英語英米文学研究室

東京大学

menu

アーカイブ

The Department of English Language and Literature is divided into specialisms in English Linguistics, English Literature, and American Literature. With the exception of the requirement to take at least one course in each of these, students can in general focus their study in one chosen field. Since there are no formal or practical requirements to (for example) take the classes of one particular professor, students are free to experiment and investigate their own interests. As they progress, students eventually focus their interests on one particular topic or work and write a graduation dissertation, which we hope will be the culmination of their study in the English Department. Graduation theses are at least thirty pages in English, and they serve not just as a memento of students’ intellectual achievements, but also as a demonstration of skills in written English, research ability, and IT presentation. As students write their theses, staff and assistants in relevant fields will actively consult with them about topics such as composition, referencing style, and so on.

English Linguistics includes both synchronic research, which attempts to elucidate the construction of a language at a single point in time, and diachronic research into various aspects of language change. Both of these are further divided into various subfields, but all require an accurate understanding of the nature and structure of the English language. General language theory and empirical study of particular languages are interdependent, and by combining the two we can achieve results of substantial interest. Accordingly, classes emphasize training students to grasp, in a comprehensive way, both the detailed reality of the English language and its theoretical implications.

By contrast, English Literature is, to begin with, so broad that its limits are difficult to define. In general, our staff’s research interests cover the traditional core of the discipline in British and American literature, and classes typically focus on close reading of texts. However, as long as it is related in some way to literature in English, we support students in independent research (for example, a graduate thesis focusing on Anglophone literature), and we welcome students who wish to broaden their interests into sub-genres such as children’s literature and cultural studies, or related fields such as art and music. Needless to say, we welcome more sociological or cultural readings of literature, as well as various schools of literary and critical theory.

In short, almost anything can be studied here, and although our staff usually teach major texts and authors in accordance with their own interests, many students take the opportunity to strike out their own paths of study with an enterprising spirit. We should mention, in particular, that the intellectual freedom of the English Department has contributed to deepening ties with the Modern Western Literature major, through our shared interests in critical theory and translation theory.

Former students are active in diverse fields, particularly journalism and publishing, although a number of students aspire to enter Master’s courses in order to deepen their studies. Many students entering the Master’s course aim to go on to the PhD, although in recent years the number of students who study abroad in various fields is increasing.