The English department believes that communication is the most basic yet also the most sublime of gifts. Mastery of language is not an obscure talent only for the erudite and privileged; it is a hard-won skill available to all. The study of literature is a constant meditation on the self, faith, politics, history, and culture. The department believes that reading literature is a transformative experience that shapes the landscape of the mind and the soul. Reading is an active conversation between the reader and the writer. This dialogue forms an intersection between the reader’s internal and external worlds. Therefore, we encourage our students to engage meaningfully with the text.
Writing is a means of sharing and articulating ideas, beliefs, and opinions. It is a complex endeavor requiring logic, intuition, and a sound regard for the conventions of grammar. When honestly essayed, writing fosters growth, self-examination, and insight, allowing each student to find and develop her unique voice. By acquiring strong writing skills, students will succeed not only in English but also in other courses that demand clarification and refinement of ideas and positions. Ultimately, reading and writing form the gateway to life-long learning and should ideally provide students with a foundation for an informed and meaningful intellectual and spiritual life. Further, we hope to inspire our students to recognize themselves as important and thoughtful members of the global community.