Ruth Ellen Kocher was employed as a professor of literature and creative writing at SIUE from 2000- 2002, a relatively short amount of time. Nonetheless, she played a decisive role in the expansion of African American literature courses at the university. Eugene B. Redmond, of course, contributed to the growth of those courses as well.
In late 2001 and early 2002, Kocher completed a considerable amount of paperwork to revise the 3 pre-existing African American literature courses by the department, and even more notable, she introduced 3 new courses. Redmond introduced our now popular African American poetry and folklore course. Without the addition of those new courses, there's no way that we could have offered so many different classes for students since 2003.
ENG 205: "African American Literature" became "Introduction to African American Texts"
ENG 341: "The African American Woman in Literature" became "African American Women's Writing"
ENG 342: "African American fiction" became "Movements in African American Literature"
Kocher's new course additions:
ENG 343: African American Rhetoric and Oratory
ENG 344: Studies in Ethnic Literature
ENG 526: Critical Studies in African American Texts (grad courses)
Redmond's new course addition:
ENG 345: African American Poetry and Folklore
• 10 Years of African American Literature at SIUE