English Department

Working closely with dedicated faculty members, students in this department hone their ability to think and read critically, reason persuasively, and write eloquently. Through exploring a constantly evolving range of course offerings, English majors learn the methodologies and vocabularies appropriate to literary study; contemplate the forms and purposes of literary art in a variety of periods and cultures; and investigate the intersections between English and many other disciplines.

The English department also fosters a culture of curiosity and intellectual endeavor, as well as respect for a variety of cultures and intellectual approaches, through advising, internships and service learning, study abroad, and extracurricular programming. Students who pursue optional creative writing courses balance critical study with creative endeavor, learning the history and forms of literary art as apprentice practitioners.


  • 35-50 students per graduating class major in English or minor in Creative Writing
  • Gateway seminar, spring term study abroad opportunities, and senior capstone experiences
  • Internship opportunities at celebrated literary magazine, Shenandoah
  • 11-course major makes it easy to study abroad, double-major or complete a minor
  • Frequent readings and lectures by visiting writers and scholars
  • Compatible with pre-med or health professions preparation
  • Departmental prizes and scholarships awarded annually

Upcoming Events

Date Event
Oct 30
Shannon-Clark Lecture
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library, 7:00 PM
Nov 3
Glasgow Endowment Reading by Bruce Holsinger
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library, 7:00 PM

Faculty Publications

Wheeler - A New Walk

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Book, Chapter/Section, 2014 A New Walk p.3 -13

Wheeler - Photoautotrophic

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Article, 2014 Photoautotrophic Paris Lit Up v.2

Wheeler - Review of the book Winter, ...

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Article, 2014 Review of the book Winter, by P. Fargnoli Poets' Quarterly n.Fall

Smith - In the Night Orchard: New ...

Smith, Rodney T. (English) Book, 2014 In the Night Orchard: New and Selected Poems

Gavaler - Is and Isn’t: Literary Upheavals ...

Gavaler, Chris (English) Article, 2014 Is and Isn’t: Literary Upheavals in the Post-Real Landscape The Writer's Chronicle

News & Announcements

Wayne Koestenbaum

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Wayne Koestenbaum to Give Shannon-Clark Lecture at W&L

Wayne Koestenbaum, American poet, critic, essayist, librettist, novelist and artist, will give the Shannon-Clark Lecture at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 30, at 7 p.m. in Northen...

Jane Satterfield

Friday, September 26, 2014

Glasgow Endowment to Sponsor Poetry Reading at W&L

Poets Jane Satterfield and Ned Balbo will give a poetry reading at Washington and Lee University on Thursday, Oct. 2, at 4:30 p.m. in Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library. They will read from their...

Who signs what: a guide for signature-seekers.