Division Chair: R. Meadows

Program Chair: S. Pulsford

Faculty: S. Ayers, J. Cohen, B. Crachiolo, K. Egerton, L. Jones, and S. Pulsford

The English Program offers courses in literature, composition, and creative writing. The Program offers the following major with a choice of concentrations—(Literature and Writing). The Program has two principal responsibilities: advancing the student’s skill in writing, and critical analysis; and furthering the student’s insight into the meaning and value of human experience through the study of literature and other art forms as well as through the student’s own creativity. Upon graduation, majors proceed into graduate or other professional schools, or numerous other occupations.


English courses are offered in three categories: Literature, Writing, and Language, as outlined below.

Literature Categories

Authors These courses focus on a specific author or group of authors, guided by an organizing principle that may be centered on concepts, styles, themes, or related influences shared among the works to be studied. These courses may consider authors from different historical eras or nations (including those whose writing is treated in translation). A course in this category might emphasize a single author, or consider significant combinations of authors. See course descriptions for ENG 210 and ENG 310.

Genres Courses in this category focus on literature, film, and writing based on types of literary and visual texts—prose (fiction and nonfiction), poetry, drama, or experimental literary or visual forms—or particular audiences. In addition to investigating individual genres, these courses will examine the concept of genre in film as well as literature. See course descriptions for ENG 225 and ENG 325, or ENG 220 and 320.

Times These courses focus on literary developments in a specific historical era, or compare/contrast the literature of different eras, or of different cultures. This category is called “Times” because all literary “times” do not present themselves in tidy century-long packages, and all courses involving literary periods do not confine themselves to one particular chronological time. See course descriptions for ENG 200 and ENG 300.

Cultures Courses in this category will introduce students to traditionally under-represented literatures. Regular offerings include ENG 135 (also AFR); ENG 140 (also APS); ENG 141 (also AFR); ENG 212 (also AFR and WGS); ENG 237 (also WGS); and ENG 242. This category also can be fulfilled with any 300-level literature course offered by the Foreign Languages program. Also see course descriptions for ENG 205 and ENG 305.

Questions These courses focus on a specific major question in literary and cultural studies.  They are guided by a principle of organization that may be centered on concepts, problems, themes, or related concerns shared among the works to be studied.  These courses may take a variety of approaches, including (but not limited to) inquiries based on: history, adaptation and appropriation, aesthetics and critical appreciation, cultural studies, translation, new media, and narrative.

Language Category

Language These courses focus on English as a modern language, and may take a variety of perspectives: linguistic; cultural; aesthetic; and historical. Emphasis is on language as a system of meaning. Regular course offerings include ENG 330, 387, and LAT 117. This requirement also can be met by taking foreign-language courses through the 103 level.

Writing Categories

Creative Writing These courses focus on the art of imaginative writing. Emphasis is on the study of particular genres of writing—poetry, fiction, non-fiction, and drama—as well as the practice of those genres. See course descriptions for ENG 282 and ENG 382.

Professional Writing These courses focus on writing in diverse professional situations. Emphasis is on the study and practice of writing in such fields as journalism and media, law and public policy, science, technology, business, and grant writing, among others. See course descriptions for ENG 280 and ENG 380.

Composition/Rhetoric These courses focus on academic writing, including classical rhetoric, literacy studies, composition theory/processes, persuasion, the use of research, and the many forms of the academic essay. See course descriptions for ENG 284 and ENG 384.