Intellectual Life

On Campus

The Division of the Humanities is home to a number of centers that allow scholars to come together across disciplines to address common interests. Students and Faculty in the Department of English regularly participate in the intellectual life of these centers, which include:

To learn about specific centers in the Division of the Humanities, please visit the Division’s Interdisciplinary Centers & Programs page.

Academic Life

Chicago's Campus

The setting of the University of Chicago affords easy access to the extraordinary cultural resources of a major international city. See below for a brief, and not at all exhaustive, list of some of the Chicago cultural institutions that have been of interest to academics from the Department of English. Each of these institutions has its own institutional history and strengths, often including significant collections of books and archival materials. University of Chicago graduate students can also utilize the library collections and resources of colleges and universities around the city through reciprocal agreements.

To explore academic opportunities for discovering Chicago, see also the homepage for the University's Chicago Studies Program.


Graduate Student Workshops

Each year the Humanities and Social Science Divisions at the University of Chicago offer a range of research workshops for faculty members and advanced graduate students. These research workshops are a key feature of the PhD program in English, one that helps to nurture a supportive as well as rigorous intellectual culture. For faculty and for students who have completed coursework, the workshops provide ongoing venues of conversation specific to disciplinary fields, areas of interest, and cross-disciplinary questions. The Department strongly recommends that PhD students participate in workshops relevant to their area of interest or dissertation project.

The workshop format varies, but participants typically discuss common readings and present the results of their own research. Most often, advanced PhD students present chapters of their dissertations, receiving important feedback and intellectual support from peers and faculty at a crucial time in their professional development. Faculty members from Chicago and other universities often present papers at the workshops as well. Departmental students and faculty can attest to the collegiality and high-quality commentary at these workshops; these are also registered in the book acknowledgments of many faculty members from Chicago and elsewhere.

Long-running workshops associated with the Department of English include workshops in Medieval StudiesRenaissance18th- and 19th-Century Atlantic CulturesPoetry and Poetics, and Theater and Performance Studies. Students and faculty with particular areas of interests can form new workshops; see the full list of Council on Advanced Studies workshops.