The Undergraduate Program in English
Welcome to the English Department. We are delighted that you have chosen the English major as your intellectual home. In selecting the English major, you have joined a community of people who share the love of literature and language. Faculty and students alike read intensely and critically, revise their writing innumerable times before a final draft is completed, and enjoy the exchange of critical ideas and "suggestions for further reading." Because of its emphasis on close reading, critical thinking, and correct and cogent writing, the English major will prepare you for a wide variety of professions. More importantly, it will prepare you for a life enriched by imagination.
Within the comfortable environs of Anderson House, we urge you to take advantage of our intimate size through one-on-one discussions with your advisors and teachers. Seek us out during office hours, bring us your questions, and challenge us with your ideas.
James P. Elliott
Chair, Department of English
LEEP Project Pioneers: English Major
Kulani Panapitiya Dias '13 (double major with psychology) set out to investigate the prevalence of the psychological processes of moral disengagement, ingroup glorification and essentialism in post-war Sri Lanka by focusing on narratives of trauma. Following a study she conducted in December 2011 in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Kulani interviewed and surveyed both Tamil and Sinhalese individuals in the war-afflicted areas of Jaffna and Galle, respectively. Her study examines how individuals cognitively disengage themselves from the injustices that their ingroup may commit, and the means by which one justifies and sanitizes atrocities that occur during conflicts. This research is geared toward aiding reconciliatory efforts in post-war Sri Lanka by helping to identify the obstacles that linguistically, and socially, propagate conflict and difference between groups.
Read Kulani's blog. Watch an interview with Kulani.