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.
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.
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.
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 Institute, First Person Scholar, the Waterloo Directory of Victorian Periodicals, and the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies.
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
The English undergraduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 251.
For graduate inquiries
The English graduate office is located in Hagey Hall room 250.
You can also follow us on a variety of social media:
Webmaster: Bruce Dadey
- Mar. 29, 2017
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.
- Mar. 14, 2017
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.
- Feb. 23, 2017
UWaterloo English PhD candidate Betsy Brey is examining how narratives affect employee motivation. Through a Mitacs grant, Betsy was able to work with Ontario organizational development consulting firm ODScore to see how narratives around organizational change affected employee attitudes.
- May 6 to 13, 2017
Jennifer Polk, PhD, and Maren Wood, PhD, are once again hosting Beyond the Professoriate, the online career conference for PhDs, in partnership with Mitacs. This year is the fourth annual event, which brings together panelists and presenters from a wide variety of academic backgrounds and careers, from across Canada and the United States.
- May 27 to June 2, 2017
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.
- June 2, 2017
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.