We study language and literature, exploring the human condition through invention, interpretation, and critique. Through research and teaching in English, we frame questions about human experience, deepen understanding of the written word, and solve problems creatively. Our goal is to illuminate the meaning of cultural traditions and the everchanging world around us.
Classes in the English department are small. You'll spend quality time with our award-winning faculty. The Center for Rhetoric in Society is hosted here, offering research experiences for undergraduate and graduate students. Our speaker series bring prominent writers and critics to campus. We support the hypertext journal of creative writing and art, The New River Journal, and are the institutional home of Noemi Press. We also support the undergraduate magazines Silhouette and Brush Mountain Review.
Affirmation of the Virginia Tech Principles of Community
The Department of English stands for free speech and upholds the Virginia Tech Principles of Community. We reject all forms of discrimination and prejudice while affirming all individuals’ rights to speak. The university’s Principles of Community guide our practices when responding to objectionable speech, encouraging civility and respect to promote inclusive dialogue and affirm the value of diversity. At the same time, we are offended by speech that demeans the humanity of any member of our community.
The right to speak freely is ensconced in the Constitution of the United States, and we honor its central role in our nation’s culture—to promote public debate and to safeguard individual freedoms. As scholars of language and literature — as writers, editors, and readers — we believe in the power of language to reach across difference and promote understanding; we also witness its often-corrosive force in civil society.
Many of us have directly experienced language meant to hurt, to violate, and to diminish. Negotiating free speech in the spirit of inclusivity is the challenge of our time.