The Most Significant Works in the Language  

Whether in British, American, Caribbean, or other national and regional contexts, students pursuing coursework and projects in English read many of the most significant works in the language. These encounters yield moments marked by what Herman Melville described as the "shock of recognition," while also providing occasions to think through questions of ambiguity and otherness.  

Students of English compose in creative and critical modes, honing their abilities in the arts of oral and written communication. In the process, they develop close reading skills and interpretative methods that empower them to think more carefully about the intangible and qualitative dimensions of the human condition.  

Course offerings treat well-established subjects such as Shakespearean drama and modern poetry as well as more contemporary areas like African American literature and science fiction.  


Students pursuing an area of depth in English finish with an inquiry seminar or practicum where they engage in project work toward the completion of their Humanities and Arts Requirement. Such projects unfold in a spirit of critical inquiry characterized by intellectual independence and by conversation and dialogue.  

Recent seminars have pivoted around various topics concerning literature in English, and many have also extended into performing arts and popular culture. Consult this list Inquiry Seminars or Practicums (.pdf, 413kb) for a full list of inquiry seminars and practicums to be offered this academic year.

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