The Department of English offers diverse and innovative graduate degree programs in many areas of Literature Studies. Graduate students who wish to pursue Literature Studies have opportunities to work closely with faculty and design individualized MA and PhD programs of study. Graduate Faculty members in Literature Studies work on varied scholarly projects, share a commitment to the analysis of literature within larger cultural, social and political contexts, and use a wide range of critical methodologies, such as textual recovery, archival work, digital scholarship, and theoretical analyses. We offer graduate degree emphases in the following areas of Literature Studies:

  • Ethnic Literatures (including African American, U.S. Latina/o and Chicana/o, Native American, African and Afro-Caribbean literatures)
  • Women’s Literatures
  • Medieval and Renaissance Literatures
  • Nineteenth-Century Literatures (including American literatures and eighteenth-century, Romantic, and Victorian British literatures)
  • Twentieth-Century Literatures (especially American literatures)
  • Place-Based Writing (including literatures of the Great Plains and the American West)
  • Digital Humanities

The following are the Graduate Faculty in Literature Studies in English. Please see individual faculty web pages for more information on research and teaching interests:

Stephen C. Behrendt, Romanticism, later 18th-century literature and the other arts, Romantic-era women writers
Susan Belasco, 19th-century American literature and culture, Women’s Studies
Stephen M. Buhler, Renaissance literature
Peter Capuano, Nineteenth-Century British, Victorian Novel, The Dickens Project
Joy Castro, Fiction and creative nonfiction, Latina/o literature, U.S. and British modernism
Kwakiutl Dreher, African American literature, popular culture, film
Thomas C. Gannon, Native American literature, British Romanticism, Ecocriticism
Rhonda Garelick, Modernist English, American, and French literature, performance studies, European modern drama, dance history, popular and material culture
Melissa J. Homestead, American Literature and the History of the Book, with a focus on women’s authorship
Maureen Honey, American Studies, Women’s Studies, Popular Culture
Frances W. Kaye, Canadian Studies, Plains Studies, Native Studies
Thomas Lynch, Ecocriticism, Western and Southwestern American Literature
Amelia María de la Luz Montes, 19th-century American Literature, U.S. Latina/o and Chicana/o Literature and Theory, Gay and Lesbian Literature, creative writing (fiction)
Kenneth M. Price, American literature, textual editing, humanities computing
Stephen Ramsey, Digital Humanities, Media Studies, Drama
Guy Reynolds, American literature (and its historical contexts), Willa Cather
Gregory E. Rutledge, African-American Literature and Culture, American literature.
Julia Schleck, Medievel and Early Modern Literature, Interdisciplinary study (Literature, History, Music, History of Science), Travel Literature
Kelly Stage, Medieval and Renaissance Literature, especially Shakespeare and non-Shakespearean drama, and literature of 16th and 17th century London
Laura Mooneyham White, 19th and 20th-century British literature, Jane Austen

Literature Studies in the Department of English is the location for three major digital scholarly projects. The Walt Whitman Archive and The Willa Cather Archive receive Programs of Excellence funding from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The Corvey Project, an electronic collection of thousands of texts from the Romantic period, is another major digital resource housed in our Department. Graduate students regularly work with these archives to produce innovative scholarly work and to gain expertise in digital humanities.

Work done in Literature Studies in English plays a significant role in interdisciplinary programs and centers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, such as Women’s and Gender Studies, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Nineteenth-Century Studies, and the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities.

Graduate students in Literature Studies regularly present papers at regional, national, and international conferences and have published in scholarly journals such as Studies in American Fiction, Literary and Linguistic Computing, American Periodicals, Emily Dickinson Journal, PLL: Papers in Language and Literature, Walt Whitman Quarterly Review, Cather Studies, Journal of American Studies, Mediaevalia, Women’s Studies, Journal of Caribbean Studies, Rhizomes, M/C: A Journal of Media and Culture, and College Language Association Journal.

PhD students in Literature Studies have gone on to tenure-track jobs at the University of Toronto, the University of Texas at Austin, Washington University, Boise State University, Winona State University, Bridgewater State College, York College, Flagler College, Shippensburg University, and other colleges and universities.

Recent PhD dissertations by graduate students in Literature Studies include the following:

Jennifer Overkamp
"Truth, Fantasy, and Paradox:  The Fairy Tales of George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, and C.S. Lewis"

Mark Robison
"Making a Career of Play:  Willa Cather and the Recreation Movement"

Sylvie Shires
"A Hand of Steel in a Velvet Glove:  Purpose and Fulfillment through the Gender Sphere in Nineteenth-Century British Literature"

Nicole de Fee
"From Colony to Empire:  The Decolonization of National Literary Identity in Antebellum American Literature"

Amy Ahearn
Engaging with the Political:  Willa Cather, McClure's Magazine, and the Production of National Rhetoric"

Ramon Guerra
"Literature as Witness:  Testimonial Aspects of Chicano Self-Identity Narratives"

Michael Page
"'Continual Food for Discovery and Wonder': Science and the Nineteenth-Century British Literary Imagination from Erasmus Darwin to H. G. Wells"

Steven Moore
"Black Rage in African American Literature Before the Civil Rights Movement:  Frederick Douglass, Harriet Jacobs, Charles Chesnutt, Nella Larsen, Richard Wright, and Ann Petry"

Alvin Baker
"Thomas Creech's Concerning the Nature of Things Books I-II"

Stacey Berry
"The War Zone:  A Dialectic of Space and Oppression in Post-1945 American Fiction"

Robert Gibney
"The Tests and Teachings of Paul A. Olson; Literary Scholarship, Uses of Myth, and an Activist Life"

Derek Driedger
"Writing and Circulating Modern American Journalism and the American Novelist, 1872-1938"

Lynn Wake
"E. B. White's Environmental Web"

Young Seon Won
"Reading Books, Reading Life:  The Cultural Practice and the Literary Representation of Reading in Jane Austen's Time"

“Editing Whitman and Dickinson: Print and Digital Representations” by Amanda Gailey

“A Complex and Unbound Consciousness: American Women's Short Stories, 1830—1912” by Darcy R. Carbaugh

“Tied in Nots: Great Britain, Native America, and the Discursive Creation of United States National Subjects” by Brett Barney

"’The Next Best Currency after Dollars’: Exotic Bodies and (Neo)Colonial Desire in Recent Fiction by Caribbean-American Women” by Pascha Antrece Stevenson

“Decadent Aristocracies in Nineteenth Century British Literature” by Shaun T. Harris