Earning an English degree from Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky, means English majors study literature and film, because we believe these to be exceptionally powerful media for representing the human experience. We recognize that literature and film can reflect the dominant ideologies of their times, but they can also resist and critique them. Often they do both. Therefore, we explore works that have had a clear, widespread impact on the historical periods in which they were written, offering a sustained influence on literary traditions. We also emphasize lesser known, and frequently undervalued, writings by women, the working class, Black, Latinx, Indigenous Peoples, Asian Americans, and other marginalized groups often occluded by the academy.

Equally important is engaging with works of popular culture — film, television, and comic books, to name a few — and we see these texts as inseparable from “higher” forms of writing. All of these works are interconnected, forming part of the larger creative fabric that makes up the cultural imaginary. We study the multiple ways in which humans have creatively represented their experiences through language and image, narrative and lyric, drama, popular and elite genres.

Because the study of literature is inseparable from the examination of self and others, both a mirror and a window, we believe that through our reading, writing, viewing, discussing and analyzing, we come to know ourselves and the world better. In order to do this work, we must be aware of our own biases and beliefs — in other words, the systems, structures, and ideologies in which we ourselves are immersed. Through interrogating crucial issues of our time — such as environmental degradation, migration, civil rights, and equity — we equip ourselves to envision and bring about a more just world.

Where Our Graduates Have Worked

Attorney, Stites and Harbison
Director of editorial policies, E. W. Scripps Co.
Executive and program assistant, Hitachi Foundation
Public relations coordinator, Meridian Communications
Writer and brand manager, Military History Channel
Professor of English, California State University, Fullerton
Operations director, Lexington Arts and Cultural Council

Opportunities in the Major

The Transylvanian (art and literary journal)
The Rambler (student newspaper)
Delcamp Visiting Writer Series
Judy Gaines Young Student Writer Award

Courses of Special Interest

Twentieth-Century American Literature, Post-1945
Jane Austen and Film
The Culture of Nature
The Nineteenth-Century British Novel

Where Our Graduates Have Studied

Indiana University
Wake Forest University
University of Chicago
New York University
University of Texas–Austin
The Ohio State University
Yale University

Possible Career Options

Broadcast journalist
Media specialist
Public relations coordinator
Arts administrator

Semester Study Abroad Opportunities

Australia I
Australia II
England I
England II
France II
South Korea

These GlobalTransy programs have at least two courses related to the major.

Interested in studying abroad for a summer? Take a look at our summer study abroad opportunities.


Bethany Packard, Associate Professor of English; Program Director

Phone: (859) 233-8123

Carpenter Academic Center 210-D
Transylvania University
300 North Broadway
Lexington, KY

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