The study of literature written in English is the largest component of the English Department. Students develop skills in critical thinking, rhetorical analysis, and writing that are central to the "knowledge economy". Our students have gone on to careers in teaching, law, journalism, business, and advertising.
Students in the literature programs encounter the literatures of Great Britain and Ireland, Canada, the United States, and world literature written in English. They can also develop an interest in literary theory and models of literary interpretation relevant to fields such as philosophy, history, and anthropology.
The department regularly invites guest speakers. The annual Lahey Lecture features a speaker of international significance for literary studies. C.A.S.E. (Concordia Association for Students of English) also regularly sponsors events for undergraduates in the literature programs.
Concordia University has been offering creative writing courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels for over 25 years, and has become a training ground for several generations of Canadian writers.
The success of the program is largely due to the unique community of practicing writers of which the student becomes an active member. It includes a permanent faculty of poets, playwrights, and fiction writers with national and international reputations; a dedicated and highly qualified staff of part-time instructors; and readings, master classes, panels, and professional development sessions by distinguished writers, through the Writers Read at Concordia series.
The focus of our creative writing program is on the interchange between reading and writing. Literature courses form a significant portion of the curriculum, and introductory creative writing courses emphasize reading published writing in the genre in question, with a view to technical development.
The program has evolved over the years, adding new areas of specialization and expanding others. Thus we now offer (in addition to courses in writing poetry, fiction, and drama) advanced courses in scriptwriting and editing & publishing, as well as occasional courses in specialized subjects and forms, such as creative non-fiction, cross-genre writing, the long poem, the prose poem, and the novel and novella.