Move Over, Thoreau


Major • Minor

Read, write and rejoice.

Indulge your love of reading and polish your prose. When it comes to literary inspiration, our 27,000-acres of pure sublimity puts Walden Pond to shame. At the same time, the world’s largest campus is home to an intimate community built on mentorship and exchange. This means constant opportunities to have your work carefully considered—and to explore your fascinations to their fullest.

Reading critically and writing well are two of the most highly valued skills to any employer (in any profession). Understanding people and creative problem solving are two more. As an English major, you’ll distinguish yourself by the strength of your discernment and expression.  

two students laughing in the writing center
Hands On

Small class sizes mean rare access to visiting writers and scholars—whether in workshops or one-on-one over lunch. Gain relevant experience through (paid) work for our newspaper, literary magazine, Writing Center, two campus museums or library.


Christopher Diller
Professor of English
Dr. Christopher Diller

Regardless of subject matter (from first-year writing to Romantic American literature to contemporary popular literature), Dr. Diller asks his students to “say more about less.” His most recent teaching integrates statistical modes of literary analysis and geospatial mapping—most recently in an upper division class devoted solely to Bram Stoker’s Dracula—and he also teaches classes that include popular genre writers like Stephen King. He is currently creating an edition of Solomon Northup’s Twelve Years a Slave (1853) with historian Professor Karen B. Cook-Bell of Bowie State University for Broadview Press (forthcoming in 2025).

student sitting on a bench barefoot while reading a book
The World's Largest Muse

With 88 miles of trails and forest, stream, lake and mountain ecosystems, our 27,000-acre campus is a boon to writers and readers alike. Archives, museums, libraries, a community of fellow scholars and writers and glorious nature—it’s all here.

English Courses

ENG 300
Writing for Online Environments

Learn the technical and rhetorical elements of writing in online environments, including how to present information in online formats for a variety of purposes, audiences and clients.

ENG 495 I
Writing about Place

Selected readings and advanced work in creative writing, poetry or prose, centered on landscape and the environment. May be offered as a residential or a study abroad course.

ENG 420
Seminar in Genre and Theory - Stephen King

Consider the work of Stephen King—popular and literary at the same time—to explore the increasingly blurred line between “literary” and “genre” fiction.

English LIVES

Annabelle Norton

Annabelle Norton ’24 arrived in New York City for a social media internship with IEX, a national securities exchange facilitating the trading of U.S. equities, and embraced her new environment with energy and curiosity. With a firm grounding in the liberal arts and relentless drive, Annabelle made the most of her time in the Big Apple. She went from design and calendar planning to navigating analytical suites and interpreting data to drive business objectives and tell IEX’s story in a meaningful way.

She says, "I've come to think of building a brand in a similar way to telling a good story; without plot, dynamic characters and, above all, a guiding theme and message, you don't have much to go off of.”

Annabelle Norton

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