The Department of English offers graduate study leading to the M.A. degree in Literature. The program features small classes and ample opportunity for association with faculty and visiting writers.
Students may pursue one of two programs. A 30-hour thesis program includes 6 hours of credit for a thesis and 6 hours of credit in an approved minor or area of emphasis. A 36-hour non-thesis program normally includes 27 hours in English and 9 hours in an approved minor or area of emphasis.
Students select courses from a wide range of topics, periods, and genres in British and American literature, and in linguistics and theory. Regular offerings in literature range from Anglo-Saxon poetry and prose to contemporary poetry, drama, film, and fiction. Students choose minors or areas of emphasis in fields outside of English; focused study of a literary period, genre, or issue; or a combination of both. In addition to traditional literary studies, specialties include
The forty graduate faculty members in English hold degrees from universities throughout the United States and England. The faculty's diverse scholarly interests include nature writing, medieval cosmology, political fiction, social history, medieval pilgrimage literature, South African literature, rhetorical theory and practice, beat poetry, Jewish-American literature, and linguistics. The faculty in English has produced critical studies, scholarly translations, and textbooks. They have received numerous grants and awards from national, state, and private foundations, and they have published widely in major literary journals.
An extraordinary feature of the program is the opportunity to hear and meet a remarkable number of great writers. The Roy and Joann Mitte Professorship brings first-rank novelists to the Department for a year at a time. This year's Mitte Professor is Leslie Marmon Silko, MacArthur Award-winning author of Ceremony and Gardens in the Dunes. Next year we will host Tim O'Brien, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Going After Cacciato and The Things They Carried.
In addition, our Lindsey Literary Series has brought us more than a hundred guests, including Rudolfo Anaya, Margaret Atwood, John Barth, Donald Barthelme, Ann Beattie, Joseph Brodsky, Sandra Cisneros, James Dickey, Rita Dove, Horton Foote, Allen Ginsberg, Nikki Giovanni, Ken Kesey, Maxine Hong Kingston, Denise Levertov, Larry McMurtry, W. S. Merwin, James Michener, N. Scott Momaday, Annie Proulx, Gary Snyder, and Alice Walker. Each writer stays for at least two or three days, giving at least one reading, attending a reception open to students, visiting classes, and holding a question-and-answer session.
Few programs anywhere offer personal
contact with such a distinguished array of literary talent.