English is a wonderful discipline because it provides students with analytical writing and critical thinking skills that will be useful no matter what profession a student chooses to pursue. Studying writing and literature also helps students become more mindful and aware of the world around them. Sure, we can read or listen to news stories, but literature has a way of emotionally connecting a person to groups, ideas, and situations that he or she might typically dismiss or consider as completely disparate from them. Literature bridges this disconnect and allows us to become more sympathetic “fellow-passengers to the grave” and better citizens of the world—traits that are invaluable.
Plus, it’s just plain fun. What other major lets you call reading Harry Potter and Pride and Prejudice homework?
Dr. Nancy Romig is a 2004 graduate of Howard Payne University. She completed her MA at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas in May 2008. Her Master’s thesis, “So We Beat On”: The Failure of American Justice in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and E. L. Doctorow’s Ragtime, examines how Fitzgerald and Doctorow similarly portray the tension that exists between American society’s notions of justice and what comprises the American Dream and how that tension can cause those in pursuit of the Dream to never reach their ultimate goal. Nancy received her PhD from the University of Arkansas in May 2013. Her research there focused on the historical fiction texts of E. L. Doctorow and masculinity theory. Her dissertation, “A Man Is Hard Enough To Be”: History and Masculinity in the Texts of E. L. Doctorow, applies masculinity theory to the male characters and environments present in Doctorow’s major works of historical fiction, like Ragtime and The March, to reveal that Doctorow’s concerns with the validity of history translate to corresponding concerns about American society’s notions of masculinity.
Books I Recommend
Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow
The March by E. L. Doctorow
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Call the Midwife (series) by Jennifer Worth
“When a book leaves your hands, it belongs to God. He may use it to save a few souls or to try a few others, but I think that for the writer to worry is to take over God’s business.” – Flannery O’Connor