Research & Creative Activity

Interpretive power

Students of English literature and language excel at interpreting information. They make distinctions among various genres, levels of rhetorical persuasion, and the use of speech acts in all of their postmodern variety.

In a complex world of competing discourses, the study of English teaches you to analyze texts historically and critically. You better understand their significance—their ideology, their moment in time, their rhetorical appeal, and their impact on our politics and our practical lives.

Harlem cabarets of the 1920s. The invention of the thoroughbred horse. Audubon’s ornithological travels. The role of race in medieval romance. Images of Judas through the ages. The Lilly Library archive of Sylvia Plath’s writing. Renaissance rhetoric and contemporary slang. Critical theory and digital media. War and animals. Slumming and pirates. Glamour and perfection. Profanity and memoir. Lacan and Lebowski. Disasters at sea.