Majoring in English

Overview

Our English curriculum covers the globe and the centuries: everything from medieval Anglo-Saxon epics to 21st-century African novels. We sharpen minds and unleash imaginations. By reading a wide range of texts critically and imaginatively, you develop writing, thinking and speaking skills that will serve you throughout your life and in any line of work. Our courses examine works of literature and other media in their most important contexts: historical, cultural, linguistic, socio-political and philosophical. You also have the opportunity to study abroad in one of many countries, including England, Scotland, Ireland, India, Italy, Denmark and New Zealand, and we welcome double majors.

Special opportunities

You may additionally choose to concentrate in creative writing or the study of race and ethnicity. We also offer a wide array of interdisciplinary courses that combine literature with environmental studies, film, gender and women's studies, history, linguistics, music, Slavic studies and other fields of interest. In recent years, students have had an opportunity to interact with outstanding visiting artists like Art Spiegelman, David Sedaris, Jhumpa Lahiri, Junot Díaz and Dinaw Mengestu.

After Connecticut College

As an English major, you have a wide range of career opportunities because the creative and analytical skills you acquire are transportable and adaptable. Our majors become physicians, choreographers and Hollywood show runners, as well as writers, teachers and lawyers. In graduate school, they go on to study everything from public health, international relations and business to creative writing, education and law. Whatever your interests, you gain an understanding of human culture and the skills that empower you to succeed in a competitive world.

What can you do with a majorcertificate in English?

Here are some of the positions our graduates have gone on to hold:

  • Executive Producer and Writer, NBC's "The Office"
  • Online Producer, New York Magazine
  • Artistic Director, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater
  • Professor of English, Johns Hopkins University
  • Assistant Attorney General, NBC's "The Office"
  • President and Director, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Senior Vice President, Fidelity Investments
  • Director of Communications, The Bloom Agency
  • Group Editor, Time Inc.
  • Company Manager, Fist and Heel Performance Group, New York
  • Senior Assistant Librarian, Berkshire Athenaeum
  • Fulbright Fellow (Journalism, Berlin), Fulbright Germany
  • Senior Vice President, Moody's Investor Services
  • Communications Director, TIAA-CREF
  • Leadership and Board Development Assistant, Combined Jewish Philanthropies

Faculty

Theresa P. Ammirati, Dean of Studies Theresa P. Ammirati, Dean of Studies

Theresa P. Ammirati, Dean of Studies
American studies • 20th century American literature • Rhetoric and composition • Student special services

Courtney Baker, Associate Professor of English Courtney Baker, Associate Professor of English

Courtney Baker, Associate Professor of English
African-American studies • Cultural studies • Visual studies • Film and new media studies • Literary criticism • Critical theory

Alan Bradford, Professor Emeritus of English Alan Bradford, Professor Emeritus of English

Alan Bradford, Professor Emeritus of English
Literature of the English Renaissance

Denis Ferhatovic, William Meredith Assistant Professor of English Denis Ferhatovic, William Meredith Assistant Professor of English

Denis Ferhatovic, William Meredith Assistant Professor of English
Medieval literature, esp. Old and Middle English poetry • Word and image • Postcolonial theory • Translation

Janet Gezari, Lucretia L. Allyn Professor of English Janet Gezari, Lucretia L. Allyn Professor of English

Janet Gezari, Lucretia L. Allyn Professor of English
English novel since Defoe • Victorian culture, poetry, and fiction • Contemporary fictions

John S. Gordon, Professor of English John S. Gordon, Professor of English

John S. Gordon, Professor of English  (On sabbatical 2014-2015 academic year)
Modern British literature • James Joyce - Finnegans Wake

Charles O. Hartman, Lucy Marsh Haskell '19 Endowed Professor, Department of English, Poet in Residence Charles O. Hartman, Lucy Marsh Haskell '19 Endowed Professor, Department of English, Poet in Residence

Charles O. Hartman, Lucy Marsh Haskell '19 Endowed Professor, Department of English, Poet in Residence
Poetry writing • Modern and contemporary poetry • Prosody (metrics) • Music and poetry • Computer arts

Michelle Neely, Assistant Professor of English Michelle Neely, Assistant Professor of English

Michelle Neely, Assistant Professor of English
American literature to 1900 • Animal studies • Ecocriticism • Food studies • African-American and Native American literatures • Women's literature • Literary and political theory

Michael R. Reder, Director of the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning Michael R. Reder, Director of the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning

