This Department was founded in 1888, when Professor James Cappon took up the first Chair of English at Queen's.
Some English Language and Literature had been taught between 1841 and 1870 as part of Logic, Rhetoric, and Moral Philosophy; between 1870 and 1888 the subject was taught with History and Modern Languages.
The early focus was on the history of the language, grammar, and literary history; during Cappon's 31-year tenure the curriculum turned to a focus on the direct examination of literary works themselves.
Graduate studies have been a part of English at Queen's since at least 1929, when the first recorded MA was granted. The first recorded PhD was granted in 1942.
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