Why students continue to study English literature: Opinion

November 22, 2019

A lot of the public does not realize that English Literature was first introduced to universities—which were previously dominated by the study of Greek and Latin—in order to “prepare students for a career which would enable them to contribute to society,” writes McGill Professor Maggie Kilgour. The author adds that the real-world importance of studying English, and the humanities in general, has not diminished since then. Based on many conversations with student who continue to study English, the author notes that while these students are concerned with jobs, they also seek “a chance to think deeply and widely, to experiment, to study worlds and ways of thinking vastly different from their own. Kilgour concludes that this type of inquiry “is not a luxury for either themselves or society. In a world which increasingly measures success only in economic terms, it’s a necessity.” Montreal Gazette (QC)