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“Your job is to find what the world is trying to be.”

— William Stafford

The English Department’s rigorous curriculum introduces students to a shared literary tradition while encouraging intellectual independence. Our classes acquaint students with a wide range of British and American literature, teaching students to engage with the texts through close reading and literary analysis. Small class sizes allow students to build close relationships with our dynamic faculty of active scholars and creative writers, and ensure that students receive individual attention during class time and office hours. In the classroom, students participate in an interactive process of discussion and collaborative interpretation. Professors continually challenge students to argue thoughtfully and communicate effectively, both on the page and in real time.

We are a community beyond our classes, sponsoring many literary events open to the public throughout the year.  In addition to hosting nationally recognized authors and critics as Mark Edmundson, Geoffrey O’Brien, and Lyn Hejinian, we regularly showcase the scholarly and creative work of our own faculty and students in colloquia and readings. Many students are also involved with the Lewis & Clark Literary Review, a student-produced literary magazine sponsored by the English Department. See Wordsworth, our department newsletter, to learn more.


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The Department of English is pleased to co-sponsor the
Visiting Writer’s Series with Watzek Library.


Department News

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October 16th, 2015

  • Image preview 3:00pm - 4:00pm: John F. Callahan Acquisition Announcement and Open House Reception
    Lewis & Clark College Special Collections and Archives are excited to announce the acquisition of the John F. Callahan Literary Archives.  Please join us for an Open House Reception on Friday, October 16, from 3-4 pm in the Heritage Room of Watzek Library.

October 29th, 2015

  • Image preview 5:30pm: A Fiction Reading by John Treat
    John Whittier Treat, a native of New Haven, joined the Yale faculty in 1999 after teaching for eighteen years at the University of Washington, Berkeley, Stanford and Texas. He has been Professor Emeritus at Yale since 2014. He continues to teach courses in modern Japanese literature and criticism, and occasionally Korean studies and LGBT studies.  He has recently completed his first novel, The Rise and Fall of the Yellow House and is at work on a second, First Consonants.  This event is co-sponsored by the departments of English, History, and Gender Studies.

November 11th, 2015

  • Image preview 5:30pm: A Fiction Reading by Percival Everett
    Percival Everett is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of Southern California and the author of nearly thirty books, including Percival Everett by Virgil Russell, Assumption, Erasure, I Am Not Sidney Poitier, and Glyph. He is the recipient of the Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, the Believer Book Award, and the 2006 PEN USA Center Award for Fiction. He has fly fished the west for over thirty years. He lives in Los Angeles.

November 17th, 2015

  • 4:00pm: 2015 Dixon Award Presentations
    Dixon Award grant recipients Emile Dultra and Emma Post will present their research findings to faculty, students, and the community.  Please join us in celebrating their work.  In addition, this will be a unique opportunity for junior English majors to ask questions about the $2,500 research and travel grant and how to apply.

December 2nd, 2015

  • Image preview 6:30pm: A Fiction Reading by Willy Vlautin

    Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published four novels: The Motel Life (2007–NYT Editor’s choice and notable book, made into a major motion picture starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsh, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson), Northline (2008), Lean on Pete (2010-Winner of the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction, short-listed for the IMPAC award), and The Free (2014-Winner of the Oregon People’s Choice Award).

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