The department’s honors program gives our seniors the opportunity to conduct intense and independent work in English literature and language. The program begins in the fall semester with an Honors Seminar, in which all honors students are required to enroll.
In the spring semester, each student completes an honors thesis on a topic of their own choosing. The thesis is ordinarily an extended scholarly or critical essay, but majors in creative writing can submit extended work in prose or poetry as their thesis.
While the fall seminar is intended to prepare and focus students for the in-depth work of writing an honors thesis, the possible topics for theses need in no way be bound to the seminar topic.
All junior English majors are invited to apply.
You may complete the application online. Applications are due, typically, in February for the following academic year. If you have any questions about the honors program, please contact the director of undergraduate studies.
Fall 2017 Honors Seminar (ENG 396)
Professor Joanna Scott
Description: Curiosity has long been understood as a functional device that drives a plot, but it may also serve as a valuable focus of study in its own right. As Alberto Manguel puts it in his book on the subject, the reward for active curiosity is “an increased desire to ask more questions.” For this seminar, we will frame our questions within a period of eighty years, from 1847 to 1927. Beginning with Dickens’s Dombey and Son and concluding with Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, we will examine diverse representations of curiosity and related shifts in narrative form. Along with some very curious characters, we will peek through keyholes, pry open locked doors, and tease out secrets as we track the reshaping of British fiction from the Victorian to the modern era. Other authors on our list include Charlotte Bronte, Henry James, H.G. Wells, A.C. Doyle, Joseph Conrad, and Ford Madox Ford.