New English Society Sparks Conversation Outside the Classroom


The start of this semester also saw the beginning of a new on-campus organization, called the English Society. Started by seniors Matthew Alexander and Alex Bird and junior Elena Napolitano, the English Society, “hope[s] to achieve a place for English majors, or anyone who cares about literature to have a place outside the classroom to talk about everything we learn here” according to Alexander.

According to Napolitano, “We want to get students talking about literature beyond the classroom. If all goes as planned we hope to have something like a Dead Poets Society on our hands where literature will change and influence our lives in a more palpable and less academic way.”

Alexander shares the sentiment and elaborated on what he hoped the society would become, “Once we figured out that we’d be different than the writing clubs and VOICES, we came up with the idea that the club would be a place for English majors to have discussions without professors there; or there but not as a teacher. We want a place for English majors to calm down and reflect on what we learn. We learn a lot in very short classes that you only get to talk about if you hang out with other English majors, and still then, you’re only around two or three of them at a time. I really want to hear what people have to say about this stuff. How it reads to them! So we came up with an idea that we’d read a piece, a short piece because we know we all read a lot during the semester, then get together and talk about it. It’s as simple as that.”

Supported by the English department (particularly Professors O’Sullivan and Wooley), the society leaders hope to follow up their reading-and-discussion meetings and successful literature trivia night with “a bonfire at the Point as well as some guest lecturers” according to Napolitano and potentially some fun and stimulating fundraising events according to Alexander.

Interested students should email one of the society leaders or show up to one of the next meetings, which are held on Thursdays at 8 pm in Upper Monty Commons.