Chair: Professor Jennifer Burkett Pittman
The Department of Language and Literature exists primarily to acquaint students with the masterpieces of literature in English and with the relations of this literature to the whole of Western Culture. Secondary purposes are to develop language skills beyond the elementary objectives of the communication course and to indicate historical and geographical relationships of English to other languages.
The Language and Literacy faculty at Ouachita believes that through diligent study of the English language and literature, students will gain practical skills, including learning to read complex texts analytically and how to write more clearly. Because literature by its very nature explores what it means to be a human being, it confronts the questions that humans have always faced, questions about fate and free will, about our place in the cosmos, about our relationships with each other. Therefore, above all, while there are many skills we gain from studying language and literature, we believe that such study changes us; we study literature not merely for what it will do for us, but for the great good it does to us.