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English

Literature Concentration

Our Literature concentration empowers English majors to engage critically with the many texts that compose our world. This concentration will train you to analyze various genres, think critically about their implications, and communicate effectively in speech and writing.

Choosing this concentration enables you to build your knowledge of historical traditions in British, American, and world literatures in English, as well as the functions and historical development of the English language. Through this investigation, you will develop skills in research, argumentative writing, and literary analysis, building a foundation for graduate study or employment in areas that require critical thinking and communication skills, all while exploring how language expresses diverse cultural experiences necessary for active participation in our increasingly diverse society.

At Tennessee Tech, we offer a B.A. in English with a concentration in Literature and an M.A. in English (Literature). The catalog outlines the curriculum for this concentration.

We invite current Tennessee Tech undergraduate English Majors to consider our B.A./M.A. Fast Track Program in English.

> Career-Ready Skills
> Class Variety
> Experiential Opportunities
> Accomplished Students & Faculty

 

Career-Ready Skills

  • Critical Reading.  Our students learn to delve deeply into texts, find connections, and understand written works in context. This skill is helpful in any job that requires nuance and interpretation.
  • Critical Thinking. We teach students to think through, evaluate, and communicate their ideas, allowing them to better collaborate in the workplace.
  • Research. Throughout the course of their degree, students in our concentration learn to actively search for, sort through, and engage with scholarly secondary sources. 
  • Making Your Mark. Our scholars engage with the active, worldwide community related to what they’re researching, employing other sources to develop their own readings and interpretations, which is useful in entrepreneurial fields.

Skills like these transfer well to law, government, publishing, sales and marketing, publicity, advertising, or copywriting.

Class Variety

There are plenty of literature subjects covered in our concentration. Classes range over numerous topics. Here's a small sample:

  • Shakespeare
  • 21st Century War Literature
  • Vampire and Empire
  • The Novel
  • The Gothic Tale of Terror
  • Early American Lit: Life Writing
  • Topics in British Literature: Tolkien
  • Black Southern Writers
  • Anglophone Literature
  • The Graphic Novel

 

Experiential Opportunities

Undergraduate and graduate students in English may share their papers in a conference-style setting that is part of the larger university-wide event Research and Creative Inquiry Day. Presenters may win prizes or be invited to publish their papers in the online journal Proceedings of Student Research and Creative Inquiry Day

Students in Literature classes may travel with faculty to conferences in exciting places such as London or New York.  Some literature classes take course-exclusive field trips to places like Rugby, Tennessee, to participate in service learning or Oxford, Mississippi, to explore William Faulkner’s history. 

Literature students have gained hands-on experience in related fields through internships with Volpe Library's Archives, the Biz Foundry, Starcherone Press, Under the Sun, and TTU's Women's Center.

Also available to students are visiting writers invited to Tech through Center Stage—some of which you might be reading right now. Recent guests include Margaret Atwood, Joy Harjo, Ada Limón, Tawnysha Greene, T. C. Boyle, David Romero, and Michael James Rizza.

Our English Club combines interests from all concentrations, planning activities like sharing scary tales around Halloween, playing literature-themes trivia, and trading books as part of our Valentine’s Day special event Blind Date with a Book. 

 

Accomplished Students and Faculty

Our students often win recognition and prizes at conferences, presentations, and departmental competitions. We offer scholarships such as the Joan Barber Memorial Scholarship in English, Robert F. Bode Memorial Scholarship in English, Charles Denson Daniel Memorial Scholarship, Sheila H. Officer Scholarship in English, Francis Savage Taylor Scholarship in English, and the Carroll Viera Appreciation Scholarship. 

English scholars may choose to go on to acquire higher education such as M.A. and Ph.D. programs, or apply their skills to industries where sharp analysis and communication are needed.

Our faculty includes specialists in American, British, and World Literature. Information about our instructors can be found on the English faculty page

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Student standing at the front of the classroom giving a presentation on Frankenstein
The Literature concentration produces critical thinkers and evaluators with strong skills in research and writing.