English Literature

Do you enjoy myths and mysteries? Have you always loved reading and writing? Do you get inspired by discussing books, films, and television shows with your friends? An English Literature major at RWU means developing the intellectual and critical thinking skills to analyze what you read and see defend your positions in papers, publications and discussions. At RWU, our student-centered program will teach you the strong writing, research and presentation skills you need to transform your passion into a career.

Course Offerings

Students painting. Whether you're interested in magic, nature, romance, or drama, the English Literature Program at RWU has a course for you.  Our courses celebrate British and American literature, while offering opportunities to explore authors and works from other traditions, including world literatures in translation and literatures that focus on cultures, genres, periods and themes representative of both non-western and western perspectives.

See Course Offerings 

Download Fact Sheet


Students working on computer.Magazine

As an RWU English major, learning happens both in and outside the classroom. Our student magazine, Voices, gives you the chance to submit your work and get published. Whether its poetry, fiction, nonfiction, or just snippets of daily life, we want to hear from you. Check out the magazine                  


RStudents presenting.esearch

We take your research seriously. Whether you’re analyzing the role of women in Harry Potter or exploring Marxism in Mean Girls, you will have the opportunity to make connections among pop culture, literature, and the world around you, and present your findings at national conferences. 

Explore presentation topics 


Student serving lemonade.Special Events

Whether it’s a Victorian high tea in English gardens or a career night to get you excited for your future, there’s always something going on in the English department. 

See events and awards

 


IAlumni panel.nternships

Internships in fields like marketing, communications, and publishing, help English majors apply their passions to a career path. Getting real-world experience before graduation will set you up for success.  

see internship opportunities


Students graduating.Your Future

Wondering what you can do with an English Literature major? The possibilities are endless! See where our alumni are working and get inspired. 

Future careers 


Degree Requirements

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To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Content Knowledge

  • Recognize a variety of British, American and global authors from a range of literary periods
  • Explain the hallmarks of more than one literary period in history, enriched by an understanding of the way in which texts can both reflect (or contradict) the literary periods in which they occur

2. Analysis

  •  Interpret literary meaning of texts, using close-reading, theoretical analysis, and an understanding of a text’s place in its cultural/historical context.

3. Research

  • Develop and apply database and library research skills to better interpret literature and to situate it in a historical context.

4. Writing

  • Write cogent critical essays supporting a unified thesis with claims and evidence.
    Revise and edit syntax and mechanics.
  • Assess survey secondary sources (primary sources, literary criticism, historical resources, etc.) for usefulness in critical essay and use them to support their own critical interpretations.
Headshot of Hannah Little

Building Her Future Career

Hannah Little, RWU Class of 2020
Creative Writing

In just two years at Roger Williams University, Hannah Little has gained enough experience to build a career on.

Read full story

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