M.A. Literature

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Master of Arts Degree in English: Emphasis in Literature

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The M.A. in English with an emphasis in Literature program requires coursework and a culminating project taking the form of either a Master’s Essay or Master’s Thesis. In this program, students deepen their knowledge of literature, literary history, literary theory, research methods and criticism while also pursuing independent research in an area of particular interest. The literature faculty’s own research interests are broad, including film, late medieval religious writing, Renaissance poetry and drama, Victorian literature and science, modern American poetry, American ethnic literature, and twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literature, and they represent a wide variety of theoretical perspectives, including materialist cultural theory, feminist theories, cultural studies and queer theory. Students choose from a correspondingly broad range of courses offered by literature faculty, which in recent years has included:

  • Sex and the Spirit in Early English Poetry
  • Politics of Voice
  • Lyric and Identity in the Late Twentieth Century
  • Shakespeare and His Contemporaries
  • Victorian Realisms
  • Chicana and Black Feminisms
  • The Films of David Lynch
  • Environmental Literature and Media

The topics pursued by graduate students in their Master’s Essays have been equally varied: embodiment in the poetry of Walt Whitman; gender and sexuality in It Follows; art and nature in Ben Jonson’s satire; extinction in Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native; Macbeth as an Elizabethan play; Billy Jack’s revision of the Hollywood western; confronting the patriarchy in Good Morning, Midnight; and post-structuralism and race in the work of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Percival Everett.

Students should complete their application by February 1 for Fall admission or by October 1 for Spring admission. Application information is available here.

Applicants who wish to be competitive and who are applying for a Graduate Assistantship (GA) should complete their application by February 1 for Fall admission.