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King’s To Begin Offering Bachelor of Arts in English

01.25.2016 | Alissa Wilkinson

library of old books

The King’s College is pleased to announce the creation of the Bachelor of Arts in English, the sixth major at The King’s College, which was recently approved by the New York State Education Department.

The major focuses on the study of English language and literature, with an optional creative writing component. “The King’s College has always placed supreme value on the study of literature through its core courses in Western Civilization and the Judeo-Christian Tradition, which introduce students to Homer, Virgil, Dante, Shakespeare, and Milton, among others,” said Dr. Ethan Campbell, Associate Professor of English. “Now King’s offers students the chance to study those works more closely, and to read more broadly from great works of poetry, drama, and fiction, in a dedicated degree program. The philosophy behind The King’s College English major is to place students in front of the world’s greatest works of imaginative literature, and as much as possible, to let those works and their ideas speak for themselves. ”

The King’s College English major is distinct from many similar degrees at other schools in its broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of literature and language. The requirements begin with the college’s strong core curriculum, which emphasizes writing, philosophy, theology, politics, and economics. The major also provides a grounding in the broader tradition of the arts through the three-course “Arts and Ideas” sequence.

Additionally, English majors take three foundational literature courses: Classical Literature, which introduces the works of ancient Greece and Rome upon which so much of later Western culture is built; English & American Poetry, which covers the fundamentals of poetic and rhetorical effects in the English language, as well as the history of developments in literary genres; and Shakespeare, whose histories, tragedies, comedies, and poetry influenced virtually every writer who followed, as well as the English language itself.

English majors at The King’s College don’t just study great works of literature in the Western tradition; they also create imaginative works of their own through a huge variety of creative writing courses, including Fiction Writing, Dramatic Writing, Creative Non-Fiction, and the Poetry Workshop, as well as a creative writing option for the senior project.

“English majors at King’s thus graduate with more exposure to the disciplines that undergird and surround the study of literature than in virtually any other English degree program in the country,” noted Campbell.

“The study of English as a means of communication and expression is at the heart of what The King’s College does to prepare our students to shape and lead strategic institutions, for English is now the undisputed lingua franca of our world in nearly every realm of endeavor, from arts to philosophy, from politics to business,” said Dr. Mark Hijleh, Vice President for Academic Advancement and Dean of Faculty at King’s. “In that sense, our new English major highlights and enhances one of the most fundamental ways in which we have pursued our mission from the beginning.”

Students who earn the B.A. in English will be prepared for graduate-level work in the humanities and social sciences, including law school, as well as careers in fields such as journalism, publishing, internet content development, law, public policy, and politics.

“As liberal arts colleges and universities increasingly jettison the study of the humanities, we at King’s recognize and celebrate the study of literature as the bedrock of the study of the arts and letters,” said Dr. Henry Bleattler, Chair of the Program in Media, Culture, and the Arts. “A King’s student who majors in English with our Politics, Philosophy, and Economics common core will be more than prepared for the workforce. In fact, I’d venture to say that such a graduate will be a step ahead of his or her peers.”

The Bachelor of Arts in English will be offered beginning in the Fall 2016 semester.