Cartwright evaluates strengths, weaknesses of the English major

January 7, 2019

Although English departments could benefit from some structural changes, the overall health of the discipline is not as dire as it sometimes appears, writes Kent Cartwright. The author suggests that departments could benefit from rethinking the historical requirement of the English major, and later discusses how they might better brand themselves. According to Cartwright, English departments have yet to make a clear distinction between a study of history that emphasizes contextual knowledge and the history of literature’s development within those contexts. A clearer methodology that acknowledges the tensions between these two streams of thought would justify the historical requirements of the English major, Cartwright argues. The author concludes by suggesting some possible pedagogical innovations to attract more students. Inside Higher Ed (International)