History and Location

A painting of Professor Francis A. March,  the founder of English studies at Lafayette, “the first to hold the title ‘Professor of English Language and Literature’ anywhere in the United States or Europe."

In his history of literary studies in the United States, Gerald Graff writes that the “pioneering program in English [was] begun at Lafayette College in 1855.” The founder of English studies at Lafayette, Professor Francis A. March (pictured above in his classroom) was “the first to hold the title ‘Professor of English Language and Literature’ anywhere in the United States or Europe.… He formulated concepts about the teaching of English in college and about the role of liberal arts colleges that still resonate with relevance and original insights,” according to the editors of a recent collection of March’s essays.

Where We Are