Why Study English?

Students come to realize that language and the imagination can create worlds which, like ours, delight, disturb, and challenge.

The study of literature, therefore, helps students understand the world they live in and their places in it. Exploring our diverse literary heritage requires students to engage in a sensitive, subtle search for meanings. Through analysis, debate, critique, and dissent, they become better able to formulate and express their own ideas.

Literature gives all people a voice.  Much of our greatest literature has challenged prevailing cultural norms.  The individual's encounter with literature has always been a crucial part of the process of transformation, of self-definition; for poems, stories, novels, and plays record our blindness, our follies and our crimes just as surely as they record our insights, our virtues, and occasionally our genius.

We study literature, literary theory, writing, and culture-history not just to affirm our beliefs and traditions, but to examine them critically.