Welcome to the English Department

We’re convinced that there’s never been a better time to study English, especially here at the University of Puget Sound.  Our program brings together the traditional values of the liberal arts education with some of the most exciting new developments in literary, cultural, and new media studies. Our courses offer you the opportunity to become an adept and sensitive reader of a variety of print, visual, and digital texts—from Chaucerian poetry to graphic novels, from Aristotle to Alfred Hitchcock, or from Black Hawk to Salman Rushdie. Workshops in Creative Writing allow you to hone your craft in a variety of genres. Courses in rhetoric and literacy studies ask you to consider the history and workings of non-literary texts, or to explore the politics inherent to different forms of literacy, past, present, and future.  Our dynamic faculty teach in English and serve as well in a variety of other campus programs that enhance our offerings: African American Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Policy and Decision Making, Gender and Queer Studies, Honors, Humanities, and Theatre Arts.

We’re excited about our newly redesigned curriculum.  Our program emphasizes the interconnectedness of the creative and critical domains of English Studies, and many of our courses now incorporate both craft and analysis. All our students are encouraged to work both as scholars and as creators and to explore fully the abundance of genres, traditions, and approaches gathered within our discipline. Our major and minor programs offer tremendous flexibility in what you study each term  as classes move you toward increasing mastery and independence as a reader, thinker, and writer: will you take American literature? Bollywood film? Lyric Poetry? Playwriting? Chaucer? Ecocriticism? Aristotelian Rhetoric? You create a range and sequence of courses that both reflect your interests and develop your knowledge of context, content, and form.  Two Senior Experience Seminars allow you to produce extended creative or scholarly work and to pursue an internship as you ready yourself for life after graduation.

Our goal is to prepare each of our students to be as fully as possible the “free person” on which the liberal arts--from the Latin liberalis, befitting a free person--are premised. Our program therefore helps you to develop the practical skills, critical consciousness, and creative insight with which to face the pressing collective and individual challenges of our age. Our graduates abundantly realize that goal; they go on to pursue graduate programs and careers in teaching, editing, library and archival work, human resources, law, business, the non-profit sector, archaeology, and much more. There’s nothing you can’t do with an English major: news media have recently reported, for example, that English and other liberal arts majors are highly sought after in the technology sector and medical professions.

Our vibrant department offers many ways for you to get involved. Our “Coffeehouse” series features Open Mic nights and informal presentations of work by students and faculty. Our Creative Writing faculty host student readings and present their own work locally. Students in our semester-long writing internship seminar present their experiences in the working world. Along with university sponsored lectures and performances, our department brings poets, artists, and lecturers to campus for seminars, brown-bag sessions, or workshops with students. Our award-winning literary and arts journal, Crosscurrents, features outstanding student creative work every semester, and informal clubs like our Writers’ Guild and Finnegans Wake reading group combine serious pursuits with camaraderie.

To get a feel for who we are and what we do, check out the links on this page to our Alumni News, our detailed Fall and/or Spring course descriptions, our Upcoming Events, and our Facebook page: facebook.com/englishatpugetsound. We encourage you to visit our campus, meet with our faculty, and find out more about us. You’ll find us on the 3rd Floor of Wyatt Hall, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Alison Tracy Hale, Chair and Tiffany MacBain, Associate Chair