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Mission & Goals

The Department of English at California State University, San Bernardino is a vibrant community of teachers, scholars, writers, and support staff committed to the interdisciplinary exploration and development of English Studies.


Our mission is to provide students with a contextualized understanding of the aesthetic, discursive, persuasive, and performative aspects of texts and language. In keeping with the traditional values of a liberal education in the humanities, we aspire to educate the whole person, and in so doing, to cultivate students’ capacities for critical, creative, supple, and reflective reading, thinking, research, and writing. Our undergraduate and graduate courses integrate four distinct approaches to English Studies that are rarely united in English programs: literary studies, creative writing, linguistics, and composition/literacy studies. Students who graduate from our programs will find themselves well-prepared to assess and meet the demands of the workplace and to take on the responsibilities of civic and community engagement. They will be attuned to the values of self-reflection, empathetic connection, and aesthetic appreciation so central to building rich, meaningful lives and to becoming transformative agents in the world. 


B.A. in English Goals (Approved -January 10, 2017)


Social Construction

Students will understand that the meaning of any given word or text is established through a continuing process of social interaction, negotiation, consensus, and dissent. Students will examine how meaning is made in relation to texts of various literary, rhetorical, and linguistic genres in their various contexts.


Students will understand that texts, in all of their forms, must be read in relationship to relevant contexts (historical, linguistic, social, political, personal) and in relationship to one another. Students will demonstrate intertextual thinking by analyzing how texts relate to these broader contexts and by producing their own texts in ways that attend to text-context relationships.


Students will understand that writing is a process of social and intertextual engagement that requires writers to negotiate the possibilities and demands of participation within a given context. As writers, students will recognize and apply (and sometimes revise, critique, and resist) the elements of various genres and rhetorical and stylistic conventions in realizing their purposes.


Students will understand that the social, political, economic, and cultural value of different English literary, linguistic, and rhetorical conventions result from uneven power relations within a diverse society. Students will engage in meaningful collaborations and critical dialogues with peers and faculty from a range of communities and perspectives in order to analyze and produce various types of texts that examine (and sometimes revise, critique, and resist) the varied and complex uses of the English language and its varieties.


Students will understand that theoretical and aesthetic traditions and frameworks of thought necessarily shape the interpretation and creation of texts, and the production of new knowledge. Students will engage in a range of methodological approaches, actively theorizing their own reading and writing practices in a variety of intellectual, rhetorical, and aesthetic contexts.

Semantic Multiplicity

Students will understand that texts and language are rich, multiplicitous, and ambivalent in their meaning. Students will learn to uncover and engage these multiple meanings through analysis and production of textual and linguistic details, including literary tropes, generic conventions, rhetorical modalities, and linguistic registers.

Textual Historicity

Students will learn to think historically about texts from the meaning of individual words to the emergence, flourishing, and transformation of literary genres. They will examine how aesthetic sensibilities, beliefs and values change along with the English language and the cultures that use it.


Students will understand that research in English Studies begins with an inquiry question or problem that needs to be solved and involves engaging sources in a conversation rather than using them for unquestioned answers. Students will generate inquiry questions to launch their individual research and creative/imaginative projects and follow discipline-specific methodologies to produce meaningful research and original imaginative writing in their field.