Fields of Study

University of Chicago

Research in English used to be categorized by traditional field designations such as Renaissance or Victorian, but Chicago's English faculty have always been more interested in critical inquiry (the journal Critical Inquiry was founded and lives here) than in working within categorical boxes. That exploratory ethos continues to unify us as a department and animate our research interests, which are otherwise various, even heterogeneous, and which are constantly evolving.

Research interests, however, may be defined in a variety of ways and at various degrees of specification. For instance, a scholar such as Ken Warren, who has written a book on Ralph Ellison, could be said to be working within the American field, but also within the fields of African American literature and literary history. Visitors to this site may also have many interests, at many levels. They may want to identify the subset of faculty who are working in a specific historical period such as the Renaissance, on a particular object of study such as the novel, or on a specialized theoretical or methodological problem such as gender and sexuality. See the lists and categories below to help guide your search.



Cultural Studies and Global Literatures

  • Black Studies 
  • Caribbean Studies
  • African-American Literature
  • African Literature in English
  • Asian American/Pacific Studies
  • Global Anglophone
  • Latinx/Indigenous/Comparative Americas

American Literature

  • Early American
  • 20-21c American
  • American Literature and Cultural Studies
  • African-American

British Literature

  • Medieval and Early Renaissance
  • Renaissance 
  • 18th c British/ Romanticism
  • 19th c British/British Empire
  • 20-21c British
  • British Culture

Critical Theory, Methodology, or Objects of Study

  • Critical Theory/Cultural Studies
  • Drama/Theater and Performance Studies
  • Gender and Sexuality Studies
  • Media Studies
  • Poetry and Poetics
  • Postcolonial/Decolonial