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A Wordle of the Chair's Message

Message from the Chair

Welcome to the growing and dynamic English Department at Ryerson University. We are proud to be part of Canada's most forward-looking University, located in the heart of its largest and most diverse city. This diversity and energy is reflected in our student body, our faculty members, our course offerings, and our department’s scholarly research and creative work.

We are especially proud of our department’s strengths in transnational and urban literatures and cultures, digital and transmedia perspectives, and creative expression.

Why the Humanities?  Why English?

In today’s unpredictable economic climate, many students may ask: after four years of majoring in English literature, will we have the skills and competencies necessary for success in a competitive work force?

While it is tempting to think of programs that are focused on a specific profession as offering better training and “job readiness” for young graduates, the reality is that some of the most successful politicians, CEOs, and executives have a background in the humanities, many in English. By teaching students how to think in creative and thoughtful ways, to write, speak, and listen carefully and critically, and to problem solve effectively, an English degree opens all kinds of doors to students – ones that might not be immediately obvious – in a volatile job market.  Employers seek employees who are adaptable and versatile; these are qualities that an English degree helps you develop and hone.

A humanities education reminds us of our own humanity, and teaches us to view the world empathically, creatively, expansively, and to bring ideas of being a better human to the workplace and the community. It also teaches us to be better local and global citizens. Together, through reading the literature of other times, other cultures, other nations, we learn how to imagine the world of another. What better type of job-readiness is there than that in today's globalized society? Studies in English literature don’t just prepare students for the workplace – they prepare students for life.

Why English at Ryerson?

We are proud of Ryerson’s long-standing tradition of preparing students with the skills most needed in the workplace. These skills are formed by the lively integration of curiosity, creativity and critical thinking that distinguish our programs. While our English degree incorporates experiential learning into our course offerings, our BA also retains the traditional and most valuable aspect of an English degree: teaching students to think in expansive, creative and critical ways. An English major can be combined with a wide variety of professional and creative minors; some of the more popular minors include Sociology, History, Curatorial Studies, Film (Cinema) Studies, and News Studies.

Students in our BA in English program can choose from a rich variety of courses aimed at enhancing their creative and research expertise in literatures and cultures — as well as creating opportunities for hands-on experiential learning. For students who wish to combine literary studies with another discipline, we offer an English Option and an English Minor.

Our graduate MA in Literatures of Modernity program combines advanced literary studies, innovative research and theoretical perspectives with opportunities for real-world experience in Toronto’s literary, media, and cultural sectors.

Additionally, we have a Certificate in English Literature and Popular Culture that allows students to enhance and refine their communication skills.

I invite you to join our innovative English program and explore Ryerson’s exciting opportunities for your academic, creative, and professional enrichment.

Best wishes,

Professor Andrew O'Malley,
Chair of English