Cal State LA has been home to a wealth of creative
scholars and scholarly creative writers, reflecting the
department's emphasis on the centrality of literary
studies to both critical and creative traditions. The
current faculty publish regularly in leading academic
journals on subjects ranging from 14th century manuscripts
to 21st century book culture, produce book-length studies
of literature and culture, and write and present on a wide
variety of pedagogical issues. In addition, Creative
Writing faculty regularly publish creative works of
fiction and poetry.
The tradition of scholarly achievement by faculty at
Cal State LA dates back to the earliest days of the
department. Paul Zall published frequently on British
Romanticism and later on important American Revolutionary
figures. Norman Fruman produced his groundbreaking and
controversial study of Coleridge's plagiarisms, Coleridge,
the Damaged Archangel, while at CSULA. For more on the
critical tradition, see Paul Zall's reminiscence "Scholarship
at Offramp U?!!?"
(drawing by Don Bachardy)
Over the years,
the Department of English at Cal State LA has been graced
by a remarkable collection of novelists, playwrights
and poets and both Creative Writing faculty and students
have enjoyed considerable success.
In the early 1960s, Christopher Isherwood and Dorothy Parker were
distinguished visiting professors.
In addition, Cal
State LA's Creative Writing faculty has included Wirt Williams,
twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, Leon Surmelian, noted
Armenian novelist and writing teacher, and Kate Braverman,
multi-award winning fiction writer and poet.