Philosopher Roland Barthes made an important distinction between Work and Text--a unique way of understanding literature.
Language is highly complex, one reason autocorrection and computer translation sometimes fail to communicate what we really mean.
In "Der achtzehnte Brumaire des Louis Bonaparte," Karl Marx makes an interesting distinction between two notions of representation, an idea later explored by Gayatri Spivak.
English is fundamental to a liberal arts education. Nevertheless, some still question the value of the field, as well as humanities studies in general.