English | Capital University, Columbus Ohio



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    • Majors: Creative Writing • Professional Writing and Journalism • Literature

      Explore the various ways that written language engages the world.

      Capital’s English Department offers three majors — Literature, Creative Writing and Professional Writing/Journalism — that prepare students to use the English language effectively in a number of areas. Although different in focus, the majors have important common components through their grounding in language and literary studies. Many students have more than one major or a combination of a major and minor from the English department.

      what you'll learn

      The creative writing major is designed for students who wish to pursue careers as writers of imaginative literature: fiction, poetry, the essay and drama. The major is also good preparation for students who want to teach creative writing, for those who seek careers as editors, or for students who simply strive to find creative solutions in any field.

      Recap MagazineAs all great writers are great readers first, creative writing majors take a wide variety of courses in literature. They also take introductory and advanced creative writing courses and may work on and submit their work to ReCap, Capital’s student-edited literary magazine. In addition, there are opportunities throughout the year to take part in open readings of their work and to attend readings by distinguished writers.

      The professional writing/journalism major combines the theory and practice of designing, critiquing, crafting and editing written documents. Students receive training in identifying communication needs of specific audiences and addressing such needs through effective communication of information. The journalism component of the major provides multiple opportunities for print, visual and digital media production through work on The Chimes, Capital’s student-edited weekly newspaper. The program also offers courses in technical writing and editing, in writing new media and in research writing across disciplines and professions.

      The literature major focuses on interpreting significant texts of American, British and global literature. This process involves careful reading, attention to contexts, thoughtful analysis and clear written explanation. Through this study, literature majors develop skills that are transferable to many contexts, and gain insights into themselves and their relationship to a changing world. As scholars have stated for centuries, literature offers insight and pleasure, and motivates personal and social change. It challenges us to see the world more fully and to interpret it more carefully.    


      where you'll go: Careers and Graduate School

      Well-read creatives with excellent writing skills are always in demand in the marketplace. Whether they choose to enter the workforce right after graduation, or to pursue a graduate degree in virtually any discipline, our graduates are prepared for meaningful work and lives of positive impact. Here is a sampling of what some of them are doing now:

      • Attorney
      • Book editor
      • College administrator
      • Copy editor
      • Digital media producer
      • Director of public relations
      • High school teacher
      • Journalist
      • Librarian
      • Managing editor
      • Marketing specialist
      • Public relations consultant
      • Social worker
      • Sports information director
      • Sports writer
      • Systems designer
      • Technical writer
      • University professor
      • U.S. Army officer
      • U.S. Naval officer





      Our professors bring out the best in you. We won't lie. They can be tough. But they're also your counselors, your mentors, and your biggest advocates. Meet a few below, or view our department directory.


    • Sergey Rybas, Ph.D.

      Department Chair and Associate Professor of English


      Renner Hall
      Capital University Main Campus

      (614) 236-6876

      • Biography

        Dr. Sergey Rybas has been part of Capital University’s professional writing program since 2008. His research areas include power, subjectivity and identity issues in computer-mediated communication; performances of online community; multimodal teaching and learning; and epistemologies of the information age. He has also been involved in projects exploring politics, practices and performances of nationality and nationalism and has specifically focused on issues of national identification and difference in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. 

        Seeing the application of his research to a broad spectrum of disciplines in humanities and social sciences, he advocates critical cultural literacy as a primary goal of an interdisciplinary and intercultural dialogue on problems related to production, dissemination and interpretation of knowledge.

      • Teaches

        New Media and Writing
        Writing in the Professions
        Technical Writing and Editing
        Writing for the Web
        Senior Seminar in English
        College Reading and Writing

      • Degrees

        Ph.D. in Rhetoric and Composition, Bowling Green State University

    • Kevin Griffith, Ph.D.

      Professor of English



      (614) 236-6563

      • Biography

        Dr. Kevin Griffith is a professor of English at Capital University and professor of legal writing at Capital Law School. He is the author of three books of poetry: Someone Had to Live (1994), Paradise Refunded (1999), and Denmark, Kangaroo, Orange (2008). He is also the author of 101 Kinds of Irony (2012), a collection of fiction, and the editor of The Common Courage Reader: Essays for an Informed Democracy (2001).

        Dr. Griffith is also the creator of www.Brickjest.com, a website featuring a recreation of David Foster Wallace’s novel Infinite Jest in Legos. Stories about the website have been featured in dozens of major newspapers and magazines throughout the world.

        He has received four Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Awards in Poetry, the most recent one in 2017.

        He has received the Praestantia Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Cotterman Award for Excellence in Advising, and most recently, the Faculty Scholarship Award.

      • Teaches

        Academic Writing
        Basic Writing
        Creative Writing
        Critical Writing for English Majors
        Fiction Writing 
        First-Year Seminar
        Literature in Art and Society
        Poetry Writing
        The English Language
        Supplemental Writing (Law School)

      • Degrees

        Ph.D. in English, The Ohio State University

    • David Summers, Ph.D.

      Professor of English

      David Summers

      Renner Hall
      Room 231


      • Biography

        Dr. David Summers has been teaching the classics and literature to Capital University students since 1997. He has served as director of General Education and as assistant dean of the School of Humanities in the College. In 2007, he was honored with Capital's most prestigious faculty award — the Praestantia Award, for excellence in teaching. He also has led travel groups from Capital to England, Italy and Greece.

        Dr. Summers is a Seattle native who spent his undergraduate years in Oregon and Corban University, and then trained at the University of Washington to he a high school social studies teacher. He later pursued graduate studies in medieval and Renaissance literature at the University of Washington, completing a master's degree and doctorate there. Before joining the Capital faculty, Dr. Summers held tenure-track positions at Whitworth College and Seattle Pacific University. He also is credited with passage of General Education curricular reform at Capital, and he participated in the Council of Independent Colleges Summer Seminar at the Hellenic Studies Center: Herodotus' Histories.

      • Teaches

        Humanities — Antiquity to the Renaissance
        British Literature Survey: Anglo-Saxon to Augustan
        Classical Mythology
        Classical Literature
        Medieval Literature — Dante and Chaucer
        Renaissance Literature
        Eliot and Auden
        Yeats and Joyce

      • Degrees

        Ph.D. in English Literature, University of Washington
        Master of Arts in English Literature, University of Washington
        Secondary Certificate in Social Studies (History), University of Washington
        Bachelor of Science in Humanities and Religious Studies, Corban University

      • Publications

        "Eliot's Dantean Pilgrimage" in Dante, T. S. Eliot and the European Tradition, edited by Paul Douglass, Cambridge Scholars Press (forthcoming 2011)

        "The Unattended Moment: Selfhood and the Experience of the Transcendent in Four Quartets" in Ecstasy and Understanding: Religious Awareness in English Poetry, edited by Adrian Grafe and Andrew Harrison. Continuum Press: London, 2008.

      • Class Notes with Stephanie Schwarten

        Stephanie Schwarten
        Aspiring novelist shares motivation and passion for writing.

        The cliché is often the first obstacle a writer must overcome. No matter how compelling the subject, a story told from the same lens each time starts to become as vapid as a piece of over-chewed gum. Capital University senior Stephanie Schwarten is a Professional Writing major who is also in the process of writing a novel which she hopes will offer a counter perspective to victims of sexual assault, a topic she has spent many hours researching....

      • The Freedom to Write

        Abby Goodheart

        The Freedom to Write It's every writer's dream: to be freed from the daily worries of life with plenty of time to write. Abby Goodhart's dream came true when she was awarded an Undergraduate Research Summer Fellowship to spend the summer writing poetry. Gifts from Capital University alumni and fr...

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