English Literature and Language

The St. Mary’s University Department of English Literature and Language focuses on the human experience to enhance competency in visual, oral and written communication, to develop respect for multiple perspectives through analysis and to explore the world through the lens of ethical scholarship, rhetorical inquiry and creativity in the pursuit of the common good.

Find us on social media to view photos and videos of students, faculty and staff in the Department of English, Literature and Language:

Online Teaching

The English Literature and Language department has found that technology opens up the way we read and think about literature, writing and language. We worked hard in Spring 2020 to make our online experience work for our students and our subject matter. You will see some examples below of what this may look like for faculty and for students. The faculty are excited to continue to experiment with hybrid courses, in-person use of technology, and online courses. Our faculty are certified in online teaching pedagogy.

English Literature and Language Events

Each year, the department holds a variety of events to enrich the education of our students outside a classroom setting.

In June 2020, the department held a virtual event entitled “Black Lives Matter: A Reading and Rally for Change.” The event was recorded and can be viewed in two parts below.

Contact Kathleen Maloney at kmaloney@stmarytx.edu for more information.

Undergraduate Research

Each spring semester, St. Mary’s University hosts its annual Research Symposium and Creative Activities Exhibition, which fosters scholarly dialogue among students and faculty. Presenters at the exhibition display an assortment of projects including scientific investigations, analytical reviews or projects, innovations/inventions, honors theses, senior projects and original works of art, media, poetry or writing. The event is open to undergraduate, graduate and law students.

The Spring 2020 Symposium was held virtually and their presentations were published in an interactive ebook.

Accessible Literature

There are virtually no ASL interpretations of higher level readings, such as Homer’s “The Odyssey,” so a group of former and current students from the Department of English Literature and Language decided to change that.

The endeavor was made possible through a $1,500 grant from Humanities Texas, a nonprofit with a goal to create opportunities for lifelong learning and advance education throughout the state.

Professors Emeriti

Brother Anthony P. Frederick, S.M. was a Professor Emeritus of English, 1978. He is now deceased.

Brother Anthony P. Frederick, S.M.

Brother Louis A. Schuster, S.M., Ph.D. was a Professor Emeritus of English, 1988. He is now deceased.

Brother Louis A. Schuster, S.M., Ph.D.

SM Sister Ann Semel, SSND, Ph.D. was a Professor Emerita of English and Communication Studies, 2010. She is now deceased.

SM Sister Ann Semel, SSND, Ph.D.

Peggy Curet, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita of English and Communication Studies, 2016.

Peggy Curet, Ph.D.

Rose Marie Cutting, Ph.D. is a Professor Emerita of English and Communication Studies, 2017.

Rose Marie Cutting, Ph.D.
Richard Pressman headshot

Richard S. Pressman, Ph.D., taught and served as an administrator at St. Mary’s for 37 years. He was a specialist in the period of American Realism and Naturalism, then moved to the Early American novel. His favorite course, a graduate, was the History of the U.S. Novel.

During his time at St. Mary’s, he served in Spanish-speaking countries four times, once as a Fulbright fellow in Peru and three times in St. Mary’s programs in Mexico and Spain. [He and his wife have travelled to at least 20 countries, mainly Spanish-speaking.]

He is presently the publisher of Early American Reprints, a not-for-profit rescuer of out-of-print Early American texts. He also leads a faculty book discussion club, the Classics Reading Group.

Richard S. Pressman, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn Diaz headshot

Gwendolyn Díaz-Ridgeway obtained her Ph.D. from the University of Texas in Austin and specializes in Comparative Literature with concentrations in Spanish, French and English. She served as Graduate Director for the English Master´s Degree and has taught Comparative Literature, Literary Theory and Latin American Literature.

She founded and directed Las Americas Letters Series in Literature and the Arts, an annual series that features authors and artists of the Americas and has served as President of the South Central Modern Language Association.

Her awards include the Fulbright and Carnegie Mellon Scholar Awards and the Distinguished Professor Awards for both Graduate and Undergraduate teaching.

Currently she is Advisor to the San Antonio Library´s Book Festival, heads the Women´s Committee of PEN Argentina and is on the board of the University Women´s Club of Buenos Aires. She continues to publish scholarship in the area of Science and Literature as well as essays and short stories.

You can reach her by email at gdiazridgeway@stmarytx.edu.

Gwendolyn Diaz-Ridgeway, Ph.D.

Academic Programs in the Department of English Literature and Language


English – Communication Arts

Master of Arts in English Literature and Language

Graduate Certificate for Dual Credit Teaching in English Literature and Language

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