English and Comparative Literature

English and Comparative Literature

"I know nothing in the world that has as much power as a word."
-Emily Dickinson

The English and Comparative Literature program at Oglethorpe explores literature through the ages and around the globe, with particular focus on modern and contemporary literature, world literature, drama, Shakespeare, the novel, poetry, and writing. While other schools’ programs tend to focus only on British and American literature, Oglethorpe’s curriculum pushes far beyond those boundaries, with an emphasis on world literature and postcolonial narratives. Many majors also explore courses in—or complete our unique Minor in—Creative Writing. Others design Independent Studies courses themselves to pursue their own interests.

Our close-knit department and small, discussion-centered seminar courses also benefit our students, who get to know their classmates and their professors in a supportive yet intellectually challenging environment that encourages success. Student-focused instruction and individual attention to students lead to stronger skills in writing, research, and critical thinking – valuable skills that pay off for a lifetime.

Courses all English majors take include “Introduction to Literature and Cultural Studies” and “Literary Tribalism: How to Read Cultural Identity in Fiction.” These courses provide students a solid foundation in research methods, writing skills, and digital humanities (integrating technology and the humanities). These skills not only help students excel during their time at Oglethorpe but also offer a competitive edge in grad school or in the workplace.

Offered as:

B.A. in English and Comparative Literature
Minor in English and Comparative Literature (TU)
Minor in Writing (TU)
Minor in Shakespeare & Renaissance Studies (TU)

With community connections from Atlanta to England and Ireland, Oglethorpe is a perfect place to explore your love of language and turn ideas into action.

  • Study abroad in London and get to know the works of “The Bard” in his native land, through the exceptional Shakespeare at Oxford summer program. Or study James Joyce and Modernism in Dublin.
  • Oglethorpe English students have completed internships at the magazine Creative Loafing, Shelli Johannes Publishing, The Shakespeare Tavern, and indie trade book publisher Peachtree Publishing.
  • Fostered by an environment of intellectual curiosity, students are supported in designing their own independent study courses for in-depth exploration of individual interests. Past projects have delved into topics like “Beat” poets, African American literature, fantasy literature, children’s fiction, graphic novels, Modernism, Russian literature, and more.
  • Passionate, curious, creative, and motivated, Oglethorpe English majors demonstrate an outstanding mastery of their subject. In 2014, more than half our graduating class volunteered to take the Major Field Test (a 150-question test assessing knowledge of poetry, drama, and prose). Every one of these students rated in the 95th percentile or higher, compared to students nationwide.
  • Many majors take advantage of the opportunity to take Honors designated English courses and write Honors Theses.
  • Majors publish their research in the OU Journal of Undergraduate Research and also edit and publish in The Tower Literary Magazine.
  • USA Today rated our English major #1 in the nation in “Focus” in 2016 (and #2 in “Focus” in 2017).

With their excellent skills in critical thinking, writing, communication, and research, our English majors go on to build successful careers in a diverse range of fields: business, education, editing, grant writing, journalism, digital humanities, law, library sciences, museum work, publishing, and more.

  • Recent alumni are enrolled in graduate programs in English, Creative Writing, education, library sciences, and law, at prestigious institutions such as Columbia University, Emory University, Georgetown University, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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