College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Changing the world with words
The world as we know it is shaped by words. From the names we bear to the stories we tell, human experience is defined by our relationships with language. Words can hurt or heal, obscure or illuminate, destroy or create. As playwright, Tom Stoppard argues, “If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.”
The English major at Mercer engages students with this aspect of language as an instrument of change. With undergraduate courses of study in both literature and writing, students explore how the English language is written, read, and used as a means of responding to real world issues.
Exposed to a wide range of forms and cultural contexts, English majors at Mercer develop transferrable skills that are in high demand in graduate study and the professions, including:
- Critical and analytic thinking,
- Written and oral communication, and
- Cultural and historical perspectives.
The ability to read closely, identify and analyze patterns, interpret meaning, and construct substantive, persuasive arguments are all hallmarks of the study of English at Mercer.
Harnessing the power of storytelling
One of the most enduring questions our students confront is whose stories will be told, and, as a corollary, who will tell them? Literary critic Carolyn Heilburn points out, “Power consists to a large extent in deciding what stories will be told.” The English major at Mercer prepares students to participate in the cultural and political power of storytelling. Now more than ever, the world stands in need of those with the skill to shape narratives and redefine discourse.