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English Language & Literature

Closeup of old book spines

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 and canonical figures, but we also give our students opportunities to experiment with a variety of new fields, theoretical perspectives and linguistic developments, and 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, beginning in the British Isles, but that have now spread across 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.”

Important Academic Information for Spring 2020

In response to COVID-19, Smith College has implemented alternate modes of instruction for all academic courses for the remainder of the spring semester, as of March 30, 2020. Guidelines and information for academic continuity are available below. For general information, read the college’s FAQ about COVID-19 and visit the digital support for spring 2020 website.

Updates and information will be posted here as soon as they become available.

News & Announcements

The English department is still collecting papers to be considered for the department’s prizes. The deadline for submitting is Monday, April 20. Please see Prizes and Awards for more details. 

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Contact

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, Richard Millington.