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English Department

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The literature concentration provides students with a sense of the historical development of the Western literary tradition, especially that of English and American literature. Students also examine how that tradition is continually re-formed and reshaped as writers from previously excluded cultural traditions and once-marginalized groups are added to the canon. Students in the concentration develop the analytical skills and critical language to describe, analyze, and evaluate literary texts.

Internships within the English Department offer students the opportunity to gain experience in research and teaching, while internships in the private and public sectors present students with the opportunity to gain work experience that utilizes the analytical, interpretive, and writing skills that the concentration fosters.

Students have the ability to pursue a BA in English with a concentration in literature and/or a literature minor. 

Departmental Goals

The English program offers concentrations in literature, writing, and theatre; the goals and principles underlying these concentrations are the same:

  1. To increase the student’s appreciation and understanding of the literary, pragmatic, rhetorical, and dramatic uses of language.
  2. To develop the student’s ability to write effectively in a variety of situations.
  3. To help the student become more receptive to the many-sided pleasures of reading, writing, and oral presentation.
  4. To enable the student to see how literary and nonliterary texts illuminate the complexity of human experience.
  5. To heighten the student’s awareness of the moral and ethical implications of literary and nonliterary texts.
  6. To foster the student’s intellectual, aesthetic, and professional creativity.

Individual Concentration Goals

  1. To prepare students for careers utilizing analytical writing skills and/or performance skills in such fields as business, industry, education, government, theatre, and media.
  2. To prepare students for graduate studies in literature and writing and in fields that require analytic, interpretive, and writing skills.
  3. In conjunction with the Teacher Education Program, to prepare students for careers in secondary education.

Student Learning Outcomes and Associated Skill Categories (**Language developed from the AACU VALUEs Rubrics)

  • Analytical
  • Interpretive
  • Writing

1. Rhetorical Task and Audience

a. Students will be able to integrate a thorough understanding of context, audience, and purpose into projects.

2. Disciplinary Conventions and Formal and Informal Rules

a. Students will be able to execute a wide range of disciplinary writing, analytical, and performance tasks according to specific conventions.
b. Students will be able to adapt their authorial voice and rhetorical strategies to the conventions of a particular genre.

3. Control of Syntax and Mechanics

a. Students will be able to create written, spoke, and multi-modal communications with clarity and fluency.
b. Students will be able to create written, spoken, and multi-modal communications free from mechanics errors.

4. Authorial Voice/Rhetorical Positioning

a. Students will be able to analyze the complexities of an issue to inform their authorial voice.
b. Students will be able to synthesize differing points of view into their authorial voice.

5. Analysis/Insightful Patterning

a. Students will be able to organize/synthesize/integrate evidence and content to craft/reveal insightful patterns, differences, or similarities related to their focused topic.