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We have strong faculty interests across a spectrum of interrelated fields, including African American literature, Colonial, Post-Colonial, and Transnational studies, Native American studies, and popular culture. Graduate students also have the option of pursuing interdisciplinary work through the American Studies concentration. In addition, our Composition and Rhetoric Program provides cutting-edge opportunities in that area, while the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies gives us a special strength in early modern studies. Underlying our activity in all these fields is a strong programmatic commitment to practical preparation for a profession in transition.

American Studies

American Studies is an interdisciplinary study of cultures in the United States. Required American Studies seminars are regularly supplemented by interdisciplinary courses. In addition to the several American literature and culture faculty who work with American Studies graduate students, affiliate faculty frequently come from history, anthropology, communications, theater, journalism, legal studies, psychology, art history, and music. Also available to graduate students in American Studies is the Five College Crossroads in the Study of the America (CISA), and, for those interested in arts and culture, Historic Deerfield and the Northampton Historical Society. Learn more about the American Studies concentration »

Composition and Rhetoric

At the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, graduate students in English wanting to specialize in Composition Studies have available to them a rich array of resources: a distinguished faculty, a nationally-known first-year writing program, a well-established Writing across the Curriculum program, a campus Writing Center, and dedicated computer writing classrooms. Students can take courses in composition theory, rhetorical theory, writing and emerging technologies, and research methods. These courses complement the Department’s extensive graduate offerings in literary and cultural studies, creative writing, and American Studies. Learn more about the concentration in Composition and Rhetoric »

Early Modern and Renaissance Studies

Each term the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies (Arthur Kinney, director), housed in the Daiken Estate at the University of Massachusetts, offers interdisciplinary courses involving the age of Shakespeare. In addition, the Center invites graduate students to participate in local and regional colloquia and international conferences held on campus, and to use the Center’s special collection of Renaissance materials (15,000 rare books and supplemental materials). All of these activities complement the course offerings in Renaissance English literature and culture offered by faculty in the English department and elsewhere in the University. Learn more about the Massachusetts Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies »