English Reading Series


The English Department will experience an unprecedented number of faculty retirements this year. Here are the last two.


Dr. Phil Snyder has, since 1988, taught an impressive range of courses on a wide variety of topics related to British and American literature and his specialties in Western Studies and Autobiographical Studies. Every year, we could expect to see students “wrangling” chairs on the JFSB 4th floor balcony, practicing before a field trip to Dr. Snyder’s ranch in Salem.

Dr. Snyder has published many book chapters and journal articles, especially work related to Cormac McCarthy. In 2009, he completed Post-Manifesto Polygamy: The 1899-1904 Correspondence of Helen, Owen, and Avery Woodruff, scholarship initiated by LuAnn Snyder and published in the Life Writings of Frontier Women series from Utah State University Press.

He directed a successful London Study Abroad in summer and fall 2017, and in 2003, 2011, and 2012.  Dr. Snyder served as English department chair from 2012-2017, overseeing the initiation of English + initiatives, continuation of faculty (and student) professionalization, and curricular revisions and innovations. He received the Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award and was a Humanities Professor of English. He served as English Department Graduate Coordinator, on the Faculty Advisory Committee, and as American Studies Coordinator.

Dr. Snyder has offered support, energy, patience, persistence, forgiveness, and hope for the well-being of the BYU English department. His professional life and service have been whole-souled, full of consecration, for which his students and colleagues are deeply grateful.

Since 1983, Dr. Bruce Young has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in Shakespeare, Renaissance literature and drama, English drama to 1800, and the early British literary history survey. Many students over the years have indicated that his classes have forever changed the way they see literature and have given them an appreciation for texts they knew only slightly beforehand. Brother Young (as he prefers to be called) is known for thoughtful, reflective teaching, with high expectations for his students. He served on several MA thesis committees. Countless students, including current faculty members, deeply appreciate the ways his teaching has left indelible memories and knowledge. He is a humble disciple-scholar who loves serving the Lord and His children.

In 2009, Brother Young published Family Life in the Age of Shakespeare. His dissertation from Harvard University and other published articles and book chapters have also been on Shakespeare and the Renaissance family. Additionally, he published work on C. S. Lewis, Levinas, Thomas Hobbes, and literature and religious values. He has served as the faculty advisor for the C. S. Lewis club since 1999 and as the department ombudsman since 2003 and on a variety of advisement, awards, and curriculum committees. He held a Karl G. Maeser General Education Professorship and was an Alcuin Fellow.

Recently, Brother Young has branched out into producing films, Heart of Africa and Heart of Africa 2: Companions, co-written by his wife, Margaret Young, and directed by Congolese filmmaker Tshoper Kabambi. We’re guessing that he will call Africa home in the near future. We look forward to hearing about his ongoing adventures!