Nancy Arnesen featured image background

Nancy Arnesen

Professor of English

Professor Nancy Arnesen thinks carefully about the challenges many people see in finding careers with liberal arts degrees. “There is not always a straight line between undergraduate major and post-college life,” she says. “This need not be a negative—in fact, it is arguably a great strength.”

“The English major opens many doors, including doors one might not even have imagined,” she says. In her courses, readers encounter life’s biggest dilemmas through the work of ancient and modern authors, a practice that creates both safety and challenge for students considering their own place in the world. Professor Arnesen teaches her students that the study of English literature is not only about reading texts, but also about discerning points of intersection between the early modern texts and matters of contemporary culture and faith.

“As a professor, I see myself as a senior reader and learner,” says Professor Arnesen. “I enjoy the give and take of the classroom and the privilege of being a presence at least for a time, in my students’ lives,” says Professor Arnesen.

Professor Arnesen’s teaching and research interests span a wide swath of literature and related disciplines, including Shakespeare, Early Modern English literature, Milton, Spenser, feminist approaches to literature, and neuroscience and literature. She is grateful for the community of learners at North Park that helps to foster such wide interests in faculty and students. “I find the life of the academic community at North Park to be a constant parade of interesting and thought-provoking ideas, events, and opportunities,” she says.

Popular Courses

  • Shakespeare
  • British Literature 1
  • Cornerstone
  • Senior Seminar

Inspirations & Interests

  • Birds
  • Wildflowers
  • Walking
  • Mozart piano sonatas
  • PBS British mysteries