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English is a global language, and the study of English encompasses many literatures. It is also a language with a long literary tradition, from anonymous Anglo-Saxon poets to Zadie Smith. The English Department offers courses ranging from poetry and epic to twentieth-century Irish drama, cinema, creative writing courses, fiction and graphic narrative.

English majors learn to master and analyze the complex meanings, formal structures, historical contexts, and inter-relationships of the texts they read. Students hone their skills in analysis and argument, both oral and written. They consult with their advisors to develop a program of study and ultimately a final thesis project that offers the opportunity to do original critical work on a wide variety of topics, including single author studies, explorations of specific genres or forms, analyses of literature and other arts or media, literary theory, film study, and the literary response to major historical events. Students wishing to write a creative thesis must apply to do so, and must take two creative writing classes before the senior year. See the list of selected recent thesis titles on the department website.

Upcoming Events

Gender Bending in the Stories of Joseph and Esther in the Hebrew Bible

As feminine figures, Joseph and Esther are groomed to please, concealing their identities in the foreign imperial court. Yet Esther gradually sheds her...

11/21 4:30pm
Visiting Writers Series: Janice Lee

Janice Lee is a Korean-American writer, artist, and editor. She writes about the filmic long take, slowness, interspecies communication, plants & personhood,...

2/27/2020 6:30pm
Visiting Writers Series: Mei-mei Berssenbrugge '69

Mei-mei Berssenbrugge '69 was born in Beijing and grew up in Massachusetts. She is the author of 12 books of poetry including Empathy, Four Year Old Girl, I...

3/19/2020 6:30pm
Visiting Writers Series: Rivers Solomon

Rivers Solomon writes about life in the margins, where they are much at home. Nominated two-years running for the John C. Campbell Award for Best New Writer...

4/2/2020 6:30pm
CRES Colloquium Series: "Frantz Fanon's Black Skin, White Masks"

with Reed English Professor Kritish Rajbhandari Comparative Race and Ethnicity Studies (CRES) invites you to CRES Colloquium, a series of discussions of...

4/6/2020 12:00pm

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