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Professors:, Cohen (Emerita), Feeney, S.J., Fusco, Gilman (sabbatical leave 2012-13), Goldthwaite, Green, Lindner, Morris (Emeritus), Parker (sabbatical leave 2012-13), Samway, S.J. (Emeritus), Sorensen, Wendling (Emeritus)

Associate Professors: Berret, S.J., Brennan, S.J., Darlington, Haslam, Mezey, Norberg (Chair), Spinner

Assistant Professors: R. Coyne, Patterson, Pattillo, J. Powell

Visiting Assistant Professors: N. Ford, Howard,

Lecturers: Bradley, Flocco, Stanford

Program Overview

Through its challenging and rewarding program of study, the English Department introduces students to the formative traditions of British, Irish, American, and Anglophone literature. We supplement these historical, critical, and generic courses with specialized courses that (1) offer an in-depth examination of individual authors and critical problems, (2) balance theory with the practice of rhetoric, and (3) develop creative talents. Throughout our program, we integrate close reading and extensive writing, and we present fundamentals of research in order to foster intellectual maturity and to prepare our students for more advanced study in literature and writing.

Because we wish our English majors to explore their particular interests, we offer four tracks to guide their course selections: (1) literature, (2) writing, (3) theatre/drama, and (4) journalism. There is a general major option as well for students who do not wish to declare a track. The English major thus equips our students to enter many careers, including teaching, publishing, editing, writing, and business. Current English graduates include college professors, teachers, journalists, novelists, poets, lawyers, pharmacists, physicians, and public-relations specialists. Dual English/Secondary Education majors do not declare a track. (See below for information about the dual major, currently pending.)

Departmental Mission

Crucial to the centuries-old Ignatian vision that guided the establishment of Jesuit colleges and universities are two concepts: caring for the student as an individual

(cura personalis)

and imparting to the student a skill in thoughtful, imaginative, and well-organized language

(eloquentia perfecta).

The English Department and its curriculum encourage the growth of our students in these traditions. Our courses guide them to appreciate imaginative literature and to master rhetorical skills traditionally associated with Jesuit education—including cultivating an individual and discerning voice in both writing and speaking.

We remain committed to the University’s mission by connecting faith, intellectual commitment, and social justice in our teaching. By offering service-learning and diversity courses and by developing mentoring relationships between faculty and students, we encourage a striving for the greater intellectual and social good.

The English Department supports the University mission by calling upon our students to embrace:

  • A life-long openness to imaginative, moral, and spiritual growth
  • A confidence in their own intellectual reach and competence
  • A commitment to being men and women with and for others
  • A commitment to social justice
  • A willingness and ability to lead.

Departmental Educational Goals and Objectives

  • Goal 1:

    Knowledge of Significant Texts in the British, Irish, American, and Anglophone Literary Traditions. Students will demonstrate a familiarity with these key texts and an understanding of the historical continuities among literary conventions and imaginative traditions.
  • Goal 2:

    Development of Rhetorical Skills. Students will learn to recognize and use various rhetorical modes, including (but not limited to) narrative, exposition, analysis, and argument.
  • Goal 3:

    Development of Creative Abilities. Students will exercise their imaginations in crafting their own creative works and performances, particularly through creative writing workshops and theatre courses.
  • Goal 4:

    Knowledge of Significant Schools of Literary Theory. Students will develop an understanding of the historical development of literary theory and draw upon these models for their own literary analyses. They will be encouraged to formulate their own theories about what literature is and does.
  • Goal 5:

    Appreciation of the Connection between Literary Studies and Faith/Justice Issues. Students will develop an understanding of the value-laden nature of English studies, including issues of faith and social justice.
  • Goal 6:

    Development of Revision Strategies and Editing Skills. Students will develop an understanding of revision, and they will practice editing skills through examining their own writing and the writing of their peers.
  • Goal 7:

    Knowledge of Research Fundamentals in English. Students will learn how to locate, assess, and incorporate secondary sources (including electronic ones) into their own arguments.
  • Goal 8:

    Specialization in Area of Choice. Students will choose a specialized track (literature, writing, theatre, or journalism) that best addresses their strengths and interests, usually during their sophomore year. They may also opt for the English/Secondary Education dual major (currently pending).