Professors: Christina Crosby; Natasha Korda, Sean McCann, Chair; Joel Pfister; Ashraf Rushdy, African American Studies; William Stowe; Elizabeth Willis
Sally Bachner, Harris Friedberg,
Resident Writer: Kit Reed
Departmental Advising Expert 2012-2013: All department fauclty
The Department of English invites students to explore our impressive array of courses designed to equip critical minds, inspire creative imaginations, and hone reading, writing, speaking, and research skills. Our faculty is comprised of nationally distinguished scholars and creative writers. We are committed teachers who use the classroom to collaborate with students on the production of new knowledge. Our curriculum offers a wide range of innovative courses in American and British literatures as well as English language literatures from around the world. Students interested in creative writing will find a fascinating variety of classes and workshops in our curriculum. Literature is itself one of the most interdisciplinary cultural achievements and, with this in mind, English is one of the most ambitiously interdisciplinary departments at Wesleyan. Indeed, the English faculty maintains close ties to and in some cases shares faculty with American studies; African American studies; film sStudies; feminist, gender, and sexuality studies; East Asian studies; and the College of Letters. English majors have rich opportunities to grow as writers, readers, historical thinkers, theorists, creators, and researchers capable, like much of the literature they study, of questioning the “givens” they confront in the social world.
Advanced Placement. Students with AP scores of 4 or 5 in either English Literature or English Composition, or with scores of 5-7 on an English A1 or English A2 International Baccalaureate exam, will receive one course credit. No extra credit is given for taking more than one exam. This credit may not be used to fulfill major requirements.
First-year courses. The department offers several FYI courses especially designed for first-year students. First-year students may also be admitted to several other department courses; please check individual listings for details. ENGL130 is a writing course intended for students whose native language is not English, but it is also open to others. Students interested in working on their writing should also consider the many writing-emphasis FYI courses offered by English and other departments.
Major program. Students considering majoring in English should read the pamphlet on that subject, available in the departmental office, titled "Handbook for Majors" that is also available online at www.wesleyan.edu/english/major.html. Potential majors must take ENGL201 while they are sophomores. Students who have taken the course and received a grade of B- or better will be admitted as regular majors during the spring term of their sophomore year. Students who take the course during that term will be admitted provisionally, pending the receipt of a grade of B- or better.
Each student, in consultation with an advisor, will develop an individual program consisting of ENGL 201 and at least nine additional courses. These nine courses must include one required course from each of the four categories (adding up to four “required” courses): Literary History I (up to c. 1670s), Literary History II (c. 1670s to 1800), Literatures of Difference, and Theory. All but three of these nine courses must be taken at Wesleyan or in the department’s Sussex program. However, the four required courses must be taken at Wesleyan or in the department’s Sussex program. Details about fulfilling requirements are available in the pamphlet. Courses counting toward the major must be numbered 200 or above (students who have taken writing courses once numbered 140 to 179 may count up to two toward the major). One related upper-level course from outside the department may also be counted toward the minimum of 10, though prior approval from the student’s advisor is required. Appropriate credits transferred from other institutions may also be counted.
Honors. The bachelor's degree with honors in English is awarded on the basis of an outstanding academic record and an honors thesis written during the senior year. Students are eligible to write a critical thesis if they have an average of 91.7 in the courses counting toward the major (at least six courses by the end of the junior year) and have completed a substantial research paper in a departmental course designated research or research option. Students wishing to write a creative thesis need not fulfill the research requirement, but they must have the same 91.7 average and have received As in at least two writing courses. A detailed description of the process for earning honors can be found in the English major pamphlet and online at www.wesleyan.edu/english/honors.html.