College of Arts and Sciences
(An asterisk [*] denotes associate membership in University Graduate School faculty.)
Rudy Professor/COAS Distinguished Professor
Ruth Lilly Professor of Poetry
Tarkington Chair of American Literature
Culbertson Chair of Writing
Ruth N. Halls Professor
Adjunct Associate Professors
Director of Graduate Studies
(See also general University Graduate School requirements.)
Foreign Language Requirements
Language requirements should be met as soon after beginning graduate work as possible. A student is expected to be working on fulfilling the proficiency requirements every semester until they are completed.
Combined B.A. and M.A.
Master of Arts Degree with Concentration in Literature
Up to 8 credit hours in graduate courses outside the department may, with the prior approval of the director of graduate studies, be counted toward the degree.
Note: Students wishing to enter the doctoral program on completion of this M.A. must apply for admission. For admission to the Ph.D. program with concentration in literature, candidates must satisfy the distribution requirements for the M.A. in literature.
Thesis and Final Examination
Foreign Language Requirements
The Department of English offers the following minors: American literature, British literature, children’s literature, pedagogy, creative writing, English and Germanic philology, English language, literary theory, and textual studies. Minors within the department must be approved by the director of graduate studies.
Four courses, to include G601 Old English and at least one of the other older Germanic languages, i.e., German G632 Gothic, G635 Old Icelandic, G638 Old High German, G639 Old Saxon, and G640 Middle High German. The remaining courses may be chosen from: English G602 Middle English, G655 History of the English Language, L710 Beowulf, L711 Old English Literature; German G532 History of the German Language, and G625 Colloquium in Germanic Linguistics (when the topic is appropriate), G640 Reading Middle High German, G636 Old Icelandic Literature, G835 Seminar in Germanic Linguistics (when the topic is appropriate), and any of the remaining older Germanic languages listed above.
The Minor in Feminist Critical Studies emphasizes feminist criticism and theory. It requires four courses (at least 15 hours of credit), including English L663 Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies and at least one course outside the Department of English; each course must be passed with a grade of B+ (3.3) or higher. Relevant courses include English L605, L700, L707, and L773, Fine Arts A474 and A674, Cultural Studies C601 and C602, Communication and Culture C551 and C604, and Telecommunications T651. Students should consult with the minor advisor in the English department about specific courses of study.
Jointly administered by the Department of English and the School of Education, the minor requires a minimum of four courses, including English L502, Education L630, and two courses selected from an approved list, at least one of which must be outside the English department. For School of Education students, three of the four courses must be outside the student’s major area. Students should confer with one of the advisors of the Literacy Studies minor; their names can be obtained from the director of graduate studies.
Jointly administered by the Departments of English and Comparative Literature, the minor requires a minimum of three courses, including at least one selected from Comparative Literature C503, C504, C601, or C602; and one from English G660, L605, L607, L608, or L707. Other courses approved for the minor are: French and Italian F584 and G560; Germanic Studies G800; Slavic Languages and Literatures R521; Spanish and Portuguese S473 and S512; and Theatre and Drama T555 and T556. Courses other than those listed above may also be acceptable toward completion of the requirement; written consent to count such courses must be obtained in advance from the graduate advisor in the Department of English or Comparative Literature.
The literature and science minor consists of four courses. Two of the four will be Department of English courses from the area of literature and science. One of those English courses will be L769 Literature and Science, the “core” course for the minor. The non-English department courses will either come from a relevant science, or from the Department of History and Philosophy of Science or from some other relevant (nonliterary) discipline. The minor will be administered by the director of graduate studies in English, in consultation with the literature and science faculty as necessary.
Also offered is a certificate in English and Germanic philology, requiring four courses in addition to the four required for the minor. These may include any of the courses listed above, as well as courses in other departments (e.g. linguistics, folklore, classical studies, and anthropology) that are relevant to the history and prehistory of the Germanic languages, and to early Germanic literature and culture. For information about relevant courses, see the graduate advisor in the Department of English.500 Level
G500 Introduction to the English Language (4 cr.) An introduction to the English language: its nature, structure, and development.
L500 Introduction to Graduate Study for International Students (4 cr.) The methods and assumptions of graduate study in English and American literature, with special emphasis on classroom participation, the preparation and delivery of reports, and the writing of critical essays based on individual research. Admission must be approved by the departmental advisor for international students.
L501 Professional Scholarship in Literature (4 cr.) Materials, tools, and methods of research.
L502 Contexts for the Study of Writing (2-4 cr.) Historical and cognitive effects of writing, reading, and language use, and the implication of these effects for the teaching and study of literature and writing.
L503 Teaching of Literature in College (2-4 cr.) Classroom teaching of literature in the light of current approaches.
L505 Teaching Children's Literature at the Post-Secondary Level (2 cr.) Classroom teaching of children's literature in the light of current approaches.
L506 Issues and Motives of Literary Studies (4 cr.) The conditions and assumptions of studying English, with emphasis on the application of theory to a culturally and historically diverse range of writings.
