Majors & Minors


Southwestern’s English Department prepares you for a life of engaged, critical thinking by studying the literature and cultures of the English-speaking world.


Eileen Cleere

Professor of English & Chair



Eileen Cleere

Professor of English & Chair


Reading, discussing and writing about texts past and present, students gain a deepened understanding of literature’s role in shaping and reflecting society.  They learn skills of interpretation, analysis, research and writing, whose applications and value span a broad spectrum of personal and professional pursuits.

Students can engage Shakespeare’s tragedies, Hollywood screwball comedies, Chaucer’s verse, Charlotte Brontë’s or Toni Morrison’s fiction—exploring, testing and challenging the complex and divergent perspectives they find.

  • The major in English is part of the Bachelor of Arts program, which includes the option of a paired major in English and Feminist Studies
  • A minor in English can be combined with any major program at Southwestern. 
  • In addition, students seeking certification to teach in secondary schools may choose English as a second teaching field, and those seeking elementary certification may choose an academic specialization in English.


Featured Alumni Stories

Chelsey celebrated Circadian’s release at Book Woman

Chelsey Clammer, SU ‘05, Releases New Book, Circadian, Winner of the Red Hen Press Nonfiction Manuscript Award

“I take a different approach to storytelling, and I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the critical thinking skills I learned at Southwestern.” - Chelsey Clammer ’05

Read Full Story

Laura Cordes ’91, Distinguished Humanitarian

For advocating for the rights of sexual assault victims, the Southwestern University Alumni Association proudly presents Laura Cordes with the 2016 Distinguished Humanitarian Award.

Read Full Story


English News

David Gaines

SU Professor and Bob Dylan Expert David Gaines Traveled to Sweden for Nobel Week

David Gaines shares his “once-in-a-lifetime” experience in Sweden when Bob Dylan awarded the Nobel Laureate in Literature.

Suzanne Savoy

House of Cards Actress Suzanne Savoy to Perform One-Woman Show at Southwestern University

Southwestern University to host Suzanne Savoy as she performs “Je Christine: A Medieval Woman In Her Own Words” on Monday, April 24, at 5 p.m.


Southwestern English Professor David Gaines Reflects on Bob Dylan’s Nobel Prize

English professor loves sharing his knowledge of Bob Dylan, and applauds Dylan’s Nobel Prize.