The Franklin College Department of English and Creative Writing is committed to the careful study of the individual expression and cultural values found in English, American, and world literature.
The department is one of Franklin College’s most exciting intellectual communities. Our faculty of dedicated teacher-scholars share with students their expertise in, and enthusiasm for, literature from a variety of genres, periods, and cultures—works drawn from the traditional canon to the works of emerging artists, from Greek tragedy to graphic novels, from Shakespearean sonnets to postmodern poetry. Small class sizes mean professors get to know their students and can engage with them in intense debates and deep analyses of literary works that continue outside the classroom.
Our dedicated faculty of practicing writers and scholars guide students in small classes and workshops that cover a variety of genres, as well as provide students with frequent out-of-class opportunities to exercise and hone their craft. Creative writing students can expect a rigorous yet collegial environment that allows for engaged learning, collaboration and experimentation.
By honing a diverse set of reading and writing skills, the English and creative writing department’s majors and minors recognize the artistic achievements, insights, and possibilities inherent in literature to create their own meaningful work as they prepare for professional positions, graduate study, and civic engagement.
In addition to their commitment to the classroom, faculty in the English and creative writing department maintain active scholarly agendas, publishing their research and presenting at major national and international conferences on a wide variety of topics, including the intersections of narrative theory and gender theory; the limitations of humanity in Shakespeare’s Richard II; modernist irony as a response to colonial exhibitions; flipped classroom pedagogy; landscape and medieval gender roles; feminist readings of global modernism; and deforestation in contemporary Anglophone Caribbean literature. In addition, our creative writing faculty have won awards and national attention for their work.
Introductory courses provide students with an understanding of different creative genres, as well as the fundamentals of creative writing processes, literary citizenship and the contemporary literary landscape. Students learn to read like writers, engaging in literary analysis to appreciate the nuances of text construction. In later courses, students perform genre-specific studies, closely studying, deploying and sharpening particular writing techniques, and engaging in significant revision and experimentation as they hone their unique voices and join ongoing literary conversations.
As creative writers, we untangle texts and cultural contexts to discover new strategies for reading and writing, with students interrogating both the worlds of the texts they read and write, and their own world, understanding how texts communicate, shape and move all of us. Through guided practice, students gain confidence, empathy, and practical critical writing and thinking skills that allow them to make powerful contributions to the world.
The student-teacher ratio, I never realized how important that would be, but it’s super important. I’ve been in classes with five people, and you get to work with the professors themselves. It’s great.” - Sam Fain '20