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In the fall of 2018, Averill Curdy, associate professor of instruction and director of the English Major in Writing at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, offered a freshman seminar titled “Pickpockets, Poets, and Other Sad Marvels of City Life” as she has three times before. But unlike those previous iterations, this version of the class integrated new approaches gleaned from Prof. Curdy’s recent experience as a participant in the Digital Humanities Summer Faculty Workshop...
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In an interview with Northwestern Now, Rebecca Johnson discusses the work of tracing cultural change through literary translation.
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Natasha Trethewey is among the 11 new members elected in 2019 to join the American Academy of Arts and Letters, which was founded in 1898 as an honor society of the country’s leading architects, artists, composers, and writers.   Early members included Childe Hassam, Julia Ward Howe, Henry James, Mark Twain, and Edith Wharton, and Natasha will be inducted along with Claudia Rankine, David Sedaris, and composer Chen Yi, among others.
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Our Programs





Litowitz MFA+MA in English and Creative Writing

This program offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both creative and critical writing, and close mentorship by renowned faculty in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Our three-year curriculum gives students time to deepen both their creative writing and their study of literature. Students complete two degrees concurrently --an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English.

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MA in English Literature

Designed to be completed in one year and flexible in its requirements, our Master's in Literature allows students considerable freedom in choosing courses in English and in related disciplines. Most are planning to move on to Doctoral study elsewhere, improve their credentials as teachers in secondary schools and community colleges, or to take their experience into the business and publishing sectors.

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PhD in English Literature

Our PhD program offers advanced study and research in literary history, criticism, and theory, with excellent opportunities for study between both disciplines and departments. Courses within the department cover major genres, periods, authors, and a broad range of methodological and theoretical approaches. Significant support in professional development and on the job market are cornerstones of the program.

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News and Upcoming Events


Featured Department Events

Jay Grossman's 2018 Research Seminar
Jay Grossman's and the students from his 2018 research seminar

Students in Professor Jay Grossman’s Winter 2018 English 397 Research Seminar celebrated the launch of their new website with cake and a party.  The website, hosted on Northwestern’s Arch site, makes each of these student’s research papers on 19th-century American poetry accessible to anyone who has computer access to the web.  And such a wide potential readership is appropriate, since readers with a variety of interests will want to learn more about what these students have discovered.

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Dybek, Martinez, and Stielstra named to NewCity's 2018 Lit 50
Recent alum Payton Danner named a 2018-19 Fulbright Scholar.
Vivasvan Soni selected as a 2018 ACLS Fellow

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