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    American University
    Jun 08, 2023  
American University Catalog 2019-2020 
American University Catalog 2019-2020 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]



Chair  David Pike
Associate Chair  Kate Wilson
Director of the Writing Studies Program  L. Wootton
Director of the Writing Center  N. Green
International Student Coordinator  A. Dadak

Full-Time Faculty

Professor Emeritus/a  P. Han, J.J. Jorgens, F.L. Kelly, F.H. King, C.R. Larson, J. Loesberg, R. McCann, K. Mussell, K.W. Moyer, J.N. Radner, M. Sklarew, H.S. Taylor, F.E. Zapatka
Professor  D. Keplinger, M. Noble, D. Pike, R. Rubenstein, R. Sha, P. Starr
Associate Professor Emeritus  W.E. Stahr
Associate Professor  K. Dargan, E. Dussere, L. Green-Simms, D. Kakoudaki, K. Leonard, J. Middents, D.C. Payne, D. Perkins-Valdez, A. Sherman, R. Snyder, L. Voris, L. Wong, M.S. Young
Assistant Professor  A. Berry, F. Brideoake, D. Friedman, S. Grant, P. Park, T. Ratekin, K. Smith
Hurst Senior Professorial Lecturer  C. Bair Van Dam, E. Comstock, C. Cox, L. Fettig, P.K. Joyner, G. Moomau, A. Thomas, K. Wilson, L. Wootton
Senior Professorial Lecturer Emerita  L. Johnson
Senior Professorial Lecturer  J. McCarthy, H. McDonald, K. Oakes, M. Switalski, A. Tamashasky
Professorial Lecturer  A. Bernstein, M. Brown, M. Cabot, A. Choutka, C. Garrett, E. Helfers, C. Horne, S. Marsh, M. Pennington, A. Sparks, S. Trembath, M. Twigg
Instructor  E. Uzun Delaitsch

Department Overview

Concerned with the study of literature, writing, and film, the Department of Literature offers courses that embrace many approaches to the rich heritage of written, oral, and cinematic tradition, as well as courses that challenge students to write creatively and professionally. In addition to taking courses, students are encouraged to enroll in internships to sample careers that use the skills they are developing in the classroom; Washington, DC affords a wide range of job opportunities (many involving writing or editing) in settings such as arts organizations, radio and television, government offices, public interest organizations, museums, schools, and community groups.

The department’s faculty of scholars and writers staff three degree programs in literature: the Literature (BA) , Literature (MA) , and the Creative Writing (MFA) . All three programs offer students the chance to study literature, film, criticism and creative writing; all are small and flexible programs that bring students and faculty into close contact in small classes and informal gatherings and colloquia. The Literature (BA)  program offers four specialized tracks of study: Literary Studies, Cinema Studies, Creative Writing, and Transcultural Studies. The Literature (MA)  program provides an overview of the literary history of our culture in addition to a series of seminars on theoretical topics in which students and faculty together consider what constitutes the discipline of literary criticism. The Creative Writing (MFA)  program includes work in fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction; workshops with distinguished visiting writers; internships; and coursework in literature and in the arts of translation and literary journalism. It also offers students opportunities to give public readings, to meet with editors and publishers, and to produce a nationally known literary magazine.

In addition, the department offers minors in each of its fields: Creative Writing (Minor) , Literature (Minor) Cinema Studies (Minor)  and Transcultural Studies (Minor) .

Honors in Literature

The Honors in Literature  program offers students the opportunity to enhance their engagement with literary study. Honors in Literature students develop their theoretical, historical, and interdisciplinary expertise in preparation for advanced or graduate level work in their discipline.

The Visiting Writers Series

Each semester, the department sponsors public readings by prominent poets, fiction writers, and editors. These visitors also conduct workshops for graduate and undergraduate creative writing students. Visiting writers have included Mark Doty, Jacqueline Woodson, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, Jan Wagner, Nnedi Okorafor, Ada Limón, Teju Cole, Richard Rodriguez, Yusef Komunyakaa, Marie Howe, Michael Cunningham, Marilyn Nelson, Li-Young Lee, and Amy Bloom. Distinguished Writers in Residence have included Jean Valentine, Marilyn Hacker, Jon Silkin, Pablo Medina, and Alice McDermott.


    Major Program (UG)Minor (UG)Master’s Program (GR)