The English Department encourages students to engage in individualized study. With the approval of the department chair and permission of a professor who will help direct the study, the student designs an in-depth look at a topic in literature, language, or critical theory, leading to a substantial paper, series of essays, or creative project. Below is a list of a few recent independent studies:
- "The Misogynistic Tradition: A Female Voice Responds: A Comparison of Women's Lives as Represented by Boccaccio, Chaucer and Christine de Pizan"
- "Communications and Manuel De Landa's 1000 Years of Nonlinear History"
- "Studies in Twentieth Century Latin American Fiction: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Juan Rulfo, Clarice Lispector, Isabel Allende & Luisa Valenzuela"
- "Sampling Soseki"
- "Tim O'Brien and Truth"
- "Man and the Machine: Images of Artificial Intelligence in Stanley Kubrick Films"
- "The Bible as Literature"
- "Understanding O'Neill's Guilt"
- "Celtic Myth and Christian Beliefs in Contemporary Irish Literature"
- "Masterpieces of 19th Century Russian Literature"
- "Modern Russia: Peter the Great to Pushkin"
- "Comparisons between the Southern Grotesque and Contemporary Dystopian Literature"
- "American 1920s Expatriate Literature"
- "Contemporary Japanese Literature"
- "Health and Fitness Journalism"
- "Effect of Social Media on Social Movements"
- "Sexual Transitions in the Long 18th Century"
- "Fictional Bodies, Textual Selves: A Crisis of Control in the 19th Century Novel"
- "Write Drunk, Edit Sober: Creating a Book of Poetry"
John "Jack" P. Fishwick '37, one of Roanoke College's most distinguished alumni, died on August 9, 2010, at the age of 93. Fishwick, a Roanoke College Medalist, served as president of Norfolk & Western Railway from 1970 to 1981.