The English Major at Tulane University offers a rich curriculum in which students learn to read, write, and think creatively and critically. In addition to coursework in diverse literatures, the English Department offers classes in such areas as film, television, graphic novels, hip hop, standup comedy, new media, environmental studies, queer studies, cultural studies, gender studies, critical race studies, postcolonialism, digital humanities, archival research, philosophy, creative writing, and theory.
Our majors receive extensive training in writing, speaking, and critical thinking throughout the curriculum and become adept at close reading, argumentation, complex and inventive thinking, interpretation, analysis, and research. The courses we offer also invite students to approach their world with a sense of empathy, civic engagement, inclusion, and justice, both through reading literature and through service-learning experiences that allow students to collaborate with local community members, such as those in schools and prisons.
The course of study for the Major provides our students with experience in textual analysis, substantial instruction in writing, an understanding of literature and literary history in relation to systems of power, and the freedom to tailor coursework according to individual interests. As an English major, you can aim for breadth of study, taking courses in a variety of fields, or you can aim for depth of study, taking a number of courses within a particular field. Students may also opt for a Creative Writing Concentration by taking at least 4 creative writing courses among their electives.
The course of study for the Major provides students with training in literary analysis and critical thinking, substantial instruction in writing, an understanding of literature and literary history in relation to systems of power, and the freedom to tailor coursework according to individual interests.
Majors complete a minimum of 10 courses, which must include:
THE GATEWAY COURSE (ENLS 2000 Literary Investigations): This course introduces majors to the discipline of literary studies, with an emphasis on close reading and analysis, theoretical approaches, research, and writing.
1 SURVEY COURSE (ENLS 2010 Intro To British Literature I, ENLS 2020 Intro To British Literature II, or ENLS 2030 Intro To American Literature): Our survey courses provide our majors with some understanding of literary and cultural history. By covering hundreds of years of literature, the courses make larger movements and shifts visible and provide a crucial context for understanding content in 4000- and 5000-level courses.
1 CAPSTONE SEMINAR (ENLS 5010 Capstone Seminars): Usually taken during the senior year, capstones are seminar-style courses (small class size; discussion-driven) that focus on a specialized field of study and culminate in a substantial research paper. Students who complete an English honors thesis do not need to take the Capstone, though they are welcome to do so for elective credit toward the Major. The Capstone also satisfies the SLA/Newcomb-Tulane Writing Intensive requirement.
7 ELECTIVES: In consultation with their major advisors, majors use electives to design their own course of study. Some majors opt for breadth, taking a variety of courses; others aim for depth, focusing on writing or a particular field of literature. There are some guidelines—see below for information about course level and distribution requirements. Students may also use electives to earn a Creative Writing Concentration.
- 3 of these electives must be 4000-level courses
- 1 elective may be at the 2000 level
- Students may take more than one Capstone Seminar, in which case the additional Capstone would count as an elective (and can substitute for one of the 3 required 4000-level courses)
- Students may complete an Internship (approved by the Department) for elective credit. (An internship does not substitute for one of the 3 required 4000-level courses.)
DISTRIBUTION REQUIREMENTS: Majors must take at least one course in each of the following three areas that are central to literary study. Because these three areas have some fundamental inseparability, one course may satisfy up to two distribution requirements. These distribution requirements may be satisfied by a survey, an elective, or a capstone.
- Literature before 1800
- American or Anglophone literature (i.e., not British)
- Non-dominant perspectives / non-canonical literature with an emphasis on race (including intersectional approaches to gender, sexuality, class, or disability) and on the analysis and critique of unequal systems of power (look here for information about approved courses)
|ENLS 2000||Literary Investigations||3|
|Select one of the following:||3|
|Intro To British Literature I|
|Intro To British Literature II|
|Intro To American Literature|
|Select six upper division electives (any ENLS courses at the 3000 level or higher)||18|
|Select one additional elective (any ENLS course at the 2000 level or higher)||3|
|ENLS 5010||Capstone Seminars 1||4|
|Total Credit Hours||31|
Typically taken in the senior year
Distribution requirements that can be satisfied by surveys, electives, or capstone:
- 1 course in literature before 1800 (British or American literature)
- 1 course in American or Anglophone literature (i.e., not British)