Department of English


The English Department offers instruction in a wide range of topics related to the critical study of literature, including courses in rhetorical analysis, literary history with special focus on literary periods (from medieval to postmodern), major genres (poetry, prose fiction, drama), and major authors (Geoffrey Chaucer, William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Toni Morrison, among many others) and literary theory. The department also offers instruction in various types of creative writing (poetry, prose fiction, dramatic writing, non-fiction writing including journalism) as well as in cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, and film and television studies.

Film and Television Studies

Located in the English Department, Film and Television Studies (FTS) offers a major and minor. FTS courses have all been designed to explore aesthetic, technological, historical, theoretical, and cultural developments. FTS students also study film and television as an international art form. Basic introductory courses expose students to the concepts needed to begin studying film and television as well as its historical and theoretical concerns. The intermediate level courses concentrate on contemporary issues, genre history, and theory as well as film and video production. The advanced level seminars attempt to bring together all the student’s knowledge through a course that explores the depths of one topic (such as studying the works of one director, global and European cinema, women in film, race and television, or violence in film).

Speech and Debate

Located in the Department of English, the Speech & Debate program offers courses that explore theories of human communication and practical instruction in communication skills, including public speaking, argument and advocacy, communication criticism, and decision-making through communication processes such as debates. The program also houses the Lawrence Debate Union, the University’s intercollegiate debate team, which provides students with additional opportunities for public performance, individually designed study, and international performance, competition, and training for which students can earn course credits.