Our English Program
A great Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle, conceived of learning as “thought kindling itself at the fire of living thought.” Our students are illuminated and enriched by studying language and literature. Kindle your own fire by joining us.
Our four-year Bachelor of Arts in English program offers courses in all genres – drama, fiction, poetry, and prose – including writers and thinkers from around the world and from the medieval period to the present. Our faculty have expertise across a range of Canadian, British, American, and postcolonial literatures, and a long-standing commitment to the study of the writers who reflect and shape the cultural histories of the people of the English-speaking world.
Our program is highly personalized, since students are given the opportunity to pursue topics of interest on assignments, presentations, and various writings. We invite and expect students to participate in seminar discussions and lectures by asking questions and sharing ideas. Students discover modes of thought and methods of investigation that not only enrich the reading and understanding of language and literature, but are applicable to various disciplines. They become critical in their reading and thinking and clear in their writing and speaking. They develop a passion for reading, writing, and reflecting on the use of language wherever it is written or spoken.
An undergraduate degree in English will provide you with a solid basis for a wide range of careers. While many majors in English become teachers after they graduate, many others become artists, actors, songwriters, broadcasters, journalists, technical writers, essayists, novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, directors, editors, publishers, librarians, archivists, entertainers, public relations specialists, advertising copywriters, marketing experts, researchers, lawyers, doctors, social workers, politicians, and top and mid-level managers, executives, and administrators.
What You Can Expect
Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.
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Study Language and the origin of words
Language is fundamental to our living and being, which is why our program promotes a critical understanding of literature to broaden appreciation of diverse perspectives and values, and to enrich understanding of continuities and changes in culture over time.
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Explore the writing and style of the great thinkers
Our program offers an array of course options for students. Students can study the works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Thomas Carlyle, Emily Dickenson, D. H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, and more. The options are endless.
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Our English students have the rare opportunity to be published in a journal and anthology prior to graduation. Algoma Ink: Journal of Literature and Fine Arts is a collection of literature, poetry and prose, and works of art by students. The anthology is bounded, edited, and written by students.
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Learn from faculty with a broad range of interests
Our dedicated faculty have expertise in a broad range of areas, including Canadian, British, American, and postcolonial literatures.
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Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Lecture Series
Every second year, a significant speaker in either English or History visits the campus as part of a lecture series, providing students with the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from these influential people. In the past, Hayes-Jenkinson lectures have included the likes of Giller-Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Hay; Dr. Tim Cook; Dr. Jim Miller; and Lorna Crozier.
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Research Assistant Work Experience
Each summer, the Department of English hires a student to assist faculty with their current research projects. Dr. Michael DiSanto’s George Whalley Digital Humanities Project (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) offers students exciting opportunities to actively participate in research. For more information, view a profile on Dr. DiSanto’s research.
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Poetry Night is a popular event at Algoma U, and often boasts a sold-out Shingwauk Auditorium, full of family, students, staff, and faculty. Students enrolled in the Creative Writing class will be the spotlight and highlight of the night, reading the works they penned over the course of their semester class. Other students are also encouraged to participate.
For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule sectionGet started now
Meet our Faculty
Our English faculty are experts in the field. Get to know them!
“My degree in English molded my path to becoming a Librarian… I am fortunate to have been a part of the English Department family at Algoma University. The close relationships I built with my professors, and the one-on-one attention that I received from them, allowed me to develop my writing significantly over a period of four years and become the professional I am today.”
“Loved my time at Algoma University in the B.A. English Program. The small class sizes allowed me to receive direct feedback from my professors, many of whom I still keep in contact with. My experiences here helped me to go on and achieve two graduate degrees.”
“The study of language and literature has a distinct place in the university because it encompasses words and ideas, art and life, thinking and feeling, conversation and argumentation – the very stuff of living. It involves the education of the whole person, of the intellect and the emotions together. ‘Language is no mere instrument,’ as George Whalley has written, ‘and, if an instrument at all, the instrument plays on the musician as much as the musician plays on the instrument.’ We study with a playful seriousness in our courses.”
Dr. Michael John DiSanto
“When I was studying language and literature, I was studying the nature of what it means to be human, and I became a better person because of it. As a humanities student, I learned not only how to write well, but how to think critically, feel deeply, and appreciate the perspectives of others. That is something I will value no matter where my future career leads.”