Deepen your knowledge of the classics and discover new works all while developing skills in critical reading, writing, and analysis.

You can apply these skills not only to traditional literary texts, but to the words and images produced by the cultures that surround us. Explore a broad array of literature, cultures, and periods—and dive more deeply into those traditions. Express yourself creatively while refining your own creative writing through courses in prose, poetry and nonfiction writing.

Life After Lawrence

Lawrentians can enjoy careers in...

Journalism, library science, education (ESL, secondary, higher ed), social media management, public relations, marketing, nonprofit advocacy, government, filmmaking, writing and consulting

Recent employers include...

Condé Nast, Smithsonian Institution, National Gallery of Art, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, USA Today, The Julliard School, American Family Insurance, Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Minnesota Historical Society, Texas A&M University

Lawrentians can enjoy advanced degrees in...

Creative writing, English, literature, law, business administration, public policy, medicine, museum science, library science

Recent schools include...

Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Iowa Writer’s Workshop, Marquette University, Stanford University, University of Chicago, University of Michigan, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yale University

Work with rare manuscripts and books in the heart of literary London

At Lawrence’s London Centre, you can examine London's role as a site of book production, distribution and consumption. Work directly with manuscripts and rare books and study the material history of books and writing techniques from early manuscripts to iPads.

Hone your writing craft with award-winning authors

Study the crafts of fiction and nonfiction writing with faculty whose works have won literary recognition and been featured by The New York Times, NPR, Best American Essays and more. Creative writing workshops at Bjorklunden usually include a visit by a distinguished visiting writer, who will spend meaningful time with you at Bjorklunden, our retreat facility in Door County, Wis.

Meet and discuss texts with some of the world’s leading authors

Take part in on-campus conversations that feature vital authors, including literary giants like Ta-Nehesi Coates, Isabelle Allende and Salman Rushdie.

Develop critical skills while immersing yourself in the rich array of English literature

Enrich your understanding of the scope of English literature with topics such as Restoration comedy, the representation of human rights in literature, the study of Shakespeare in London and Stratford, the Harlem Renaissance, how nineteenth-century women authors positioned themselves in the marketplace, the graphic novel and more.

Components of the Major

English major

Literary Analysis
One British literature course
One American literature course
One African American or postcolonial course
Two courses from:

  • British Writers I & II; American Writers; African American Writers; Postcolonial Writers; History of the Book in London

Two pre-1800 courses from:

  • Studies in Medieval Literature; Renaissance Literature; Renaissance Drama; Milton and the 17th Century; New England Puritan Poetry; Restoration and 18th-Century Comedy; Gender and Enlightenment; Eighteenth-Century Terrors; Enlightenment Selves; 18th-Century Literature; History of the Book; and Shakespeare/Shakespeare in London

One 19th-century course from:

  • Romanticism; The Victorian Age; The English Novel; American Poets of the Nineteenth Century; Nineteenth-Century American Women Writers; Nineteenth Century African American Writers

One 20th or 21st-century course from:

  • Modernist British Fiction; Joyce’s Ulysses; American Autobiography; Modern Drama; Modernist American Fiction; Contemporary American Fiction; Contemporary Jewish-American Literature; Contemporary American Poetry; Contemporary African-American Women Poets; Literature of the Harlem Renaissance; Gender and Modernist British/American Literature; Literature and Human Rights; Topics in Human Rights; Fictions of Globalization; Narratives of International News

One course from:

  • Literature and the Environment; Contemporary Critical Theory; Creative Writing: Fiction/Nonfiction/Poetry; Advanced Creative Writing: Fiction/Nonfiction/Poetry/Novel-Writing; Poetry as Practice

Senior Experience

  • Creative Writing minor

  • English majors complete at least three courses in at least two different literary genres (e.g., poetry, fiction, non-fiction). Non-English majors take the same courses, but must also complete at least three literature courses.


Meet Madhuri Vijay '09

Madhuri Vijay stands outside against wall with hand on hip.

Learn how her Lawrence experience inspired this award-winning novelist.

Course descriptions and more courses

The Chandler Senior Experience

You can complete your Senior Experience in multiple ways, including a deeply analytical senior seminar and substantial paper, advanced coursework in creative writing, student teaching or an honors project. 

Recent Senior Experiences include:


Sherlock Holmes from Page to Screen: A Study in Adaptation

Someday I’ll Tell You What I Really Think: A Collection of Stories

The Mystical Sphere in 19th Century America: Kabbalistic Themes in Song of Myself


The Horse, the Dog and the Ghostwriter: A Character Analysis of Bojack Horseman