English Department Philosophy
The English Department offers its majors opportunities to study in depth a wide range of literary texts, a variety of interpretive strategies, the craft of writing in various forms and contexts, and linguistics and the history of the English language. In so doing, the department encourages both historically and theoretically informed interpretation and the skills of clear critical argumentation. These goals will be pursued in small classes in which there will be ample opportunity for reflective discussion and the development of appropriate writing skills. Our offerings include courses in literature, literary theory, film, and creative and professional writing. Majors and interested non-majors can choose from a wide array of courses in British, American, African American, Irish, South Asian and other postcolonial literatures and cultures. Our areas of scholarly interest cover many periods, from medieval to contemporary, and many kinds of works, among them novels, short stories, plays, film, lyric and narrative poetry, satire, gothic literature, and autobiography.
We employ a variety of critical perspectives, including feminist theory, psychoanalytic approaches, post-structuralism, psychoanalytic theory, postcolonial theory, and new historicist and cultural studies perspectives. We also welcome creative writers in poetry and prose fiction and nonfiction; we strongly believe that the study of literature and the craft of writing belong together. Whatever the content or theoretical perspective, all our courses will help students develop skills in attentive reading and critical thinking and writing