Department Background

The UJ English Department offers students a range of courses in literature and language that are a stimulating blend of traditional, canonical texts and more contemporary South African, postcolonial and postmodern works. These texts range in period from the fourteenth century to the twenty-first century, and span the geographies of Britain and America, Asia and Africa. Although a full range of courses is offered, the Department specialises in particular in South African / African literature and contemporary literary theory.
Apart from exposing students to some of the most enduring literature in English, thereby expanding their potential for imaginative responsiveness, the English major at UJ also develops skills of analysis and expression. Students are also shown how to record their responses in a focused and cogent manner. They are taught to structure essays properly, and to use language accurately, sensitively, and succinctly. The English major aims, in other words, at developing individuals who are able to draw on a rich store of cultural knowledge, and who respond perceptively to language contexts and are able to communicate this response incisively.

Such persons, no matter what career they decide to pursue (teaching, advertising, public relations, journalism, publishing, diplomatic service, government and public administration, the world of entertainment . . .) will be able to do so competently, resourcefully, and stylishly, having acquired a sense of how felicitous expression is allied to pertinent thought

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