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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Wondering what you can do with an English Literature major? The possibilities are endless! See where our alumni are working and get inspired.
To read more about our academic offerings, or to view full course descriptions, please refer to our University Catalog.
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
- Interpret literary meaning of texts, using close-reading, theoretical analysis, and an understanding of a text’s place in its cultural/historical context.
- Develop and apply database and library research skills to better interpret literature and to situate it in a historical context.
- 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.
Building Her Future CareerHannah Little, RWU Class of 2020
In just two years at Roger Williams University, Hannah Little has gained enough experience to build a career on.Read full story
With a focus on this year’s selection, “The Red Badge of Courage,” the Birss Memorial Program brings the campus community together to explore important novels, poetry and essays.
The Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship is part of a multifaceted initiative for faculty to reflect on and combat educational injustice in the classroom.
Student Advocacy Days on March 7-8 will bring together students and faculty from U.S. and Canada to advocate for wrongfully imprisoned scholars.