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About English at JMU

The core of the study of English at James Madison University is the exploration of our world and ourselves through words. Throughout human history, talented writers, poets, playwrights, and essayists have understood and used the power of creative, well-crafted language to inspire us, to persuade us, to make us reflect and question, to draw empathy from us, to entertain and awe us, and to expand our understanding – often many of these at the same time.


Our Mission

Our mission is to prepare our students to be appreciative yet critical readers and creators of language, texts, and ideas, attending to the powerful link between the literary arts and the human condition. We develop in students the ability to write with clarity, creativity, and rhetorical power, and to recognize and explore the complex interaction between texts of various genres and diverse contexts of production and reception, that they may emerge with superior dexterity of reasoning, a heightened empathy, and an expanded worldview. 

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    Emily Baker (’21) spent part of last summer learning firsthand the inner workings of Virginia’s executive branch during a fellowship in the Governor’s Office. Read More >

  • Oct 6 quad-fall-drone-1000x600.jpg Applications open for Latinx studies cohort hire

    Following a successful seven-faculty cohort hire in 2020-21, the College of Arts and Letters is launching its second cohort search for six outstanding, tenure-track faculty working broadly across Latinx studies. Read More >

  • May 25 retire-compilation-1000x600.jpg Serving the college

    The 19 retirees have collectively contributed over 500 years of service to their units, the college, the university and the local community. Read More >

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