Program Director: Michael Drexler

The graduate program in English offers the student a structure consisting of eight courses in English or six courses in English and two in other disciplines with adviser's approval, and a thesis.

The master of arts in English is designed for a) those who plan to pursue a Ph.D. or M.F.A.; b) those who plan to teach in high school or community colleges; and c) those who desire to advance in related careers or programs of study (including, but not limited, to publishing, library work, etc.).

Admission Requirements

An undergraduate English major is strongly recommended. Writing sample and general GRE test results are required. We encourage personal interviews.

Degree Requirements

  1. eight courses, including Seminar in Literary/Critical Theory (ENGL 600) and the thesis workshop (or appropriate substitute in creative writing). Two of the eight courses may be taken outside the department with permission of the adviser;
  2. a master's thesis proposal;
  3. a master's thesis and an oral examination;
  4. intermediate reading proficiency in a foreign language to be determined by testing or by four courses in a foreign language, two of which must be university courses at the intermediate level.

Graduate students in English may not enroll in more than two independent study (ENGL 619) courses without special written permission from the Graduate Committee and should propose independent studies only if the material they wish to cover is not available in regularly offered seminars.

Courses

Students are required to have the permission of the instructor to enroll in all English 600-level courses. The sequence of courses normally taken by master’s degree candidates is as follows.

First Year (fall semester):

  • ENGL 600: Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • One elective

First Year (spring semester):

  • Two electives

Second Year (fall semester):

  • ENGL 678: Thesis Workshop -- a course on the formulation of a thesis proposal, development of a bibliography, and the writing of a scholarly thesis OR a seminar in Creative Writing for those writing creative theses
  • One elective

Second Year (spring semester):

  • ENGL 680: Thesis Writing Credit
  • One elective

Electives are chosen from among the 600-level English courses, courses on language in translation, appropriate courses in history or the social sciences, humanities courses (philosophy, religion, history, comparative humanities, classics or art history), or modern language literature courses. Graduate students in English may enroll in no more than two independent study (ENGL 619) courses without special written permission from the Graduate Committee and should propose independent study only if the material they wish to cover is not available in regularly offered seminars.

Thesis/Exam

A thesis (typically 90-120 pages, including notes and bibliography; critical, creative, or theoretical) is required. A thesis proposal, developed with the approval of the adviser, and submitted by October 15th. The oral examination will be conducted by the thesis adviser, and at least two other members of the faculty (in English or another appropriate department).

Setting

The English department encourages collegial relationships between professors and graduate students, as well as among graduate students themselves. Bucknell is home to the Stadler Center for Poetry, Bucknell University Press, and the journals West Branch and Aperçus. Coursework is further enhanced by an excellent library, computer facilities, a writing center, and a rich offering of literary and critical publications. Seminars require active participation; student reports, oral and written; and a substantial paper.

Courses Offered

600. Seminar in Literary Theory and Criticism (I; 3, 0)
Advanced study of literary and critical theory, research, and other elements of literary scholarship. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

601. Seminar in American Literature Topics (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced topics, such as Cross-Cultural Encounters, The American Novel, Gender and American Poetics, and Beat Generation. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

602. Seminar in Selected American Writers (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Study of the works of one or more major American writers. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

605. Seminar in Early American Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Seminar in a special topic or genre of Early American and/or 18th-century American culture. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

607. Seminar in 19th-century American Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Seminar in a special topic, author, or genre of 19th-century American literature and culture. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

610. Seminar in Modern American Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Seminar in a special topic, author or genre of modern American literature and culture. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

611. Seminar in Contemporary American Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Seminar in a special topic, author, or genre of contemporary American literature and culture. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

615. Unsettling Memories (I or II; 3, 0)
Cultural analysis of unsettling, historically powerful racial ideas about purity and pollution written on the "lady's" and "black" bodies in 20th-century Southern fiction and photography.

619. Individual Projects (I and II; R)
Individual special projects supervised by instructor; honors thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

621. Seminar in African-American Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Study of selected thematic, aesthetic, and ideological issues in Black American writing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

626. Seminar in Irish Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced topics in Irish literature, including Irish Women Writers, Nationalism and Literature, and Contemporary Irish Writing. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

627. Seminar in Caribbean Studies (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Study of selected thematic, aesthetic, and ideological issues in Caribbean writing.

640. Seminar in Early English Literature to 1485 (I or II; R; 3, 0)
The language and literature of Anglo-Saxon or medieval England. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

650. Seminar in Renaissance Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Special topics. Student reports, oral and written. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

658. Seminar in Shakespeare (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Special topics. Student reports, oral and written. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

660. Seminar in Restoration and 18th-century Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Studies in canonical and marginalized texts, cultural and philosophical formations, and the continuing historical and theoretical relevance of the period. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

661. Law and Literature (I or II; 3, 0)
Studies in the relationship between law, narrative and social and fictional forms in the 18th century and modern Britain and America as these raise questions about identity, justice, historical powers, God, and the nature of civil obligations.

670. Seminar in 19th-century English Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Examination of a wide range of poetry and prose by selected authors with emphasis given to the literature's historical and cultural groundings. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

678. Thesis Workshop (I; 3, 0)
A colloquium on problems arising from the writing of a scholarly thesis. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

680. Thesis (I or II)

682. Seminar in Contemporary Literature (I or II; R; 3, 0)
A selective study of the most recent developments in English and American prose or poetry. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

691. Seminar in Poetry (I or II; R; 3, 0)
A study of poetry as a genre and an analysis of the work of selected poets. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

692. Seminar in the Novel (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Special topics. Student reports, oral and written. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

693. Seminar in Contemporary Drama (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Special topics. Student reports, oral and written. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

694. History of Sexuality (I or II; 3, 0)
A cross-cultural and interdisciplinary examination of the signification of sexuality in literature, philosophy, scientific discourse, and the visual arts. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

697. Seminar in Special Topics (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Topics such as comparative literature, literature and the arts, queer theory, or satire. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

698. Issues in Literary/Critical Theory (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced topics in the study of literary and critical theory. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

699. Seminar in Cultural Studies (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Introduction to significant issues and debates characterizing the field known as Cultural Studies. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Courses in Creative Writing

603. Seminar in Writing Creative Nonfiction (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced workshop in writing of creative nonfiction. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

608. Seminar in Writing Poetry (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced workshop in writing poetry. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

609. Seminar in Writing Fiction (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Advanced workshop in writing fiction. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Individual projects in writing (e.g., a novel or a collection of verse) may be taken under the rubric of ENGL 619.


Courses in Film Studies

632. Seminar in Film and Technology (I or II; 3, 0)
Traces technology's impact on film form and content. Topics include early cinema, sound technology, widescreen, and computer-generated images. Weekly screenings. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

636. Seminar in Film Genres and Auteurs (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Examination of a particular genre (film noir, Hong Kong action movies, Westerns, etc.), director, cinematographer, screenwriter, or producer. Weekly screenings. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

637. Seminar in Film Theory (I or II; R; 3, 0)
Survey of approaches to film analysis and critique, ranging from realist/formalist debates to psychoanalytic, feminist, and semiotics approaches. Weekly screenings. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

639. Film/Video Production (I or II; R; 3, 0)
This course applies film theory concepts to advanced video/audio production through a range of hands-on production assignments. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

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