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Department of English Overview


Chair: Sarah K. Scott, Ph.D.
Professors: Peter Dorsey, Ph.D.; Robert Ducharme, Ph.D.; Carol Hinds, Ph.D.
Associate Professors: Thomas Bligh, Ph.D.;  Indrani Mitra, Ph.D.; Sarah K. Scott, Ph.D.; Leona Sevick, Ph.D.; David Wehner, Ph.D.
Lecturers: Sr. Anne Higgins, M.L.A.; Karen Lurkhur, Ph.D.; Gabrielle Parkin, Ph.D.

Students in the English program explore the ways literature represents human experience and the relationship between literature and the world. All literature courses emphasize the development of students' ability to write and speak well, and specialized electives are devoted to creative writing and to study of the English language. The department offers courses in the literature of Britain and Europe, the United States, and many other regions of the world. Study of more traditional forms such as lyric, drama and prose fiction is complemented by investigations of autobiography, essays, diaries and film. The cultural and literary analysis practiced in English courses, together with the writing skills developed in them, helps prepare students for responsible citizenship and careers in journalism, law, publishing, government service, public relations, teaching and business. Designated faculty inform and counsel students interested in graduate school, law school and other professional study.

The core curriculum at Mount St. Mary's is designed to enable students to become informed heirs and active makers of their culture. Literary study contributes to this goal by helping students see the varieties of cultural life; the connections between literature and religious, political, and social practices; and the distinctive ways in which literary forms and language make sense of our experience.

Students who major in English will learn:

  • to better enjoy and appreciate literary writing
  • to develop skills for analytical reading and critical interpretation of literary texts
  • to become familiar with the variety of genres, modes, and historical periods in literary study
  • to use the basic techniques of literary research and various strategies of literary interpretation
  • to read texts from a variety of cultural and national traditions and to seek out the diverse voices within our own tradition
  • to develop strong writing and speaking skills, to challenge ideas critically and creatively, and to construct sophisticated arguments
  • to draw connections between literature and life in order to prepare for responsible citizenship both within American society and in a world of diverse cultures
 
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