The Department of English develops the reading and writing skills of students, increases their understanding of contemporary discourse and literary heritage, and strengthens their creative and analytical abilities. Using a variety of theories and methodologies, faculty members contribute to research and creative activity in the humanities to advance knowledge and serve the public good.
Through its commitment to excellence, the Department of English will become a national leader in scholarly research, classroom pedagogy, and service to the profession and the community. We will prepare students to think critically and creatively about literature, language, culture, and technology. We will embrace the interpretation and production of texts as well as the opportunities and challenges brought to the humanities by innovative study and teaching at the intersections of literature, linguistics, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, and technical communication.
On February 1, 1983 the faculty of the Department of English adopted the following statement of purpose
As a major academic discipline within a multi-purpose university, the Department of English serves undergraduate and graduate students, the academic community, and society in general. Through its courses in literature, literary criticism, linguistics, composition, rhetoric, creative and technical writing, and pedagogy, the department seeks to implement its belief that literature and informed discourse are vital forces in the preservation of culture.
In its courses, the department further seeks to develop students' reading and writing skills, to increase their understanding of their literary heritage, and to stimulate their imaginative and critical abilities. Students are encouraged to express themselves clearly, effectively, and correctly, so that they can control language rather than be controlled by it.
The department further seeks to prepare students for future careers in professions such as teaching, law, medicine, business, and for enriched, responsible, and productive personal lives. As a major facet of its mission, the department teaches the fundamentals of research, encourages the use of scholarly methods and attitudes throughout its programs, and contributes to the growth of knowledge through the individual scholarship of its members.
In the Department of English, we value:
- Academic freedom
- Creative, critical, and analytic thought
- Excellence in research, teaching, and service
- Respect for students, staff, and faculty, and community
- Diversity in our student population, faculty, staff, and teaching materials
- Appreciation for and understanding of literary history and recent revisions thereof
- Sophisticated, nuanced, rhetorically-effective, and ethical oral and written expression
- Open exchanges of ideas, with an understanding of how class, race, gender, and other factors may affect that exchange
- Ongoing intersections among areas of literature, linguistics, creative writing, composition and rhetoric, and technical communication