English
Location: Marion McCain Arts and Social Sciences Building
6135 University Avenue
Room 1186
P.O. Box 15000
Halifax, NS
B3H 4R2
Telephone: (902) 494-3384
Fax: (902) 494-2176
Website: www.dal.ca/english
Email: englwww@dal.ca

Introduction

The study of English includes both analysis of texts and awareness of contexts. The texts proposed for analysis in various English courses will range from the traditional to the contemporary; English is a discipline which can and does adjust to include writings by Tomson Highway, Toni Morrison, and Chinua Achebe alongside works by Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, and the rest. The wide range of human experience represented in these texts can provide the student with what Kenneth Burke has called "equipment for living." In more practical terms, the discipline of English fosters the development of various human skills: it requires the student to think, and to use language with clarity, judgment, and imagination.

But individual works of literature are also related in various ways to their social, cultural, and political contexts. For this reason, curiosity about a particular text often leads to enquiries that touch upon history, philosophy, politics, religion, biography, and the fine arts as well. The written text turns out to be a link between an individual sensibility and the rest of the world. The value of English studies therefore, though difficult to measure, can be discovered both in the large semiologies of the cultures to which we belong, and in the smallest nuances of the language we use.

The calendar descriptions describe all English courses. Not all are offered in any given year. Students should consult the English Department website for updated information about which courses are offered this year, and to get detailed descriptions of courses (with booklists). There is a variety of first-year (1000-level) English courses to suit all inclinations and needs, and all sections with a number ending in -0 can be used to fulfill the University Writing Requirement. Once the first year is complete, students may register in any course at the 2000 or 3000 level.  Many of the 2000-level courses are open to anyone with a Writing Requirement course in any discipline, while the smaller and more historically-focused 3000-level courses are open to both majors and non-majors. More intensive seminars at the 4000 level are mainly intended for students in their third and fourth years of an English Major or Honours program.

Degree Programs

In addition to the departmental requirements listed below, students must satisfy the requirements outlined in the Degree Requirements section.