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The study of literature empowers our students to be empathetic, culturally aware, critical thinkers who can be both citizens and assets in a global world.

Whether through Shakespeare’s tragedies or Toni Morrison’s novels, literature reveals some of the most challenging and complex questions of the human experience. For centuries, the written word has played a role in documenting society's conflicts and inspiring change. The Great Gatsby captured the spirit of Fitzgerald's generation and the tension between American ideals and realities. Nineteen Eighty-Four introduced "Big Brother" into the lexicon and anticipated much of the contemporary political discourse. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah explores the search for identity and gives voice to the contemporary immigrant experience.

The literature program provides students with the analytical tools to be deep thinkers and competitive readers of the world, sharpens their empathetic reasoning, and cultivates cultural sensitivity. As an English major at Emmanuel, you will gain a broad overview of major texts and traditions in British, American and World literature. With a focus on developing cultural and rhetorical awareness, as well as public speaking, reading and writing skills, you will learn how the written word can be used as a powerful tool to affect change in your own world.

A First-Class Experience

Get to know the people and programs that will define your academic journey.

Dr. Monique-Adelle Callahan Publishes Book of Poetry

"Through a combination of personal narrative and historical research, Rupture weaves together the history of enslaved women in the Americas and themes of life, love, and loss," writes publisher, Codhill Press.

Meet the Faculty

Our distinguished faculty publish, exhibit and research. Present, compose and chair. Inspire and collaborate.

The Curriculum

View the 2023-2024 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

1. Literary Methods (one course)

  • ENGL1205 Introduction to Literary Methods (AI-L) (LI)

2-5. Foundations in English and American Literature (four courses)

  • ENGL2101 Romance and Conquest in British Literature: 900-1660  (AI-L) (LI)
  • ENGL2102 Imperialism and Resistance in British Literature: 1800-Present (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • ENGL2109 Print Media and Political Revolution: 1600-1800 (LI) (WI)
  • ENGL2304 American Voices I: U.S. Literature to 1865 (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • ENGL2402 Shakespeare: Tragedies, Comedies , Histories and Romances (AI-L)
  • ENGL2604 American Voices II: U.S. Literature Since 1865 (AI-L) (LI) (DM)

6. 2000 or 3000-level World Literature (one course)

  • ENGL2103 Literary Mirrors: Introduction to World Literature (AI-L)
  • ENGL2105 Contemporary Latin American Fiction (AI-L)
  • ENGL2417 Literature of the Black Atlantic (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • ENGL2703 Literature at the Border
  • ENGL3605 Global Literature and Film

7. 3000-level Literary Period or Tradition (one course)

  • ENGL3305 Satire
  • ENGL3601 Crime Stories and American Culture
  • ENGL3605 Global Literature and Film
  • ENGL3991/3992 Special Topics I & II*
  • *consult with advisor for appropriate section

8. 3000-level Theory (one course)

  • ENGL3303 Images of Masculinity
  • ENGL 3701 Media Theory
  • ENGL3703 Critical Theory and the Academy
  • ENGL3707 Film Theory
  • ENGL3991/ENGL3992 Special Topics I or II*
  • *consult with advisor for appropriate section

9. Additional 2000 or 3000 Literature or Theory Course (one course)

  • Any additional course from categories 2-8 or from the list below
  • ENGL2106 Irish Identities: Literature and Culture (AI-L) (LI)
  • ENGL2303 Dreams and Diversity in the American Novel (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • ENGL2309 The Haves and the Have-Nots:  American Authors on Money, Class and Power (AI-L) (LI)
  • ENGL2321 Love and Gender in British Literature and Film (AI-L)
  • ENGL2323 Short Fiction (AI-L) (LI)
  • ENGL2325 Spirituality and the Literary Imagination (AI-L)(LI)
  • ENGL2410 African American Literary Giants
  • ENGL2413 African American Literature: A Tradition of Resistance (AI-L) (LI) (DM)
  • ENGL2701 Literature and Film (AI-L)

10. Free ENGL Elective or EDUC3318 (one course)

  • EDUC3318 English Language Arts Instructional Methods Grades 6-12 OR
  • ENGL Elective

11. Experiential Learning ENGL4994/ENGL495 or EDUC4467

  • EDUC4494/ENGL4495 Internship I or II
  • EDUC4467 Student Teaching Practicum

12. Capstone (one course)

  • ENGL4999 English Senior Seminar

View the 2023-2024 Academic Catalog to find course titles, numbers and descriptions.

  • 1. ENGL1205 Introduction to Literary Methods (AI-L) (LI)
  • 2-5. Four additional literature courses chosen in consultation with the department chair. At least one course must be at the 3000-level.

The minor in English is available to all Emmanuel College students except for Writing, Editing & Publishing majors.

The English major prepares students to contribute to scholarly and popular discourses through mastery of the following five goals:

  • Expertise in "close reading" of texts. Students will be able to analyze the form, content, and cultural meanings of works of literature and a wide array of other forms of communication and cultural expressions.
  • Ability to analyze texts in context. Students will be able to understand texts in relation to a variety of contexts, including historical moments, as well as literary, cultural, and theoretical traditions.
  • Ability to conduct in-depth research on complex subjects.
  • Ability to write clear, polished, and persuasive prose.
  • Ability to present ideas effectively through persuasive oral communication.
Where Essential Values and Skills Meet the Real World

Where Essential Values and Skills Meet the Real World

Along with areas of knowledge and major requirements, you will cultivate essential values in the classroom and complete two courses in each area:

  • Social Justice (SJ): Develop knowledge, skills, values and motivation to participate beneficially in activities of personal and public concern.
  • Diversity & Multiculturalism (DM): Understand the complexity of identity the historical truths of different cultural perspectives to address bias and examine contemporary social issues. 

One hundred percent of Emmanuel students complete an internship as part of the core curriculum. In a city as dynamic as Boston, your options are bound only by the limits of your curiosity.

Students from the English, Writing & Communications Department intern with major media outlets such as GBH, WHDH-TV and The Globe, as well as in editorial or content roles with journals and major publishers, nonprofit organizations or Boston-based tech startups.

In all majors, the Capstone Experience involves completing a significant piece of work that requires the integration and application of learning from multiple courses.

In the Capstone Experience, EWC students engage in rigorous class discussions, participate in group or individual presentations, and write a major research paper. Writing, Editing & Publishing students revise work produced in previous courses and submit for considerations at journals, magazines, anthologies and contests. Students also complete a reflection of their educational goals of the program.