Our Department houses three disciplines leading to a variety of majors and minors, and our faculty members are committed teacher-scholars in literature, linguistics, languages, writing, philosophy, and religious studies. The Department also houses MSUB's Writing Program, which serves all undergraduate students, and a graduate program Certificate in Teaching Creative and Expository Writing. 

The mission of the undergraduate English Program is to provide students with an understanding and appreciation of the development and aesthetic achievement of literatures in English – including the cultural, linguistic, and historical influences on English, American and world literatures – as well as preparation in the craft of creative writing: poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and other genres. In Philosophy and Religious Studies, the Department provides students with diverse ethical, philosophical, religious and cultural perspectives. In Modern Languages the Department’s mission is to provide students with critical skills in the use of the Spanish language and familiarity with the cultures and literatures of that language, both Peninsular and Latin American. The Department also offers French, German, and other languages. 

What are the Humanities? 

The term humanities, broadly defined, refers to the study of human cultures, languages, and systems of meaning and values. Students of the humanities explore the interrelated disciplines of philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language. The MSUB Department of English, Philosophy & Modern Languages prepares students to engage in these disciplines with historical perspective and an appreciation for complexity, nuance, and difference.  We encourage our undergraduates to develop their own positions and arguments, to articulate them clearly and incisively, and to be leaders in a rapidly changing century.

Why Study the Humanities?

Why Study the Humanities?

 The Return of the Liberal Arts Major

Why "Worthless" Humanities Degrees May Set You Up For Life 

Unexpected Career Paths for Majors (from Carlton College)

On Humanities in the 21st century workplace

What Can I Do With an English Degree?

Stanford University: "Why the Humanities Matter"

"How Humanities Can Help Fix the World"

"Why Everyone Should Study the Liberal Arts, Even Future Doctors and Engineers"

"Why Med Schools Are Requiring Arts Classes"


Spring 2021 Courses

Click on an image to view as a slideshow.

Recent Faculty Publications

Poetics for the More-Than-Human-WorldMagnificent Decay: Melville and Ecology

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The Rook 

The Rook logoMSUB’s literary and art journal



Department News


Friesen Scholarship

Check out the history of the Nan and Ben Friesen Endowed Scholarship as well as other scholarship opprtunities for next year....





The Revised English Programs, beginning Academic Year 2021-2022 provides more detail on the new curricula for the English BA, the English Teaching Licensure BA, and the English Minor.

Q&A Session about the curricular changes held on February 24


Congratulations to  Tom Regele, Associate Professor of Modern Languages and Literature! Tom recently won the MSUB 2020 Promoting International Student Success Award. In recognition of his "outstanding accomplishments, dedication, and extraordinary commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service," Tom was awarded the 2020 Promoting International Student Success Award, which highlights Tom's "numerous contributions and steadfast commitment to his discipline." The EPML Department applauds Tom as an inspiration to our students and for his service to the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Montana State University Billings. Truly remarkable and greatly appreciated!


Poetics Cover 

Professor Bernie Quetchenbach's new anthology of poetry, Poetics for the More-Than-Human-World, is out now! Read reviews (PDF)

English major Brie Barron ('22) was an production intern on the project: coordinating with authors, editing, and designing the layout. Watch an interview with Brie and local Billings bookstore, This House of Books. Congrats Bernie and Brie!


Jones Whimsical Muse

Jones Headshot

Faculty member Danell Jones has published a timely book from Two Sylvias Press: The Whimsical Muse: Poetic Play for Busy Creatives.

MSUB adjunct professor publishes book fitting for the times




 Retort Call



Stop the World Cover

Faculty member Tami Haaland's writing is featured in the new anthology, Stop the World: Snapshots From a Pandemic, forthcoming from Thalia Press in August of 2020.

Thalia Press is pleased to announce the release of a topical, up-to-the-minute anthology of personal essays, short fiction, and poetry based on experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic in this unique year. Forty writers from around the world took time during this spring of lockdown, contagion, and uncertainty to explore and share their emotions and creative impulses for the record.


Deb SchafferRadio New Zealand











Last October, faculty member Deborah Schaffer appeared on the Radio New Zealand show Sunday Morning with Jim Mora about an article she published on the nature of language in Nigerian-fraud e-mails (“The Language of Scam Spams: Linguistic Features of ‘Nigerian Fraud’ E-mails.” ETC.: A Review of General Semantics 69.2 (April 2012): 157-79). 


Dispatches 2020

Faculty member Bernie Quetchenbach and English major Brie Barron recently published an online poetry anthology, Poetics for a More than Human World.



Event 2.20.20


Koryn Kelly


        Tom Nurmi                                                    

Tom Nurmi selected as 2019 Cox Fellow

Danell Jones has a new book -- An African in Imperial London: The Indomitable Life of A.B. C. Merriman-Labor -- out in September.

Use code ADISTA5 to save 30% when ordering from Oxford University Press!

An African in Imperial London

Danell Jones



Professors Regele and Berru-Davis led a trip to Peru in May!

MSUB students in Peru
MSUB students in Peru


book cover image of The Bunch Grass Hotel

Long-time faculty member Randall Gloege’s collection of poetry The Bunch Grass Motel is a finalist for the 2018 High Plains Book Award in Poetry

book cover image of Accidental Gravity
Faculty member Bernie Quetchenbach's collection of essays Accidental Gravity is an Honorable Mention for the Foreword Indies Book of the Year in Essays.

 Alumni Spotlight

Laura-Ashlee Twiford teaching at Stream Academy in Anchorage, AK
“I'm currently teaching middle school at Stream Academy, a brand new charter school in Alaska. It's the first year of the charter and my first year teaching, so I am quite tired as well (and not just with grading). I'm the only Language Arts teacher of 77 students with two sections of 6th grade, a section of 7th, and a section of 8th. Oh, and I also teach a social dance elective. Whew!

All things considered, I really do love middle school. It took me a while to calibrate, but they are really delightful.

I've decided that I really should do better with keeping in touch with everyone from the English Department. There's something about being a part of something so meaningful for such a short period of time that makes me sad and proud at the same time.”

- Laura-Ashlee Twiford, ‘16