The New English Major

Starting in Fall 2016, Westminster will unveil a revised English major redesigned to give students more choice and exposure to a wide range of literature and media while focusing on core abilities. In their introductory courses, students will receive a solid foundation in different ways of reading, honing their writing and critical thinking as they examine texts from diverse authors, nations, and genres. In advanced seminars, English majors will be able to explore works across cultures and periods, paying special attention to language, media, and critical theory. English majors can choose to specialize in Literary Studies or Creative Writing.

Introductory Courses

  • ENGL 221 Word by Word: Textual Analysis
  • ENGL 222 Words in the World: Texts in Contexts
  • ENGL 223 Words on Words: Critical Theory

Advanced Courses

Two courses on literary Periods and Movements, one on literature before 1800

Examples
  • War on Heaven: Cosmic Rebellion in Literature and Film
  • U.S. Minority Literature: Writing from the Margins
  • Constructing Gender in Medieval Literature
  • Literatures of the African Diaspora

One course on Language and Media

Examples
  • Adaptation, Distortion, and Fidelity
  • Literature in Manuscript, Print, and New Media
  • History and Structure of English
  • Romanticism in the Literary Marketplace

One advanced course in Theory

  • Queer Theory and Posthumanism
  • Postcolonial Literature and Theory
  • Life Writing

Literary Studies or Creative Writing Emphasis

Literary Studies majors take an advanced course in writing—for example, a creative writing course, ENGL 310 Theory and Teaching of Writing, or ENGL 381 English at Work: Writing Your Future. The remaining fifteen credit hours are electives, tailored to the student’s interests. To complete the literary studies emphasis, students take a senior seminar or write a senior thesis.

Creative Writing majors take ENGL 230 Introduction to Creative Writing, work for at least two semesters on the staff of ellipsis, and complete thirteen credit hours of advanced creative writing workshops in such genres as poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, playwriting, and screenwriting. As a capstone project, creative writing majors complete a creative thesis: a short story, collection of poems, or script.

Current Students: Transition to the New English Major