Academic Departments > English

English

Academic Departments > English

English

Go to ..

About English

As students of literature, we gain both a body of knowledge and a skill set that will make us richer participants in our own lives and in the lives of others. The study of literature simultaneously immerses us in the past and provides a clearer angle of vision on the present. Through sustained engagement with a diversity of literary traditions, we learn about historical continuities and discontinuities—about the things that bind us together and the things that keep us apart. We enter, through words on the page, values and lives different from our own, making us better citizens of an increasingly globalized human community.

Students of literature also gain skills that are broadly transferable and applicable to a range of goals and careers. 

The study of literature makes us better creative and analytical thinkers; it teaches us to think interpretively about the world around us—about the signs and symbols that make up the deep texture of our lives, our politics, our communities. Through both creative and analytical engagement with the writing of others, we make ourselves better writers, able to work in a number of genres and in relation to a number of different audiences and purposes. We become, through our close attention to language, adept at communication, fluent in the ability to match word to intent. We become, in short, expert in thought and language.

Interesting Classes I Might Take

  • Transnational Cinema, Literature, and Theory
  • Mindfulness and Memoir
  • Apocalyptic Blake
  • Queer Fictions
  • Introduction to Asian American Literature
  • Chaucer and the Classical World
  • A variety of courses in the writing of fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction

Full course list here

Beyond the Classroom

Examples of interesting research projects, theses, internships, study abroad experiences: 

Recent capstones: Constructing Female Identities: Narrative Voice, Feminine Interiorities, and Self-Reflexivity in the Written Word;  Songs and Craft of Selected Female Songwriters (including writing a series of songs inspired by these writers, performing them, and producing a CD); a data-supported investigation, The Impact of Teaching Literacy to Inmates in a Medium-security, State Correctional Facility; Pay-day Lending (a documentary video); and Disenchantment, Ethnographic Surrealism, and Charles Baudelaire’s Le Spleen de Paris

Recent internships: Backstretch employee service team (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.); Ohio Civil Rights Commission (Dayton, Ohio); curatorial/research, Tang Museum exhibition The Classless Society

Recent faculty-student research: A Distant Reading of Empire: Topic Modeling the British Raj; Movement, Networks, and Economies in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales

Popular study abroad programs: Skidmore in London, King’s College (England); Advanced Studies in England (Bath); Skidmore in Paris (France); and Skidmore's Shakespeare Programme (London, England)

Success After Skidmore

Careers: A sampler of what our alumni do

  • Managing editor, news, Yahoo! Inc., NYC
  • Agent for actors, film/TV, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • Producer, Vermont Public Radio, Colchester, Vt.
  • Fellow and director of studies in English, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England
  • VP/deputy publisher, Simon & Schuster, NYC
  • Senior editor, women's fiction, Pocket Books, NYC
  • Editor, Oxford University Press, NYC
  • Art director, New York Times Co., NYC
  • Psychology editor, New Yorker magazine, NYC
  • Senior lecturer in English, Mt. Holyoke College, South Hadley, Mass.
  • Librarian, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec
  • Academic writer/author, McGraw-Hill, Elberton, Ga.
  • CEO/new media entrepreneur, Magnify.net, NYC
  • VP of production, MGM Pictures, Santa Monica, Calif.
  • Boston coordinator, Literacy Volunteers of Massachusetts, Boston, Mass.
  • English teacher, Frederick Douglass Academy, NYC
  • Software production/assistant producer, Houghton Mifflin, Somerville, Mass.
  • Head of lower school, Indian Mountain School, Lakeville, Conn.
  • Technical writer, Jacobs Engineering, Houston, Texas
  • Communications manager, Liberty Mutual Commercial Insurance, Boston, Mass.
  • Web content producer, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Lebanon, N.H.
  • Assistant director, Center for Writing, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • VP of branded entertainment and media innovation, CBS Foundation, NYC
  • Reporter, Bloomberg, London, England
  • PR consultant, Bertelsmann Media Worldwide, Berlin, Germany
  • Book store owner, Battenkill Books, Cambridge, N.Y.
  • Online features editor, Architectural Digest, NYC
  • Media assets coordinator, A&E Networks, NYC
  • Associate director/director of content, Academy of American Poets, NYC
  • Editor-in-chief, Adventure Media, Seattle, Wash.
  • Senior editor, Ziff-Davis Publishing, Foster City, Calif.

Graduate Schools: A sampler of where our alumni go

  • Boston University, Ph.D.
  • Columbia University, M.A. in English, M.F.A. in poetry
  • Fordham University, M.S. in education
  • New York University, M.A. in American studies, M.A. in journalism
  • University of California-Davis, Ph.D. in English literature
  • University of Maryland, Ph.D. in American cultural studies
  • University of Miami, M.A. in English
  • Vermont College, M.F.A. in fiction writing

Faculty

Meet the English faculty members.