The English Department explores and expands the power of the English language, in all its historical, persuasive, and expressive range. We are devotees of the word; our mission is to celebrate powerful writing, and to bring more of such writing into the world. This mission embraces everything we do, from freshman composition instruction to the most advanced research published by our world-class faculty.
Our classes and publications draw connections between the globally diverse and everyday life. We study everything from science to religion, business to popular culture, politics to philosophy. In the department you’ll find novelists and lexicographers, biographers and poets, rhetoricians and critics, experts in everything from performance theory to professional writing, and from Shakespeare to Elvis. We publish on a very wide variety of topics, among them the Harlem cabarets of the 1920’s and the invention of the thoroughbred horse; Audubon’s ornithological travels and the role of race in medieval romance; images of Judas through the ages and on the locks of Sylvia Plath’s hair housed in the Lilly Library; Renaissance rhetoric and contemporary slang; war and animals, slumming and pirates, glamour and perfection, Lacan and Lebowski.