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Professors Barstow (emerita), Blackwell, Chiarenza (emeritus), Frank, Grant (emeritus), Grossberg (Director of Creative Writing), Logan (emeritus), Rockas (emeritus), Ross, Stacy (emeritus), Tonkin
Associate Professors Cupolo, Ealy, Highberg, Jones, Sinche (Chair), Smith (emeritus), Sochacki (Clinical), Stores, Striff
Assistant Professors Richards
Note: Students wishing to major in film or cinema studies should consult the Department of Cinema .
The Department of English and Modern Languages teacher students the power of the written word. Our wide variety of course offerings in literary and cultural studies, creative and expository writing, and modern languages develops students’ abilities to converse effectively and meet the challenges of our interconnected, multicultural world. Students benefit from a humanities tradition that enriches their characters, equipping them for happy and productive lives.
The English major invites students to explore traditions and innovations in literary study. Students majoring in English learn to read literature from a variety of critical perspectives and acquire understanding of literary genres and historical periods. English majors concentrating in creative writing learn to write in the various forms of creative and expository writing and become familiar with different critical perspectives on writing. Majors in English are encouraged to integrate their studies with interdisciplinary courses sponsored by cross-disciplinary programs, such as African American Studies and Gender Studies. The department also offers courses in professional and technical writing and is responsible for the University-wide requirements in composition.
A degree in English aims to instill an informed understanding of literature, a critical awareness of the interactions between literature and culture, and a mastery of the expressive and interpretive skills necessary for success in any career. Ultimately, mastery of a host of career competencies is as important as subject knowledge.
The Department of English and Modern Languages offers a special program for students desiring a degree in Secondary Education in English. The curriculum features a combination of English courses and education courses set forth in a programmatic structure that includes practice teaching. The prescribed courses provide not only a theoretical base according to the state requirements but also a practical application of carefully considered educational principles. In addition, students in this program receive a solid grounding in the essentials of the subject matter that they will go on to teach.
The department also offers minors in foreign languages and cultures: French, Italian, and Spanish. It also offers courses in elementary and intermediate German. Courses in Modern Languages are sometimes cross-listed with courses in English, Cinema, and Judaic Studies.
Courses are conducted in small-group seminars designed to encourage vigorous and productive discussion in which all participants become active learners. Majors who distinguish themselves in course work are encouraged to participate in the Honors program. These majors may also participate in the seminar of the Humanities Center, where an invited group of qualified students, selected from all of the University’s colleges, collaborate with a small group of faculty to examine an important world issue for an academic year. Past topics have included Caribbean Cultures, The Computer as a Technology of Knowledge and Pleasure, Friendship, and Globalization.
The Department of English and Modern Languages encourages all students, not just majors in English, to revise their writing extensively, in private consultation with the department faculty. For extra help, students can visit the Center for Reading and Writing, located nearby and staffed by experienced reading and writing specialists as well as tutors, many of whom are senior-rank English majors serving as interns. The department supports an internship program in which majors (and minors) can earn credit for work as writers on and editors of campus publications, as well as for comparable work in companies and organizations in the Hartford region. The department celebrates excellence in writing at an annual Spring Writing Awards ceremony, in which the winners in a campuswide competition in several writing categories receive cash awards of up to $1,000 each.
To meet the goals of the program, English and Secondary Education majors take a required seminar in their sophomore year that is focused on research methods and critical approaches to literary texts. Majors also complete a capstone course in their senior year-to be designated each year in the schedule of classes-designed to review theoretical issues currently being raised in the discipline about reading and writing and, in doing so, perfect analytical skills cumulatively acquired in course work in the major. Majors concentrating in both literature and creative writing compose an essay reflecting their development in the major and complete a substantial culminating project involving research.
Students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in English (or related disciplines) should know that proficiency in a foreign language is required not only for advanced study beyond the master’s degree but also as a prerequisite for admission to most graduate schools.
Each student should plan a program of study in consultation with a department advisor.
In elective courses above the first-year level, writing and literature courses in the Department of English have minimum writing requirements of 3,000 words, including examinations and essays in and out of class. Writing courses often require more than 5,000 words.
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