Sep 19, 2021  
2013-2015 University Catalog 
2013-2015 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

English, Comparative Literature and Linguistics, Department of

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Department Chair

Lana Dalley

Department Office/Website

University Hall 323


Marlin Blaine, Cornel Bonca, April Brannon, Ellen Caldwell, Lana Dalley, Angela Della Volpe, Sheryl Fontaine, Joanne Gass, Erin Hollis, Susan Jacobsen, David Kelman, Stephen Mexal, Helen Mugambi, Franz Mueller, Brian Michael Norton, Natalie Operstein, Irena Praitis, Chris Ruiz-Velasco, David Sandner, Joseph Sawicki, Patricia Schneider-Zioga, Yichin Shen, Kay Stanton, Stephen Westbrook, Chris Westgate, Heping Zhao


Students who focus their academic studies in English or Comparative Literature examine literature from a variety of cultural and historical traditions, including literary studies, literary theory, creative writing, rhetorical studies and English education. Linguistics majors study the origins and development of language, how it is learned, stored in the brain and changes over time (See “Linguistics, B.A.” in the catalog for a description of the degree requirements).

Our major programs emphasize the production of academic, professional and creative writing, and the study of English and American literatures and intersecting countries across the globe. Courses examine the diverse ways in which writing and literature let us see the past, understand advanced rhetorical and linguistic techniques, and make sense of the world through narrative.

A major in English or Comparative Literature is suitable for students interested in any of the wide range of professions that expect excellence in reading and writing - including education, creative and professional writing, public service and preparation for further study in literature, law, medicine or business. The majors may be combined with preparation for elementary and secondary school teaching. In addition, they provide a foundation for students who intend to pursue advanced degrees in preparation for teaching at the college level.

Learning Goals and Student Learning Outcomes

The following goals and learning outcomes have been established for students pursuing a degree in English:

Read critically

  • Read a text in any of several genres on a number of levels, including literal comprehension, aesthetic responsiveness, informed awareness of the traditions and the varied critical perspectives within which it may be most productively read, and rhetorical and logical analysis of its argument and/or structure

Write effectively

  • Write about various kinds of texts so as to articulate the dimensions of the work asdescribed above
  • Demonstrate an awareness of audience, purpose and various rhetorical forms, as well as a high level of control of standard written English conventions


  • Demonstrate the ability to find in textbooks and research materials - paper and electronic - the kinds of information relevant to a given problem or issue, literary or otherwise, and to integrate that information into one’s own written work to support one’s argument while giving appropriate credit to the source of the information

Knowledge of major literary works and traditions

  • Have a working knowledge of the major writers, periods and genres of English and American literature and be able to place important works and genres in their historical context

Knowledge of noncanonical literary works

  • Have a working knowledge of some important works in nonwestern, ethnic and women’s literatures that illustrate the diversity of literary studies and the interconnectedness of literary traditions

Structure of the English language

  • Have a working knowledge of the structure of the English language and theories of second language acquisition

Programs and Courses Offered

Bachelor of Arts in Linguistics
Minor in Linguistics


    Bachelor of ArtsMaster of ArtsNon-DegreeCertificate


      Comparative Literature

      Courses are designated as CPLT in the class schedule.

      English Education

      Courses are designated as ENED in catalog.


      Courses are designated as ENGL in catalog. For world literature in English translation, see courses under Comparative Literature (CPLT)

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