Deborah Uman, Chair

Melissa Bissonette, James Bowman, Stephen Brauer, Lisa Cunningham, Sharon Delmendo, M. J. Iuppa, Lisa Jadwin, Wendi Sierra, Jebaroha Singh, Arlette Miller Smith, Jill Swiencicki, Deborah Vanderbilt, William Waddell, Stephen J. West

Why Study English at Fisher?

English majors and minors find themselves well prepared for graduate school and careers in business, law, teaching, marketing, public service, nongovernmental work, and many other areas.

The department supports experiential learning through internships, service learning, public presentation, independent study, and honors theses.

Courses provide students with practice in reading and writing a rich array of textual forms: fiction, poetry, plays, academic and personal essays, speeches, visual rhetoric, and new media.

English majors and minors develop expertise in critical reading and writing—the ability to engage meaningfully with diverse texts from a range of cultural traditions and historical periods.

The English department also offers students the chance to apply analytical skills to contemporary media with the minor in film and television studies, as well as the opportunity to practice real-world writing with the certificate in public and professional writing.

The English Major

English majors choose from more than 60 courses in literature, creative writing, rhetoric, composition studies, and professional and technical writing. English majors choose one of two concentrations, literature or writing, but electives within the program invite students to explore both areas and develop a lifelong interest in reading, as well as a versatile set of writing skills. A number of English courses also meet several areas of the College Core.

All English majors develop skills in and knowledge of analysis, technique, publication, traditions, and process.


The literature concentration focuses on producing critical thinkers and writers, using the study of British, American, and world literature to promote an understanding of how language shapes history and everyday life.

Literature majors learn to do the following:

  • Explicate literary texts closely in order to interpret accurately
  • Understand formal elements such as diction and tone in their readings of poetry, drama, and prose works
  • Go public with written work, in and out of class
  • Identify major genres and essential texts, and connect literature to individual and social concerns
  • Become fluent and thoughtful writers


The writing concentration focuses on producing versatile writers capable of responding to diverse environments and ever-changing landscapes for communication.

Writing majors learn to do the following:

  • Respond to texts with attention to their strategies, effects, and assumptions
  • Develop the writer's craft in a range of genres with attention to purpose, audience, aesthetics, and materials
  • Go public with written work, in and out of class
  • Identify rhetoric and its links to various cultural contexts, histories, and theories
  • Understand and practice writing processes in a variety of academic, professional, and public situations