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About Concordia English

In Concordia’s English Department we see literature as a living tradition open to transformation through new approaches to writing, interpretation, and theoretical reflection. We aim to be an exceptionally attuned, inclusive, and imaginative department that fosters both collaboration and independence in the study and creation of literature in all its forms.  

Literature not only represents the world, it also reinvents it, blends fact and fiction, imagines different forms of social life, and intervenes in the way we understand our existence in common. Writing is bound up not only with what we can say but with the way that we think and feel, with what we can imagine, with our powers of political action and our capacity to care for one another.  

In our department we create a supportive and dynamic environment, where students, staff, scholars, teachers, and literary practitioners may thrive in their work, independently and in collaboration with each other and with local, national, and international communities.

We realise this vision through our work and through our creative writing, academic, and professional writing programs, by: 

• engaging critically with, and contributing to, literature, media, and the world

• understanding and supporting the needs and aspirations of students

• developing professional skills as writers, editors, and communicators

• pursuing reflective, innovative, and interdisciplinary practices as researchers, teachers, and employees

• increasing the diversity of faculty and staff to represent the diversity of the Montreal community 


More about the Department  

Located in the heart of downtown Montreal, the Department of English is embedded in the city's thriving bilingual artistic and cultural scene. In combination with our faculty’s outstanding academic and creative writing strengths, this creates a stimulating milieu for students to learn and grow as thinkers, writers, and communicators. 

Ranked among the top 200 English departments in the world by the QS World University Rankings, our faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and graduate students are leaders in humanities research, creative writing, and research creation. Our faculty are well grounded in the study and practice of writing in English in all areas and periods, in addition to more interdisciplinary research concerns such as media studies, sexuality studies, print culture, performance studies, game studies, poetics, globalization, and the environmental humanities.

Department faculty and graduate students are key participants in university research centres such as Technoculture Art and Games, Hexagram, the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Society and Culture, and the Loyola Sustainability Research Centre, as well as collaborative, inter-university research projects such as Interacting with Print, CRIHN, Figura/NT2, QCBS, and IMMERSe. The Department of English has been the home to the Association of Canadian College and University Teachers of English (ACCUTE, 2010-2012), and our faculty are active members on a variety of other national and international scholarly associations. National and international recognition for our faculty's research is evidenced in the substantial research funding received from the Social Science and Humanites Research Council of Canada, Le Fonds de recherche du Québec, Fulbright Canada, The Huntington Research Centre, the Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada the Canada, and the Canada Council for the Arts. Research productivity and faculty expertise are reflected in our recent book publications and research initiatives.

Undergraduate academic program students and non-program students take advanced small lecture classes in all periods and areas of literary study, as well as specialized seminar courses with limited enrollments. All creative writing classes, from introductory to advanced, are restricted to creative writing program students or by special permission based on portfolio submissions, and are structured as small seminar or workshop groups.

We also offer an exciting range of introductory classes in the history of English literature, introduction to literary studies, and unique electives in areas such as the creative process, the graphic novel, Quebec and Montreal writing in English, and video games as literature.

All graduate academic and creative writing classes are seminar style, and held in the physical footprint of the English department. Graduate and undergraduate students have the opportunity to  get involved in faculty research initiatives and creative projects, student colloquiums and research days, and are invited to attend the many presentations and workshops offered by visiting scholars and writers held throughout the academic year.

Our history

1942 Department of English Sir George Williams Department of English, 1942.

We have always hosted a vibrant intellectual community. Literature has been studied here from the earliest days of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University and in the sixties and seventies, the department featured some of Canada's greatest literary minds. Since Concordia's creation in 1974, we have continued to attract outstanding scholars, writers, and thinkers.

Richler Room

Mordecai Richler Reading Room Mordecai Richler's writing desk and typewriter.

With many of his personal effects bequeathed to Concordia University, the Mordecai Richler Reading Room is part of the English department. The space is designed to inspire creative writers, spark fresh ideas among students, and foster original research from scholars. The room is closed to the general public. Find out more about the Richler Room.  

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