Department of English

English at Brown

Fostering an open understanding of literatures and cultures in English

The Department of English fosters the study of British, American, and Anglophone literature and culture—old and new—in ways that are both intensive and open. We offer a wide array of courses in poetry, drama, fiction, creative nonfiction, film, digital media, and theory. All of our courses emphasize the development of student skills in writing, textual analysis, and argument. You will find considerable diversity in critical approaches and methods among the department’s faculty. We encourage students in our classes likewise to forge their own new ways of understanding literature and culture. English is among the most popular concentrations at Brown, and graduates of our highly ranked Ph.D. program are widely recognized for their scholarship and teaching.

Upcoming Events


First-Year PhD student Katherine Chen's Joan: A Novel (Random House USA / Hodder & Stoughton UK), has been shortlisted for the 2023 American Library in Paris Book Award. The winner will be announced on 9 November 2023. Joan is Chen's second published novel, and it is a thrilling, feminist reimagining of the life of Joan of Arc, from her childhood until her capture.
Fordham University Press

The Philology of Life

Professor Kevin McLaughlin's book, The Philology of Life: Walter Benjamin's Critical Program, was published by Fordham University Press in January 2023

Academic Programs

For First Year Students

The Department of English offers several pathways for incoming students to deepen and strengthen their ability to think and write about literature and culture.