Division of Department of Global Humanities Department of English Literature

Develop rich imagination by studying novels, drama, and poetry

The world of English literature encompasses a vast time and space. Countless genres have emerged in prose, drama, and poetry from the 9th century A.D. to the present. Aside from this, English literature is not limited to England; taken in a broad sense, it also includes works from Australia, South Africa, Canada, and even the United States. Nowadays we see many writers with complicated cultural backgrounds, like Ishiguro Kazuo, enjoy success in the English literary world — proof that the adjective refers to the original language of the work, rather than to a specific country. Our department is currently led by professor Okochi Shō, who specializes in Romantic literature, associate professor Iwata Miki, whose main research subject is modern drama, and associate professor James Tink, who focuses on the English literature of the Renaissance period. We would like you all to read as much as you can, to engage deeply with the works and, above all, to enjoy them. Without a doubt, this will help you develop your imagination, power of thinking, and candor.

Message from Senior

OGATA Mayuko

3rd grade, Humanities and Social Sciences
High school : Miyagi Prefectural Sendai Daini

Recommended book : Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Reason : The book is written in relatively simple English and quite easy to read, but the story is unexpectedly deep and thought-provoking. You can also get the Japanese translation by Tsuchiya Masao (Hayakawa Publishing) and read the two versions side by side. Apparently, there are slight differences between the two versions that make such parallel reading amusing.

Highlights of the Faculty of Arts and Letters

After you join the department in your second year, the number of specialized courses increases. For instance, I am taking a course in English literature where we have to read untranslated novels, dramas, poetry, and literary works of various other genres. Other department members are always ready to help, so my understanding of English literature has been growing. It is fascinating that we all have different interpretations and yet are able to share them. Furthermore, there are many foreign students at Tohoku University. I find the time spent with them extremely stimulating. The university library, which was renovated in 2014, is an extremely nice place to study, and the café beside the entrance is popular with students.

To everyone aiming for the Faculty of Arts and Letters

Many of those who want to join the Faculty of Arts and Letters love reading or the English language. Since you are not required to do anything specific, the best policy, in my opinion, is to continue doing what you like as you study. Furthermore, if you develop a wide range of interests, you might find new unexpected connections with your main research theme. You can explore things you enjoy as much as you like while at university, and it is great fun to hold good-natured discussions with your fellow students. I am sure that all of you will enjoy the time spent at university!