The English concentration introduces students to the study of literature written in English in a range of national and historical contexts. Concentrators will learn to analyze and think critically about a literary text as both a formal and historical document. They will also study the ways in which literature shapes, and is shaped by, issues in the contemporary world. Concentrators take one course providing them with historical grounding in English literature across three broad periods: 1) Medieval and Early Modern, 2) Enlightenment, Romantic, and Post-Romantic, and 3) 20th and 21st Century. The curriculum includes courses from the entire range of literature in English and a special "track" in Nonfiction Writing, which helps students strengthen their skills in critical writing, the research paper, journalism, creative writing, and nonfiction writing. One of the largest humanities concentrations at Brown, English may be pursued as the strong foundation for a liberal education and as a preparation for professional school and for graduate work in literature or other disciplines.
About the Concentration
Through the study of literature in English, concentrators develop skills in critical reading, thinking, and writing in preparation for a wide range of professions and careers including teaching, writing, publishing, media, medicine, law, and business. The concentration requirements aim to provide students with a coherent sense of the history of English literature from Anglo-Saxon times to the present. English concentrators have considerable latitude to choose the specific courses that will meet the requirements and we expect these choices to be informed by consistent consultation with a faculty advisor. Writing skills are an especially important focus of the English concentration. Through a variety of exercises from the short analytical essay to the longer research paper English concentrators are given a range of opportunities to sharpen their writing. We encourage students interested in concentrating in English to come into the department offices at 70 Brown Street and speak with a concentration advisor. Students in English courses who are considering an English concentration are welcome to make an appointment to speak with their instructor.
Concentration programs must be approved by a concentration advisor. To declare a concentration, students who have not previously filed a paper concentration form must fill out an online Concentration form via ASK and enter their plan of study indicating the requirements that each course fulfills. Students who declared their English Concentration in 2010-2011 or earlier may choose to fulfill the requirements for the previous version of the concentration (for details please see the English Department website).
Concentration Requirements (10 courses1 at the level of 0300 or above):
|1. Two courses in Area I: Medieval and Early Modern Literatures:||2|
|2. Two courses in Area II: Enlightenment and the Rise of National Literatures:||2|
|3. Two courses in Area III: Modern and Contemporary Literatures||2|
|4. One theory course||1|
|5. Three electives 2||3|
Five courses must be 1000-level courses. With advisor approval, two of the ten required courses may be taking in departments other than English.
As many as two 1000-level courses dealing primarily with the practice of writing, rather than the interpretation of literature, may be counted as electives.
All substitutions and/or exceptions must be approved by the concentration advisor in consultation with the Director of Undergraduate Studies. A substitution or exception is not approved until specified in writing in the student’s concentration file housed in the English Department.
English Concentration -- Nonfiction Writing Track (11 courses at the level of 0300 or above)
The English concentration also includes a Nonfiction Writing Track. The requirements are the same as 1 through 4 above plus one English literature course emphasizing the genre of nonfiction writing and three 1000-level Nonfiction Writing courses for a total of eleven courses.
Honors in English
Requirements are the same as those for the regular concentration, with the following additions:
Honors candidates must complete at least three upper-level seminars or comparable small courses and complete ENGL 1991 and ENGL 1992. Honors candidates must also earn more A's than B's in courses taken as part of the English concentration (or receive the equivalent faculty evaluation on a Course Performance Report for courses taken S/NC).
Applicants for Honors must have two letters of recommendation submitted to the Honors Advisor, a writing sample, and a one-page description of their proposed topic signed by the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the director of their thesis.
Honors in Nonfiction Writing
Requirements are the same as those for the Nonfiction Writing Track. Eligible Honors applicants must have completed three upper-level seminars, two of which must be nonfiction writing seminars. Honors candidates must successfully complete ENGL 1993 and ENGL 1994. Honors candidates must also earn more A's than B's in courses taken as part of the English concentration (or receive equivalent faculty evaluation in a Course Performance for courses taken S/NC).
Applicants for Honors in Nonfiction Writing must have two letters of recommendation submitted to the Nonfiction Honors Advisor, a writing sample, and a one-page description of their proposed topic signed by the faculty member who has agreed to serve as the director of the thesis.