19th Century American Literature

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Book History

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Gender and Sexuality Studies

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Irish Literature

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20th Century and Later British Literature

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Welcome from the Chair

Literature is central to the human quest for meaning. It’s a unique vehicle for finding ourselves, for navigating our course in an often confusing and complex world. Because it speaks to our imagination, literature allows us to approach the moral, ethical, social, and political dilemmas of the human situation in an integrated way. The beautiful and the well-argued, the felt and the reasoned, the actual and the possible, the message and the medium: students of literature—undergraduates, graduates, and professors—do not treat these spheres as distinct aspects of human existence. In our department, they bring them together.


September 25, 2015

The Critic as Artist/The Artist as Critic

This fall, the English Department launches a two-year initiative to encourage collegial conversations about the making and judgment of the literary arts. This Hurst Initiative recognizes that the MFA and Ph. D. faculty and graduate students in both programs have in common a commitment to the practice of judicious and constructive appraisal, innovation in the use of research and other academic resources, pedagogy that spurs creative as well as critical thinking, and managing sometimes quite different commitments to multiple communities within and beyond the university. "The Critic as Artist/Artist as Critic" invites suggestions for visiting writers who will contribute to this departmental dialogue, noting that a special Hurst speaker each semester will be invited to address, however broadly, the general topic of criticism and the making of art.

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