Department of English
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The SMU Department of English


The Department of English is dedicated to the study of the English language and literature. Like all forms of art, the creations of writers give us direct access to what it means to be human in all its complexity and mystery. Our committed faculty of teachers and scholars, poets and novelists cover literary productions from the first flowerings of poetry in Old English to the most recent creative work.

Our teachers help students to think and write with clarity and grace as they prepare to work in a world where communication has become the signature endeavor of our world. Our undergraduate majors and minors will enter the arenas of government, law, business, public service, the arts, education, and every other field, mindful of the importance of language and imagination in effecting change. At the same time, the graduate students in our Ph.D. program are being prepared to join faculties at the best universities in the world.

Before you leave the page, listen to Professor Willard Spiegelman’s TEDxSMU talk "Realms of Gold" on what it means to be a literate human, or Greg Brownderville's TEDxSMU talk "How to Make Up Your Mind" (hint: it involves poetry).