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Welcome to the Department of English & Cultural Studies!

Welcome to the Department of English and Cultural Studies! We have a tradition of outstanding scholarship and teaching in the fields of English and Cultural Studies, and our graduate and undergraduate programs have strong reputations. We combine long-standing commitments to traditional areas of English literary study, ranging from Medieval and Early Modern to contemporary British, American, and Canadian literature, with expertise in interdisciplinary areas and themes, such as science fiction, narratives of health, and literature/culture and the environment.

Contemporary critical theory, critical race studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and decolonization and resistance also form core elements of our program. We were among the first English Departments in Canada to develop courses and programs in Cultural Studies and Critical Theory, and these offerings foster a unique and valuable set of critical, analytical, and communications skills in our students.

Finally, at the same time as we attend to the aesthetic qualities of literature and the power of the imagination, our program emphasizes the place and effects of literature and other forms of cultural production in the world. By teaching students how to think in creative and thoughtful ways, to write, speak, and listen carefully and critically, and to problem solve effectively, an English degree opens all kinds of doors to students – ones that might not be immediately obvious – in a volatile job market.  Employers seek employees who are adaptable and versatile; these are qualities that an English degree helps you develop and hone. A humanities education reminds us of our own humanity, and teaches us to view the world empathically, creatively, expansively; it also teaches us to be better local and global citizens.

Dr. Susie O’Brien
Chair, The Department of English & Cultural Studies