English students at Whitworth occupy a vibrant intellectual and creative space in a department that maintains a creative tension between tradition and innovation. Our curriculum reflects current research in the field and incorporates the study of canonical standards as well as multicultural, ethnic, and world literatures. The department also maintains ties with the gender-studies and study-abroad programs. Through both classroom interaction and mentoring relationships, English faculty encourage students to pursue lives of spiritual commitment and resolution to act as stewards of God's creation while promoting civil and personal justice.
Students of all tracks -- writing, literature, and education -- emerge from the program with a love for literature and writing, as well as the skills needed to succeed in professional life or graduate school. Upper-division writing workshops led by published faculty challenge students to cultivate their creative style and produce high-quality portfolios of their writing for publication. Students frequently present their work at regional and national undergraduate conferences. Department alumni have a strong record of acceptance into graduate programs around the world.
In-class learning spills over into late-night study sessions in the shabby-chic student lounge, where majors and non-majors stop by to make a pot of coffee, chat with professors, and hold impromptu writing workshops. During the warmer months, some classes move outside to convene in the beautiful courtyard and garden located adjacent to Westminster Hall, the English department's main building. In spring, the English community gathers for celebrations such as the Senior Reading and the annual hot-dog and used-book sale, which is usually followed by a reading from Script, Whitworth's student-run literary journal.