English is the study of the history and literature of this complex,
The power of the word
Literary texts record what humanity has found urgent, troublesome or exciting. For most experiences and emotions, there are no adequate words until writers invent them.
Our professors are all active scholars or creative writers, consciously rethinking how they read and write, how written communication functions, how it can be most powerful. Students really see that this is a living field.
You’re not getting a single approach to literature here. We have a very eclectic department, methodologically and theoretically. You can study everything from Anglo-Saxon oral epics to African novels to storytelling in film. You get to move around the department and try out multiple perspectives.
Drew’s London Semester is often directed by English department faculty. While in London, you can soak in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre or Bloomsbury, the neighborhood Virginia Woolf called home. Or write your own masterpiece at the café at Foyles, an epic bookstore on Charing Cross Road.
If you’re fascinated by the status of women in the Scottish Enlightenment, take a class in Women’s and Gender Studies. If you’re looking at the use of clowns in Shakespeare, register for a theatre arts course. You can design your own path through the major.
Careers Made easy
Write to the City
We head into Manhattan to famous literary hotspots like the 92nd Street Y to see readings and lectures. And we bring amazing guest writers to Drew to talk with students about writing and publishing. Networking leads to opportunities.
Our students go on to a wide variety of successes. Some head for grad school in English, or to creative writing MFA programs. Others go into law, teaching, digital media or international nongovernment organizations around the globe.
As an English major from a strong liberal arts school you graduate knowing how to read, write and think. These critical evaluation and communication skills are valued by all employers in the global marketplace.
At Drew, I introduced National Book Award winner Mark Doty at a Writers@Drew event, had work published on ThoughtCatalog.com and held three internships, at Sony Music, Universal Music and Warner Music Group. I followed whatever interested me, and now I’m excited about my future.
I am principal researcher for a multi-institutional research project called the Citation Project, which analyzes how students select and use source materials in researched papers. I’m endlessly curious about how we learn and relate to the world through reading and writing.
Ph.D., Binghamton University
I am finishing my third book of poems, which I worked on as a Guggenheim Fellow, and recently turned in the manuscript of When We Leave Each Other, a book of translations of the work of the leading poet in Denmark, Henrik Nordbrandt. In my spare time I chase things: mountain peaks, tennis balls and especially my two young sons.
Ph.D., New York University
I’m working on an essay for the Cambridge Companion to Elizabeth Bishop about Bishop’s lifelong engagement with the visual arts. I find great pleasure in classroom discussion because students are always making me rethink the literature I am reading.
Ph.D., City of University of New York
I focus on Old and Middle English literature, Celtic and continental European medieval literature, linguistics, critical theory, gender studies and film. From time to time, I take to the stage at Drew.
Ph.D., University of Michigan
My courses help students think about the relationships between literature, history and experience. I love watching my students transform their initial reading experience into careful, well-reasoned arguments.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
When I’m not reading 17th- and 18th-century British literature, I enjoy reading mysteries and tackling crossword puzzles. I’ll also admit to collecting puns.
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
My main focus is Shakespearean scholarship, specifically a paper I’ll present at the Kings College University of London Shakespeare Seminar. Students have told me I taught them how to read. Also, to laugh politely at bad jokes.
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University
I specialize in 20th-century British and comparative literature, critical theory and the Holocaust. I have a book called Modernism, Dirt and the Jews, coming soon from Fordham University Press.
Ph.D., Columbia University
My scholarship explores the importance of the arts, culture, and higher education to vibrant and humane communities. As Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, I help students connect learning with action to become effective, caring citizens of our shared world.
Ph.D. University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
- Co-head of global securities
- Literary apprentice
George Street Playhouse, New Brunswick, N.J.
- Assistant account executive
Saatchi & Saatchi
Learn more about when you graduate
My Favorite Course
“Because of the small size, I was able to express my voice in a class that cared about what I had to say. If it weren’t for Patrick Phillips’ poetry workshop, I do not think I would be where I am today as a writer.”
John Dabrowski, on Creative Writing Workshops