Students who choose the English major at Luther like to explore the world through reading and writing. They like that part of the Paideia experience, and they build on it with courses in the major like “The Writer’s Voice,” “Shakespeare,” and the seminar.
Because English courses develop through conversation, enrollments are kept small to allow face-to-face contact. The conversation may be about the language of a poem, the character in a novel, or the social world engaged by a play. It might also be about a poem, a story, or an essay in progress.
What kind of exploration takes place in English? Reading can open a window on the identity pangs of a black child growing up under apartheid in South Africa, the lack of religious scruple in a medieval pilgrim, or the squalor of Victorian London. The practice of writing helps not only to develop or refine what you know, but also to push you to new levels of insight and better understanding not only of the world, but also of yourself.
Alums of the department come back each year for a careers event to talk to current students. They share the ways their work as an editor, a teacher, a lawyer, or a manager builds on skills they developed at Luther: reading, writing, speaking, critical analysis, and organization.
When alums report back to the faculty at homecoming, in letters or in visits, they often reflect on how their experience as an English major pushed out the envelope of their humanity. That often has some bearing on how they raise a child, lead a congregation, read a newspaper or a new novel, or survey the night sky in the silence of their backyard.
We, faculty, make our academic home in the department like reading and writing too. We also like the conversation and engagement that goes along with those activities. We look forward to connecting—or reconnecting with you!