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Areas of Specialization

The graduate program at Penn State offers a wide variety of areas for specialization within the broader field of English. In literary studies, "traditional" periods are represented (Medieval; Renaissance; Eighteenth Century; Nineteenth Century British; American; Modernism; and Contemporary), but we also offer concentrations in literatures of ethnicity, nationality, and race (African American literature; Race and Ethnicity Studies).

In addition, the department has strengths in Rhetoric and Composition; Theory and Cultural Studies;  Visual Culture; and history of the book. Penn State also boasts a strong Creative Writing program.

Through the various programs affiliated with the Department of English, scholars are presented with the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary courses of study, such as women's studies and science, medicine, and technology in culture. The students and faculty of many of these areas have formed strong scholarly ties, leading to the formation of study and discussion groups, ongoing lecture series, and annual conferences.

Areas of Specialization

18th century British Literature
19th century British Literature

American Literature Before 1900
American Literature After 1900
African American Literature and Language

Modernist Studies
Contemporary Literature

Rhetoric and Composition
Theory and Cultural Studies

Book History and Textual Studies
Visual Culture
Race and Ethnicity Studies

Creative Writing