Although we at Stern College for Women read texts in widely differing genres and historical periods, and draw on a variety of critical and theoretical approaches to texts, we share a passion for discussing language.

We explore the power and beauty of words and how and what they can mean. Our courses feature texts of the Western literary tradition from the medieval to the post-modern periods. We engage with students in large classes, small seminars and on a one-to-one basis.

Students learn to analyze and interpret different modes of expression: poetry, prose, drama and film. They practice various types of writing and debate key questions about the relationships of art, society and language.

The department offers majors in literature, creative writing and media (with tracks in journalism, public relations or advertising) and minors in English and in Writing. We also coordinate the interdisciplinary minors for Women's Studies and American studies.

Our students graduate as careful readers and thinkers and especially strong writers, well-prepared to become leaders in fields such as law, education, journalism, publishing, social work, business, nonprofit organizations and the arts.

For further information, please contact Dr. Matt Miller, chair, mmiller2@yu.edu, and see https://yucommentator.org/2020/05/take-an-english-class-and-experience-the-best/.

Mission Statement

The Stern College for Women’s English Department holds that the study of language, literature, and media is fundamentally important to an individual's personal development and  successful functioning within society. The Department understands "acts of interpretation"—the study of texts and their contexts—to be aesthetic, philosophical, historical, political, and ethical.  Consequently, our programs complement a Stern College student's knowledge of religious modes of interpretation. Through close collaboration with faculty, students develop individual projects and reflect critically on their learning.

The Department envisions the study of literature as an end in itself and as the means of developing essential analytic and imaginative training highly valued in fields such as communications and the new media, business, education, publishing, law, and medicine. A broad exposure to the literary productions of diverse time periods and cultures helps our students take their place in the global community of educated men and women of the twenty-first century. In addition to the major in Literature, we offer a track in Media Studies with a focus on one of four areas: Advertising, Creative Writing, Journalism, and Public Relations. We offer a minor in Literature and serve as “home base” for two interdisciplinary minors: American Studies and Women’s Studies. Our Department is also responsible for the required composition course that every student takes in her first year on campus at Stern.

Program Student Learning Goals
  1.   Students will be able to analyze a variety of texts and genres.
  2.   Students will be able to critically evaluate competing critical/theoretical arguments pertaining to given work(s).
  3.   Students will be able to communicate their critical thinking about literature and other media to diverse audiences both orally and in writing
  4.   Students will able to take ownership over their learning experiences both in their course work and beyond.   

Dr. Matt Miller

Associate Chair
Dr. Seamus O'Malley