English Language and Literature

Welcome! The Department of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo offers unique undergraduate and graduate programs covering the study of literature, rhetoric, professional writing, and digital media. Our professors have national and international reputations in these areas, and we boast many awards for teaching. Graduates of our B.A. and M.A. programs find successful careers in industry, law, government, teaching, medicine, communication design, and entrepreneurship, often getting their start with our co-op program; they also go on to advanced studies in English. Graduates of our PhD program hold academic and non-academic positions in Canada and across the world.

Undergraduate Studies

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Whether you want to explore literature, digital media, political discourse, or technical communication, our diverse undergraduate degrees and programs allow you to pursue your interests. You have a wide variety of degree options, and with our integrated co-op option, you can combine study and work experience.

Graduate Studies

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We offer MAs in Literary Studies, Rhetoric and Communication Design, and Experimental Digital Media. Our PhD offers a unique integration of literary studies with such fields as rhetoric, new media, and discourse analysis. Our degrees will prepare you for work in and beyond the academy. 


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Our department features internationally known scholars who conduct research in a variety of fields, including literary studies, digital media, and rhetoric and professional communication. The department is also affiliated with a number of research bodies, including the Critical Media Lab, the Games InstituteFirst Person Scholar, the Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals, and the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.

Teaching and Learning

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Teaching is central to our department, and our faculty and graduate students include many award-winning instructors. Class sizes in the department are small, and your professors are dedicated, dynamic instructors who will give you the academic tools you need to follow your intellectual passions and the individual attention you need to grow as a scholar.

Find out more

To find out more about our department, follow any of the links above or in the main menu. Our faculty and staff are also happy to talk with you via email, over the phone, or in person to answer any questions you might have.

For undergraduate inquiries

Contact our undergraduate adminstrator, Jenny Conroy, or our undergraduate chair, Jay Dolmage.

The English undergraduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 251.

For graduate inquiries

Contact our graduate administrator, Tina Davidson, or our graduate chair, Aimée Morrison.

The English graduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 250.


 Social Media

You can also follow us on a variety of social media:

facebook link Event notices, general department news, and English-related links from both within and outside the department.
Twitter logo News and events for graduate students and faculty, English-related job advertisements, and calls for papers and articles.
Wordpress logo Words in Place (our department blog): a wide variety of articles on people and events in the department, including interviews with undergraduate and graduate students.
YouTube link Videos of department events and student projects.
University of Waterloo crest Our Department Newsletter: a periodic summary of what's been happening with faculty and students in English Language and Literature.

The Department of English acknowledges that we are living and working on the traditional territory of ‎ the Attawandaron (also known as Neutral), Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee peoples. The University of Waterloo is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land promised to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River.

Webmaster: Bruce Dadey

  1. May 3, 2017Position: Lecturer, Rhetoric and Technical Communication

    The Department of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Waterloo invites applications for a three-year definite-term appointment starting August 1, 2017 at the rank of Lecturer in Rhetoric and Technical Communication. The successful candidate may be considered for reappointment at the completion of the contract.

  2. Mar. 29, 2017PhD Student Houman Mehrabian Wins Teaching Award

    Houman Mehrabian, a PhD student in English Language and Literature, has received the 2017 Amit and Meena Chakma Award for Exceptional Teaching by a Student.

  3. Mar. 14, 2017 =SUM(things): Open Call for New Media Proposals/Projects for Exhibition

    The Critical Media Lab is pleased to announce an open call for submissions and creative new media projects for their annual exhibition scheduled for April 7, 2017.

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  1. May 27 to June 2, 2017Congress of the Humanities and Social SciencesBanner for the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences.

    UWaterloo English faculty and students will be presenting a wide variety of papers at the annual Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Ryerson University. For a complete listing of presenters, times, and locations, see our Congress Participants page.

  2. May 30, 2017Beyond 60: GRADtalks - The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence The Promises and Realities of Artificial Intelligence banner

    Doctoral students explore one research theme from interdisciplinary perspectives. 

  3. June 2, 2017PhD Defense: Michael Lesiuk: The Urban Web: Metonymic Representation in the Work of Charles Dickens and George Gissing

    This dissertation deploys the resources of cognitive linguistics and ecocriticism to gain insight into the role of metonymy in the Victorian novel’s representation of an increasingly complex and interconnected urban world. I examine Charles Dickens’s novels Bleak House (1852-53) and Our Mutual Friend (1864-65), and George Gissing’s novel The Nether World (1889), as well as Gissing’s nonfiction criticism of Dickens, in order to argue that both authors use metonymy to reframe the reader’s understanding of the Victorian city.

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