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English Department

Sting was an English major. So were Mitt Romney, Clarence Thomas, Barbara Walters, and Steven Spielberg. Nobel Laureate in Medicine Harold Varmus got a B.A. in English from Amherst and an M.A. from Harvard before he defected to medical school. Why major in English? Isn’t it obvious: so you can do anything you can imagine, so you don’t shut down roads to be taken before they show up on your life’s map, so that every moment you will be a surprise to yourself and interesting to others, so that there will be no foregone conclusions in your life. The English major does not guarantee that the minute you step off the stage at commencement you will step into the career that will remunerate you generously for the rest of your life. We do promise that, having completed the English major at Vanderbilt you will be equipped to decide what is naïve and what is not in this promo copy, how your particular slot and moment in the human race got to the present, and what you can uniquely do to keep us from falling back into the darkness.


Public Square Lectures Fall 2014, Spring 2015 Schedule

 Nashville Review: An Interview with Eavan Boland

Each year, the EGSA recognizes members of the faculty for significant contributions to the teaching and mentoring of graduate students. This year's winners of the EGSA Mentoring Award are Scott Juengel and Mark Schoenfield, and the winner of the EGSA Teaching Award is Teresa Goddu.

Congratulations to Bryn Chancellor (Vanderbilt MFA '09), who has just won the Maureen Egen Award. Bryn was an outstanding student in our second MFA group to graduate from the program. She teaches creative writing workshops and literature at University of Montevallo.

Coming Fall 2014-The New English Major.

The world doesn’t need English majors ... but they make it a better place.

The Wisdom of the Elders program, sponsored in part by the Department of English, is directed by Professor Ifeoma Nwankwo,  We are proud to announce it has won the “Community Center Program Award” given to the best community center program – for youth, families, seniors, or intergenerational, in Tennessee by the Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association.


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