About the Major
English and Literary Studies students read literature as an aesthetic endeavor, cultural critique, and personal search. They develop the critical thinking, reading, research, and writing skills essential for success in our increasingly interconnected and changing world. The Major prepares students for the working world, but also for the deeper life of the mind. Students become thoughtful informed citizens who understand the necessity of engaging the imagination through the study of literary texts from around the world and across history.
The program balances survey and seminar, American, British and world literature. Students study genre, period, and theme; they develop skills in reading, criticism, and creative writing. Our courses emphasize the interdisciplinary and multicultural dimensions of literature and life. They fire the imagination while preparing students for their careers or for graduate education.
Student creativity is central to English and Literary Studies. Students may either minor or concentrate in Creative Writing. Our students also edit Trillium, the college literary magazine. Our student organizations (the Literature Club, and the Omega Omega Chapter of the national English Honor Society) are among the most involved and successful on campus. Also, the faculty advisor to the yearbook, The Arch, has long been a member of the Literature faculty.
English and Literary Studies students go on to a variety of exciting careers. Many literature students prepare for these careers with internships, co-ops, and service learning placements. Here, students make valuable connections in the community and the professional world. Literature is, of course, excellent preparation for teaching on the elementary or secondary levels; however, teaching is by no means the only opportunity a literature degree offers. Literature graduates do well in business, government, and even science, where articulate and creative expression is valued. Our students have gone on to careers in publishing, writing, journalism, and library sciences. Literature provides training for law, diplomacy, and public relations. Visit our Alumni Success Stories page and meet some of our graduates.
Literature is central to the College’s liberal arts mission, at the very heart of its focus on interdisciplinary, multiculturalism, and global connection. Literature takes in the entire world, and fosters the development of an enlightened and critical citizen of the world.
The major is offered by the School of Humanities and Global Studies and leads to a B.A. degree. English and Literary Studies also offers two minors: Literature or Creative Writing. Some English & Literary Studies Majors choose to pursue a Concentration in Creative Writing.
About the English and Literary Studies Minor