You are here:


CALS: The Center for American Literary Studies

Penn State is the historic home of American literary studies. In the early twentieth century, Fred Lewis Pattee became the first English professor in the country to teach classes exclusively devoted to American works. The Penn State Center for American Literary Studies aims to be similarly ground-breaking. Founded in 2006, CALS will advance the study, teaching, and reading of American literature, making Penn State an internationally-recognized source of pioneering work in American literary and cultural studies.

CDD: The Center for Democratic Deliberation

The Center for Democratic Deliberation (CDD) was founded in 2006 as a nonpartisan, interdisciplinary center for research, teaching, and outreach on issues of civic engagement and democratic deliberation. It is concerned with two of the most basic requirements of a healthy participatory democracy: (1) a citizenry with the knowledge and communicative skills necessary for engaged democratic citizenship; and (2) a culture of vibrant, informed deliberation, where citizens discuss, debate, and render collective decisions on matters of public importance.

DCMI: Digital Culture and Media Initiative

The Digital Culture and Media Initiative supports ongoing research and teaching in the Department of English, including work in science and technology studies, media studies, rhetorical studies, computers and writing, visual culture, and book history and textual studies, all of which bear a long-since established intimacy with the digital. The DCMI also supports work that aims to extend the question of the digital beyond the historical present and its belated recognition. The benefit of such a dual approach is twofold, encouraging the thoughtful analysis of a digitally saturated world as we find it today, while cultivating a dynamic response to a cultural future.

DES: Digital English Studio

The Penn State Digital English Studio (located in 125 Burrowes) is a twenty-first century workspace for teachers and researchers in the English department. Its areas of emphasis are pedagogy, usability, and strategy. Studio staff members operate physical space that department members can use to create digital projects, oversee the department’s distance education portfolio, support teachers who are working to earn a Teaching with Technology Certificate, design and maintain department websites, manage the department’s social media assets, and more. The Studio helps department members develop effective and critical pedagogies, create usable and accessible digital projects, and conceptualize and implement strategies for research initiatives and project workflows. Contact us to see if we can help you with your work.