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Students who study in the Yeshiva College English Department gain direct, intimate access to other cultures and time periods, through encounters with works from classical Greece, medieval Europe, and Victorian Britain to U.S. and world literature of the present. At the same time, students develop both analytically and creatively as writers and thinkers, learning to express themselves with clarity and power. In engaging us with a range of forms — poetry, fiction, nonfiction, drama, film, as well as the genres of the Internet age — English courses enlarge our vision of the complexity and richness of human achievements and how we might contribute to them ourselves.

These are strengths prized in a wide variety of professions. As a number of articles in the mainstream press and more specialized publications have recently argued, skills developed in literature and writing courses yield advantages not only in the fields of teaching, publishing, and journalism but also in any profession in which critical thinking, analysis, and the ability to communicate effectively are vital. YC English majors have gone on to such careers as business, medicine, and law as well as television production, filmmaking, and urban planning.

While at YC, English majors join a community. From their initial work together in Interpreting Texts, our gateway course, each cohort of majors embarks on a shared intellectual journey that culminates in the Senior Colloquium, a yearlong discussion in which students join with English Department faculty members to learn from each other. Whether you pursue an English major or minor or our Writing minor, you will come together with faculty and other students over text as a source of lifelong intellectual engagement, and of surprise and wonder.

Please click here for the mission of and goals for the Writing Minor and here for information about our new Media Studies Minor.

Mission Statement

The English Department’s mission is to teach the forms, traditions, theories, and practices foundational to contemporary literary studies, as well as the skills and habits of mind necessary for interpreting, analyzing, and creating texts; to develop “a disposition, a habit, a way of being in the world of words” (Derek Attridge).

In mentoring sophisticated readers of text and of culture—from classical Greece to medieval Europe to the U.S. of the Internet era; from Victorian Britain to the postcolonial Caribbean—we seek to enlarge students’ understanding of themselves and of those who are different from them, to broaden their sense of intellectual citizenship. And in training them as writers, the Department seeks to develop students’ creative as well as analytical skills, and their ability to express themselves with clarity and power in a complex modern world.

Student Learning Goals

  • Hone reasoned and compelling critical analysis skills 
  • Learn a wide range of literary traditions and forms, and build awareness of the changing contexts of literary production.
  • Reflect meaningfully upon their own cultural histories and values, as well as the cultures and values of others.
  • Connect with others effectively through written and verbal communication. 

For more information about the English Department at Yeshiva College, please contact Professor Rachel Mesch at mesch@yu.edu or 212.960-5400 ext. 6868. 

Program Information

Click the following links to see descriptions of the exciting courses the English Department has offered over the last several years.

The following list includes faculty who teach at the Beren (B) and/or Wilf (W) campus.

  • Barbara Blatner
    Lecturer in English (W)
  • Deb Brown
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B) 
  • Lauren Fitzgerald
    Professor of English (W) 
    Director, The Wilf Writing Center
  • Lauren Fusilier
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B)
  • Paula Geyh
    Associate Professor of English (W)
  • Avital Goldschmidt
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B)
  • Gina Grimaldi
    Clinical Assistant Professor of English (B)
    Assistant Director, The Beren Writing Center
  • Joanne Jacobson
    Professor of English, Emerita (W)
  • Lynda Johnson
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B)
  • Joy Ladin
    David & Ruth Gottesman Professor of English (B) 
    Director, The Beren Writing Center
  • David Lavinsky
    Associate Professor of English (W)
  • William Lee
    Associate Professor of English, Emeritus (W)
  • Rachel Mesch
    Professor of French (W)
    Chair, English Department
  • Matt Miller
    Associate Professor of English (B)
  • Erik Mintz
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B)
  • Nora Nachumi
    Associate Professor of English (B)
  • Richard Nochimson
    Professor Emeritus of English
    RLN@yu.edu
  • Seamus O'Malley
    Associate Professor of English (B)
  • Ann Peters
    Associate Professor of English (B)
  • David Puretz
    Lecturer in English (W)
  • Liesl Schwabe
    Lecturer in English (W)
    Director, YC Writing Program
  • Michael Shelichach
    Adjunct Instructor in English (B)
  • Linda Shires
    David and Ruth Gottesman Professor of English, Emerita (B) 
    Co-Chair, Department of English
    Coordinator of Humanities
  • Norma Silbermintz
    Adjunct Instructor in English (W)
  • Elizabeth Stewart
    Associate Professor of English (W)
  • Fred Sugarman
    Adjunct Instructor in English (W)
    Associate Dean of Yeshiva College
  • Brian Trimboli
    Lecturer in English (W)
  • Cynthia Wachtell
    Research Associate Professor of American Studies (B) 
    Director, S. Daniel Abraham Honors Program 

English Major

Students can choose between two concentrations in the English major, Literary Studies or Creative Writing. 

Literary Studies Concentration: 33 Total Credits 

Required courses:

  • ENG 2010, Interpreting Texts, to be taken within the first two semesters of study for the major
  • Eight electives, two of which may be ENG Core courses numbered 1001–1099, and two of which maybe Creative Writing courses (ENG 1300–1899)
  • ENG 3005, Advanced Research Seminar (only offered in the Fall)
  • ENG 4001, Senior Colloquium (only offered in the Spring) 

Creative Writing Concentration: 33 Total Credits

Required courses:

  • ENG 2010, Interpreting Texts, to be taken within the first two semesters of study for the major
  • Three literary studies courses, two of which may be ENG Core courses numbered 1001–1099
  • Five creative writing courses (ENG 1300–1899)
  • ENG 3005, Advanced Research Seminar (only offered in the Fall)
  • ENG 4001, Senior Colloquium (only offered in the Spring) 

Notes for both Concentrations:

  • FYWR 1020/H may be taken during the same semester as ENG 2010 but is a pre-requisite for all other ENG courses except Core ENG courses numbered 1001–1099. It does not count towards the 33 credits.
  • At least one literary studies course (numbered 2011–3999) must focus on the pre-1700 period (Medieval to Early Modern Literature and Culture)
  • At least one literary studies course (numbered 2011–3999) must focus on the period between 1700-1900. 

Minors

Creative Writing Minor: 15 Total Credits

Required courses:

  • Five Creative Writing courses (ENG 1300–1899)

Note:  FYWR 1020/H is a prerequisite for ENG Creative Writing courses and does not count towards the minor.

English Minor: 18 Total Credits

Required courses:

  • ENG 2010, Interpreting Texts
  • Five ENG courses, of which two of which may be Core ENG courses numbered 1001–1099, and one may be a Creative Writing course (ENG 1300–1899). 

Note:  FYWR 1020/H may be taken during the same semester as ENG 2010 but is a pre-requisite for all other ENG courses. It does not count towards the 18 credits. 

Media Studies Minor: 18 Total Credits

Required courses:

  • ENG 2010, Interpreting Texts
  • Six additional ENG credits (one approved Creative Writing course and one approved 2000- or 3000-level media-related course)
  • One approved three-credit course from another discipline
  • Two additional approved courses (which may be Core courses)

Click here for more information about the Media Studies Minor.

To chart your progress through the English Majors or Minors, please visit the Advising Center’s Fact Sheets.

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