English B.A.

Courses stress the importance of critical reading, writing, and research to provide students with a background suitable for many kinds of careers.  These courses are designed: (1) to immerse students in reading and writing (2) to encourage students to study literary history with accuracy and imagination, helping them to understand how literary canons are established, what the may include and omit, and how they may change; (3) to integrate materials about cultural diversity into the curriculum; (4) to provide students with opportunities for interdisciplinary study; (5) to introduce theoretical questions at an early point in the course of study while integrating these questions throughout the curriculum; (6) to prepare students with conceptual and interpretive skills so they can respond to the demands of a rapidly changing world; and (7) to create the opportunity for students to connect their personal and political experiences with questions, and conflicts within literary and interpretive studies.

This program is based upon the idea that interpretations have a structure and interpretive competence requires that students learn how to use that structure to understand and test their ideas and the established interpretations of literary works.  The structure of interpretation requires there be a TEXT that is read, a CONTEXT in which it is read, and some THEORIES or presuppositions about texts and contexts, whether those assumptions are implicit or explicit.

Program Requirements