Graduate Studies at Maryland

The Department of English at the University of Maryland offers a PhD program in English Language and Literature, an MA Program with concentrations in literature as well as in Rhetoric and Writing, and an MFA program in poetry and fiction. We also offer a PhD in Comparative Literature. In addition, graduate students are able to earn certifications in Critical Theory and Women’s Studies. With a large and distinguished graduate faculty of over sixty members, the Department is able to provide its graduate students with an extraordinary depth and range of expertise as well as with highly individualized professional and pedagogical mentorship. Each area group, in collaboration with the Center for Literary and Comparative Studies and the Graduate English Organization (GEO), contributes to the Department’s vibrant, diverse, and inclusive intellectual life. Particular strengths of the department include early British literature, especially Medieval and Renaissance; American literature; literature of the African diaspora; postcolonial and transnational literary studies; digital humanities; feminist theory and gender studies; and composition and rhetoric. Most students enrolled in graduate programs in English Language and Literature seek employment in higher education, but many also seek non-academic employment in publishing, business and technical writing, administration, and personnel management. In order to maintain its excellent record in professionalization and job placement, the department has a Placement Director and offers publication and dissertation writing workshops every academic year, in addition to a rich choice of graduate courses.

News and Announcements

August 29, 2014
Aaron Brown's poems “Batha River” and “After Two Years Traveling Abroad, Woman Found Hanging from a Tree” were published in Tupelo Quarterly. His poem "Memory Place" was published in jmww and his poem "Intercession" was published in Humane Pursuits.
August 29, 2014
This past spring, Jonathan had an article titled "Happy Violence: Bentley, Lucretius, and the Prehistory of Freethinking" published in the journal Restoration: Studies in English Literary Culture, 1660-1700 (Issue 38.1, Spring 2014).
August 14, 2014
Amanda Visconti received the Winnemore Digital Humanities Dissertation Fellowship from the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH), an opportunity that supports advanced graduate students whose dissertation includes innovative research agendas involving any substantive intersection between new media or new technology and the humanities. Her work involves designing, coding, and user-testing a participatory digital edition of James Joyce's Ulysses; you can follow her progress at Amanda will be in residence at MITH for the 2014-2015 academic year and presenting a Digital Dialogue talk on her work in Spring 2015.
August 13, 2014
Meg Pearson is the new chair of English and Philosophy at the University of West Georgia.
July 23, 2014
Alumna Michelle Lynn Brown (PhD 2008) received tenure and promotion at Shenandoah University in April of 2012. As of May 2012, she is the Chair of the Department of English at Shenandoah University. Dr. Sangeeta Ray directed Brown's dissertation.
July 1, 2014
Congratulations to the following recent PhDs and their advisors!
June 24, 2014
Marybeth Shea and doctoral candidate Cameron Mozafari's co-authored article "Communicating Complexity in Transdisciplinary Science Teams for Policy: Applied Stasis Theory for Organizing and Assembling Collaboration" has just appeared in the May 2014 issue of Communication Design Quarterly. Continue on to read the article's abstract and for a link to the article!
June 3, 2014
Congratulations to the following individuals for their outstanding teaching in 2013!
May 20, 2014
The Comparative Literature program is pleased to announce the winner of the third annual Comparative Literature Essay Contest. Stephen Rojcewicz, a first year graduate student in the Program in Comparative Literature, wrote the winning paper, “’I Finde Myself Scattered’: The Body as a Book in John Donne” under the guidance of Professor Jerry Passannante in ENGL 719 B (Spring 2013).
May 16, 2014
