The mission of the English department is to develop in our students the abilities to think critically, contextually, and creatively about a broad range of literature and to express these ideas in clear and powerful analytic prose. The creative writing program's mission is to develop in its students the ability to apply such literary knowledge to the practice of the art and craft of writing in the literary genres.We are preparing our graduates for fields of endeavor for which critical thinking, creativity, and effective writing will be essential skills throughout their lifetimes.
The love of words and joy in the creative use of language form the basis of literary study. That study emphasizes the rich heritage and diversity of American and British literature and includes works from other cultures. The Department teaches a disciplined approach to reading this literature and writing about it, from a wide range of critical perspectives. Why study English?....
In keeping with its emphasis on written expression, the department offers a variety of courses in creative and expository writing. Courses in creative writing use literary study, workshops, and individual conferences to help student poets, novelists and playwrights understand the creative process and create afresh imagined worlds that delight, disturb, and challenge. Courses in the Writing Competency Program employ rhetorical and pedagogical strategies to ensure that Hartwick students graduate knowing how to write well. The Writing Center works in concert with writing and literature courses and across the disciplines, helping students from all majors achieve skill, precision, and grace in their writing.