In the Nichols English Department we balance tradition and innovation through our approaches to curriculum and skills. We continue to embrace a comprehensive chronological survey of ancient, British and American texts because we believe students need a solid foundation from which to make leaps of understanding. We encourage students to approach these foundational texts with the contemporary critical perspectives of race, gender, power and class. We also love poetry for what it can teach us about language and ambiguity. Through student centered discussion we look to develop a sense of community and shared responsibility for the knowledge in the classroom. Oh, and our students write a lot. Just ask them!
- The close, careful reading of literary texts is a skill transferable to texts in other academic disciplines.
- The ability to write clear and concise prose is equally valuable in other disciplines and in later life.
- Articulating ideas in the give-and-take of class discussion helps to build the student's confidence in his or her own ideas and values.
- Exposure to the ethical and moral issues found in great literature intensifies a student's awareness of these issues in his or her own life and in the wider world.
- An aesthetic appreciation of the beauties of the English language -especially in poetry -makes our various Arts offerings more attractive to students.
- The pleasures of close and attentive reading require patience and a willingness to reflect and contemplate. We all require a "broad margin" to our lives and occasional havens of peace.