The University of Chicago in general, and the Department of English in particular, are known for the interdisciplinary and theoretically driven work of their faculty and students. Many English faculty members have joint appointment in other programs at the University, including Comparative Literature, Cinema and Media Studies, Art History, Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS), and the Divinity School, among others. Interdisciplinary work is encouraged in the Department of English--both graduate and undergraduate students take classes in a variety of University departments and programs. Students in these programs, in turn, enliven English classes with their perspectives. Listed below are links to some of the departments with which the Department of English works closely.
- Cinema and Media Studies
- Department of Art History
- Department of Comparative Literature
- Department of Philosophy
- Divinity School
- Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS)
Programs within the Department of English
Two programs within the umbrella of the Department of English focus on particular aspects or genres of literary endeavor.
Creative Writing: The purpose of the Creative Writing program is to give students a rigorous background in the fundamentals of creative work by providing them with the opportunity to study with established poets and prose writers. The program is committed to interdisciplinary work while also teaching the elements of creative writing that underlie all genres. Creative Writing sponsors events, workshops, and lectures and also schedules many undergraduate and graduate classes in writing. Visiting writers each quarter provide a dynamic component to the curriculum, with authors ranging from George Saunders to Susan Howe. English faculty member, John Wilkinson, is currently the chair of Creative Writing, and two English faculty members, Srikanth Reddy and Jennifer Scappettone, regularly teach both creative and critical classes.
The Program in Poetry and Poetics: This program aims to coordinate the University's various curricular approaches to the creative and critical practice of poetics. The Program supports the History and Forms of Lyric series, an ongoing series of lectures by prominent scholars, and a graduate workshop that focuses on work in progress from students, faculty, and visitors. The discussions enabled by the Program are intended to help students at all levels to pursue work that crosses disciplines and discourses. The Program also supports collaboration among faculty members in the form, for example, of team-taught courses, conferences, and lectures. The Program is overseen by an ad-hoc committee of faculty from various departments, including the Department of English.
Programs Outside of the University
Newberry Library: In addition to its strong collection, which focuses on the humanities, the Newberry Library offers a number of seminars that Department of English students often attend. For instance, Department students, undergraduates and graduates, participate every winter quarter in an Anglo-Saxon (Old English) seminar led by faculty from local and other Midwest universities.