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Academic Building, HC 221
5151 Park Avenue
Fairfield, CT 06825

Department Chair

Jeffrey Patton Cain, Ph.D.
Associate Professor

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The English program at Sacred Heart University is concerned with the attempt to communicate, both orally and in writing. A variety of courses in literature, writing, speech/communications and drama is offered to develop skills for reading analytically, writing clearly and effectively, and expressing thoughts cogently, while providing a foundation experience in a broad spectrum of literature.

Selections from the wide range of courses within the major and its two concentrations - Literature and Writing - along with related studies in other areas, will prepare the English major for graduate school, the professions, business, industry and the arts. The department also offers a minor in English, a minor in Creative Writing, and an Associate's Degree.

The English faculty at Sacred Heart are dedicated to the ideal of providing a solid, well-balanced curriculum for our majors. Thus the curriculum balances theory and practice, oral and writing communication, and a common core with concentration in special areas of interest. We seek to share our love of the written and spoken word while at the same time preparing students for professional life upon graduation from the University. Our goals include:

  • Coordinating our curriculum with the University's mission
  • Continually developing our teaching ability
  • Remaining current in our discipline
  • Creating an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation
  • Focusing on each student as a unique human being

As the English faculty seek to meet its goals as educators, it emphasizes six learning outcomes for its majors:

  1. Students will recognize major British and American writers and their works.
  2. Students will understand the social and historical context of British and American Literature.
  3. Students will display an aesthetic appreciation of literature.
  4. Students will attain advanced critical reading, thinking, writing, and speaking  abilities.
  5. Students will demonstrate a basic understanding of literary and critical theory.
  6. Students will be well-prepared for graduate study in literature, and for careers that emphasize writing and oral communication skills.

While the majority of our graduates enter the world of teaching, writing, or graduate school, we believe that the English major provides one of the most flexible foundations for entering a wide variety of occupations, including: teaching, creative writing, law, acting, advertising, radio, television, corporate communication, journalism, editing, cinema, personnel relations, press relations, sales, and publishing.

Latest News

Jonas Zdanys Named SHU Poet-in-Residence

October 9, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – As part of its growing commitment to the creative arts, Sacred Heart University is delighted to announce the appointment of Jonas Zdanys to the position of poet-in-residence. To date, Zdanys has published 44 books of both his own poetry as well as translations of Lithuanian literature into English; another two books of original verse are scheduled for release in 2016.

Professor Zdanys Edits New Anthology of Epistolary Poems

April 9, 2015

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Jonas Zdanys, professor of English and creative writing at Sacred Heart University, has edited a new book called Pushing the Envelope: Epistolary Poems, a unique anthology of poems in the form of letters. A bilingual poet and translator, Zdanys is the author of 44 works, 40 of them collections of poetry, written in English and in Lithuanian. He has received a number of prizes, awards, grants and public recognitions for his own poetry and for his translations.

Zdanys Receives Grant to Publish Fifth Book of Poems Written in Lithuanian

August 12, 2014

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Sacred Heart University Professor Jonas Zdanys of Wallingford has received a grant from the Lithuanian Ministry of Culture to complete and publish his fifth volume of poetry written in Lithuanian; it will be his 42nd published book overall. This latest work, entitled Ikaro Prisikelimas, which means ‘the resurrection of Icarus,’ continues the themes he began to explore in his book of prose poems entitled The Kingfisher’s Reign. Zdanys was nominated for the grant by the publisher and received the award after intense competition for support based on his book’s literary and cultural merit. The book is scheduled to be published in September in Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania, by the Lithuanian Writers Union Publishing House.