Before English majors can declare a Topics in English concentration, they must take two courses from their desired cluster and meet with the faculty coordinator for that topic.
Faculty coordinator: Melissa Littlefield
The cluster in Literature & Science examines the complex intersections between science and culture, with particular emphasis on the problems of environmental sustainability, bio-ethics, and technology. Courses in this cluster include introductions to science fiction, ecocriticism, climate change, animal studies, and biohumanities. These courses explore the shifting relationships among imaginative texts, the natural world, and various scientific approaches that seek to describe the physical universe.
Faculty coordinator: Robert Barrett
The cluster in Media Cultures thinks not just about what stories a text tells or when particular texts were written but instead focuses on how those stories are packaged in multiple material forms, including manuscript, print, visual culture, film, new media, and live performance. Courses are intended to help students learn about how cultural aesthetics have changed over time with the advent of new art forms and media like print, photography, cinema, software, video games, comic books, and graphic novels, with a strong emphasis on the cultural, political, and societal implications of these different forms and formats.
Faculty coordinator: Candice Jenkins
The cluster in Race, Indigeneity, Gender, & Sexuality (RIGS) places at its center the experience and culture of historically underrepresented groups, exploring the literature of the black diaspora, Asian Americans, indigenous people, LGBTQ people, Latinx people, and women. Drawing on the intertwined traditions of critical race theory, postcolonialism, feminism, and queer theory, students will investigate the role of literature in both reflecting and shaping our ideas about these categories of difference, as well as in imagining alternatives to them, with a strong emphasis on intersectional approaches to identity and the structural conditions that produce it.