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The English Department fosters the study of British, American, and Anglophone literature—old and new—in ways that are both intensive and open. We study how English literature works, how we understand and appreciate it, and how we write about it. We offer a wide array of courses in poetry, drama, fiction, creative nonfiction, film, digital media, and theory. All our courses emphasize the development of student skills in writing, textual analysis, and argument. The department’s faculty members are deeply committed to undergraduate teaching and advising. You will find considerable diversity in our critical methods, including cross-disciplinary approaches that relate the study of literature to history, politics, science, as well as to other art forms. We encourage students in our classes likewise to forge their own new ways of understanding literature and culture.

In addition to the standard English concentration, we offer an English concentration track in the practice of Nonfiction Writing. The concentration in English and the English/Nonfiction track follow the same core requirements, and students in the English concentration may elect Nonfiction Writing courses as electives. We invite applications from qualified juniors to the honors programs in both English and Nonfiction.

One of the largest humanities concentrations at Brown, English provides a strong foundation for a liberal education and for employment in many sectors, especially those that centrally involve writing and working with texts (in any form). In addition to authorship, scholarship, and teaching, these include: journalism, publishing, advertising, visual media, consulting, public relations, public service, finance, government, corporate research, and administration. Our English concentrators routinely go on to law, medical, and professional schools as well as to graduate education in literature and the arts.

Student Goals

Students in this concentration will:

  • Explore how literature in English works
  • Engage diversity of authors and literary works
  • Understand English literatures from transnational perspectives
  • Demonstrate excellence in critical reading and thinking
  • Understand theoretically the place of literature and the arts in society
  • Know what it means to write well


  • Nonfiction Writing Track

Department Undergraduate Group (DUG)

Student Leaders: James Lee, Olivia Pritt

Graduating Class

Class Year Total Students Capstones Completed Honors Graduates
2014 48  14  14 
2015 54  14  14 
2016 52  13  13 
2017 52  19  19 
2018 62  16  16 
2019 84 25 25

Alumni Pathways

Alumni with a concentration in English have gone on to work in immigration and other types of law, journalism, business, technology consulting, counseling psychology, policy analysis, and in a variety of arts and entertainment industries. For more information, visit the English department's website.

What are English concentrators doing...


Director of Undergraduate Studies: Rolland Murray