The English Department offers a wide range of courses in literatures of the English-speaking world, from medieval romances to contemporary novels and film. Students develop their own paths through the major, experimenting with historical periods, genres, forms and methodologies that might be unfamiliar, while also developing expertise in areas of specific interest to them.
The department stresses critical analysis, incisive writing and speaking, and we encourage our students to take initiative and responsibility for the enterprise of interpretation. With their advisers, English majors design a personalized program of study that deepens their understanding of diverse genres, textual traditions, and periods. The major culminates, in the senior year, in an independently written essay of 30-40 pages, developed during a senior research seminar in the fall semester and individually mentored by a faculty member in the spring. Students are encouraged to take at least two English courses at Bryn Mawr or Haverford before signing up for the major or minor.
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English House Statement
We in English House—the Department of English, Creative Writing and the Writing Program—declare unambiguously that we stand with all the vulnerable populations targeted by the current Administration. The literature and theory we read in our classes teaches us that we cannot be silent in the face of discrimination and injustice, and the critical work we do in our classrooms gives us tools to interrogate white supremacy, racism, heteropatriachy, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, misogyny, sexual abuse, nativism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, ableism, and classism. We are committed to developing critical consciousnesses and fighting for social justice for all who are marginalized and maligned. This is a time in which we need solace and the support of community. We pledge to love and care for each other and to work to make English House a sanctuary for people of color, queer and transgender folks, folks who are undocumented, Muslims, feminists, and allies.
English House: The Department of English, the Creative Writing Program and the Writing Program