The field of English is where imagination meets critical thought through inquiry into the complex relations among language, culture, and history. English trains you in reading and writing (our discipline’s methodologies) and introduces you to literature, the most synthetic, inclusive, interdisciplinary, and flexible form for the representation of our species.
The study of literature cultivates innovation and precision, unsettles the familiar, and attunes you to culture’s relation to justice. In short, English is indispensable to a Rice education.
English students at Rice engage critically with literary and cultural texts and in the process develop an enduring habit of intellectual curiosity, artful articulation, and the capacity for creative thought. The English curriculum gives students a historical knowledge of literature’s development, its relationship to the lived experience of culture, and its connections to knowledge in other disciplines. Students gain skills to read texts closely, to use analytical and theoretical tools in the study of language, and conduct independent research. Visit the English Major page to learn more about the core requirements and the wide range of elective courses.
Rice’s English curriculum ranges from traditional courses in English and American literature to courses in film and media studies, posthumanism, gender and sexuality, literary theory, ecocriticism, African-American, Asian-American and Chicano literature as well as the Anglophone literature of the postcolonial world. The department is home to a vibrant creative writing community offering courses in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction.