Our work in the English Department embraces the production, distribution, reception, and interpretation of texts, in written, visual, and interactive formats. We study and we create printed words, images, film, music, and webworks. We also move between these media, analyzing the changes created by inventions such as the alphabet, the book, the printing press, and the internet. As a whole, the department is interested in the Textual Revolution-a phrase we use to encompass the uses of new (and old) technologies in the humanities. This phrase likewise gestures toward the diffusion of new databases and the re-circulation and remediation of the objects of our study, the works of the human imagination--essays, novels, poems, plays, and films.
We believe that both our undergraduate and graduate students will be operating in an environment where reading and writing will remain as vital as they have ever been, but where they have also become ever-changing, flexible, and adaptive. Helping our students to understand and navigate this environment, which means learning to understand its history, as much as what its future might hold, is our goal.
At a practical level, the department also helps to provide undergraduate students with a range of skills necessary for professional careers in education, law, medicine, public service, media, writing and other fields.
Our diverse faculty have developed wide-ranging expertise, exploring a world which is equally full of diverse kinds of texts. Our method is to work with our students in developing individual research pathways, often arising out of our own research and publications, to enable them to understand the world of textuality.
Below are just some of the pathways in which we are interested. These areas also represent something of the breadth and depth of contemporary English Studies. And, they intersect with some of the most pressing issues faced by contemporary society.
Please contact us if you would like to know more about English at Saint Louis University.