Called to Create a Brighter Future

At William Carey University's Language and Literature Department, we cultivate mastery in English and Spanish, emphasizing creative expression, academic and professional communication, and deep cultural understanding. Our programs equip students with critical tools for self-discovery, enriched lives, and meaningful service through a comprehensive exploration of literature, linguistics, and critical theory. Across all disciplines, we enhance core skills in writing, reading, and research, fostering a broad cultural literacy and practical digital research proficiency.

Our department is dedicated to fostering an environment where students are encouraged to engage deeply with the works of literature, both in English and Spanish, nurturing a profound appreciation for the power of language and its role in society. In English, our focus is on encouraging the creation, study, and interpretation of literary works, striving for excellence in composition, and broadening knowledge across linguistics, critical theory, and literary history. Our Spanish program is designed to develop advanced communication skills necessary for academic and professional success, alongside fostering a strong linguistic sensibility and cultural awareness through immersive reading and writing experiences.

We aim to transcend traditional understandings of cultural literacy, inviting students to experience reading, writing, and thinking as vital tools for navigating life's challenges. Our curriculum is designed not just for those majoring in language and literature but also enriches the university's core curriculum with essential writing, language, and literature courses. These courses are meticulously crafted to strengthen foundational academic skills in writing, reading, thinking, and research for all students, regardless of their major. Furthermore, we emphasize discipline-specific literacy and advocate for the effective use of digital technologies and online databases as essential research tools, preparing students for success in a rapidly evolving digital world. Through our comprehensive approach, we aim to inspire our students to lead lives of significance, equipped with the knowledge and skills to contribute meaningfully to the global community.

Find Your Calling

Embark on a journey to discover your passion and purpose at William Carey University. Here, education goes beyond textbooks, blending innovation, faith, and learning to prepare you for not just a career, but a calling.

Meet the Chair

Dr. Thomas Richardson

Thomas J. Richardson is Chair of the Department of Language and Literature and Professor of English at William Carey, where he has taught and worked since 2005. He earlier studied and taught at Vanderbilt University (Ph.D., 1975), the University of Alabama (M.A., 1965), and the University of Southern Mississippi, (B.A., 1962), where he also taught from 1971-2005, including terms as Chair of the Department of English (1983-88) and Coordinator of Senior Honors in the Honors College (1990-2003). He has also taught at Auburn University, Meridian Community College, and Gulfport High School.  In addition to his duties as chair, at Carey he teaches a broad range of undergraduate and graduate courses in writing and literature, including core courses in addition to advanced courses in literary theory and the required senior seminar. He was Co-Editor of the Mississippi Folklore Register from 1979-1989 and an Advisory Editor of the Southern Quarterly from 1979-2004, and over time he has read papers and/or offered lectures at such different settings as the OLLI Center at USM, the Mississippi Philological Association, the Mississippi Community College Writing Association, the Institute for Faith and Culture at Baylor University, the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, the Sue Price Lipsey Lecture at Mississippi College, the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival in New Orleans, the South Central Conference on Christianity and Literature at Loyola University, the Mississippi Council of Teachers of English, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the ADE Summer Seminar at Amherst College. He is married to Pamela Myrick Mottley, and he has two children, John (Fairhope, AL), and Ryan (NYC), and two grandchildren, Colin and Cate.