The English department offers two majors: literary studies and creative writing. Majors in both areas develop critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills and cultivate essential reading and writing skills that are both unique to these disciplines and invaluable beyond them. Students work with peers and faculty in a variety of collaborative and supportive settings that provide them with interpersonal and professional development skills as preparation for a wide range of careers. Both majors celebrate student work in public.
Literary studies majors explore various approaches to understanding and appreciating literatures in English. Majors examine literary forms, historical contexts, connections with other media and disciplines, and the social significance of English as a discipline, including how literature can reinforce injustices such as colonialism and systemic racism as well as build more just worlds.
In creative writing, students practice creative composition in fiction, poetry, nonfiction, screenwriting and other media. Their creative work is informed by the critical study of literature, culture, and other media. The English department features the Beloit Fiction Journal, a national publication that majors assist in editing, as well as the Mackey professorship, which brings writers of international renown to campus each year as teachers.