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English Major

Study English literature across a broad range of historical periods, geographies and genres, becoming a skilled critic and compelling writer.

English majors and minors engage, interpret and analyze a vast swath of literary texts that cross genres, places and time. Your study will be close and deep as you seek to understand English literatures’ forms, meaning, contexts and relationships. In the English department you can take courses ranging from modern British and Irish literature to Asian American literature, from William Blake to Native American women writers. You can explore film and text, and write your own fiction and poetry. You’ll master interpretation and analysis, learning to formulate robust and original arguments both in writing and speaking. English majors are invited to develop individual paths through the curriculum with their advisors.

Seminar with Professor Kevin Dettmarr
Seminar with Professor Kevin Dettmar
Poring over a text in class
Poring over a text in class
Rosenfeld in Class
In class with professor Colleen Rosenfeld

What You’ll Study

    • Two courses in methods of literary study
    • Four courses centered on historical literary periods
    • Courses in poetry and poetics and prose and narrative
    • Focused study on an individual author’s work
    • Courses emphasizing two sociopolitical areas 
professors make up Pomona’s award-winning English faculty.

Learning at Pomona

Printed Marginalia in Early English Texts

Emma Smith ’14, Katherine Snell ’15 and Alana Friedman ’16 began a database of printed marginalia in Early English texts, the first of its kind. 

Chaucer’s the book of Duchess. Creative Commons, Wikipedia

Boredom and Nonsense in Chaucer’s The Book of Duchess

Claire Pershan ’15 took “an interesting, unexpected dive into ancient diagnoses of acedia and melancholia, Aristotelian philosophy, Medieval logic, and some really stunningly beautiful poetry.” 

Claire Pershan ’15

As an English major I have been exposed to different ways of thinking: about literature and media, but also about social and philosophical concepts, and about the larger world…most of all, I think I have learned how to ask important questions.

Faculty & Teaching

Among Pomona’s English professors are award-winning and critically acclaimed poets, novelists and cultural commentators. They are experts in numerous genres, time periods, authors and topics, including the work of Jane Austen, AfroFuturism, rock music, and the literature of incarceration.

Professor Kevin Dettmar

To study English is to deepen your appreciation for and understanding of the myriad ways in which texts work. All kinds of texts: from lyric poetry to experimental fiction, from Hollywood film to rock music blogs, from Chaucer to Tao Lin. The English major and minor give students a wide range of literary experiences to shape them into culturally and multi-culturally sophisticated readers and writers.