BECOMING AN ENGLISH MAJOR
Most students at Davidson select a major by the end of the sophomore year. If you are thinking about an English major, the Department urges you to take English 220: Literary Analysis, and at least one of the three survey courses (English 240, 260, and 280) before the end of the sophomore year. In that way you will not only receive a sound introduction to literary analysis and research, but will also have given yourself the opportunity to see whether English is an appropriate major for you.
Once you have made the decision to major in English, select a faculty member from the regular (not visiting) staff of the department and ask that person if he or she will serve as your adviser.
Then pick up the appropriate form from the Registrar's office and take it to the Chair for approval. If the adviser you have selected cannot take any more advisees, then you will work out with the Chair a second choice from those staff members still available. Your choice of major adviser is extremely important, because this person will not only help you design a major program, but will serve as your most important resource at Davidson for advice about vocational choices and recommendations for jobs and graduate school.
Ten courses as follows:
- English 220. (Should be completed by the end of sophomore year.)
- Three Historical Survey Courses:
- ENG 240: British Literature through 18th Century
- ENG 260 or 290: (ENG 260: British Literature, 19th through 20th Century including colonial and post-colonial literature; ENG 290: World Literatures, a historical survey of selected texts outside the British and American traditions.)
- ENG 280: American Literature through 20th Century
- Writing, creative writing, or creative practice (at 200-300 level)
- Five Electives: four of the five electives should be at the 300-level or higher, with at least two of the five at the 400-495 level.
Major Advising Form
ENGLISH 220: Literary Analysis
Required for the major, English 220 lays a foundation for the three introductory historical survey courses (240, 260, 280) and for upper-level literature courses as well. Prospective English majors are encouraged to take English 220 as early as possible in their course of study in English. (They are not, however, required to take English 220 before taking a higher-numbered course.) The purpose of English 220 is to address many of the essential questions that confront a student of literature. What do we do when we study "English"? How do we determine that a text is "literature" and how does that determination affect our reading of it? How do we account for the author's intentions in our response to the text? What is required in the formal analysis of language, structure, sound, and rhythm in literature? What do history, politics, and gender have to do with the discovery of meaning in a literary text? What is the range of possibility in the reading and interpretation of literary texts? What is the value of studying literature at all? English 220 explores these and other critical issues through well-informed discussion and writing on selected texts of poetry, fiction, and drama by major authors in world literature.