Literature is essential. Whether the medium is novels and books of poetry, film or music on an iPod, narrative and/or lyric art is everywhere. Fiction and poetry feed the imagination and foster creativity and individuality, and students of English study the stories and poems that constitute the literary arts.
Students of English also learn to write. No matter what career path a student might choose, the ability to solve openended problems, perform rhetorical analysis and write persuasively are a profoundly useful skill set that serves graduates in any chosen career. It is very difficult to learn these skills after graduation, and thus students who study English are well prepared to develop professional careers in law, publishing, advertising, public relations, journalism, broadcasting, teaching, public administration and sales, as well as in creative and technical writing.
The Department of English is the home of literary arts at the University of Colorado Boulder. The department offers two major concentrations culminating in the Bachelor of Arts (BA), one in literary criticism and one in creative writing, as well as a minor in creative writing. The concentration in literary criticism emphasizes the history and analysis of literature from Chaucer, Shakespeare, Jane Austen and Toni Morrison, through comic books and hip hop poetics, to digital poetry. The concentration in creative writing teaches the skills of fiction and poetry through small workshopbased studio courses. These two concentrations overlap so that all English majors learn the skills of literary criticism and the art of excellent writing. The minor in creative writing provides a somewhat less intense program of study that can be combined with a major from a different department.
Graduate study in English at the University of Colorado Boulder is an intellectual adventure. Students work closely on research and writing projects with faculty who specialize in all areas of literary, theoretical and cultural studies and creative writing. Intellectual life on campus is exciting and takes many forms, including seminars, colloquia, workshops and visiting scholars sponsored by English and other departments. The graduate student community is especially close, making graduate study in English at CU Boulder a socially as well as professionally enriching experience.
Several centers for advanced study enhance the strength of the English program at CU Boulder: the Center for Humanities and the Arts, the Center for British and Irish Studies, the Center for the American West and the Rap Lab for the Study of Popular Culture. The English Department encourages interdisciplinary work and maintains close ties with many departments across the university.