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"In the long run, humans will become redundant and those who want to continue to participate in society will have to resemble machines more closely" (Marina Gerner. "No Strings Attached". Review of The Soul of the Marionette: A Short Enquiry into Human Freedom. In TLS, July 31, 2015, p. 28)                                      

The study of English language and literature improves our ability to think, read, write, and speak on a highly sophisticated level. Mastery of these critical skills is crucial to success in any career. The CSU Bakersfield English Department is committed to making the entire university community more articulate, better educated, and more productive citizens of the world we inhabit.

                          From Beowulf to Virgina Woolf

Hwaet we gardena in Bloomsbury theod-kyninga thrym gefrunon

The English Department at California State University, Bakersfield offers two undergraduate Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree programs:

  • The English Major in Languageand Literature (EMLL), which offers both breadth and flexibility for a diversity of career opportunities
  • The English Major with Credential Emphasis (EMCE), a single-subject preparation program designed for students who wish to teach in California secondary schools

The English Department also offers three different minors:

  • English Literature
  • Linguistics
  • Children’s Literature

For graduate students, CSUB offers a Master of Arts (M.A.) degree in English, as well as the following post-baccalaureate certificates:

  • Writing
  • Children’s Literature
  • Teaching English as a Second Language (TESOL)
Please click on the links at left for more information about the English Department at CSUB.

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I initially chose English because of my love for books. I was a reader long before I was a writer and, though I didn't much care for writing when I began, I could not resist a good story. […] They always say that the chances of becoming a professional writer and doing what you love are slim to none. They were wrong, and my experience at CSUB showed me that. Close Quote
Kayla Freer, B.A. in English 2012
Content Writer in the Social Gaming Industry

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Marit J. MacArthur F'15

Marit J. MacArthur

Associate Professor
California State University, Bakersfield
last updated: 02/24/15

ACLS Digital Innovation Fellowships 2015
Associate Professor
Department: English
California State University, Bakersfield
Poetry Performance and Pitch Tracking: Tools for Sound Studies

When we say that poet X reads with a neutral or expressive tone, what do we mean? This project adapts and improves pitch-tracking tools—commonly used by linguists to analyze the fundamental frequency of the human voice and intonation patterns—in order to refine methodologies and terminology used by humanities scholars concerned with sound and performance. The first phase will develop a simple, user-friendly interface for pitch-tracking, drawing on two open-source software programs, Praat and ARLO (Adaptive Recognition with Layered Optimization). These tools will then enable new empirical research on recordings of individual performances, as well as distant listening projects (analogous to distant reading), using machine learning on the “big data” of audio archives to study trends in performance and oratory. The project, which draws on the expertise of linguists, machine learning scientists, and media artists and designers, is hosted by the ModLab at the University of California, Davis.

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