Majors & Minors


Engage in critical thinking and improve your communication skills by studying the literature and cultures of the English-speaking world.


Michael Saenger

Michael Saenger

Professor of English and Chair

Michael Saenger

Michael Saenger

Professor of English and Chair

Storytelling is a powerful means of representing ways of thinking and being, teaching cultural norms, sharing ideas, and, of course, entertaining audiences. In turn, the practice of reading, discussing, and writing about texts past and present deepens our understanding and appreciation of literature’s role in shaping and reflecting society.

At Southwestern, majoring or minoring in English opens doors to a range of worldviews and experiences. Here, you can 

  • analyze Shakespeare’s tragedies on the page and on the stage
  • view world cinema or Hollywood romantic comedies with a more critical eye
  • discuss the representation of gender in Restoration drama or Romantic verse
  • explore the complex and divergent perspectives in the fiction of Mary Shelley, Charlotte Brontë, Mark Twain, Toni Morrison, Chinua Achebe, and Michael Chabon

You’ll learn valuable 21st-century skills of interpretation, analysis, research, and writing, and you’ll graduate ready to apply those skills to a broad spectrum of personal and professional pursuits. In addition to graduate study in English, our alumni have gone on to a variety of careers: teaching in K–12 and higher education, humanities research, social-media marketing, content writing, law, fundraising, instructional design, event planning, and project management.


Featured Alumni Stories

“I would not be able to do any of this without the tremendous love and support of my wife, Kristin Santiago,” says Dominguez. “She is the greatest joy of my life and has taught me so much about living. I am eternally grateful to her and our fur son, a Chiweenie named Noodle.”

The Wheel’s Still in Spin

First-generation college student and English major Delilah Dylan Dominguez ’09 has three graduate degrees to her name and is now a practicing physician assistant.

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Julia Byrom Whatley ’44

A Life Well Lived

Julia Byrom Whatley ’44 reflects on Southwestern in the World War II era, her military service, and her 30-year teaching career.

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Jackson Bird ’12

Will it Waffle?

Alumnus Jackson Bird ’12 has created some highly entertaining YouTube videos. But his videos aren’t what made MTV name him one of “12 Social Media Warriors Who Helped Restore Our Faith in 2016.” Bird is harnessing the power of online video to raise awareness of LGBTQIA+ rights and other important social issues.

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English News

Meet Our World-Class Faculty: Sonia Del Hierro

A conversation with Assistant Professor of English Sonia Del Hierro.


Southwestern English Professor Publishes Book on American Jewish Cinematic Tradition

McManis University Chair Helene Meyers is the author of Movie-Made Jews.

Surviving Senioritis

Five Tips for Surviving Senioritis

How (and why) to make your senior year productive—even if you really, really don’t feel like it