English Literature

English majors at Denison choose an emphasis either in literary studies or in creative writing. We offer a diverse variety of courses that engage with human experience, recent and historical as well as local and global.

Denison’s English-Literature Program is Unique

We help prepare students for a broad array of careers. Denison’s English majors develop expertise in critical reading and writing along with skills in cultural understanding, empathetic thinking, imaginative reasoning, storytelling, critical thinking, and textual analysis—all highly valued by 21st-century employers. We are proactive in helping students explore career opportunities that build on these key skills.

The major is flexible. With few prerequisites, courses can be taken in whatever sequence works best for you. We offer a broad array of classes and approaches to English-language texts from Britain, America, Africa and the Caribbean.

Our courses make exciting connections. We cross-list courses with Black Studies, Environmental Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, Queer Studies, International Studies, Global Commerce, and Narrative Journalism. Our courses cater both to majors as well as a diverse cross-section of the Denison student body.

Our Curriculum

English-Literature majors take ten courses.

  • Four are survey courses (capped at 18-25 students) that provide a background in literary history and an understanding of the interrelationships between literature, history, politics, philosophy, the arts, and popular culture in various periods and traditions of British, American, African, and Caribbean literature. At least two of these survey courses must be in literature before 1900.
  • Another four are 300-level seminar courses (capped at 18 students) that focus on more specific topics than our 200-level survey courses, such as African-American Women’s Literature, Postcolonial Literature, Middle Ages and Middle-Earth, Shakespeare and His Rivals, and Contemporary Poetry.
  • Majors also take a capstone Senior Seminar and one elective.
  • At least one of the 10 courses a major takes must be in a literary tradition of historically marginalized or traditionally underrepresented people.

By design, many of these courses overlap with those required for the English-Creative Writing emphasis, making it easy to switch tracks. About half of our students double major in a wide array of subject areas.

What's Happening

Students

Audio Story-telling

Each year, Narrative Journalism partners across a range of disciplines to tell stories from an inside perspective for the Denison Podcast-a-thon.

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