Lord Byron, George Gordon, James Smith Noel Collection: jamessmithnoelcollection.org


Welcome to Boston University’s Department of English.

The central mission of the Department of English is the study of literatures in English in all their complexity, from the still-evolving canon of past works to newly emerging literary and cultural forms. Our field has a constantly expanding base of knowledge and methods. We help undergraduates develop the critical, linguistic, and imaginative skills required to understand literary and cultural texts in their historical and social settings, training them in close reading, archival research, and theoretical critique, among other scholarly methods, and constantly working to develop our students’ ability to write clear, effective, expository prose. Our graduate program prepares students for careers in university research and secondary teaching. Our program is notable for the pluralism of methods and approaches employed in our courses and our research.

The department enrolls approximately 400 undergraduates in a challenging major and over 60 students in its nationally ranked graduate program in literature. Our distinguished faculty teach and conduct research across all fields of British, American, and world literature in English.

Located adjacent to the historic Back Bay of Boston—an internationally known center of past and present literary studies—the Boston University Department of English offers strong connections to the rich intellectual, historical, and social resources of Boston and New England.

I encourage you to explore some of the department’s resources on the pages of this website.

Maurice S. Lee
Professor and Chair

Reading Boston
On the Page and On Foot

English Class Animates City’s Literary and Cultural Geography

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Making Sense
of Ethnicity

Featured Graduate Student
Emily Donaldson Field

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Faculty Member

Bonnie Costello, Professor of English

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