The study of literature fosters critical thinking about the relationships among literature, culture and history. Students of English become adept critics of poetry, novels, essays, and plays. They develop knowledge of the history of literary culture and about the evolving genres, forms, and ideologies of literary expression. They study the relation of literary texts to their historical contexts, and they learn to read critically in political speech, popular culture, and the discourses that structure everyday life. As they develop their knowledge, students of English hone their skills as critical writers and explore their potential as creative voices. At Wesleyan, English faculty and students work together to produce new knowledge about literature and to create new literary texts.