Students in English learn to appreciate the artistry of novels, plays, poems, and stories; to understand the play of themes and ideas in literature; and to be sensitive to the complex relationship between literature and the society it reflects.
Most students who become majors simply enjoy reading, discussing, and writing about challenging and inspiring works of the imagination. But the skills students develop in studying English — the ability to think sensitively and creatively, to make and evaluate critical arguments, and to write clearly and convincingly — prepare students for a wide array of rewarding and profitable careers.
With small classes and a caring, distinguished faculty, students in English learn to enter sympathetically into the worlds that writers create — from the harsh world of the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf to the haunted milieu of William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury and beyond. In addition to introductory courses, the program’s offerings in literature include courses on such authors as Austen, Chaucer, Dickinson, Faulkner, Melville, Shakespeare, and Woolf; and on such topics as African-American literature, early English novels, Irish literature, modern poetry, poetry by women, Shakespeare and film, Southern literature, and 21st-century literature. Except for junior and senior seminars, all English courses are open to all students without special permission.
Your Major Took You Where?*
|Brevard Music Festival||Carnegie Mellon University (M.A., entertainment industry mgmt.)|
|Wesleyan School||Belmont University School of Law (J.D., law)|
|Southwest Times Record||Xavier University (M.S., Montessori education)|
|Portland Stage||University of Kentucky (M.L.S., library and information science)|
|James Graham Brown Foundation||Lipscomb University (M.F.T., marriage & family therapy license)|
|Hoskins, Hill & Hill PLLC||Wake Forest University (M.A., English)|
*A Sampling of Recent Centre Graduates
“Majoring in English allows me to explore prevalent issues through the lens of eloquent, compelling authors. By engaging with these works, I have learned to interact with others in an articulate manner, empowering me to become a well-informed citizen throughout all areas of my life.”
Centre Class of 2017 • English Major
Students who wish to major or minor in English usually begin with surveys of British and American literature, which introduce them to methods of literary scholarship and give them a foundation in literary history. They then choose from an array of upper-level courses in all periods and genres (for example, The Romance of Arthur, World Poetry, Romanticism, Crime in Literature, or Others and Outsiders), as well as classes in creative writing and film. Junior and senior seminars offer an intimate, in-depth study of a particular literary topic from a variety of critical perspectives. Several have included trips to literary sites around the country.
An internship provides the opportunity to apply academic study to real-life situations. With an internship, you can gain an extra edge that will help you secure a higher-paying job after graduation. More importantly, you’ll gain real-world experience that will be of benefit throughout your life. At Centre, we’re committed to helping students find quality internship experiences in the career area of their choice. Internships have been available with such employers as varied as Host Communications, the Southeastern Theatre Conference, WSB-TV, and Tin House books.
Many English majors go on to graduate school for English or law. Several have received prestigious fellowships such as the Rotary International and the Fulbright. Some graduates pursue teaching elementary or high school. However, most majors find jobs in business, journalism, and public service — areas where their ability to read complex prose and understand it, to research and analyze problems, and to explain the results of their investigations orally and in writing are highly prized. Recent grads have found jobs in such diverse fields as arts management, corporate communications, desktop publishing, insurance, investments, marketing, and social work.