L507 English Outside the Academy (4 cr.) Primarily for Special Field M.A. candidates. Explores discourses and domains of thought and language use that link the academy with areas of expertise outside it, including law, publishing, the media, advertising, health, and counseling.
L553 Studies in Literature (1-3 cr.) Primarily for secondary-school and junior-college teachers of English. Emphasis on thematic, analytic, and generic study. With consent of instructor, may be repeated once for credit.
L599 Internship in English (1-4 cr.) Primarily for Special Field M.A. candidates. Students will define a project and secure both a faculty and an external sponsor. Likely external sponsors will include the IU Foundation, the IU Press, advertising agencies, charities, legal or political offices, health agencies, and writing centers. Number of credit hours depends on length of commitment.
W500 Teaching Composition: Issues and Approaches (4 cr.) Consideration of fundamental issues in the teaching of writing and the major approaches to composition instruction. Specific topics include teaching invention and revision, diagnosing errors, teaching style and organization, making assignments, and evaluating student writing.
W501 Teaching of Composition in College (1-2 cr.) Practical teaching of composition; current theories and policies.
W511 Writing Fiction (4 cr.) Either W511 or W513 may count once for the M.A. or M.F.A., but not toward specified course requirements for the Ph.D.
W513 Writing Poetry (4 cr.) Either W511 or W513 may count once for the M.A. or M.F.A., but not toward specified course requirements for the Ph.D.
W553 Theory and Practice of Exposition (1-3 cr.) Primarily for secondary-school and junior-college teachers of English.
W554 Teaching Creative Writing (2 cr.) Theory and practice of teaching the writing of poetry and fiction at the college level, with attention to matters of curricular design and classroom technique. Required of those teaching W103 for the first time. Open also to graduate students not in the creative writing program.Return to Courses
600-level courses in literature may be taught either as topical colloquia or historical surveys, at the discretion of the instructor. All courses at this level will be understood as prefatory to the kind of work done in 700-level seminars, without prerequisites.
G601 Introduction to Old English (4 cr.) G500 recommended but not required. Introduction to the phonology, morphology, and syntax of Old English; intensive reading of major prose and verse texts.
G602 Introduction to Middle English (4 cr.) P: G601 or equivalent.
G603 Celtic Languages and Literature (4 cr.) P: G500 or its equivalent. Introduction to such languages as Old Irish and Welsh, or literatures in these languages. Topic varies.
G651 American English (4 cr.) Growth and development of the English language in America from the first settlements to the present; dialectal diversity of American English.
G655 History of the English Language (4 cr.) A survey of the evolution of the English language from its earliest stages to the present, with reference to its external history and to its phonology, morphology, syntax, and vocabulary.
G660 Stylistics (4 cr.) Survey of traditional and linguistic approaches to the study of prose and poetic style. Attention will center on the description of the verbal characteristics of texts, what those characteristics reflect about the author, and how they affect the reader.
L605 Critical and Interpretive Theory (4 cr.) Introduction to one or more major modes of contemporary criticism or critical theory.
L607 History of Literary Criticism to the Enlightenment (4 cr.) A survey of the history of literary criticism and theory from Plato and Aristotle to the Enlightenment, including works by Greco-Roman, medieval, and Renaissance figures.
L608 History of Literary Criticism from 1750 to 1960 (4 cr.) A survey of the history of literary criticism and theory from the late Enlightenment or early Romantic periods to 1960, including a variety of modern literary critics and theorists.
L612 Chaucer (4 cr.) Critical analysis of The Canterbury Tales, Troilus and Criseyde, and selected shorter poems.
L613 Middle English Literature (4 cr.) P: L612 or G602 or equivalent.
L616 English Drama to the 1590s, Exclusive of Shakespeare (4 cr.)
L621 English Literature 1500-1660 (4 cr.) Extensive reading in nondramatic literature.
L622 Spenser and Milton (4 cr.) Critical analysis of the major texts.
L623 English Drama from the 1590s to 1800, Exclusive of Shakespeare (4 cr.) P: familiarity with half a dozen plays of Shakespeare.
L625 Shakespeare (4 cr.) Critical analysis of selected texts.
L631 English Literature 1660-1790 (4 cr.) Extensive reading in poetry and nonfictional prose.
L639 English Fiction to 1800 (4 cr.)
L641 English Literature 1790-1900 (4 cr.) Extensive reading in poetry and nonfictional prose.
L645 English Fiction 1800-1900 (4 cr.)
L649 British Literature since 1900 (4 cr.) Extensive reading in all genres.
L651 American Literature 1609-1800 (4 cr.) Intensive historical and critical study of all genres from John Smith through Charles Brockden Brown.
L653 American Literature 1800-1900 (4 cr.) Intensive historical and critical study of all genres from Washington Irving through Frank Norris.
L655 American Literature and Culture 1900-1945 (4 cr.) Study of American literature and culture from the turn of the century to 1945.
L656 American Literature and Culture 1945 to the Present (4 cr.) Studies in American literature and culture from 1945 to the present.
L663 Introduction to Feminist Critical Studies (4 cr.) An introduction to and examination of major works, methods, issues, and developments in feminist theory and criticism.
