Building, Office 235
Phone: (864) 278-5983
Email: iresonh@smcsc.edu

Professor Ireson received a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies-English and African American Studies and Literature from USC-Upstate in 2003 and a Master of Arts in Teaching-Secondary English Education from Converse College in 2008. Prof. Ireson also attended a Studies Abroad program in Magdeburg, Germany in 2000. Her interests and research center around African American Studies, particularly the connection between West African languages and customs and the Gullah culture.

“SMC embodies my beliefs and commitment toward academics and student success. I am deeply grateful to be part of such an exceptional institution that plays an extraordinary role in the lives of students.”

English Course Descriptions


AA in Arts Degree Requirements

ENGL-100: ENGLISH BASICS. (3 hours) Provided for students who lack the basic writing skills needed for English 101. The course is designed to remove students’ skill deficiencies and enhance chances for academic success through review and instruction in grammar, usage, word choice, punctuation, mechanics, paragraph development, and essay development. Placement is dependent upon established criteria. (May not be used for elective credit toward graduation from SMC. Quality points for 100 level courses are not calculated into grade point averages. This course does not transfer to other colleges.)

ENGL-101: ENGLISH COMPOSITION I. (3 hours) Instruction in the academic skills of English composition including a review of basic English grammar, spelling, and punctuation. By critically reading and utilizing the writing process of prewriting, writing, revising, and editing essays, students should increase the ability to use written language effectively. Library orientation is required. Placement is dependent upon meeting established criteria or a grade of C or better in ENGL-100.

ENGL-102: ENGLISH COMPOSITION II. (3 hours) Instruction in the critical/persuasive skills of English composition and an introduction to literature. By composing essays and a research paper in edited standard American English and in an acceptable format, students will demonstrate the ability to think critically and express themselves persuasively. For a review of basic grammar, spelling, punctuation, and exposition, students may be referred to the Writing Center at the discretion of the instructor. Prerequisite: ENGL-101 or its equivalent.

ENGL-201: BRITISH LITERATURE I. (3 hours) Survey of British literature from the Middle Ages through the Eighteenth Century with emphasis on historical movements, tracing the development of the thought of each period as expressed by representative authors. Prerequisite: ENGL-102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ENGL-201T: BRITISH LITERATURE I WITH SMC ABROAD (3 hours) Survey of English Literature from the Middle Ages through the Eighteenth Century, with emphasis on historical movements, types of literature, principal authors, and outstanding works of each period. This course requires several readings and assignments prior to the embedded trip abroad to Great Britain for two weeks. Prerequisite: English 102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ENGL-202: BRITISH LITERATURE II. (3 hours) Survey of British literature from the Romantic Period (c. 1785) to the present time, with emphasis on historical movements, tracing the development of the thought of each period as expressed by representative authors. Prerequisite: ENGL-102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ENGL-203: AMERICAN LITERATURE I. (3 hours) Survey of American Literature from Colonial times to the Civil War era with emphasis on historical periods, showing literary developments through representative authors and works. Prerequisite: ENGL-102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor. ENGL-204: AMERICAN LITERATURE II. 3 hours Survey of American Literature from the Civil War era to present with emphasis on historical periods, showing literary developments through representative authors and works. Prerequisite: ENGL-102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ENGL-206: CREATIVE WRITING. (3 hours) Designed to develop perceptions, skills, and disciplines fundamental to writing short stories, poems, personal essays, and plays. Readings in contemporary literature are used chiefly as models. The literary magazine is compiled and published through this class. Prerequisite: ENGL-101 and permission of the instructor.

ENGL-210: READINGS IN WORLD LITERATURE. (3 hours) Survey of literature of both western and non-western cultures from ancient to modern times. Literary works may be selected based on a thematic approach or a major authors approach. Prerequisite: English 102 or its equivalent or permission of the instructor.

ENGL-211: JOURNALISM WORKSHOP I. (1 hour) The basics of writing for a newspaper with emphasis on news and feature articles, proofreading, and newspaper layout as well as the group dynamics of publishing a newspaper. The college newspaper is compiled and published through this class.

ENGL-212: JOURNALISM WORKSHOP II. (1 hour) Continuation of Journalism Workshop I. The college newspaper is compiled and published through this class.

ENGL-213: JOURNALISM WORKSHOP III. (1 hour) Continuation of Journalism Workshop II. The college newspaper is compiled and published through this class.

ENGL-214: JOURNALISM WORKSHOP IV. (1 hour) Continuation of Journalism Workshop III. The college newspaper is compiled and published through this class.

Career Opportunities

English classes are small, your professors know you well and are able to foster your individual growth as a student.

Being an English major offers you flexibility when you graduate. As an English major, you will be well prepared to enter a wide range of fields, including:

  • education
  • publishing
  • advertising
  • media
  • technology
  • public service
  • and business.

English majors develop superb critical thinking, reading, and writing skills that attract potential employers. English majors are also often competitive candidates for graduate school, law school, and medical school.

Career opportunities for English majors include:

  • K-12 Teacher
  • Tutor
  • English as Second Language (ESL) Instructor
  • Educational Administrator
  • Editor/Copywriter
  • Grant Writer or Technical Writer
  • Public Relations Executive
  • Advertising Executive
  • Television or Radio Production Assistant
  • Journalist
  • Creative Writer
  • Congressional Aid
  • Non-Profit Organization Administrator or Researcher

Student Organizations and Opportunites

The Write Place

The Write Place (formerly the Writing Center) gives students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a member of the English faculty on written assignments for any class. Learn More

The Trailblazer

The Trailblazer, SMC’s student newspaper, is published six times per year and covers matters of interest to SMC’s students, faculty and staff as well as the community at large. Learn More

Sigma Kappa Delta

Sigma Kappa Delta was founded to confer distinction upon outstanding students of the English language and literature in undergraduate studies. Learn More

The Blue Granite Review

The Blue Granite Review is the literary magazine of Spartanburg Methodist College. Learn More

Literary Guild

The Literary Guild is an organization that fosters a community of writers, film critics, and avid readers. Learn More