The English curriculum focuses on English and American literary history, including literature by women and by writers from diverse cultures; on skills for reading various kinds of literature with comprehension and delight; on historical, social, intellectual, and aesthetic contexts for literature; on skills for writing powerfully, clearly, and correctly; and on knowledge of the world and of the self that comes through literature and writing. The department also strives to provide a solid foundation for those who wish to teach English at the secondary level and for those who wish to pursue a higher degree.

We also recognize new modes of writing that emerge with new technologies and offer a minor in professional writing to prepare effective writers and communicators for the twenty-first century. Diversity permeates everything that happens in the English program at Salem — diversity in our people, our backgrounds, our outlooks, and in the way we approach literary inquiry. This, coupled with a philosophy of “small classes and large offices,” presents students with an experience that is both intimate and expansive.