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English and Textual Studies B.A.

Explore creative expression across a broad array of texts—novels, plays, film, digital media and more. Interpret motivations behind stories of yesterday and today and hone your skills as a writer.
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About this Program

  • Take engaging and unique courses exploring how literature, creative writing and screen media intersect with environmental issues, gender and sexuality, critical race and ethnic studies and global cultures.
  • Enjoy small class sizes that are designed to promote discussion and creative work.
  • Learn from experts: Professors in the Department of English are literary historians, critical theorists, film scholars, editors, poets and novelists who approach the field in a variety of ways.
  • Specialize in film and screen studies as a track option and take classes on unique topics like Hollywood cinema, video games and documentary media.
  • Make social connections through campus organizations like our chapter of the English Honors Society Sigma Tau Delta, the gender-inclusive cinematic professional fraternity Delta Kappa Alpha, our Film Club, our weekly writing gathering for creative writers (Write Out) or our department outreach and engagement team of English Ambassadors.
  • Partake as an English student in one of literature’s highest goals: to give voice to a plurality of experiences and worldviews, learning through assigned readings that represent various cultures, classes and modes of experience.

Program Information

Degree Type






College or School

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College of Arts and Sciences

The College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) is Syracuse University’s first and largest college. As the home of the liberal arts, our internationally recognized programs provide the cornerstone of a Syracuse University education with 50+ majors in the natural sciences and mathematics, the humanities and the social sciences (in partnership with the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs).
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While your courses will certainly feature well-known literary texts from the past and present, you will also focus on neglected literary works, film and other forms of audio-visual media, historical documents and non-fictive forms that also demand interpretation. Further, you will consider the cultural discourses and social institutions that influence acts of reading and writing. The optional film and screen studies concentration will allow you to explore the rich and diverse histories of “screen culture” and develop the skills to interpret it.

  • Recognize how meanings are created through acts of critical reading and analysis of texts.
  • Analyze texts in relation to their aesthetics, forms and genres.
  • Analyze texts using theoretical paradigms for literary and cultural studies.
  • Analyze texts in relation to their historical contexts and as bearers of political and ethical meaning and as mediators of power relationships.
  • Analyze the way texts construct categories of difference, including differences of race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, sexuality and class.
  • Formulate sustained interpretive, analytical or conceptual arguments based on evidence drawn from texts.
  • Develop research skills and methods.

  • Narratives of Culture: Introduction to Issues of Critical Reading
  • Hip Hop and Ya Don’t Stop: Issues, Debates and Controversies
  • The Literature of War and Peace
  • Science Fiction
  • World Literature, 1000 to Present

Extracurricular Opportunities

Hands-on learning opportunities

Raymond Carver Reading Series

Through the Raymond Carver Reading Series, you can attend readings by 12-14 prominent writers, followed by a Q&A session with the author. Recent authors include Sarah Shun-lien Bynum, Jamaal May, Monica Youn, Brandon Taylor, Valeria Luiselli, Ilya Kaminsky and Percival Everett.

Student organization

Write Out Syracuse

Write Out is a community writing collective that partners University students, local writers and professional authors with youth-focused afterschool programs to provide a joyful literary experience. The program is co-designed with public-facing community organizations to provide youth a space to share their own stories—on their own terms.

Hands-on learning opportunities

Student-Run Publications

Through many student-run publications and campus organizations, hone your writing capabilities, meet peers with common interests and enjoy professional development and networking opportunities in writing and other related fields. Consider publications like The Daily Orange, Moody Mag and The OutCrowd Magazine; and student groups like Write Out and Nu Rho Poetic Society.

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