Beyond English

Dolmen of Sorginetxe at twilight

“Beyond the English Major” is the capstone course for the Literature and Film concentration. (It’s useful for students from all concentrations, but it’s required for and directed at LF majors.) I like to think of it less as a conclusion and more as a gateway to what comes next—whether that means making your way into the post-graduation working world, or heading on to graduate study.

During the first half of the course, we’ll explore current debates about the utility and value of English and the humanities in the wider world beyond the university. As we navigate this reading, we’ll reflect upon and identify useful and relevant skills and dispositions that you have developed as part of the English major. This background will be crucial as you explore more closely, and through collaboration, how those skills and dispositions are evidenced in your own work and that of your peers.

The second half of the course will then focus on drawing connections between our work in English, and our work in other areas of academic, professional, and personal interest. This process will involve readings and activities related to interdisciplinarity, professionalization, exploration of career opportunities, and networking with alumni. This portion of the course will also include a remediation project in which you take an existing piece of research-based writing you produced in one of your courses and remix it for a new audience. The work of the course will culminate in the creation of a public ePortfolio of key artifacts—academic and professional—that you can use to showcase and market your skills.

Student Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

(1) Examine the skills, knowledge, and dispositions cultivated through the Lit and Film concentration, through the English major, and through their other academic, professional, and personal pursuits, that are applicable to professional, academic, and personal goals after college.

(2) Create a range of professional documents that demonstrate how their academic, extracurricular, and professional experiences apply to post-graduation goals.

(3) Adapt a previous research-based project, recasting it in a new genre for a new audience relevant to their academic, personal, and professional post-graduation goals.


ENGL 299

Required Texts

The required texts are available in the campus bookstore (see below), linked on the course schedule, or available in OAKS.

George Anders, You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a “Useless” Liberal Arts Education, 2017.

Richard Bolles, What Color Is Your Parachute? 2022: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

Ross Gay, The Book of Delights, 2019.