The Department of English is comprised of a number of distinct disciplines, each with its own approach to the study of the language and literature of English. This diversity of thought and method creates an environment rich in interaction and intellectual opportunity, where the exchange of ideas is both challenging and deeply rewarding.
UNM’s English Department offers a full array of creative writing workshops in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Additionally, students in the MFA program with teaching assistantships have the opportunity to teach introductory creative writing courses, providing valuable experience in the instruction of the craft. The program is designed for graduate students committed to pursuing the writing life. This three-year degree combines studio-based workshops with craft seminars and coursework in literature, teaching pedagogy, and professional writing led by world-renowned faculty.
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As one of the core subjects of the Humanities, the study of Literature occupies an important space in any liberal arts education, but scholars and professionals in increasing numbers are arguing for the importance of the Humanities in every program of study, as well. These arguments are vital to the shaping of education in the decades to come, but they are nothing new to those who work in the Humanities, who know precisely how valuable such an education can be.
The Literature program is supported by faculty in two major areas: American Literary Studies and British and Irish Literary Studies.
American Literary Studies (ALS)
American literary studies provides instruction in nineteenth and twentieth century American literature. Additionally, several of our ALS faculty specialize in Chicana/o literary and cultural studies, and Native American literature and rhetoric, generating dynamic, interdisciplinary approaches to areas such as romanticism and realism; Western, Southwestern, and regional literature; early American Indian Writings; Recovering U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage texts; nineteenth-century American women writers and major authors; Native American rhetoric and philosophies; law and literature; film studies and critical theory; and American, Chicana/o, and Native American literary and cultural production in the age of empires and globalization.
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British and Irish Literary Studies (BILS)
British and Irish literature covers such intellectual and historical movements as the Renaissance, the Enlightenment and Romanticism, and such major writers as Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Austen, Byron, the Brontës, Joyce and Woolf. This concentration offers a comprehensive set of graduate courses and advanced seminars in a range of texts and subject matter that span more than 1500 years, from Anglo-Saxon to postmodernism and postcolonialism.
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Closely related to the BILS program but significant enough to warrant its own program, Medieval Studies is a truly interdisciplinary program, giving its students an opportunity to study across the university with faculty in HIstory, Art History, Foreign Languages, and the Social Sciences. As a result, students in the Medieval Studies program receive an education defined by a wide range of perspectives.
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Rhetoric and Writing
A degree in Rhetoric and Writing prepares students for academic careers in teaching and research and for consulting positions in industry and publishing, and for careers in professional writing and post-secondary teaching. Students take courses in classical and contemporary theory, histories of rhetoric and language, prose stylistics, visual rhetoric, editing, publishing, documentation, web writing, grants and proposals, theories of teaching writing, cultural and civil rights rhetorics, public discourse, and science and medical writing.
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