Studying English at Kenyon
Kenyon is known for its long-standing literary tradition, which is rooted in its history with the Kenyon Review — one of the nation’s most esteemed literary magazines — and its hallmark English department.
Under the close guidance of English faculty members who are renowned teachers and critically acclaimed writers and poets, students are exposed to diverse critical and creative approaches to the study of literature. Courses range from first-year seminars that explore thought-provoking themes from a variety of literary genres and historical periods, to advanced seminars and creative writing workshops.
84students serve as first readers for thousands of submissions to the Kenyon Review each year.
Learn more about the Kenyon Review Associates Program.
On the Page
Many students choose to complete the English major with an emphasis in creative writing.
$150Kfrom the Mellon Foundation seeded an expansion of Kenyon’s pioneering science-writing program.
For more than forty years, Kenyon students have traveled to southwest England as part of the year-long Kenyon-Exeter Program.
In the planetary analogy through which pop psychologists have articulated gender difference, men are from Mars and women from Venus. Critical gender, feminist and queer theorizations have, however, enabled us to look beyond such simplistic binaries. How can fiction re-envision categories of sexual difference?
Chaucer: Canterbury Tales
“Whan that Aprille with his shoures soote, The droghte of March hath perced to the roote, And bathed every veyne in swich licóur, Of which vertú engendred is the flour.” Do you want to learn to read and speak Middle English while diving into one of the greatest epics in all of literature? This is the course for you.
“Pleasurable” doesn’t seem like a word that would apply to the harrowing story of a mother who kills her child rather than allow her to be enslaved. Yet Morrison writes prose so beautiful, one could describe reading such a story as, in some sense, pleasurable, even as this beauty deepens the power and pain of her words.
From Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time” to Oliver Sacks’ “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat,” popular science writing brings important questions to wider public attention. Analyze stellar essays that combine literary and scientific merit and learn to present scientific information in highly readable form.
After Kenyon Spotlight: Hanna Halperin '12
English major Hanna Halperin '12 recently published her first novel, "Something Wild." Hanna received an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her stories have appeared in the Kenyon Review and similar publications. She teaches fiction workshops at GrubStreet in Boston and works as a domestic violence counselor.
Told in alternating perspectives, her novel explores the bond between sisters, how trauma reverberates over generations, and how it might be possible to overcome the past.