Department News and Events

Activities and events within the department afford LLP students the opportunity to explore creative aspects of language, literature and philosophy beyond the classroom.  Events include publications, conferences, informal reading groups, spoken word events, public lectures, drama and film screenings. To learn more about LLP events, feel free to reach out to the department: Contact Us.  We look forward to seeing you there!

  Student Newsletter Cover

Introducing LLP's First Virtual Newsletter - The Critical Approach!

The Critical Approach was a semester-long engagement for English majors and minors enrolled in Writing for Publication (Fall 2015). Their expressed goal was to create a newsletter that made fellow Tennessee State University students aware of the developments in Literature, Languages and Philosophy.  Let's celebrate their accomplishment by perusing the pages of the very first edition of The Critical Approach! Cheers! For more information about this project, visit our new Student Success page.

Ashley Northington

Check out the new Alumni Spotlight: Ashley Northington '05

Ashley Northington is the founder and director of DENOR Brands & Public Relations.  “I am a natural storyteller. I tell stories about others (and myself) for a living. I’m a writer, public relations professional, entrepreneur and public education advocate.”  Learn more about Northington by visiting our Alumni Spotlight page.

Soul Fire Poetry Organization cordially invites you to the  Be A Light! Rally

Are you tired of negative media stories attacking our school? Do you want to remove the shadow hanging over your institution? Join Soul Fire in the fight to defy stereotypes and the movement to reclaim our Tiger name. Bring your positivity, your talent, and your voice to an evening of poetry, conversation, music, dance and drama. Be a Light will feature Soul Fire poets, guest performers and an open mic.

Bring your light: 7 p.m., Friday, Nov. 13, at the Forum Auditorium.

movie screening audience

LLP Film Club hosts screening of Idlewild

The next film screening is of the critically acclaimed  Idlewild  on Friday, Nov. 13, 11a.m. - 2p.m.,  Humanities 313.  Snacks will be provided. This marks the second film screening hosted by the Film Club.  On Friday, October 23, 2015, the LLP Film Pod, TSU Film Club, and the LLP Recruitment and Retention Committee successfully hosted the first film screening of The Babadook.  Following the screening, several TSU students and LLP faculty members participated in a lively discussion as moderated by Dr. Jeff Thompson. For questions about Film Club activities, please contact Prof. Michelle Wise.

LLP Faculty to Read Poetry in October's Lyrical Brew

Department Chair Lucas Powers and Professor Bob Bradley will read their original works in this month's Lyrical Brew.  The event starts at 7 p.m., Oct. 30, at Barnes and Noble Vanderbilt (2501 West End Ave, Nashville, Tennessee 37203).  You are cordially invited. 

Mural Project

Soul Fire Poets Creative Works Featured in Mural Project and Public Reading

A newly erected mural titled "To Love a City" embodies the larger revitalization occurring in the area and celebrates the thriving creative community in North Nashville. The mural stretches 380ft long by 6ft high and features original poetry from students of TSU's Soul Fire and Metro Nashville as interpreted by local artists. Congrats to Soul Fire poets who presented at the mural's unveiling in October.

English Major wins 28th Annual Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest

Aaron I. Walker, a senior in the LLP Department, won first place in the upperclass division of this year's Robert N. Murrell Oratorical Contest.  Each year the oratorical contest is the first event of the university's week-long Homecoming celebration. This year, 34 students participated, with top competitors earning cash prizes. We salute Aaron for his stellar performance in this year's event.  Congrats!

