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Message from the Department Chair

English majors at Lehigh love to read, sometimes bringing this love with them from high school, sometimes developing it in first-year English classes.  If on a spring afternoon you visited the terrace of Drown Hall, our home on Lehigh's South Mountain, you would be likely to find students scattered in chairs reading, hunched at tables editing one another's papers, or gathered to continue a discussion begun in class.  These students will have spent a good part of their time at Lehigh reading literature that deepened their imaginations and honed their ability to experience and think differently about their lives.

Our majors say that one thing they love about English at Lehigh is the size of our classes.  These vary from small seminars to a few larger courses, mixing lecture with discussion.  We're a small enough department that our faculty come to know our majors well, yet large enough to offer a wide range of courses.  All of our courses help students learn to read closely, to make arguments and support them effectively, and to engage with others' ideas.  And because these skills are best fostered through writing, all of our courses ask students to write frequently, in different forms and with varying audiences in mind.

We boast that our students are among the most creative at Lehigh: they fill our writing classes and find opportunities to publish, read, and perform their work.  English majors are also committed to issues of social justice, both in the classroom and in their communities.  Our students often double major (in fields such as Economics, Psychology, Journalism, Design, and Biological Sciences) and pursue internships and study abroad opportunities.

When they leave us, some enroll in graduate and professional schools; others pursue opportunities in business, government, or education.  No matter what career they choose, they find themselves enriched by the literature and film they have explored.

Dr. Edward Whitley, Department Chair