June 2nd, 2022 §
Rising-sophomore English major Hannah Chung will be studying abroad this summer/fall on an SPU Global Seminar tracing the life and locales of author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.
As a high-school student, Hannah felt keenly the desire to take advantage of this feature of her college education. “Even before committing to a university,” she writes, “I knew I wanted to study abroad! There is something about studying in a new location, getting out of my comfort zone, and immersing myself in a new culture that really excites me. It also happens that I’ve always wanted to visit England, so when this study abroad opportunity opened up, it felt like the perfect opportunity!
“Just in my first year at SPU, I’ve already taken two classes related to C.S. Lewis,” explains Hannah, “and I find his life and work super-fascinating. I’ve been really touched by his work over the course of my life, and I’m really curious to explore the places that influenced his writing.”
But Lewis isn’t the sole reason for Hannah’s choosing this trip. “I’m also hoping to grow in confidence and come home with a fresh outlook on life after taking the time to step out of my familiar surroundings.”
Safe travels, Hannah!
June 2nd, 2022 §
This summer/fall, Professor of English & Writing Mischa Willett will be leading SPU students abroad to the U.K., to study the life and locales of author and Christian apologist C.S. Lewis.
According to the seminar’s online description, “Participants in this program will learn the backgrounds, places, and people who influenced this literary titan who mastered so many genres. Students will have an opportunity to take high tea at The Kilns, Lewis’s beloved Oxford home, to amble Addison’s Walk, where his friend J.R.R. Tolkien led Lewis to faith, to visit the Bodleian Library, home to the world’s most important manuscripts, and to enjoy unprecedented access to world-class writers and Lewis scholars.”
Details of the trip are available at SPU Study Abroad’s website.
May 24th, 2022 §
Karuna Khatri is graduating this June with an English literature major and minors in professional writing and honors. “I became an English major because I wanted to read books and get credit for doing it,” she said recently. “I thought it would be home to a community of like-minded individuals who saw the world differently and wanted to talk about it. I didn’t really know what I wanted to be, but I figured I needed to start with something. And I’ve stuck with it.”
Many students find in an English major at SPU this same sense of community, and perhaps fellow students “who saw the world differently,” as Karuna writes. “The English Department is so small that you really get to know your professors and classmates.”
Karuna singles out creative-writing courses as one place where size was especially beneficial. “These classes were usually made up of fewer than ten students, which lent to a strengthened sense of community and trust.”
She summarizes her experience with the literature major this way: “Studying English literature as an undergraduate feels like barely scratching the surface of the literary world. I feel that I haven’t read enough old classics or new rising authors. I wish I’d written more papers that I cared about and had more feedback about ways to improve. But I guess it’s this kind of insatiable dissatisfaction that makes people English majors in the first place.”
May 18th, 2022 §
Luisa LaMagra is graduating next month with triple majors in honors, political science, and English with a creative-writing concentration. In looking back on her time spent in English, Lu says that “Every English professor has had their own unique impact on me—I really appreciated the ability to learn and discuss with such diverse opinions and outlooks. I’ve always liked reading, but the way I was engaging the texts in my English classes took it to another level.
“The best thing about the English Department and being an English major is how accepting everyone is,” says Lu. “I have never felt left out when discussing in classes and I’ve always felt that my opinions were listened to—like really listened to and considered by every professor and peer.”
Her view seems summarized by this statement: “There’s really something for everyone in the English Department.”
After graduation, Lu plans to attend law school but only after a gap year during which she plans to use her college-earned skills to satisfy herself. “I’m sure I’ll be doing a lot reading, but one thing I want to try to focus on is writing outside of the university setting. Then again, I’ve learned that life is very unpredictable, so I’m trying to be flexible in my plans.”
Congratulations and best wishes, Lu!
May 3rd, 2022 §
Associate Professor of English Peter Wayne Moe has published “Proper Poetical Education” in The Millions, an online literary magazine. Follow this link to the essay: https://themillions.com/2022/04/proper-poetical-education.html.