The UMass Amherst English Department is a diverse and welcoming community. 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.
Our accomplished faculty publishes cutting edge work in interdisciplinary areas including
- Postcolonial Studies,
- American Studies,
- Rhetoric and Composition,
- British and Transatlantic Literature,
- Medieval and Early Modern Literature,
- Performance and Media Studies.
Our faculty have won prestigious awards and fellowships such as the Guggenheim, Woodrow Wilson, and ACLS. Members of our creative writing faculty have won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize, and the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, among others. The MFA Creative Writing Program is nationally ranked, with many well-known writers among their alumi.
Committed to both excellence and outreach in their fields, English Department faculty members have founded and developed the nationally recognized Undergraduate Writing Program, the Western Massachusetts Writing Project, the Juniper Institute, the Center for Renaissance Studies, and the Interdisciplinary Studies Institute.
For many reasons, students who have completed their English Department degree at UMass Amherst express deep satisfaction with the major. Our programs of study in language, literature, and writing promote a wide range of perspectives and encourage inquiry into diverse textual, cultural, and theoretical traditions. Our popular summer abroad programs in Oxford and Edinburgh provide unique opportunities to learn in an international context. Our commitment to sustaining a diverse faculty means we understand the importance of different viewpoints and experiences, which prepare students to function effectively, and to intervene more progressively, in a highly globalized world.