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; Media and Digital 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 visual studies. 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.
Our designated areas of specialization are: