College of Letters & Sciences
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Language & Literature

Contact Information

Jonathan Ivry
Associate Professor
Phone: 262-472-5061
Location: Laurentide Hall 3207
Elizabeth Lamb
Department Associate
Phone: 262-472-1036
Location: Laurentide Hall 3112

English Literature Program

The English Literature Program exposes students to a wide spectrum of cultural, literary, and critical perspectives in English and other literatures.

Why We Love Literature and What It Teaches Us

To study literature is to engage in a fundamental human endeavor: to tell a story. We listen or read in wonder as a story unfolds, asking critical questions about the  meaning.

Long ago, stories helped people imagine their relationship to the cosmos as they huddled around a fire, and other stories communicated effective strategies for hunting. Today, too, literature grants us insights into the human condition.Lit. Books

Characters come alive in the theaters of our minds, and we ponder how we share their decisions and losses and triumphs, too. A poem leaves us stunned with beauty or moved by an evocation of pain. A play comes alive and touches us with its magic as we marvel over how words written long ago are imagined anew.

The extraordinary power of literature to stretch our everyday language and open up new possibilities teaches us what it means to be human. To engage in this vibrant world of words and wisdom makes our own lives more rich and full.  

Why Employers Seek Literatures Majors

Literature majors learn:

  • To think and write analytically and creatively, preparing them for the changing realities of the twenty-first century. When analyzing a text, literature majors first focus on details and then how those details fit into a larger pattern. This is the key endeavor of literary training.

  • Persuasive, well-honed communication skills to create a paper that articulates an analysis. These steps mirror the central career skills that are in demand in today's economy. Employers want people who can analyze data, notice a pattern, and articulate why that pattern matters.

  • Sharp research skills, including the ability to find, contextualize, and evaluate a variety of sources. Such skills prepare people for every field that requires a nimble and imaginative thinker, an accomplished writer, and a sophisticated reader of texts of all kinds.

  • And develop a keen sensibility to the way cultural differences shape human perception, making literature majors able to navigate the complexities of the new global century with assurance and attentive understanding.

For more information and to learn about oppurtunities the program offers, explore the links under Program Resources.