Bachelor of Arts in English

In core classes, majors will develop a critical understanding of and adeptness at the acts of reading and writing, and a familiarity with the forms of attention given to texts and the cultural place of English studies.

In Writing: Topics and Genres courses students will engage in the study of thematic and formal traditions through writing. Courses will explore particular forms of writing; ways of using writing to pose and explore particular kinds of questions about class, gender, sexuality, race, etc.; and ways of using writing within particular institutional contexts.

History and Tradition courses focus students’ attention on one or several of a number of questions related to the history of English studies and the traditions it examines. Courses will introduce students to critical methods for situating literary, filmic, and cultural interpretations within the historical and cultural contexts of their creation, dissemination, reproduction and reception; explore the historical development of a particular form, topic, or critical method; and examine historically distant texts in order to provide historical understanding or insights into contemporary developments in culture, literary genre, and the practices of writing, reading, and criticism.

Culture and Identity courses will focus students’ attention on the way texts represent, construct, and engage with culture and, in doing so, enact and reflect on individual and group identities.

At the upper-level, students, in addition to taking electives and a capstone, will choose a track that concentrates study in one of the following areas:

  • Theory and Criticism
    Students specializing in “Theory and Criticism” will undertake intensive study of theories of criticism, interpretation, linguistics, and representation; will engage in a variety of interpretive and critical methodologies; and will investigate ways in which “topics,” “genres,” “authorship,” “form,” and other foundational concepts of criticism are constructed and used.
  • Film, Drama, and New Media
    Students specializing in “Film, Drama, and New Media” will investigate texts that include strong visual or enactive elements (or both); the courses will focus on the ways in which readers or spectators engage with visual, interactive, and/or hybrid texts.
  • Culture and Identity
    Students specializing in “Culture and Identity” will undertake sustained inquiry into the relationship between literature, film, and popular culture, on the one hand, and the construction of cultural identity/ies (including national, geographical, ethnic, racial, religious, professional, gender, class, species, and sexual identity).
  • History and Traditions
    Students specializing in “History and Traditions” will undertake intensive study of historically distant texts (pre-1900), texts situated in their historical contexts, and/or texts in relation to the traditions or genres of which they are part. 

Catalog Requirements for the Bachelor of Arts in English

English Major Checklist

NOTE: Any student who was enrolled at Drake prior to Fall 2013 may choose to major under the old curriculum. Such students should consult with their adviser about the requirements for the program.

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ArtSci News
September 22, 2016
The Drake University Chamber Choir, choirs from four Des Moines area high schools, and a professional orchestra will perform Gabriel Faure’s well-known Requiem at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9.
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