L666 Survey of Children's Literature (4 cr.) Survey of literature written for children and adolescents from the medieval period to the present.
L671 Modern British and Irish Drama (4 cr.)
L672 Modern American Drama (4 cr.)
L673 Studies in Women and Literature (4 cr.) Women's literary accomplishments and representations of women in English from the sixteenth century to the present.
L674 Studies in International English Literature (4 cr.) Literatures from Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific islands, the Indian subcontinent, or Canada.
L680 Special Topics in Literary Study and Theory (4 cr.) Readings in sociological, political, psychological, and other approaches to literature.
L695 Individual Readings in English (1-4 cr.)
L699 M.A. Thesis (cr. arr.)
W601 Development of Rhetoric and Composition (4 cr.) Traces the development of rhetorical theory from Plato through the Renaissance and up to the present; puts special emphasis on exploring how present-day composition programs and practices reflect the past.
W602 Contemporary Theories in Rhetoric and Composition (4 cr.) An introduction to current research in rhetoric and composition. Draws on insights from linguistic theory, cognitive theory, and rhetorical theory to develop greater understanding of the writing process and build pedagogical applications.
W609 Directed Writing Projects (1-4 cr.)
W610 Indiana Writing Workshop (2 cr.) P: acceptance to the Indiana Writers' Conference held in June of each year. Intensive training in various forms of writing at the conference; submission of significant body of writing before the end of the last summer session.
W611-W612 Writing Fiction I-II (4-4 cr.) May be repeated once for credit.
W613-W614 Writing Poetry I-II (4-4 cr.) May be repeated once for credit.
W615 Writing Creative Nonfiction (4 cr.) Writing workshop in such modes as personal essay, autobiography, and documentary. Open also to graduate students not in the creative writing program.
W664 Topics in Current Literature (4 cr.) The study of recent poetry and prose, emphasizing special formal, technical, and intellectual concerns of author and work. Open also to graduate students not in the creative writing program.
W680 Theory and Craft of Writing (4 cr.) Elements of poetic prosody or the major fictive techniques or both: nature of stress, concepts of meter, nature of rhythm, prosodic use of syntax, theories of fictive realism, nature of fictive romance, point of view, etc. Students will do some writing. Open also to graduate students not in the creative writing program.
W697 Independent Study in Writing (1-4 cr.) P: two semesters of W611, W612, W613 or W614.
W699 M.F.A. Thesis (cr. arr.)
The following courses are seminars requiring directed individual study and investigation. For each the prerequisite is advanced graduate standing, or a 600-level course in the subject, or the consent of the instructor; it is recommended that a student take L501 before enrolling in a seminar. With consent of the instructor, a student may take a 700-level course twice for credit.
G780 Special Studies in English Language (4 cr.) P: G500 or equivalent.
L700 Topics in Feminist Critical Studies (4 cr.) Readings in feminist theories of representation, gender, sexuality, the institution, or other areas of feminist critical endeavor.
L701 Descriptive Bibliography and Textual Problems (4 cr.)
L710 Beowulf (4 cr.) P: G601. Critical reading of the text of the poem, with consideration of its relationship to other writings in Old English and the heroic tradition in literature.
L711 Old English Literature (4 cr.) P: G601 or equivalent.
L712 Chaucer (4 cr.) P: L612 or L613 or equivalent.
L713 Middle English Literature (4 cr.) P: L612 or L613 or equivalent.
L715 English and Scottish Popular Ballads (4 cr.) Student investigation of principal problems met in ballad scholarship. Special attention to textual relationships, dissemination, and unique qualities of genre.
L721 Spenser (4 cr.)
L751 Major American Writers 1700-1855 (4 cr.) Two or three writers. Techniques and thematic comparisons.
L753 Major American Writers 1855 to the Present (4 cr.) Two or three writers. Techniques and thematic comparisons.
L761 American Poetry (4 cr.)
L763 American Fiction (4 cr.)
L766 Children's Literature (4 cr.) Issues in the critical and historical study of literature for children or young adults.
L769 Literature and Science (4 cr.) Major developments in modern science, the philosophical issues they raise, and their influence on modern thought and literature.
L773 Topics in Feminist Literary History (4 cr.) Feminist critical research on literary texts in cultural contexts, or focusing on a particular historical period, theme, genre, or author.
L774 Topics in International English Literature (4 cr.) Topics in English literature from Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands, the Indian subcontinent, or Canada.
L775 Studies in Modern Drama (4 cr.)
L776 Comparative Drama (4 cr.) Selected topics in comedy or tragedy.
L779 Literature and Society (4 cr.) Analysis of representative works of different periods to illustrate the study of literature in relation to its age, or as a social product. Consideration of economic, political, class, and other cultural influences.
L780 Special Studies in English and American Literature (4 cr.)
L790 Independent Study (cr. arr.) Consent of the instructor required. Open to Ph.D. candidates in English only.
L799 Ph.D. Thesis (cr. arr.)
W780 Special Studies in Composition (4 cr.)