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Professor Vatalaro's students from the New England Shore seminar at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, Massachusetts.Professor Vatalaro's students from the New England Shore seminar at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island, Massachusetts.


Students in the Merrimack English program learn that literature, film and other forms of storytelling have the capacity to influence social change, challenge dominant versions of history, rewrite cultural myths, shape concepts of identity, and represent aspects of lived experience that cannot be expressed fully. They become knowledgeable about the ways in which culture shapes word, artist, reader, text and events, and they develop an understanding of the entire creative process, from the creation of imaginative writing to the interpretation of it by skilled, agile readers.

Our small course sizes promote close contact between students and professors and permit faculty to read carefully and respond thoughtfully to what students have written. We dedicate ourselves to fostering conversation about literature and writing in and out of the classroom; we learn quickly and remember our students’ names; we devote individual attention to those who seek it. We value all forms of writing, whether formal or informal, creative or academic, because we have found that writing triggers discovery, cultivates the formation of dialogue between readers and books, and closes the distance between readers.

What’s New


Merrimack English Professor Interviewed in New Spike Lee Film about Michael Jackson


Assistant Professor of English Joseph Vogel is featured in Spike Lee’s new documentary, “Michael Jackson’s Journey from Motown to Off the Wall.” The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last month and will air on Showtime on Friday, February 5th at 9:00 p.m.  Vogel, who joined the English faculty this year as Assistant Professor of Contemporary Literature, Film, and Environmental Studies, is the author of Man in the Music – The Creative Life and Work of Michael Jackson (Sterling, 2011).  Highly regarded as the first serious study of Jackson’s art, the book has been translated into four languages and is used as a textbook for several university courses on Michael Jackson, including the course taught in the English Department at Merrimack.  Vogel’s appearance in the new documentary marks the second time he has worked with Spike Lee on a Jackson project.  Lee also interviewed Vogel for his Bad 25 film, drawing on Vogel’s vast knowledge of Jackson’s art and creative process to help flesh out the film’s detailed investigation of the making of Bad in conjunction with the iconic album’s 25th anniversary.  “Spike Lee approached me about this documentary nearly two years ago. I’m thrilled to finally see it come to fruition,” Vogel says about the film. “I have enormous respect for Spike Lee as a filmmaker, and am honored to be a part of this new documentary, which showcases the passion, creativity, and ambition of one of our greatest artists: Michael Jackson.” 


Join us for the Annual English Awards Ceremony and Reception on April 27th, 4 PM, at The Writers House



Read the fourteenth edition of The Broadsheet now!


New Courses for 2015-2016

  • Superheroes: A Modern Mythology
  • Environmental Film
  • Sophomore Seminar

New Courses for 2014 - 2015

  • Creative Writing: Nonfiction
  • The Undead Eighteenth Century: Origins of English Gothic Literature
  • Literary New England: The Massachusetts Experience
  • Michael Jackson: Reading the King of Pop as Cultural Text

New Courses for 2013 - 2014

  • Chaucer and Popular Culture
  • Creative Writing: Screenwriting
  • Mixing & Mashing Monsters: From Beowulf, to Tolkien, Critchton, and Back Again.
  • The New England Shore