The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Our faculty and students actively participate in a variety of outreach efforts and community-oriented projects. This committment to engaging with the world around us prepares students to function effectively, and to intervene more progressively, in a highly globalized world.

Public Events

The Department of English offers a robust calendar of free events open to the public, including lectures, readings, and more. Some of our annual lectures include the Troy Lecture, the Berlin Lecture, the Gibson Lecture, and the Kaplan Lecture. Our Visiting Writers Series features emerging and established writers of poetry, fiction and non-fiction.

Faculty Community Engagement

Our faculty collaborate with community partners and programs in diverse ways, including community partnerships focused on dis/ability through literature, writing with a community language school, helping communities tell stories through podcasting, and promoting science for the public.

Juniper Initiative

The Juniper Initiative for Literary Arts and Action engages the community at UMass Amherst and beyond with outstanding and diverse literary programming. It also provides opportunities for MFA candidates to develop professional skills, participate in critical issues of the day, and cultivate a network of professional and academic colleagues. Juniper Initiative programming includes:

Western Massachusetts Writing Project

The Western Massachusetts Writing Project (WMWP) is a professional community of K-12 teachers dedicated to providing a space for teachers to teach other teachers, as we all work towards improving student achievement and success.

Arthur F. Kinney Center for Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies

The Kinney Center is a research institution serving a dedicated community of scholars, students, artists, and the general public whose mission is to support and promote interdisciplinary scholarship and public-facing humanities programming with the goal of exploring connections between the early modern world (c. 1400-1700) and our own. The Center's programming includes:

  • Public conferences, workshops, lectures, classes, and performances
  • A research library and rare book collection open to the public
  • Historical gardens and orchards

Online Courses

The Department of English offers a variety of online courses through the University Without Walls (UWW). These courses are held to the same rigorous academic standards as our in-person classes and allow students greater flexibility in completing degree requirements.


The Department of English publishes an annual newsletter, highlighting the accomplishments of faculty, students, staff, and alumni.