Department of English
The study of English is fundamental to a liberal arts and sciences education. English Department faculty members teach students to read perceptively and critically; to understand the historical, cultural and aesthetic dimensions of language and literature; and to write with clarity and precision. We offer courses in literature, film, composition, rhetoric, and creative writing. Read More
“I didn’t really play video games or interact with video games at all during middle school and most of high school, which is rare for someone who would refer to themselves as a gamer,” Shannon Haas says, noting that these days she does in fact consider herself a gamer.
As she’s delved into the immersive world of avatars, fantastical graphics and outrageous plots, she has been struck by the hypersexualized portrayal of female characters, particularly in some of the industry’s most popular franchises. (Ever heard of Grand Theft Auto?)
After airing her frustrations in an English paper last spring, Haas decided to delve deeper into the issue at the urging of her professor, Tim Carens, who was intrigued by the subject. This summer the pair received grant funding through the College’s Summer Undergraduate Research with Faculty program to study the content of video games within the context of scholarly feminist and media studies. Haas plans to use her research as the basis for her bachelor’s essay.
“I think just the perspective of being a young woman and now a young adult, I think that really granted me some perspective to look at gaming from an outsider’s point of view,” she says. “Everything seemed more poignant. Every instance of misogyny or sexism seemed to stand out and slap me in the face.”
The Department of English's annual newsletter, Folio, features stories on alumni and current students, new professors, notes on faculty and more.
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