Opportunities and options abound for English majors.
Hollins offers exceptional opportunities for intellectual growth through the English major. Students who are interested in a more generalist approach to the study of literature can major in English without focusing on any particular period or genre. Those interested in a more specialized approach have the option of choosing one of three concentrations: creative writing, literature and performance, or multicultural U.S. literature. Through these concentrations, students are given the unique opportunity to learn to write both creatively and critically. Many graduates comment on the importance of using analytical skills when approaching literary texts and observe that this method has been crucial in developing a literary voice. Integrating a variety of approaches to an education within the English discipline fosters an understanding of literary history and how it has been employed by various cultures. After all, from great readers come great writers. Regardless of one’s concentration within the department, you’ll find at Hollins an energetic community of creative and scholarly activity that encourages experimentation and growth.
Choose from three concentrations
- The concentration in creative writing enables students to work with talented faculty members who are published poets, novelists, essayists, and scholars. Hollins has earned a national reputation for its undergraduate and graduate programs and boasts an impressive number of graduates who have become successful writers. Undergraduate writers publish poetry and fiction in the student periodical, The Album, and the student literary journal, Cargoes.
- The literature and performance concentration pays attention to the way that meaning is performed rather than stated. Courses may or may not imply deference to an original script or text. When a script or text is involved, it functions like a musical score rather than a command, rule, or law; as such it is enacted rather than obeyed. Performances may be embodied in different media, among them film, music, the spoken and written word, and/or the body in motion. It is assumed that every performance creates a discrete event; that there is no authority conferred on firsts, lasts, or bests; and that performances create a plurality of texts.
- The concentration in multicultural U.S. literature focuses on the multicultural nature of literature and the intersection of cultural identity and national identity. Courses in this area explore the literature emerging from diverse experiences related to ethnicity, class, race, religion, and sexuality. While some courses highlight the experiences of a single group and their unique struggle to formulate and express their identity, others focus on the negotiation of multiple identities within the larger context of American culture. Through this concentration, students will gain a greater understanding of the diverse and complex nature of U.S. literature.