The English program offers students an opportunity to study literature intensively and to develop their abilities to read and interpret literary and cultural materials. The program features small, discussion-oriented classes, in which students engage with significant literary texts, learn to read with care and sensitivity, and develop important skills in writing, critical thinking, and detailed textual analysis. Emerging from the program, students will be exceptionally well prepared to participate critically and imaginatively in contemporary culture.
Major Requirements (44 Total Credits)
Of the ENG literature courses counted toward the major, there must be at least one in each of the following fields (double-counting not allowed):
- American Literature
- British Literature
- Pre-1800 Literature
- Post-1800 Literature
Completion of an approved concentration: In ENG 300 , each student will complete a statement defining an area of concentration within the major. This concentration statement will explain how a minimum of four of the eight elective courses form a coherent group that fits the student’s interests and aims in the major. At least two of the concentration courses must be literature courses, and one must be at the 300 level or above. Students may, if they wish, include one or two courses outside the discipline of English (e.g., art history, philosophy, etc.), if appropriate to the area of study defined by the concentration.
World Language Requirement
- Intermediate Proficiency in a Foreign Language Credits: 12
General Education Requirements
For specific information about general education requirements and expectations, see the General Education Requirements in the Academic Programs section of this catalog.
Minimum Total Credits for The Degree: 128
An additional requirement of the major is completion of assessment activities in ENG 181, 400-level ENG literature courses, and annual reflections that students compose in their sophomore and subsequent years. These activities are crucial in students’ attainment of a well-rounded and complete education because they help faculty to plan courses that meet the educational needs of students, help advisors to guide students in the selection of courses, and help students to play an active role in developing their knowledge of literature.
Learning Goals and Assessment
- Students will be able to analyze and interpret texts by drawing on the range of theories and methods available to scholars in literary and cultural studies.
- Students will be able to situate texts (principally British and American) within their literary, intellectual, historical, and cultural contexts.
- Students will be able to write in a clear and complex way about literature and culture.
- Students will be able to work independently, guided by their own interests, and synthesize and articulate their work within the context of the major.
Analysis and Interpretation
- Students will be able to pay close attention to textual details, follow out the suggestions and implications of these details, and understand strategies of signification and representation, thereby producing interpretations grounded in the text.
- Students will be able to identify a range of theoretical approaches and draw on these in the process of interpretation.
- Students will be able to explain how texts are shaped by literary, intellectual, historical, and cultural contexts.
- Students will be able to explain how texts and our responses to texts are informed by historical formations of race, class, gender, and sexuality.
- Students will be able to write in a prose style that is clearer, more graceful, and more intentional than when they entered the program.
- Students will be able to construct and sustain complex critical and interpretive arguments about literature and culture.
- Students will be able to frame, quote, summarize, and respond to other critical voices as they develop their arguments.
- Each student will be able to articulate the coherence of an individual concentration in the major and the relation of each course to the central idea of the concentration.
- Students will be able to design and carry out independent research projects.