The Department of English

Manuscripts in UVic Special Collections

The Medieval Book Historian as Archeologist with manuscripts from UVic Special Collections

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Our graduate program

Kevin Tunnicliffe

Receiving the 2014 Andy Farquharson Teaching Excellence Award.

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Our undergraduate program

Meet our awesome undergraduate students.

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This Spring in English 366C A02 with Dr. van Oort

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Meet our amazing alumni

Baba Brinkman, English graduate and star rapper.

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From classrooms to real life

From Canucks to Polar Bears: The life and times of Humanities' Alumnus of the Year, Lucas Ackroyd.

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English at UVic

Lord Polonius:  What do you read, my lord?
Hamlet:  Words, words, words.
Lord Polonius:  What is the matter, my lord?
Hamlet:  Between who?
Lord Polonius:  I mean, the matter that you read, my lord.
                                           ― William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Don't let Hamlet mess with you. The "matter," of course, is Literature.

Literature captures us and urges us to reflect upon our relation to the world, to our culture, and to ourselves. In stories, poems, and plays; in epics, romances, and sacred texts; in films, graphic novels, and even video games: we represent who we are through imagination and language. We are, after all, Homo loquens: the creature that uses language in a very special way.

The English Department at UVic proudly offers a wide range of both traditional and cutting-edge courses that tackle literature from a variety of perspectives, with the purpose of feeding your imagination, challenging your intellect, and offering the pleasures of reading.
At the same time, our English courses, whether in literature or Professional Communication, develop your ability to write well, to analyze texts effectively, and to create your own effective texts. These courses will also prepare for you for reading and writing in contexts beyond the classroom and university, wherever clear, competent communication is valued. We are also very strong in Digital Humanities, offering a number of exciting graduate and undergraduate courses that bring together literary and digital studies.



Check out our first-year literature courses.

UVic English

What is American literature all about? Find out this spring in ENGL 203 with Dr. Douglas. Study the works of Poe, Toni Morrison, Melville, Faulkner, and more. Spots are still available!
Meet Kate VanGiesen! Kate is a fifth year professional writing student whose blog recently received international attention. 
Kate’s blog, “Exercise Creativity”, began as part of ENGL 407, last spring. “The goal of my blog was to write about creativity and how busy people can still be creative.” Kate continued blogging and this fall her work caught the eye of NYT best-selling author Frank Schaeffer who plans to feature her post “The Power of Art” in his next book, and online. 
In her blog, Kate explores what it means to be creative,  how creativity fits into the workplace, and how creativity has informed her life and work. “To me, creativity is what you do in your spare time, work that is organic, and comes directly from you.”
The world is your oyster (if you're an English Major). Declare today!
Our Professor of the Week is Christopher Douglas! He’s a scholar of contemporary American fiction, religion, and multiculturalism. His next book, “If God Meant to Interfere: American Literature and Rise of the Christian Right”, will explore the relationship between literature, Christianity, and politics in modern day America. “Literature helps us answer Tolstoy’s big question: Who are we and how should we live?” says Chris. He sees literature as “equipment for living.” Chris will be teaching ENGL 203: American Literature, in Spring 2016. “Join us in 203 and learn about the character of Canada’s biggest neighbour.
A unanimous vote by the English Students' Association Executive Team. Big things are coming! The next meeting is Nov. 20, at 1:30 in CLE C344. Come out and get involved.
Our Professor of the Week, Dr. Richard van Oort, specializes in Shakespeare and anthropological approaches to literature. The University of California alum sees Shakespeare as the thinking person’s Game of Thrones. “Shakespeare is like really good coffee: once you acquire the taste, everything else tastes like dishwater.” Sign up for his spring class, ENGL 366C, to learn more about the comedies of the immortal bard.

When he’s not marking papers, Richard plays for the UVic Cricket Club. His book “Shakespeare’s Big Men: Tragedy and the Problem of Resentment” is coming out June 2016.

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