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English is a discipline that works to understand the world through language and with language. English majors read; they interpret. As they read a text, they peel back the layers of time and language to uncover meaning. They critique and discuss, debate and analyze these meanings. They communicate and decode communication. They create and re-create; they attempt to understand the act of creation. They research and present and struggle and learn.

In our classrooms, this learning process becomes real. Students come together with scholars and working writers in small, congenial classes where together they read closely, construct arguments, and hone their critical and creative skills. Our literature majors develop a keen understanding of literature’s ability to move, to enlighten, to liberate, to provide insight into the human condition. Our creative writing majors aim to take literature into the future, developing their own voices with an eye toward composing prose, poetry, and dramatic texts that could come from no one but themselves. Beyond the classroom, our faculty and students collaborate on scholarship and creative work, engaging both the campus and the wider community.

In the end, we seek to provide students with something to say and how to say it, and with the motivation and means to be engaged members of society, regardless of the path they choose. After DePauw, these paths are virtually limitless. We claim alumni in the arts, business, education, law, media, and many other fields. We teach students how to think, speak, read, and write about meaningful issues, and how to communicate with precision and grace. We produce agile minds: the foundation of a liberal arts education in the twenty-first century.