The English and Communication Arts department offers a wide array of courses in English, American and world literature, writing and theater. The major prepares students to teach and to work in business and other fields (law, publishing, library science) where careful analysis and clear, effective language skills are essential.
A high degree of literacy is a valuable skill, and is enhanced by exposure to a wide range of great written works. The department's approach to literature promotes the following:
- A liberal arts education that ensures professional capability and personal growth;
- Enhanced appreciation of literature through extensive reading and writing;
- Development of imagination and creativity through extensive reading and writing.
English majors learn how to obtain information, analyze it in a variety of ways, and to communicate it clearly to a wide audience.
Beginning with freshman composition, courses in the English department are limited in size, and many are taught on a tutorial basis. All classes emphasize and develop skill in writing and in critical thinking that are transferable to and are essential in all other areas of study.
Departmental faculty regularly sponsors field trips to the professional theaters in the metropolitan area and to special exhibitions at museums such as the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore or the Folger Library in Washington, D.C. In the near future the department will offer summer courses in London and Italy.
Minor in Theater and Drama
The department recently added a minor in theater and drama to the offerings in the English program. Courses include acting, theater history and theater as literature. The skills learned in acting classes are useful in a wide variety of settings and professions.
Guest artists and seminars are offered to enhance the classroom offerings. Field trips and other projects also provide hands-on learning experiences.
Alumnae and Alumni Success Stories
Graduates of Hood's English program have entered a variety of careers and professions. Among these are:
- Professor of English, Fordham University
- Editor, Journal of the National Cancer Institute
- Partner, law firm of Geomage and Burnham
- Executive director, Community Volunteer Services
- Marketing representative, Norton Publishing
- Director of the media center, Johns Hopkins University
- Reporter, Raleigh-Durham Times News
- Reference librarian, Ottendorfer Library
- Assignment editor, WRC NBC4-TV (Washington, D.C.)
- Teacher, AmeriCorps
- Project manager, National Endowment for the Humanities
- Technical writer, Department of the Army
- Communications director, National Citizens' Coalition for Nursing Home Reform
Recent graduates of Hood's English program can best describe the impact of this major:
My English major truly taught me to read, analyze and think well. I'm grateful to my professors for these gifts. I've had to work hard and stay up late many nights to get my work done, but the frustration has become elation. I'm ready to make use of my carefully learned skills.- Class of 2000
The professors in the English department seem to take great pride in the writing achievements of their students. Writing assignments are stressed not simply for the purpose of providing the professors with something upon which to base the students' grades. Rather, it is these writing assignments that are used to hone the students' writing skills as well as their self-confidence. Papers are returned to students not merely marked with a letter or number that is then recorded in a grade book ... fair, honest and constructive comments [are useful] on future assignments and in other courses. — Class of 2001, graduate student
For complete departmental information in our online catalog, click here.