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Literature MA

Faculty Research

See recent work by MA program faculty.

What Lit Are You?

The Literature Program offers students the chance to choose one of three exciting tracks, or focuses of study. In the Literary Studies Track, students come to understand why literature matters: how it defines culture, the human, and our values, and how it facilitates empathy. The Cinema Studies Track allows students to study literature alongside cinema and to discern the ways that cinema as a language and art shapes our society. Lastly, the Creative Writing Track gives students the opportunity to hone their craft and improve their poetry or prose in close-knit workshops.In each of the tracks, students work with dedicated, award-winning faculty who pay close attention to the needs of each individual. 

Literature majors garner excellent writing and communication skills.They know how to learn, to analyze and comprehend other viewpoints, and to argue for ideas. Literature majors in all tracks have a range of careers and internships. Indeed 89% of our majors hold internships.In terms of careers, they work in publishing, public radio, law, education, advocacy and politics.

American Express recently explained in this article that English majors 
are the hot new hire! Employers in all sectors are increasingly saying that they need employees who can write well and communicate, and Lit majors find themselves to be well prepared for the competitive job market. They also take advantage of a wide array of study abroad opportunities.   


"All my marketable skills, I learned through the Literature major: being able toread and process quickly and thoroughly, being able to write quickly,comprehensively, and cogently, and just a general analytical eye. As a Literature major I learned to express myself to a variety of audiences and across different mediums, and that's been extremely important in the political field." 

-Rachel Tardiff, Class of 2011 

Senior Director of Media Relations at FitzGibbon Media, a Communications Consulting Firm 

The Plain Sense of Things

A Discussion with Majorie Levinson,
Presented in Honor of AU Professor Jonathan Loesberg

April 23, 2015, 5pm
Kogod Student Lounge, Kogod School of Business

The Department of Literature at American University welcomes Marjorie Levinson, F.L. Huetwell Professor at the University of Michigan. She will be speaking on "The Plain Sense of Things" by Wallace Stevens. Her talk is in honor the retirement of Professor Jonathan Loesberg at the end of this academic year.



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Video: Inside the MFA Writing Program

Creative Writing Program Video

See video discussion with students and faculty.

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Prof. Linda Voris's article, "Reading the Background in Gertrude Stein," was recently published in the collection, Primary Stein: Returning to the Writing of Gertrude Stein (Lexington, 2014).

Prof. Roberta Rubenstein's new book, Literary Half-Lives: Doris Lessing, Clancy Sigal, and Roman à Clef, was published by Palgrave-Macmillan on May 14, 2014.  

Video: Life after Literature
Students, alums, and faculty discuss possible futures.

Prof. Despina Kakoudaki
Despina Kakoudaki's book, Anatomy of a Robot: Literature, Cinema, and the Cultural Work of Artificial People, was published by Rutgers University Press in July 2014.

Alumna Amy Stoll appointed Literature Director at NEA.

Alumnus Abdul Ali won the 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize.

Prof David Keplinger won the Cavafy Prize from Poetry International for "The Life of Simone Weil."

Prof Richard McCann reappointed for third term as Vice President of the PEN/Faulkner Foundation.

Erik Dussere's America Is Elsewhere: The Noir Tradition in the Age of Consumer Culture won the 2014 Edgar Award for Best Critical/Biographical Work.

Richard Sha's co-edited book, Romanticism and the Emotions, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Together with Theresa M. Kelley, he is launching a gallery of Romantic Visual Culture on Romantic Circles.

Video: Look Inside the Literature MA Program

Keith Leonard

Learn about the MA program and campus/DC community of scholars.

See Video