Darby Tanner

The UCA English Department is unique because the program prepares you for a range of opportunities rather than a specific career path. Some may argue that English majors are “useless” because our focus is merely “reading books,” a wholly unpopular interest outside the realm of academia in the technological world. Nonetheless, we do not read fairy-tales and write fanfiction about them. We read the primary and secondary literature of complete English history. We analyze its conflicts, themes, characters, and context of the literature. We write extensive, analytical responses to the literature and study similarly-focused critical scholarship. And we form well-versed opinions and ideas based on the combined reading of the literature and corresponding scholarship. Essentially, the English department is designed to allow your voice and your ideas to shine through your annotations, class discussions, and personal research papers. You are shaping your identity with each friendly disagreement of opinion and frustrated sigh at the plot-progression of a particular play. The skills you learn as an English student are valuable and marketable to nearly every employer because you possess the ability to obtain new information, interpret its meaning, and respectfully communicate unique ideas gleaned from the information that can forge pathways of empathy, creativity, and — ultimately– progress. Therefore, I am confident that if I continue to graduate school to become a professor, work in a library system, pursue a publishing career, study law, become a theater-based dramaturg, or an independent author, I will be fully equipped to tackle the challenges of the career.