In literary criticism , the term Englishstudies is occasionally used to refer to the critical study of English literature . The only thing distinguishing "English studies" from the broader category ofacademic literary criticism and literary theory is that its texts must originally have been written in English . English studies may also include the study of the English language in linguistics .
Generally, English studies is practiced in university departments of English Literature, while other literary criticismtakes place in foreign-language departments and departments of comparative literature . This disciplinary divide is the motivation for the term, as professors of English literature occasionally find it useful to distinguish themselvesfrom professors of other literatures for administrative reasons (thus the Modern Language Association is divided into two principal subgroups, the Association ofDepartments of English and the Association of Departments of Foreign Languages). In the everyday practice of scholarship,however, little attention is paid to the distinction.
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