Welcome to the Wellesley College Department of English.
English, as a discipline, stresses the intensive study of writers and their works in literary, cultural, and historical contexts. It is keyed to the appreciation and analysis of literary language, through which writers compose and organize their poems, stories, novels, plays, and essays.
How We Study English
At Wellesley, we offer a wide range of courses that develop the ability to read literature with close attention to language and form: introductory courses in literary skills; more advanced courses in influential writers, historical periods, and themes in English, American, and world literatures in English; and numerous courses in creative writing, including screenwriting and creative nonfiction.
Our course offerings strike a balance between great authors of past centuries and emerging fields of study. We teach courses on writers such as Shakespeare, Milton, Jane Austen, and James Joyce, and on Asian American literature, writers from the Indian subcontinent, and film. We stress analysis and argument in paper-writing, critical thinking, and literary research, and we foster and develop a deep, complex, passionate response to literature.
Why Study English?
An English major gains an understanding of the power, history, and creative potential of language, the most complex product and the master medium of our culture. The study of English develops critical thinking skills, clear and effective writing skills, and the ability to construct and defend an argument. These analytical and communications skills are sought after in a wide variety of occupations. Wellesley College English majors find jobs in a broad spectrum of fields, including publishing, teaching, medicine, and financial services, to name but a few.