Bachelor of Arts in English
The English Major deepens your understanding of the world, helps you appreciate the perspectives of other cultures, sharpens your critical reading and writing strategies, and helps you to develop effective oral presentation skills, all of which prepare you to enter the job market with skills that employers want to see in college graduates.
At Arcadia, the English Major offers two Concentrations: Literature and Creative Writing. Each Concentration invites students to pursue a program that combines foundational courses with courses chosen by the students based on their unique interests. Areas of Study include Literature of the African Diaspora, Identity and Social Justice, and topical courses in European Literature, U. S. Literature, and Global Literature. Students who choose the Creative Writing Concentration take several creative writing workshops in which they critique each other’s work-in-progress. In both Concentrations, our small class size enables us to offer personal attention throughout their academic careers.
Both Concentrations include a Career Internship in an off-campus workplace. The English Major’s emphasis on critical thinking, precise writing and effective oral communication prepares students for a wide variety of options after graduation:
- Graduate studies in literature, law, library science, creative writing, and journalism
- Teaching at the secondary level (with Secondary Education Certification for public schools) and at the college level (with a graduate degree).
- Careers in media and communications, government, publishing, editing, public relations, law, and advertising
Introduction to Gay and Lesbian Fiction
This course is an introduction to gay and lesbian literature from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Authors include Forster, Baldwin and Highsmith among others. Assignments and discussion topics consider the literature and its relationship to and impact upon the history, society and culture of the day.
African American Literature
Explore the histories, cultures, and experiences of African and African-descended peoples as represented in literature across genre. Examine landmark works of Black critical theory and aesthetic/cultural philosophy to better understand concepts such as the color line, double consciousness, Black nationalism, Africanfuturism, etc. that heavily shaped social and political thought well into the present day. Through the study of these texts, gain insight into significant literary/ideological movements including negritude, the Harlem Renaissance, the Black Arts Movement, etc. to establish a foundation for additional study in upper-level literature courses on U.S. and global texts. Potential authors for study may include Harriet E. Wilson, James Weldon Johnson, Nella Larsen, James Baldwin, August Wilson, and others as we trace the literary contributions of both canonized and underrepresented authors from the seventeenth century to the present.
Literature of Revolution
Examine key moments of social, political and cultural revolution from world history, and think about the ways in which literature has helped to spark widespread upheaval and change.
When should we rise up? When does resistance become revolution? How does literature ignite and give shape to social protest?
Read fictional and non-fictional works from the American and French Revolutions, the global movement to abolish slavery, the advent of class struggle, the campaigns against imperialism, as well as the cultural revolutions of the 1960s. Think about “revolutionary” literature broadly to include discussion of protest music, folk songs, as well as popular representations of revolution such as Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical Hamilton.
Literature and the Law
Explore how people have grappled with the complex issues arising from the imperfect relationship between an individual and the law through fiction, drama, essays and films.
What is the right relation between people and the laws they enact? Strict obedience? Civil disobedience? Conscientious objection? Violent rebellion? Silent subversion? Examine these questions and their responses through centuries of human history.
Writing for Children
Exercise your skills in this intensive writing workshop focused on the production of publishable fiction and nonfiction for the children’s market. The course provides an exploration of the creative process, including invention techniques, drafting, and revision.