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The English department encourages the study of the historical and cultural contexts of literature and language, the aesthetic pleasures and values of texts and writing, and the variety of voices and experiences represented in global literary traditions. Our faculty also believes that acquiring superior reading, writing, and research skills is essential to a liberal arts education, and they will provide the individual mentoring that will help you reach your potential.

Why Study English at The College of Idaho?

The Literature and Creative Writing major offers study in the areas of American, British, and postcolonial literature and in the craft of poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. It is designed for any student with a serious interest in literature and writing.

Literature courses are designed for students interested in studying major and minor literary traditions as a form of cultural expression, closely analyzing the significance of form in literary language, and practicing literary research methods. The study of literature involves exploring how literature shapes and is shaped by culture, recognizing the socio-cultural and historical contexts of literature, and examining one’s own assumptions and evolution as a reader. 

Creative writing and craft workshops are designed for students interested in developing skills as a creative writer. The study of creative writing involves producing original works of poetry, fiction, and/or creative nonfiction, exploring major literary traditions and literary-theoretical perspectives, conducting wide-ranging research across disciplines, examining the socio-cultural and historical contexts of creative expressions, and evaluating one's own evolving socio-cultural position as a writer.

Literature and Creative Writing majors can further enrich their study of literature and creative writing and develop their skills through independent studies, interdisciplinary projects, internships, or on-campus extracurricular activities such as writing for the student-run College newspaper.

Career Opportunities for English Students

Studying literature and writing prepares one to be a skilled, learned, and critically astute reader and thinker who can find success in many fields. The communication and analytical skills developed by Literature and Creative Writing students are critical to successful careers in creative and professional writing, including teaching, social work, business, journalism, law, library and information professions, politics and development, and many other fields of work.