Our History

"On a day in June 1908, the president of a university not yet in being, in a province which I had never heard of, in a country which I had never visited, came to Harvard and offered me the professorship of English." - EK Broadus

The Department of English was one of four original departments established in 1908 under President Henry Marshall Tory, the others being Classics (WH Alexander), Mathematics (WM Edwards), and Modern Languages (LH Alexander). It was renamed the Department of English and Film Studies in 2004.


1908-1936 Edmund Kemper Broadus (founder and first professor; LLD UofA 1933)

1936-1950 Robert Kay Gordon

1950-1953 Frederick Millet Salter

1953-1961 John Thomas Jones

1961-1967 Henry Kreisel


1968-1971 R. George Baldwin

1971-1976 Edward Rose

1976-1981 Roland Anderson

1981-1986 David Jackel

1986-1989 Linda Woodbridge

1989-1992 Maurice Roger Legris

1992-1995 Shirley Neuman

1995-1998 Patricia Demers

1998-2002 Jo-Ann Wallace (Daphne Read, Acting Chair, January-June 2001)

2002-2003 Jim Mulvihill (Acting Chair)

2004-2009 Garrett PJ Epp

2009-2014 Susan Hamilton

2014-2019 Peter W. Sinnema

2019-2022 Cecily Devereux

2023-2023 Eddy Kent (Acting Chair, January-June 2023)

2023- Julie Rak (Acting Chair)

In 1983 the University of Alberta celebrated its 75th anniversary, and in anticipation of the occasion Professor Rowland D. McMaster wrote a short - and amusing -history of "The Department of English, 1908-1982." It appeared in the University's Folio magazine on 30 September 1982.


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