Carnegie Mellon University

Additional Major in English

The B.A. in English offers a three-fold approach to the study of literature, media, and visual texts. First and foremost, we train students in the careful observation and analysis of these texts: their use of language, sound, and visual images in creating meaning. For example, how do elements of a text such as imagery or metaphorical language shape an argument?

Second, we stress the connections between how textual meaning and the cultures in which texts are created and read. We explore how what people were doing, thinking, and feeling shape how they create and interpret texts at different times and places. How do social categories such as class, race, or gender influence the creation and interpretation of texts?

Third, we emphasize the importance of theory to the interpretation as well as production of texts. To this end, we read a sampling of the most influential thought about how literature and media function in culture to create assumptions, ideas, and emotions about the world.
Students also learn to do in-depth, original research in literature, media, and culture and gain skills in presenting that research in print and oral forms.  By building strengths in writing, speaking, and analytical thinking, this degree is excellent preparation for a variety of professional and business careers.