Department of English

Department Profile

The Department of English offers outstanding opportunities for students thinking of careers in such varied fields as higher education, law, creative writing, business, government, and middle/secondary school teaching. In recent years, our majors have held many undergraduate fellowships before winning admission to the most selective post-graduate and law schools in the country, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, and the University of Virginia. Students in our Interdisciplinary Cinema Studies Program have secured internships in studios like Universal and Spike Lee’s 40 Acres and a Mule before going on to pursue graduate study and a career in film. Many of our majors take advantage of the Advanced Studies in England Program to spend a summer or a semester in Bath, England and take courses taught by Oxford professors.

The English major provides a rich, humanistic education that prepares graduates for success in many different fields. Students may choose between two related but distinct course sequences. English Arts is a relatively traditional curriculum oriented to the study of literature , while English Expression was developed for the student who wishes to write. Both sequences reflect Hampton’s historical identity. For example, students may choose courses in African American English, African American, Caribbean, and African Literature, as well as such traditional offerings as Shakespeare, American Literature, and Literary Criticism.

Majors who wish to become middle or secondary school teachers may enter a five-year program that culminates in both a Bachelor’s in English (B.A.) and a Master’s degree in Teaching (M.T.). Our English Education majors are recruited by the most selective school districts in the country. Recently one of our English Education majors was honored as National Teacher of the Year.

The Department of English also hosts an Interdisciplinary Program in Cinema Studies and offers a number of stimulating film-related courses. Recently, for example, students enrolled in a course in scriptwriting focused on adapting the work of novelist Omar Tyree. At the end of the course their work was critiqued in person by Mr. Tyree.

Regardless of sequence, a major may choose among a wide variety of upper-level writing courses (including technical writing, fiction, narrative nonfiction, and argumentative writing). These courses have all been designed to develop the ability to communicate in a wide range of business, professional, and graduate school settings.

The department also offers special topics courses in subjects as diverse as Law and Literature,” “Writing for Magazines” and “The Business of Publishing.” These courses enable professors to share their areas of research and particular expertise with students.

The large number of free electives in the major makes it convenient for students to minor in other subject areas, such as political science, business, and journalism. This flexibility helps them to prepare for careers in law, business and professional writing. Alternatively, it allows them to pursue a variety of interests not necessarily related to their intended vocation.