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What should an English Major enable students to do?

We want our students to become experienced, articulate, and effective writers.

We want students to understand how words construct as well as convey meaning.

We want our students to develop advanced skills in interpretation and to understand that interpretation always takes place in a cultural and historical context. 

We want our students to be able to analyze and synthesize multiple, perhaps contradictory points of view.

We want them to see the imaginative work of literature as a mode of sense-making in itself. 

We want them to understand how literature and/or literary language changes over time. 

We want our students to be able to engage with multiple critical perspectives, including influential theoretical frameworks.

We want our students to have read widely enough so as to be able to identify the styles and preoccupations of a range of important authors; for example, what makes a piece of writing Miltonic, Shakespearean, Woolfian, or Emersonian?