Literary study provides content knowledge of literature from various time periods and cultures while honing skills of self-expression and reasoning. The study of literature increases insights into human behavior; emphasizes reading comprehension, critical thinking, and writing skills; elevates social and historical consciousness; fosters success in communication and interpersonal interchanges; and enhances creative abilities. The literature curriculum teaches ethical complexity, interpretative multiplicity, and the importance of empathy in human relations.

Businesses across all lines recognize and reward soft skills-training and value those employees who show aptitude in adapting to a changing and rapidly growing culture. Many professional schools benefit from applicants with a degree in English/Literature. Law schools historically have appreciated the skills our students bring. Medical, business, and professional schools are taking an increasing number of English degree holders, as well as implementing a more humanities-based curriculum that includes courses in literary studies as a means of achieving empathy and cultural-awareness training.

Literature students will…
  • Develop key skills in navigating today’s fast-changing world: written and oral communication, digital and traditional research methods, textual analysis, and understanding of our global community.
  • Interact with qualified, award winning faculty in a small-class environment.
  • Gain skills necessary for a wide array of career paths.
  • Gain professional experience by having access to English department resources including internationally renowned Center for Faulkner Studies, Southeast Missouri State University Press, Center for Writing Excellence, and student-run journals such as Literati: An Annual Journal of Literary Studies and Journey.
  • Study narrative strategies, critical theory, historical and cultural context, and diverse literary genres.

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