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 8
Nov 2
Nov 12
A Talk by James Shapiro
Northen Auditorium, Leyburn Library

Faculty Publications

Wheeler - Côte Sauvage

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Article, 2014 Côte Sauvage Turbine v.14

Wheeler - End of Talk

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Article, 2014 End of Talk Turbine v.14

Wheeler - Sigh Like Twig the Wonder ...

Wheeler, Lesley (English) Article, 2014 Sigh Like Twig the Wonder Kid Turbine v.14

Warren - Review of the book Conversations ...

Warren, James Perrin (English) Article, 2014 Review of the book Conversations with Barry Lopez: Walking the Path of Imagination, by W. E. Tydeman ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and...

Keen - Human rights discourse and the ...

Keen, Suzanne (English) Book, Chapter/Section, 2014 Human rights discourse and the universals of cognition and emotion: Postcolonial fiction p.347 -368

News & Announcements

Deborah Miranda

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

A Controversial Canonization

During Pope Francis' visit to the U.S., he held a mass on Sept. 23 at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, in Washington, D.C., to canonize the Franciscan friar...

Photo: Michael W. Bunch

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Let's Talk: The Ben and Morey Show

What can you do with an English major from Washington and Lee University? Ben Oddo and Morey Hill, 2012 graduates of W&L, have put their skill with words to use as hosts of a new late-night-talk-show...

Suzanne Keen

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Keen's Book in the Running for Phi Beta Kappa Award

Congratulations to Suzanne Keen, dean of the College and the Thomas H. Broadus Professor of English at Washington and Lee University. Her 2014 book "Thomas Hardy's Brains: Psychology,...

In the News Logo

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

"Shenandoah" Prize Winners Announced

The annual winners of "Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review's" literary prizes in prose are Ashley Davidson's "A Daring Undertaking" for the...

Who signs what: a guide for signature-seekers.