Michael R. Reder, Director of the Joy Shechtman Mankoff Center for Teaching & Learning
Faculty Teaching and Learning Programs at Small Liberal Arts Colleges • Contemporary recent English and postcolonial fiction and theory • Salman Rushdie • Teaching of writing and tutoring • Professional preparation and politics in the profession

Julie Rivkin, Professor of English, Acting Chair of the English Department, Spring 2015 Julie Rivkin, Professor of English, Acting Chair of the English Department, Spring 2015

Julie Rivkin, Professor of English, Acting Chair of the English Department, Spring 2015
American literature • Gender studies and contemporary literature • Literary theory • Henry James

Andrea Rossi-Reder, Associate Dean of Studies, Dean of First-Year Students, Visiting Assistant Professor of English Andrea Rossi-Reder, Associate Dean of Studies, Dean of First-Year Students, Visiting Assistant Professor of English

Andrea Rossi-Reder, Associate Dean of Studies, Dean of First-Year Students, Visiting Assistant Professor of English
The Teaching of Writing • Medieval Literature, including Old and Middle English literature • Writing by and about Women in the Middle Ages • Medieval Bestiaries

Steven Shoemaker, Director of the Roth Writing Center, Assistant Professor of English Steven Shoemaker, Director of the Roth Writing Center, Assistant Professor of English

Steven Shoemaker, Director of the Roth Writing Center, Assistant Professor of English
20th-century American literature • Writing and composition theory • Intersections of literature, technology and science • Literature and film • Critical theory

Jeff Strabone, Assistant Professor of English Jeff Strabone, Assistant Professor of English

Jeff Strabone, Assistant Professor of English
Eighteenth-century British literature • Romantic literature and culture • Literary relations among England, Scotland and Wales • African novels • Race, nation and empire

Lina Perkins Wilder, Associate Professor of English Lina Perkins Wilder, Associate Professor of English

Lina Perkins Wilder, Associate Professor of English
Shakespeare • Renaissance literature • Performance studies

George J. Willauer, Professor Emeritus of English, Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of American Studies George J. Willauer, Professor Emeritus of English, Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of American Studies

George J. Willauer, Professor Emeritus of English, Charles J. MacCurdy Professor Emeritus of American Studies
American literature and literary figures, 1890-present • William Faulkner • Emily Dickinson • Robert Frost • Society of Friends

Student profile


Noam Waksman Noam Waksman

English, psychology


Q: Why Connecticut College?
A: Conn stood out for two reasons: the honor code and CELS (the College’s career program). Those two programs, as well as my experience visiting Conn and sitting in on classes, made it clear to me that this was a place that would fully support both my intellectual and personal growth.


Q: Your most challenging or rewarding class?
A: My most challenging class, and also the most rewarding, was the Alice Munro seminar that I took with Professor Julie Rivkin, a Munro expert. She brought such a genuine and intense passion for the work that it encouraged me (and the rest of the class) to put maximum effort into every assignment and class discussion. It was both challenging and fascinating to engage with Munro’s immaculate and haunting short stories.


Q: What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
A: As a Roth Writing Center tutor, helping my peers with all aspects of the writing process across all subjects has been one of my most rewarding experiences at Conn. I am also an admission fellow, an Honor Council representative, a student adviser and president of Scuds, Conn’s long form improv comedy group.


Q: Did you do a funded internship?
A: CELS, the College’s career program, has played a huge role in my professional development and career planning. My CELS adviser's guidance was instrumental in helping me land my dream College-funded internship — doing marketing and providing web content for a professional writing center in Boston. I got to interact with professional writers, publish some of my own work and grow professionally.


Q: What are your career plans?
A: Right after graduation, I'll start an internship as a member of the marketing team for the Lowell Spinners, a Boston Red Sox minor league affiliate. Looking further down the road, I plan on trying to get a job with a publishing company in New York and continuing to write as much as possible.

Selected courses


  • Humans and Other Animals in 19th-Century American Literature
  • Writing the Short Story
  • African Novels
  • Nomads, Shamans, and Mystics: Imagining Central Asia
  • Race, Nation, and Empire in the 18th Century
  • Thrills, Chills, and Tears: Black Genre Fiction
  • Vladimir Nabokov: Mandarin, Magician, Ecrivain
  • Songs
  • Love and Sex in the Middle Ages
  • The Literature of Passing

More...

Related news

More...