Chair's welcome

Leah FlackGreetings!

I am proud to be chair Marquette’s English department. Decades ago, I came to understand the transformative power of an education in English as a student—my English classes opened new futures to me.

Marquette’s English department strives to have a world-changing impact on its students as individuals with unique gifts. Our faculty’s scholarship is globally recognized, and we are delighted to translate that expertise into our classrooms and to help students with their own research.

In English, your professors will know you, they will understand your goals, and they will help you achieve them. We are a group of dynamic, talented teachers who care deeply about literature, writing, language, and most of all, students. We are also widely recognized as excellent, compassionate teachers and take pride in this.

In the English department, we empower students to:

    • Learn to read more intensively. Reading allows us to time travel to different eras to understand them, to travel to places we know nothing about, to understand people whose experiences are different from ours. Literature offers us an unparalleled archive of what some of the greatest minds across history had to say about what it means to be human.
    • Tell important stories, their own and those of others, to understand the power of words, to inhabit and cultivate their own unique voices, and to be confident, multifaceted communicators.
    • To develop and complete original research. Our students learn how to break down major projects into concrete steps, how to learn deeply through research, and how to produce and communicate new knowledge as part of a conversation with others.
    • Think creatively and historically to prepare to become global problem solvers. Our students appreciate the significance of understanding the complexities of the past and the open possibilities for the future. They also learn to think boldly and imaginatively about their post-college plans.
    • Develop empathetic imaginations to take ethical action in the world. We help our students to know themselves and others, to engage in authentic ways with their local and global communities, and to take seriously the power of their stories and the stories of others. Building a strong sense of empathy is only the first step to living lives and pursuing careers that allow students to put empathy into action to work for a more just world for all.

There are many ways to participate in our community: we encourage our majors to get involved with our Undergraduate English Advisory Board, to publish their work in a number of venues, including the Marquette Literary Review, to join any number of our reading groups and book clubs, and to join us in what is sometimes called, sometimes just by me, Englishyland, a vibrant, fun, resilient community that celebrates individuality and the power of words to shape us and others. In Englishyland, be ready for monthly contests, gatherings, film screenings and more. We enjoy coming together to learn from each other and to have fun.

Finally, I am delighted that the world is once again recognizing the value of the liberal arts in general and English in particular at a moment of global economic turmoil. The skills you will refine in English will always be in demand by graduate schools and employers. We will help you to translate what you have learned into the future you want.

Welcome to English! Reach out anytime. I am delighted you are here.


Leah Flack