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University of Massachusetts Amherst

English Department

Welcome to the Department of English at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst

from Jenny Spencer, Department Chair:

The English Department is a diverse and welcoming community comprised of 48 faculty members, 6 staff members, 700 undergraduate majors, and 110 MA/Ph.D and 75 MFA candidates. We combine the strengths of a liberal arts college with a major research University: our smaller classes facilitate substantive discussion, frequent writing, active student engagement, and face-to-face contact with research faculty. Both our faculty and graduate students have been recognized as distinguished teachers, writers, and researchers.


(Read Full Introduction From the Chair)

On the Shelves:
Recent Faculty Publications

Citizenship Under Pressure: The 1970s in Jamaican Literature and Culture by Rachel Mordecai Where Bears Roam the Streets by Jeff Parker The Meaning of the Shovel by Martin Espada Eugenic Feminism: Reproductive Nationalism in the United States and India by Asha Nadkarni
Black Resonance : Iconic Women Singers and African American Literature by Emily Lordi In Defense of Nothing: Selected Poems, 1987-2011 by Peter Gizzi The Time is Always Now: Black Thought and the Transformation of US Democracy by Nick Bromell Bonds of Citizenship: Law and the Labors of Emancipation by Hoang Gia Phan
The Library of the Sidneys of Penshurst Place Circa 1665 Edited by Germaine Warkentin, Joseph L. Black, and William R. Bowen


Events in Our Community

Standing Together Against Racism: A week of Reflection, A Day of Solidarity

A Week of Reflection, A Day of Solidarity: Oct. 27. Participating students and faculty are devoting class time through Oct. 31 to thinking about the roots of racist hatred, the value of the human dignity undermined by racism, and the power of language to hurt and to heal.

Day of Solidarity Read-In: Nov. 4 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, the UMass Amherst English Department will lead a daylong, anti-racism read-in at the Cape Cod Lounge, in the Student Union

Real-World Social Media: Learning to Write for a Job in the Digital World

Interested in sharpening your writing skills in the dynamic world of social media? Would you like to impress employers with your social media toolkit? Join a workshop for undergraduate students featuring Kerry O' Grady, '06, Senior Marketing Manager at Meredith Corporation.

Friday, November 14th at 12:00 pm in Bartlett Hall. RSVP requested.

Kaplan Lecture: Jacqueline Goldsby at UMass Amherst

Professor of English and African American Studies at Yale University, Jacqueline Goldsby will visit UMass Amherst for the English Department's Annual Kaplan Lecture, entitled, "A Salon for the Masses: Black  Reading Circles during the Chicago Renaissance."

Tuesday, November 18th at 4:30 pm in Campus Center 911-915.

MFA for Poets and Writers: 2014 Visiting Writers Series

The nationally renowned Visiting Writers Series at the University of Massachusetts Amherst presents emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The final speaker of fall semester is poet, Ben Lerner. See other writers in the series.

Thursday, December 4th at 8:00 pm in the Memorial Hall..


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Contact Us!

Department of English
University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Bartlett Hall, Box 30515
Amherst, MA 01003-0515

Main Office: 170 Bartlett Hall
Phone: 413.545.2332
Fax: 413.545.3880

English Staff Contacts