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LLP Alum writes feature story in October's  Essence

Pick up your October copy of Essence today to read a fabulous cover story by our very own Bené Viera (Class '06). Viera is a passionate multimedia journalist, writer and blogger. She’s penned pieces for,, ESSENCE, VIBE, O, The Oprah Magazine,,,,,, Juicy magazine and others. As a reporter Bené has covered pop culture, entertainment, music, gender and race.  She has interviewed Diahann Carroll, Jessie Ware, Shonda Rhimes, Ron Isley, Nas, Kerry Washington, Spike Lee, Viola Davis, Brandy, J. Cole, Reverend Al Sharpton, Anita Hill and Tracy Martin, just to name a few. Learn more about Viera by visiting our Alumni Spotlight page, or go to

Spanish Artwork

LLP Launches Spanish Club: Spanish Table Talk

The first meeting was held on Sept. 25, and organizers plan to meet once a month.  Club initiatives include community service, dance classes, dinners, movie nights, scavenger hunts and much much more. For additional information, email

Film Club Icon

LLP Department Launches Film Club!

The TSU Film Club is a student-run organization composed of students and faculty members who are interested in film. The club's goals are to increase awareness of film and its role(s) in our contemporary lives. This includes, but is not limited to, aspects of storytelling, visual literacy, film as literature, film adaptation, film terminology, using film in the classroom, and genre conventions. "We we come to discuss, analyze, make, and geek out over films."  The group is hosting a film screening and discussion panel for The Babadook on Oct. 23.  For meeting dates and other concerns, contact organization founder Prof. Michelle Wise. 

Student success building

LLP Faculty working with Tiger Tutoring!

This semester, faculty members from the English department are working with Tiger Tutoring. Tutors will be available M-F 4:30-8pm in Room 202 of the Student Resource Center. This service is free to students. Tiger Tutoring is a great opportunity for students who need help with writing to receive immediate feedback from faculty.  Our writing tutors are equipped to help students at the University with various writing assignments and activities (within English department classes and beyond). They can assist the student at any stage of their writing process from brainstorming ideas to providing strategies for revision. For tutoring schedule and related information, visit the Tiger Tutoring Webpage

Whitney Bradley Alumni Profile Image


The LLP Alumni Spotlight

Alumni spotlight  is part of a new departmental initiative to recognize the graduates who are blazing the trail for our students.  The current spotlight is on 2009 LLP graduate Whitney Bradley, who has garnered numerous accolades in education. To learn more about Ms. Bradley, check out the new  Alumni Spotlight  page. If you graduated with an LLP major or minor, please take a moment to complete the  Alumni Survey .  Questions regarding this initiative should be directed to  Dr. Michelle J. Pinkard , LLP Webmaster .


Sketches Cover Art

TSU's online literary magazine, is now online!

Sketches: The Online Creative Arts Journal of Tennessee State University  is an online open access journal published in Digital Scholarship @ Tennessee State University in collaborative partnership with the Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy and the Tennessee State University Library.

Editor:   Elaine Anderson Phillips, Associate Professor, Department of Languages, Literature and Philosophy, Tennessee State University

 Tia Mitchell Teaching at TSU

Southern Word Returns to TSU!

Southern Word, an area organization committed to increasing literacy through poetry and spoken word, will send Poet lecturers to classrooms this year to teach the fundamentals poetic performance. "Students participating in spoken word programs report improvement in their reading and writing skills, increased self‐confidence, and a new sense of community among their peers and teachers. Educators report a clear rise in interest among students, a more youth‐driven learning environment, and evidence of greater social and academic confidence among students."

Soul Fire Group Photo

 "We Want Live Words!"

Soul Fire  Poetry Group and Workshop will return Fall 2015.  The first meeting will be held at 5 p.m., Weds., Sept. 9, Humanities 103 . This departmental organization meets once a week to hone poetry writing and performance skills, organize open mic performances, and to workshop their ideas.  It features a Poet Mentor from Southern Word, who helps students craft their skills. Learn more about their efforts by clicking here: Soul Fire Mini-Documentary.

*Check Out Spoken Word Performances by the Soul Fire Members and Friends.

Faculty Adviser: Dr. Michelle J. Pinkard


Our news develops over the school year as students and faculty participate in TSU activities, present at conferences, explore
through class activities, and much more. We hope you will check back frequently to see what we are doing! Please report news to LLP Webmaster Dr. Michelle J. Pinkard.