Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Mission and Goals

The Department of English at Loyola University Chicago seeks to promote the university's mission to encourage freedom of inquiry, the pursuit of truth and care for others through teaching, scholarship and service of the highest caliber.

In its teaching, the Department of English seeks to provide students with an education of the highest quality in the English language, in literature written in English and in critical and creative writing, judiciously combining breadth with depth, tradition with contemporaneity. It seeks to attract the best possible students from diverse geographical, professional, racial and ethnic backgrounds; it encourages minority and foreign applicants and those returning to school after an interruption of their academic lives. It encourages students throughout their programs so as to enable them to progress expeditiously to their degrees and to gain the maximum benefit from their experience.

Through the work of its faculty, the Department of English also strives to participate in and contribute to the wider community of scholarship, research and pedagogical theory and practice in the disciplines of literary and critical studies; in creative and critical writing; in comparative literature; in gender, ethnic and cultural studies; in teacher training; and in linguistics.

The Department of English also seeks to serve the larger university and greater Chicago community through public event programming, collaborative projects with secondary schools and other colleges and universities, and general assistance.

The Department of English operates four programs: the Writing Programs, Core Courses in English Language and Literature, the Undergraduate Major and Minor Programs, and the Graduate Programs. Specific goals for each of these programs follow. In order to achieve these goals at the highest levels of professional and intellectual accomplishment, the department seeks to recruit, support and retain the best faculty, and to foster academic freedom in teaching and research in ways that support the university's mission of producing knowledge in the service of humanity.

  1. Writing Programs

    The writing programs:
    • Develop in students' writing sound organization of thought, clarity in the structure of sentences and paragraphs, forceful, energetic prose and critical thinking; undergird the Writing Across the Curriculum Program in the undergraduate colleges; provide remedial instruction for those students who require it; and bring students with second language and dialect interference problems into the mainstream of standard written English
    • Offer at the Writing Centers tutorial and collaborative aid to students from all colleges and levels of the university
  2. Core Courses

    The Core Courses in English Language and Literature:
    • Introduce students to the study of literature by providing practice in careful, critical reading and developing in them a sense of the various contexts—biographical, social, political, etc.—that can enrich their understanding of a work
    • Foster in students an appreciation and enjoyment of literature's aesthetic and intellectual elements
    • Enhance students' perception of the richness and diversity of the social and ethical values in literature and our response to them, recognizing that literature is by its nature value-laden, that each author and reader brings to his or her work an ethical framework and vision of the human condition
    • Enable students to transfer some of their sensitivity to language and literary structure to their own writing, through a required writing component in each course
    • Offer guidance and training in the writing of fiction, poetry and non-fictional prose
  3. Undergraduate Major and Minor Programs

    The English Major and Minor Programs:
    • Introduce students to literatures written in English at different historical periods in Britain, in America and around the world
    • Complement these courses with others that offer specialized study in the traditional genres and in literary criticism
    • Refine students' interpretive skills by introducing them to a variety of critical methods and by providing courses on critical topics to help students investigate the nature of literary analysis itself
    • Develop students' skills in written self-expression to the highest degree possible, through a required writing component for each course, by offering courses in advanced writing and by offering a Concentration in Creative Writing
    • Alert students to the importance of any literary work's linguistic context and its linguistic form, and provide them with the tools necessary for analyzing texts linguistically by offering courses in the structure and the history of the English language
    • Provide internship opportunities and career counseling for majors and minors that will either prepare them for careers ranging from graduate programs in English to law, medicine, publishing, communications and business administration, or provide them with experience in literacy education
  4. Graduate Programs

    The Graduate Programs in English:
    • Maintain a curriculum and examination structure that insures advanced study in British and American literature over a number of historical periods, including relevant literary and social history as well as training in careful textual analysis
    • Provide students with training in research and bibliographic methods, acquaint them with basic issues in the area of textual criticism, develop their reading and analytical skills, and offer study in the history and theory of literary criticism
    • Promote interest in and knowledge about the linguistic contexts in which literary works exist
    • Strive by example, precept, and encouragement to enable students to improve their research writing skills, to apply these skills professionally outside the classroom and to become publishing scholars
    • Prepare students to become effective teachers, equipping them to teach composition and literature courses at the college, university and advanced secondary-school level, and assisting them to develop their teaching potential through experience tutoring in the Writing Center, teaching composition and assisting in the teaching of literature courses in the department
    • Support scholarly development of the faculty and students by promoting teaching and research assistantship programs that bring faculty and students together inside and outside the classroom to work on pedagogical and scholarly issues of mutual interest
    • Strive to assist students in finding professional employment that makes effective use of the skills and knowledge acquired in their training, both inside and outside the academic community