• In Frankenstein's Footsteps

    In Frankenstein's Footsteps

    Students in Amy Weldon's January-term course, "In Frankenstein's Footsteps," pose in front of Villa Diodati, the birthplace of the "ghost story contest" in Geneva.

  • English professor lecturing students.

    Visiting Writers

    Contemporary author Jane Hamilton conducts a fiction writing workshop during January term.

  • Marjane Satrapi

    Distinguished Lectures

    Marjane Satrapi, author of Persepolis, discusses her work with English professor Andy Hageman at a distinguished lecture in 2014.

  • English department activity.

    Writers Festival

    The English department hosts a writers festival every three years. In 2013, Anne Lamott, author of Bird by Bird, presented a distinguished lecture.

  • Chips

    Students at Work

    Chips, the campus weekly, provides many opportunities for writers and editors to hone their journalistic skills.

  • The Oneota Review is an annual literary review published by students and advised by an English faculty member.

    Oneota Review

    Student writers have been published in Luther's annual literary review since 1964. Courtesy of the LC Archives.

  • Dramatic Greece

    Dramatic Greece

    Students explore the Theatre of Dionysus during the January-term course "Dramatic Greece."



Students who choose the English major at Luther like to explore the world through reading and writing. They enjoy the Paideia experience, and they build on it with courses in the major like “The Writer’s Voice,” “Shakespeare,” and the seminar.

Because English courses develop through conversation, enrollments are kept small to allow face-to-face contact. The conversation may be about the language of a poem, the character in a novel, or the social world engaged by a play. It might also be about a poem, a story, or an essay in progress. 

What kind of exploration takes place in English? Reading can open a window on the identity pangs of a black child growing up under apartheid in South Africa, the lack of religious scruple in a medieval pilgrim, or the squalor of Victorian London. The practice of writing helps not only to develop or refine what you know, but also to push you to new levels of insight and better understanding not only of the world, but also of yourself. 


English Alumni come back each year for a careers event to talk to current students. They share the ways their work as an editor, a teacher, a lawyer, or a manager builds on skills they developed at Luther: reading, writing, speaking, critical analysis, and organization.

When alums report back to the faculty at homecoming, in letters or in visits, they often reflect on how their experience as an English major pushed out the envelope of their humanity. That often has some bearing on how they raise a child, lead a congregation, read a newspaper or a new novel, or survey the night sky in the silence of their backyard.


We, faculty, who make our academic home in the department, like reading and writing too. We also enjoy the conversation and engagement that goes along with those activities. We look forward to connecting—or reconnecting with you!