It is only in combing through literature, Jean-Paul Sartre argues, that we access the active, imaginative portions of our minds. The English Department aims to pass on a love of literature, deepening students’ understanding of themselves and their responsibility to one another. 

Majors and Minors:

  • English Major
  • English Major with Creative Writing Emphasis
  • English Major with Secondary Education Minor
  • Elementary Education Major with English Minor
  • English Minor
  • Creative Writing Minor

By joining the lively community of the Carthage English Department, you will immerse yourself in the habits and practices of reading, writing, close analysis, and imaginative thought. In each of your courses, you will learn both to observe the fine details of language and to ask serious questions about life, art, history, and justice.

Wrestling with such big questions will also help you to forge a narrative of your own. An English major serves as a springboard to any career rooted in critical and creative thought. Our graduates now work in fields as varied as education, graphic design, sales, creative writing, journalism, and law.

Attentive Professors

The average English class at Carthage has fewer than 20 students, so you will have an opportunity to build strong relationships with your professors. “The faculty really care and take the time to get to know you, both as a student and as a person,” says English major Brent Nemetz ’14. Carthage’s Visiting Writer Series regularly brings poets and novelists to campus for workshops, readings, and lectures.

Exciting Coursework

Many of the English courses at Carthage are interdisciplinary, allowing students to explore literature from multiple points of view. Courses include American Literary Traditions, Literature in Its Time: Shakespeare’s Comic Contemporaries; Midnight’s Children, Parents, and Grandchildren (Indian Fiction in English); The Bible as Literature; The Harlem Renaissance; and many more.

Enhanced Learning, Travel

English students at Carthage are expected to take advantage of the many opportunities on and off campus to enrich their education. Literary programs, from lectures to plays, are offered at Carthage and in renowned theatres in nearby Milwaukee and Chicago. Every fall, English faculty and students travel to Ontario for the acclaimed Stratford Shakespeare Festival. On campus, student writers meet weekly for poetry slams and open-mic nights, or gather in the Writing Center to share and receive writing assistance.

Career Advancement

English students develop skills that are vital to careers in many fields, from journalism to public relations to law. English majors think critically and creatively, in order to see problems from many angles. They are informed and effective communicators, and carry with them a love of literature and writing that enriches them for life.

Creative Writing

Carthage encourages interested students to explore the art and craft of creative writing. Carthage offers an English major with an emphasis in creative writing, and a creative writing minor. Creative writing students work closely with writing faculty as they experiment with poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction. Before graduation, every creative writing student creates a chapbook of original work and presents a public reading on campus.


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“The English Department offers many opportunities to enjoy and apply literature outside the classroom, such as the Stratford Festival of Theatre in Canada, trips to see theatrical productions in Chicago, and [presentations] at literature conferences.” 
— Emily Kolesar ’12



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