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.
Recent, high-profile occurrences of sexual harassment and assault have empowered survivors of such offenses to come forward and share their stories. In light of this, the faculty of the English Department want to reaffirm that sexual harassment, always a misuse of power, is a morally and ethically reprehensible violation of acceptable standards of conduct.
Our faculty are a thriving community of writers and editors whose work includes scholarship in the study of English, American and Anglophone literature, rhetoric and composition, as well as fiction, nonfiction and poetry.
What if magic had never died out in Victorian England? What if the Underground Railroad had actually been a subterranean set of tracks and tunnels? In this class we will focus on that subset of speculative fiction known as "Alternate Histories" to ask questions about the nature of story-telling more broadly, what cultural events come to define history as we know it, and about those artworks that expand our sense of the possible. Texts and authors wil include: Octavia Butler, Colson Whitehead, Kazuo Ishiguro, Larissa Lai, Nisi Shawl, and Philip K. Dick.
What do "literacy" and "multilingualism" mean in our current moment? Students will explore the answers to this question by partnering with the International Language Institute in Northampton to support their literacy activities.
Amid the diversity of our offerings is a common commitment to developing the student's ability to analyze literary and cultural texts and contexts, and to write clear, persuasive, and graceful prose. We encourage you to make language a source of your power in the world. These reading, thinking, and writing skills will enhance your capacity for persuasion, leadership, clarity, and interpersonal effectiveness in whatever career you pursue.
The English major prepares students to write and speak well, to think analytically and critically, and to solve problems quickly, all of which are required and sought after in today's 21st century job market.
Pulitzer Prize Winner and MacArthur Fellow Viet Thanh Nguyen Visits UMass Amherst for 2017 Troy Lecture
October 31, 2017
On November 15, acclaimed author, 2016 Pulitzer Prize winner, 2017 Guggenheim Fellow, and 2017 MacArthur Fellow Viet Thanh Nguyen will deliver a talk titled “War, Fiction, and the Ethics of Memory” at the University of Massachusetts Amherst at 4:30 pm in the Student Union Ballroom. The Department of English at UMass Amherst is delighted to bring Professor Nguyen to campus for its annual Troy Lecture on the Humanities and Public Life.
October 19, 2017
The debut poetry collection from Ocean Vuong, assistant professor in the English department's MFA program for poets and writers, has been named a finalist for the 25th T.S. Eliot Prize, the United Kingdom's most lucrative and prestigious poetry prize.
There are no upcoming events at this time.
Symone Green is widely involved across campus. From participating in the Five College PoetryFest to community-based learning in HFA classes, Symone finds herself creatively and socially engaged daily. She discusses her experiences as an English major, an ESL instructor, a poet and songwriter, her involvement on the UMass campus, and her excitement for both the present and future.More >