In our four-year program leading to a Bachelor of Arts in English, we educate our students to become effective, adaptable critics and creators of a variety of human discourse—individuals whose dynamic understanding of the literary and media arts contributes both to their own well-being and the well-being of others. Indeed, we believe that literary and creative work can and should challenge injustice, as evidenced in our anti-racist commitments. In our courses, students, think, study, and write about the multifaceted ways people use language across cultures, and just as importantly, they are invited to make this knowledge come alive. Every year, we offer students the opportunity to engage with and learn from nationally-known writers through our Visiting Writers series; students are also invited to gain hands-on experience with publishing and editing in our student-run literary journal, Spires and to work at MCLA's Writing Studio, where they gain valuable experience working one-on-one with writers from across the disciplines.
Our English faculty members hold expertise in variety of humanities fields, including American and global Anglophone literatures; feminist rhetorics and global language studies; Latina/o studies; critical race theory; gender and sexuality studies; hybrid poetics; experimental fiction and non-fiction writing; visual culture; media studies; public relations and professional writing; and writing center theory and practice.
Given our research specialties, the Foundation of our program gives students a broad
background in literature, language, and media, with an emphasis on how cultures shape
storytelling in its many forms. Beyond the Foundation, English majors take additional
courses in one of the following Concentrations: Film Studies, Literary Studies, or
Writing (in either the Creative Writing or Professional Writing track):
In keeping with the liberal arts tradition, our English courses are innovative and experiential; we draw from the most recent conversations in our various fields of study to craft courses like Hybrid Poetics; Open Up: Community Dialog Workshop; Queer Identity in Contemporary Literature; Visions & Voices: American Ethnic Literature and Art; Film & Fiction; Early Modern Magical Realities; Travel Writing; The Story of English; Global Anglophone Language and Literature; the Writing Associate Workshop; and many more. To amplify what we read and create in our courses, we take advantage of the vibrant Berkshire arts culture to invite nationally-known writers to campus; to hold readings at MCLA's Gallery 51; and to immerse our students in the arts culture at internationally-known museums like Mass MoCa and the Clark Art Institute, which are just around the corner.
We also elevate student learning by providing opportunities for internships, independent studies, and community-based learning. Our alums can be found in a variety of graduate programs and careers. To see specific examples of post-graduate student success, visit o Alumni page.
If you want to pursue a secondary major in Education and licensure to teach, this program provides the strong foundation you need.
Read the Anti-Racist Pledge from the English & Communications faculty
Each semester, we invite at least 1-2 nationally renowned creative writers to campus, to work with students in the classroom and to offer public readings and performances of their work.
Spires is MCLA's student-run Literary Arts Magazine. In addition to our online platform, students publish a high quality print issue of the journal every spring semester.