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English Language & Literature

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The Department of English Language and Literature aims to teach all students to write and speak well and to read skillfully, thoughtfully and with pleasure. We offer many courses that stress literary history, influential figures, various theoretical perspectives, linguistic developments and diverse emergent fields. We also offer students opportunities to pursue creative writing of their own.

We expect that our majors will graduate with an understanding of the historical and cultural forces that have shaped literatures in English, from the British Isles and around the world. We want all of our students to learn to wrestle with the complex interpretive challenges that literature poses and to become, in the words of Henry James, people “upon whom nothing is lost.”


Applying for Spring 2023 Creative Writing courses

To apply for spring creative writing courses, you must send in a writing submission and complete an application form. Both are due to the department assistant, Jennifer Roberts no later than 4:00 on Friday, November 4th. Please email Jennifer,, for the submission requirements for each course, and a copy of the application form. Please also contact her with any questions.

Information for First Years and Incoming Transfers, 2022-23

Welcome first-years and incoming students! Please see our helpful guide for Getting Started in English.

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English Language & Literature
Pierce Hall
Northampton, MA 01063
Phone: 413-585-3302

Administrative Assistant: Jennifer Roberts

For questions regarding the English major, please contact the department chair, Ambreen Hai.