When you choose to study literature, you are devoting yourself to understanding the written word. Every student starts with the basics of English, college writing, and literary genres. From there students can begin their journey into the study of literature by taking courses in British and American literature, as well as literary theory. Students choose their courses from a variety of classes that include Literature of the Ancient or the Modern World, African American Literature, and Literature by Women. The English Department also offers two sections of independent studies for students to create their own courses in English. Students work closely with a faculty member of their choice to design virtually the entire course based on their interests.
In spring 2012, the English department collaborated with the Theatre Arts program to offer an Irish Studies course. Students and faculty flew to Dublin, Ireland, where they experienced literature and arts in context. This course was one of the many courses that change topics each year. Other topics include Major World Author: Arthur Miller; Studies in the Novel: Defining the Classic Novel; and Studies in British Literature: British Humor. These courses demonstrate that professors in the English department are always looking for new ways to engage students.
Students in literature must also complete the literature capstone, which incorporates their entire education in the English department. The capstone allows students to show their skills in literary criticism, appreciation, and analysis. Students complete a portfolio that showcases their writing throughout their time at Heidelberg. Each student can also choose their own topic for their final paper. That flexibility is important because every English majors should leave Heidelberg with a sense that they had a hand in creating their education.