Major of the Month: Lianna Matt
Hometown: Mounds View, MN
Why did you choose to major in English?
I majored in English because I've always loved to write and read. Typical answer, but it's true!
What has been your favorite part of your experience with the department?
My favorite experience with the English department was probably at last year's English undergraduate conference. A friend was reading something she wrote for a nonfiction creative writing class, and it was this enchanting, soothing piece about how we're all in our own orbits until we collide with strangers and make our own universes for a while. It was just so nice seeing people come to an event I helped promote (I was on the publicity committee) and join in celebrating our works.
Are you pursuing any majors, minors, internships, or fields of interest outside of your English major? How do you feel they interact with or enhance your study of English?
I am also a journalism major and hoping for a biology minor. I've interned at different publications such as Pioneer Press, Minnesota Parent, and, currently, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. The journalism that I love writing is the kind that remains truthful while being able to flesh out a story with vivid descriptions and literary techniques. As everyone will say, if you read writing you admire, your writing will eventually become something that others will admire. Really, though, I got my start at the campus' student magazine The Wake and have gone from contributing writer to executive director. If you're ever looking for a place to get practice reporting or if you ever want to share your voice, The Wake is it. FYI, next year's leadership is looking to include even more creative writing if that's your cup of tea!
What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?
For non-majors, I would recommend The Undead in Victorian England by Dr. Ann Tandy-Treiber. She's just such a fun teacher, the texts are intriguing, and it's the first time I've ever seen Shaun of the Dead. For majors (and, hey, non-majors will love the class too), take one of Eric Daigre's service-learning classes. The discussions, the people you work with, the thoughts that spark from it are so worthwhile.
What is something about the English department that most people wouldn’t know?
The Honors Shakespeare classes sometimes require fewer papers/tests than the Intro to Shakespeare classes, so if you're interested in the subject and not a major, don't hold yourself back!
Best book or movie you’ve read/seen recently?
I recently saw Rudy, and that was a real motivator to dream big. As far as books, I re-read for Pride and Prejudice for Brit Lit II, and by George it is so much sassier and hilarious than I remembered.