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Haverford College
Department of English


Students & Steve FinleyThe English department offers courses in the literary traditions of the English-speaking world. The department aims to develop in its students the ability to respond to texts thoughtfully and critically, and to articulate those responses in clear and fluent English.

In our curriculum, we seek to maintain a working balance between a commitment to the traditional canon of British and American literature and an expanding horizon of fresh concerns, including courses in African-American literature, Asian-American literature, South Asian literature, South African literature, Irish literature, gender and sexuality studies, and courses inflected by particular theoretical foci, such as performance theory, queer theory, post-colonial theory, trauma theory, media studies, and visual studies. This discipline prepares interested students for postgraduate work in English and other subjects; for advanced work in professional and business schools; and for service in government and social work.

English majors should have a reading knowledge of at least one foreign language. Students who plan to do post-graduate work should know that most doctoral programs require a reading knowledge of both French and German, and in some cases, of Latin.

Courses in English taken at Bryn Mawr College may be counted toward the Haverford English major. Students with interest and ability in creative writing may receive major credit for one semester of course work in such writing. Students who submit a portfolio of work, no later than the end of first term of their junior year, may be admitted to the creative writing “concentration,” which consists of three courses in creative writing, one of which may be the Senior Essay written for English 399b.