Our English Program
A great Scottish writer, Thomas Carlyle, conceived of learning as “thought kindling itself at the fire of living thought.” Our students are illuminated and enriched by studying language and literature. Kindle your own fire by joining us.
Our four-year Bachelor of Arts in English program offers courses in all genres – drama, fiction, poetry, and prose – including writers and thinkers from around the world and from the medieval period to the present. Our faculty have expertise across a range of Canadian, British, American, and postcolonial literatures, and a long-standing commitment to the study of the writers who reflect and shape the cultural histories of the people of the English-speaking world.
Our program is highly personalized, since students are given the opportunity to pursue topics of interest on assignments, presentations, and various writings. We invite and expect students to participate in seminar discussions and lectures by asking questions and sharing ideas. Students discover modes of thought and methods of investigation that not only enrich the reading and understanding of language and literature, but are applicable to various disciplines. They become critical in their reading and thinking and clear in their writing and speaking. They develop a passion for reading, writing, and reflecting on the use of language wherever it is written or spoken.
An undergraduate degree in English will provide you with a solid basis for a wide range of careers. While many majors in English become teachers after they graduate, many others become artists, actors, songwriters, broadcasters, journalists, technical writers, essayists, novelists, playwrights, screenwriters, directors, editors, publishers, librarians, archivists, entertainers, public relations specialists, advertising copywriters, marketing experts, researchers, lawyers, doctors, social workers, politicians, and top and mid-level managers, executives, and administrators.
What You Can Expect
Hands-on learning, a close-knit campus community, and caring faculty.
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Study Language and the origin of words
Language is fundamental to our living and being, which is why our program promotes a critical understanding of literature to broaden appreciation of diverse perspectives and values, and to enrich understanding of continuities and changes in culture over time.
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Explore the writing and style of the great thinkers
Our program offers an array of course options for students. Students can study the works of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, Thomas Carlyle, Emily Dickenson, D. H. Lawrence, Joseph Conrad, and more. The options are endless.
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The Algoma Reads program is a series of public events that run alongside the Algoma Reads course (ENGL 1996/ ENGL 2996) and a community book club. Students study the five shortlisted novels selected by Canada Reads and hear from keynote speakers that include published authors and prominent community members. The five public events attract readers from across the region and allow for community members to engage in inter-generational and cross-cultural discussions.
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Pursue a Minor in Creative and Professional Writing
Learn to write for the workplace, professionally edit your work, engagingly describe your experiences and opinions, and enlarge your imagination. Take 24 credits (8 courses) from a mix of creative and vocational courses to complete this Minor.
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Hayes-Jenkinson Memorial Lecture Series
Every second year, a significant speaker in either English or History visits the campus as part of a lecture series, providing students with the opportunity to meet, work with, and learn from these influential people. In the past, Hayes-Jenkinson lectures have included the likes of Giller-Prize winning novelist Elizabeth Hay; Dr. Tim Cook; Dr. Jim Miller; and Lorna Crozier.
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Research Assistant Work Experience
Each summer, the Department of English hires a student to assist faculty with their current research projects. Dr. Michael DiSanto’s George Whalley Digital Humanities Project (funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) offers students exciting opportunities to actively participate in research. For more information, view a profile on Dr. DiSanto’s research.
For more detailed information on our courses, please visit our courses schedule sectionGet started now
The Algoma Reads program is a series of public events that run alongside the Algoma Reads course (ENGL 1996/ ENGL 2996) and a community book club. Students study the five shortlisted novels selected by Canada Reads and hear from keynote speakers that include published authors and prominent community members. The five public events attract readers from across the region and allow for community members to engage in inter-generational and cross-cultural discussions. Algoma Reads provides the space and opportunity for the community of Sault Ste. Marie and the surrounding Algoma region to discuss issues that are important to Canadians and the word.Learn More
Meet our Faculty
Our English faculty are experts in the field. Get to know them!
Dr. Michael DiSanto
ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Linda Burnett
Department Chair of English and History, Faculty Chair of Humanities & Social Sciences, Associate ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Alice Ridout
Department Chair, English & History, Associate ProfessorView Full Bio
Dr. Nathan Murray
Assistant Professor, Department of English and HistoryView Full Bio
Dr. Tony Robinson-Smith
Assistant Professor (Writing), English and HistoryView Full Bio
“My degree in English molded my path to becoming a Librarian… I am fortunate to have been a part of the English Department family at Algoma University. The close relationships I built with my professors, and the one-on-one attention that I received from them, allowed me to develop my writing significantly over a period of four years and become the professional I am today.”
“Loved my time at Algoma University in the B.A. English Program. The small class sizes allowed me to receive direct feedback from my professors, many of whom I still keep in contact with. My experiences here helped me to go on and achieve two graduate degrees.”
“The study of language and literature has a distinct place in the university because it encompasses words and ideas, art and life, thinking and feeling, conversation and argumentation – the very stuff of living. It involves the education of the whole person, of the intellect and the emotions together. ‘Language is no mere instrument,’ as George Whalley has written, ‘and, if an instrument at all, the instrument plays on the musician as much as the musician plays on the instrument.’ We study with a playful seriousness in our courses.”
Dr. Michael John DiSanto
“When I was studying language and literature, I was studying the nature of what it means to be human, and I became a better person because of it. As a humanities student, I learned not only how to write well, but how to think critically, feel deeply, and appreciate the perspectives of others. That is something I will value no matter where my future career leads.”
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