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Major Spotlight: Ellery Knight

Study abroad, advises this major, especially through English's East Anglia program!
February 14, 2019

Year: Junior
Hometown: Willmar, MN

Why did you choose to major in English?

Reading and writing have both been very important to me throughout my life, so I knew I wanted to follow a path of study where I would get to do both. I looked into a couple different majors, but after taking ENGL 3001W "Textual Analysis" with Professor Elaine Auyoung I realized that literature was exactly what I wanted to be studying. I declared that semester. I have had no second thoughts.

What has been your favorite part of your experience in the department?

I have had so many great experiences, but the best by far has been my year abroad. I am currently studying at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England, all thanks to the English department’s exchange program. English Advising Coordinator Rachel Drake was very supportive and helpful when it came to making the decision to go abroad, and she made the process so easy for me. In England, I have had the opportunity to travel, meet amazing people, and delve into the amazing literary history around me. One class here I really enjoyed was "Adaptation: Shakespeare on Stage and on Screen." I am now taking a class called "Austen and the Brontës: Reading the Romance."

What have you taken away from the study abroad experience?

You should never be afraid to go after what you want. Make decisions for yourself without fearing what others will think. I almost didn’t study abroad because I was afraid to leave people behind for a while. Try new things and talk to new people. You’ll never regret that (and if you do, at least you have a story to tell!). I have grown immensely. I know this is an experience I will hold dear for the rest of my life.

What English course would you recommend for majors? For non-majors who want to take an English class?

I would definitely recommend taking a class with Chris Kamerbeek as he is an extraordinarily entertaining lecturer with great passion for the subject he is teaching. For majors, take "American Literature II" with him if you can! Majors and non-majors alike, consider taking "Literature and Music." I took both those courses in one semester and felt like I learned so much and enjoyed every moment.

Best book or movie you've read/seen recently?

A Star Is Born was an incredible film. I finally read Jane Eyre, which was a real treat!