In the age of digital communication, literature has never been more important. In broad context, the study of literature develops an understanding of the world we live in. Words are a window to the world, and literature has recorded every historical event throughout the course of time. Literature takes the reader on a journey to imaginary places as if they were living it. If you wish to broaden your horizons, then the study of literature is a must.
Our students possess a love of reading and history. They want to challenge their own beliefs and learn new cultures in the interest of developing greater empathy. They strive to become stronger writers to express their voice both creatively and concisely.
Our program explores mythology, contemporary British and American literature, world literature and more. We study prominent authors such as William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Jhumpa Lahiri, Zadie Smith, Colson Whitehead, Herman Melville and Thornton Wilder and devote courses to genres such as the Harlem Renaissance of the early 20th century, fairy tales and young adult literature.
A senior thesis is required and study abroad and internship experiences are encouraged. Students may also choose to double major in English literature and secondary education, which prepares them to apply for Rhode Island teacher certification for grades 7-12.
Life After Salve
As a humanities program, English literature degrees are valued by employers because graduates are seen as having a well-rounded background. An English literature degree fosters the creative, critical and analytical skills needed for graduate study and for a variety of rewarding careers in fields such as law, publishing, media, education, business, government, nonprofit groups and international-aid organizations.
The close analysis required of an English literature major continues to help me when we’re considering a new manuscript for acquisition. Writing articles for my communications courses helped me to be more concise, which is crucial when preparing pitches and press materials.
Mary Van Akin ’10, associate director of publicity, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group