Welcome to the Department of English Studies of Nile University of Nigeria. Our Department follows a tradition and reputation of being classical in liberal education, which aims at expanding the mind of the man/woman to such an extent that it makes it familiar with the whole complexities of human motivation and action. It is this familiarity that brings about the ability or capacity to develop a discourse situation and possibly crystallize original ideas to solution from the synthesis of such discourse situations. Curious about the world and the plight of others, the English major is well-equipped to tackle the biggest contemporary issues through both words and action. Mark Edmundson writes that all students should seriously consider majoring in English. “Becoming an English major means pursuing the most important subject of all — being a human being,” he says.
A recent Scientific American article on why scientists should embrace the liberal arts provided a strong argument for the continuing relevance of an English education. “Even the most profound scientific knowledge won’t solve world problems such as hunger, poverty and environmental damage if we fail to respect, understand and engage cultural differences,” David Skorton wrote in Scientific American.
Combined with the fact that research has found reading fiction to boost empathy and social skills, English students are poised to become powerful and effective defenders of human rights — to shape the global cultural conversation and respect individual and cultural differences and rights. As such, they’re primed to get involved with non-profit, public policy or humanitarian work.
More specifically, Skorton writes, we need great communicators (often those who have cultivated their written and verbal language skills through a liberal arts education) to engage in advocacy: “Genetically modified organisms, global climate change and other scientific, medical and public health developments sometimes fail to gain public acceptance for reasons that lie far outside the realm of science. And that is not the fault of the public—that is our fault as scientists. We have not been effective in explaining to the public the scientific method, the peer review system or the self-correcting nature of scientific research”; this job comes in handy for an English major in the personnel department or as Public Relation Officer of an organization, little wonder an English major is preferred in media houses!
In fact, we build a thinking man, who applies all his knowledge skills to uplift and ennoble his or her humanity and secure for her/him-self, through the power of ideas turned into applicable knowledge, a very high standard of living; and who aspires, through the same powers, to impact on life. We build men and women that are clear in thought and speech, articulate in short.