English Literature

Morrell Hayes poster with winner congratulations banner

2018 Lois Morrell and John Russell Hayes Poetry Awards

Lois Morrel Award (1st place)

Yi Wei, '21, for Shaving

John Russel Hayes Awards:

(2nd place) Paul Buchanan, '21 for little deaths

(2nd place) Moses Rubin, '19 for The Hafele-Keating Experiment

(3rd place) Ozsu Risvanoglu, '20 for translations from the Turkish of Turgut Uyar’s The Night of Deers and Asylum

Lines of note from other submitted poems

Why Study English Literature at Swarthmore?

Studying English Literature at Swarthmore means exploring writing and cultural production from all over the world. Our faculty are experts in topics ranging from Shakespearean drama to African American autobiography, from Caribbean print culture to Asian American fiction. Students learn to read closely and speak confidently; they sharpen their abilities to analyze and to persuade through their writing. Small classes and dedicated teachers mean that majoring in English offers students access to a supportive, exciting intellectual community. We aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need for a life of critical thinking, informed citizenship, meaningful work, sustenance in the face of adversity, and delight in the world.

Our department offers a wide variety of courses, class formats, and ways of doing cultural and literary studies, with class sizes from under 10 to over 40.  Students can collaborate with professors on research, or with our guidance may design and complete their own research projects. We offer many creative writing workshops, including opportunities for sustained creative projects.

The department is at the core of a dynamic campus-wide interdisciplinary culture of reading, writing, and lively discussion of texts old and new.  We have strong connections with Swarthmore’s interdisciplinary programs, including Black Studies, Film and Media Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Interpretation Theory, Environmental Studies, and Educational Studies.  English majors and minors can graduate with multiple disciplinary skills that give them great advantages in today’s fast-changing world.