Our students learn to read and write texts in a variety of modes and genres. They read and write imaginatively, critically, analytically, and interpretively, with close attention to detail, and they situate their reading and writing within established and contested historical, cultural, critical, and literary traditions. They understand that reading and writing are deeply inter-related activities, whether their major emphasizes the production or the reception of texts.
Our students learn to think, read, and write collaboratively, sharing their work with others and drawing on their individual and collective knowledge, experience, wisdom, understanding, and background to advance their learning. They become adept at working creatively and effectively with others, through dialogue, debate, and critique.
Our students come to English and writing from a broad range of backgrounds, with a variety of beliefs, motivations, and tastes, to pursue a broad range of personal, professional, and expressive goals. Our faculty are co-learners with our students, taking active part in the challenging and rewarding practices of critical literacy and creative writing.
Our students develop into culturally aware users of language, attuned to the way language and the variety of meanings to which it gives rise change and respond to contemporary developments, including the political, social, technological, and aesthetic. They learn to question and reflect on these changes and to adapt their readerly and writerly sensibilities to address them.
Our students develop the desire to better understand themselves and their world through language, as exploratory writers and inquisitive readers. They are able to achieve that understanding by using language in critical and imaginative ways to advance their learning throughout their lives.
Our students become reflective and informed readers, able to generate and pursue complex questions of language’s meanings and uses. By focusing on textual details in relation to larger questions of form, purpose, and context, our students are able to articulate well-reasoned understandings of the language they encounter.
Our students learn to take pleasure in the play of language and other representational, symbolic systems of thought and expression. They value novelty and experimentation, both in their critical and writerly endeavors, and become adept at seeing and pursuing opportunities for playful engagement with language and meaning.
Our students are able to contend with ambiguity and respond meaningfully and responsibly to changes in the way language functions, whether in its literary or everyday manifestations.
Our students develop the critical and creative wherewithal to recognize that language and representation are complex and important, wherever they manifest themselves. They are able to use the critical and creative approaches for thinking about film, drama, new media, novels, stories, poems, and other literary artifacts to analyze and reflect on symbolic representation of all kinds, from popular music to painting to political discourse and beyond.