The English language lies at the heart of all that we do. The English Department organizes its study of our language into four broad areas. Literature in English, broadly conceived, represents one glorious achievement of the English language, so the Department offers numerous opportunities for you to gauge just what that achievement is, from the Anglo-Saxon period up through the Modern and Post-Modern. The primary emphasis tends to be on the origins of English in Great Britain which includes examples from the literary traditions of Scotland, Ireland, and Wales, and also American. However, more and more attention is being directed at the literary traditions in South Africa, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and in the English-speaking islands of the Caribbean, but there is also attention paid to translations into English of the literary pieces from all the countries of the world. The Department also offers a variety of opportunities to examine English through the study of linguistics and its offshoots. Our faculty in Rhetoric and Composition and in Creative Writing offer an abundance of stimulating courses than enable students to improve their own writing in workshop settings.
The English Department also encourages a variety of activities outside the classroom. We have an exceptionally active chapter of Sigma Tau Delta, the National English Honorary. There are also two undergraduate magazines which welcome volunteer help as well as contributors. We also offer courses in directed readings and independent study provided you meet the necessary conditions, and the same is true for our internship program. Since the Department continues to require a minimum of two-years of study of a foreign language or its equivalent, we encourage all our students to explore the possibilities involved in study abroad, either in a summer program such as Alabama at Oxford or Alabama in Italy or, even better, with an exchange program that would allow you to study for a semester or for a year in England, Ireland, Scotland, or Wales.
A bachelor’s degree English can also be seen as a gateway into any number of careers. It is a standard route for those who are considering a teaching career in one of our high schools, but it is also a step toward a higher degree that would allow you to teach in one of our junior or community colleges or even at a college or university. It is also a desirable credential for those seeking admission to any number of graduate school programs or to Law or Medical School.