Department of English

Concentration in Literature

The Literature concentration offers a range of critical perspectives on literary and cultural studies with an emphasis on British and American literature and theory. Students who complete the literature concentration will develop writing and research skills through in depth study of particular literary and cultural fields.  Course offerings and programs of research reflect a broad range of faculty interests including film and visual culture, women's studies, transatlantic literature and culture, and green studies.  Some of the specific genres our faculty specialize in include the novel, the short story, lyric poetry, the epic, travel writing, and contemporary drama.  Specific regional, national, and international literatures include African, African Caribbean, Irish, Native American, and U.S. Southern.

Course Requirements

Table of course requirements
Requirements Courses    
GTA req.
(2 hrs)
7940: GTA Practicum    
Distribution Courses
(9 hrs)
TPC or Rhet/Comp or linguistics or Creative Writing Comparative Literature, Genre or Author Course

Special: Technology and Culture, Globalism, Sustainability, or Diversity

Major Area Courses (9 hrs) Pre-1800 Literature Post-1800 Literature 7790 Literary Theory: Issues & Approaches or 7800: Studies in Literary Theory
Minor Area Courses (6 hrs) 2 graduate courses in English or another discipline relative to the student’s professional & academic goals; approved by the student’s Graduate Advisory Committee    
Elective Courses (3 hors) 1 graduate course in English    
Capstone Portfolio and oral exam    

32 credit hours:

  • 9 credits major area courses (must include both British and American literature)
  • 9 credits distribution courses
  • 6 credits in minor area courses
  • 6 credits in elective coursework
  • 1 credit Literature Practicum
  • 1 credit Rhetoric and Composition Practicum
  • Portfolio/exam
  • Foreign language requirement

Concentration in Literature Portfolio

Portfolios must include the following:

  • An introductory letter to your committee. This letter must address three questions:  (a) Based on your coursework, what do you see as the major issues in your field of study as it is broadly conceived? (b) How does the work you have presented in this portfolio address those issues?  (c) How is the work in the portfolio relevant to your educational and professional goals? You will need to situate your response using pertinent sources from current disciplinary conversations. Length should be roughly 2-3 single-spaced pages. Following your response to these questions, you will need to provide a brief overview of the documents in the portfolio.
  • An updated résumé or curriculum vita.
  • A substantive revision of a seminar paper. This revision must include additional research and significant development of a project initiated in a literature class with an eye towards achieving a publishable quality paper
  • A mid-length writing project. This can be one of the following, or an equivalent project approved by the advisory committee and the graduate coordinator:
    • A conference paper (including an abstract for that paper)
    • A research grant application
    • A teaching portfolio for a class or unit in the student’s primary or secondary area of expertise
    • A website that develops a particular aspect of the student’s research
  • A brief writing project. This can be one or more of the following, or an equivalent project approved by the advisory committee and the graduate coordinator:
    • A statement of purpose for doctoral program applications
    • An annotated bibliography of works useful to a secondary area of research
    • A book review
    • Definitions of 4-5 terms essential to shaping a critical perspective on research

For more information

Sunny Stalter-Pace

Sunny Stalter-Pace

Associate Professor
Director of Graduate Studies
9096 Haley Center
(334) 844-9081

Last Updated: July 27, 2016