Department of English

University of Chicago
University of Chicago

In Memoriam


The Department of English mourns the loss of our brilliant and beloved colleague, Lauren Berlant. 

Please join us this Friday (11/5) for a virtual symposium, What Does Lauren Berlant Teach Us About X? to honor the life and work of Professor Lauren Berlant (1957-2021) featuring Romi Crawford, Lee Edelman, Sianne Ngai, and Katie Stewart.

Event Page

Link to Register for the symposium

This event is organized by the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality and co-sponsored by 3CT, the Department of English Language and Literature, and the Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture.

The Autumn 2022 application cycle is now open. The application deadline is December 15, 2021. 

For the 2021-2022 graduate admissions cycle, the University of Chicago English Department is accepting only applicants planning to focus on British, American, and/or Anglophone texts and archives produced between the Middle Ages and the year 1900. The department understands its current areas of strength and interest in these fields to include the study of race, migration, empire and colonialism, intercultural exchange, the history of science and philosophy, longue-durée conceptual history, performance studies, and the body or embodiment (encompassing discourses of race, gender, sex, species, or ability). Comparative and multilingual approaches to literature are welcome, as are students from international and diverse backgrounds.


Since its founding the English Department at the University of Chicago has committed to questioning and reformulating the basic principles of literary study. Once famous for the Aristotelian Chicago School of criticism of the 1950s, today the Department, ranked first among English departments in the US, stands out for its interdisciplinary approach to literature and its commitment to close reading combined with historical and conceptual analysis.

Our coverage of chronological fields extends from the medieval era to the twenty-first century, and includes a wide variety of subfields, media, and genres, including graphic narrative, comics, and video games, theatre, cinema, and visual culture, poetry and poetics, fiction and nonfiction, gender and race studies, literary and cultural theory, global Anglophone writing, animal and posthuman studies, psychoanalysis and affect studies, ecocriticism and climate change. Graduate workshops offer students and faculty opportunities to share work in progress and to read, hear, and discuss current work by scholars from other institutions. The department also supports three distinguished journals, Modern Philology, Critical Inquiry, and Chicago Review, the last of which is run by our graduate students. A vibrant new major in Creative Writing offers students the opportunity to develop their talents in poetry, drama, fiction, nonfiction, and digital media, as well as to participate in an ongoing program of readings and workshops with visiting writers.


Black Studies