English Major

The English major at Bentley is designed for students who are interested in literature and film and in a career that requires an understanding of how such cultural texts work. The English major distinguishes itself from the department’s Media and Culture major by focusing primarily on the written word. The foundational courses (EMS 200 Introduction to Film, Literature and Media and EMS 201 Introduction to Cultural Studies) introduce students to the importance of genre and to the variety of intellectual traditions through which literary works may be analyzed. In addition to learning about literary form and theory, students will consider how literary works reflect and shape categories of “otherness” (such as race, ethnicity and gender) and circulate within structures of power in an increasingly globalized and diverse world. The English major includes a creative writing component that mirrors the production courses in the Media and Culture major. This requirement ensures a deeper understanding of the literary genres that students will encounter and a greater mastery of the expressive potential of language.

The English major prepares students for any career that requires excellence in oral and written communication, such as publishing, nonprofits, the media industry, journalism, copywriting, editing or business writing. It also provides a solid foundation for graduate work in law, education or literature.

In addition to the specific major requirements described below, students must also complete the General Education Curriculum, and additional degree requirements for Arts and Sciences majors, including focused-course requirements, additional electives, modern language requirements and a Minor in Business Studies or Business Studies Major.

CourseTitleCredits
Major Requirements
Four core courses:
EMS 200Introduction to Film, Literature and Media3
EMS 201Introduction to Cultural Studies3
Select one course in diversity or trans-nationality/post-coloniality from the following:3
Introduction to African American Literary and Cultural Studies
Native American Literature and Culture
Literature of the Holocaust
Literature and Film of the Vietnam War
Caribbean Literature
Immigrant and Ethnic Literature
Passing in American Literature
Money, Love, and Death: Colonialism in Literature and Culture
Selected Topics in African American Literary and Cultural Studies
International Cinema
or LIT 39X (Slected Topics courses) with departmental approval.
Select one creative writing course from the following: 3
Creative Writing: Poetry
Creative Writing: Fiction
Creative Writing: Drama/Screen Writing
Creative Writing: Nonfiction/Essay
Creative Writing: Mixed Genres
Writing and Design for Multimedia
Select any four courses in the EMS department with a CIN, COM, EMS, LIT, MC designator. It is encouraged that at least one elective focus on constructions of gender and sexuality, such as:12
Women in Literature
Sexual Identity and Culture
Transgender Literature
Great Directors
Women and Film