I was an English major in college and many of my best friends were too. However, it appears we were part of a diminishing crew.
At Pomona College (my alma mater) this spring, 16 students graduated with an English major out of a student body of 1,560, a terribly small number. In 1991, 165 students graduated from Yale with a B.A. in English literature. By 2012, that number was 62. In 1991, the top two majors at Yale were history and English. In 2013, they were economics and political science.
Should we be worried about the future of the English major?
Later in the editorial, Klinkenborg argued that writing has lost its cultural position as “a fundamental principle of the humanities.” Random House published Several Short Sentences About Writing, Klinkenborg’s book that challenges common assumptions and ideas about writing.
(Photograph via Verlyn Klinkenborg)