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English Department

Language surrounds and defines us. Culture, history, and even your own personality are shaped and shared through language. At the broadest level, then, the study of English literature and language involves close inquiry into everything from human psychology to cultural history. Reading Chaucer, Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, Jack Kerouac, and Toni Morrison, the English major here at Regis effectively pursues the evolving character of humanity. How do language, society, and the self alter as they are reconceived in feudal, scientific, or multi-cultural contexts? Ask a student of English.

In narrower terms, the study of English consists of reading, analysis, and writing. Reading is in the first place an exercise of the imagination. Poems, plays, stories, novels, and essays are but words on a page: it is the act of reading that creates the feelings, characters, settings, actions, and ideas the words seem to express. At Regis, English majors learn how to perform the act of reading consciously and critically, not only imagining the world the words signify, but also understanding how and why the words produce such imaginative meanings, and how those meanings differ from writer to writer, age to age. In other words, our students learn to read analytically, to see the whole text in terms of its parts and to interpret one text in terms of many others.

Along with reading and analysis, the study of English at Regis involves intensive training in writing. As literary texts insistently show, successful writing begins as a process of self-discovery and ends as a product of communication. Our majors practice various kinds of writing--expository, argumentative, creative--but, in one sense, always with the same purpose: to articulate their own ideas and express them with persuasive force.

Because it produces broadly educated students who can think critically and write persuasively, the English major or minor at Regis is an excellent preparation for careers in law and politics, marketing and public relations, education, publishing and journalism, technical and free-lance writing, and the arts and culture industries. It is also, we hope, an end in itself, an imaginative and intellectual experience that will enlarge, enrich, and otherwise redefine your very self.

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Department Chair
Lara Narcisi, Associate Professor
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Additional Areas of Study

  • Writing Concentration
  • English Minor

In the past year, faculty members (from left) David Hicks, Alyse Knorr and Scott Dimovitz have published critically acclaimed books:

  • Hicks’ novel, White Plains (Conundrum/Bower House Press) has been called “an extraordinary novel,” “beautifully wrought . . . a gorgeous and unforgettable debut.”
  • Knorr’s book of poetry, Mega-City Redux, a modern-day update of a 15th-century feminist allegory, won the 2017 Green Mountains Review Poetry Prize.
  • Dimovitz’s landmark book, Angela Carter: Surrealist, Psychologist, Moral Pornographer, explores the works of one of the most important contemporary English novelists, offering keys to unlocking the secrets of her bizarre and wondrous worlds.