Professor Matthew Kirschenbaum's course, The Literature of 9/11, taught in Spring 2014, spent the semester reading a variety of literary responses that have emerged in the past decade, as well as since the events of the day. Their work can be viewed on The Literature of 9/11 website, which hosts an archive of discussion questions, character studies, close readings, and interviews in multimedias, including text and video. The site also features an exhibition entitled Mapping the Literature of 9/11, which keys locations and place names as given in the various works to a map.
August 19, 2014
The first meeting of the Washington Area Group for Print Culture Studies 2014-2015 series will take place on Friday, September 12th, from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. in the Woodrow Wilson Room (LJ-113), in the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress. Dr. Ezra Greenspan will deliver a talk entitled “Biography, Print Culture, and the Archive: The Case of William Wells Brown.”
June 3, 2014
Call for Proposals: Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of Lord of the Rings (The Mithril Turtle) 2014 is the sixtieth anniversary of Lord of the Rings.
April 17, 2014
The Life of a Poet: Edward Hirsch Wednesday, April 23, 7:00 PMLocation: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital (921 Pennsylvania Ave. SE) 
April 11, 2014
On April 23, the feast of Shakespeare and St. George, Michael Olmert will be speaking at Tudor Place, a 1805-09 house and grounds in Georgetown, D.C. The talk is mainly to celebrate the restoration of their original smokehouse. He'll be talking about the role of the smokehouse in a society dependent on slavery and servitude, as well as the architectural and cultural forebears of this small-building type.
April 11, 2014
This is the second of three history lectures on the beverages, libations and social culture of 18th century life. In this talk, join us as Mike Olmert speaks on colonial coffee house culture!
April 9, 2014
On Friday, April 18, from 9:15 am - 5 pm, the Graduate Field Committee in Medieval & Early Modern Studies will host an all-day seminar and practicum, "Paleography & the Archives." Professors Sabrina Baron, Holly Brewer, Alejandro Cañeque (all from the History Department), and Professor Ralph Bauer (from English) will present panels on Spanish and British Atlantic World topics and then guide participants through hands-on paleography practice.
April 4, 2014
The deadline for submission is May 1, 2014. The prize carries an award of $500. Announcement of winner will be made by mid May. If you have any questions, please direct them to the Director of Comparative Literature, Sheila Jelen (
April 1, 2014
Thursday April 3, 4:00-5:30 PMMcKeldin Library, Room 6137Special Events Room  
March 13, 2014
ACCESS2ALUMNI Tuesday, April 8 4:00 p.m. Riggs Alumni Center Keynote speaker will be John Kelly '84, columnist for the Washington Post! Since 2004, "John Kelly's Washington" has been shining the light on Washington's less-famous side, celebrating its citizens, bemoaning its irritations and ferreting out quirky bits of local history. Come to A2A this year to hear from John on how his English degree helped him succeed in his professional life. Read more about John here:
February 6, 2014
PHLINC 2: Language and Other Minds is an exploration from the perspectives of linguistics, philosophy, and cognitive science of the diverse and far-ranging relations between language use and awareness of other minds.PHLINC 2 is sponsored by PHLING and will feature invited talks by Mandy Simons (CMU) and Jason Stanley (Yale) as well as graduate student presentations and a discussion session moderated by recent UMD linguistics graduate Shevaun Lewis.The conference will take place Friday, February 14th and Saturday, February 15th in Marie Mount Hall.For more details, please see the attached schedule. Registration is available here and will be open until next Wednesday (Feb. 12). This event is funded in part by your Graduate Student Activities Fee and is open to the entire UMD community. We look forward to seeing many of you there!

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, September 10

Friday, September 12

Saturday, September 20

Wednesday, September 24

Thursday, September 25

Saturday, September 27

Wednesday, October 1

Thursday, October 2

Friday, October 24

Thursday, October 30

Saturday, November 1

Wednesday, November 5

Thursday, November 6

Friday, November 7

Thursday, November 13

Wednesday, December 3

Saturday, December 6

Wednesday, February 18

Friday, February 27

Wednesday, March 25

Friday, March 27

Saturday, March 28

9:00 am GEO Conference

Thursday, April 2

Wednesday, April 15

Friday, April 17

Friday, May 1

Wednesday, May 6