Objectives of the English Department
The objectives of the Department of English are closely related to those of the University as a whole, but also reflect the special nature of our discipline and our commitment to literature, language, and the arts. Our commitment to the quality of education that we offer is reflected in our determination to maintain a relatively low student/teacher ratio and to give our students the benefit of direct contact with scholars in the field.
Our goals in teaching are to enable our students to read well, to write well, and to think well, and to provide them with appropriate knowledge in the discipline of English language and literature. More specifically, we aim to graduate students who have:
- the reading skills to examine literature from multiple eras, cultures, and genres with critical understanding;
- the ability to express themselves clearly and comprehensively, orally and in writing;
- research skills which enable them to expand, from a variety of perspectives, their own readings of literature and understanding of language;
- an appropriate knowledge of relevant fields within the discipline, including literature; literary history, criticism, and theory; the language structures of modern English and the history of the English language;
- an enhanced appreciation and enjoyment of literature and language.
The specific strategies we use to achieve these goals include:
- the close reading of texts in lectures, seminar presentations, and small-group discussions;
- the writing of analytical and other kinds of essays;
- creative writing;
- professional writing;
- studio classes in theatre/drama and video production.
The Department of English fosters the creation of literature as well as the study of it. We have on our faculty a number of writers who have national and international recognition as poets, short story writers and essayists. We work closely with the creative writers of the province to offer our students unique creative writing courses.
Our goals in research and scholarship are to work independently or collaboratively on aspects of literature and language and to publish the results of our work widely. Research in our department includes:
- literary-historical studies of texts;
- language studies in regional lexicon and onomastics;
- all forms of creative work in poetry, fiction, journalism, and
- the organizing and hosting of scholarly meetings.
Our research activities include:
- the writing of books, monographs, articles and reviews;
- the publication of creative work;
- participation in national and international scholarly conferences;
- the editing of primary texts, collections of scholarly
essays and anthologies;
- the editing and publication of scholarly journals;
- public readings and performances;
- the preparation of scholarly grant applications.