Graduate study in English at the University of Oregon includes traditional literary history and textual study, as well as coursework in critical theory, ethnic literatures, gender studies, cultural studies, rhetoric and composition, postcolonial studies, ecocriticism, folklore, film and television, and popular culture.
Students in the MA Program may pursue a traditional master of arts degree emphasizing any of these fields. Students in the PhD program may pursue a traditional doctoral course of study in any of these fields OR may tailor their coursework and independent research by enrolling in one of several “Structured Emphases,” which reflect the Department’s strengths in the areas of Ethnic American Literary Studies, Film and Media Studies, Folklore, Literature and the Environment, Medieval Studies, Poetry and Poetics, and Rhetoric and Composition.
For complete information about the program and how to apply, explore the links to the right.
Our graduate programs equip students to produce creative, critical, social justice-informed work during and after their degree programs. Below are recent examples of the strong projects our students are undertaking.
Gina Filo has been named the 2019-2020 College of Arts and Sciences Dissertation Fellow for her explorations of sex and self in early modern England.
Filo's project, "Sexuality and the Contours of the Self in Early Modern English Verse,” analyzes how early modern poets such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Andrew Marvell, Richard Crashaw, Robert Herrick, and Thomas Traherne use sex and eroticism to reimagine the relationship between body and self.
Filo observes that, in early modern England, sex was deemed "highly destabilizing to the invidual in both physical and psychological ways." Scholars have generally argued that poets were anxious about this instability and used their verse to maintain the identity categories that sex would seem to deconstruct. But Filo sheds light on the ways that early modern poets reveled in sex and the idea of a less-than-stable self:
In this project, I show that the poetry of Shakespeare, Donne, Marvell, Herrick, Crashaw, and Traherne ... embraces, rather than rejects, the annihilation of self and category (like gender and the human) that sex brings about. I show how these poets articulate new varieties of pleasure, diffuse and unstable forms of selfhood, and non-normative models of self-other relations that operate outside of conventional power hierarchies - and demonstrate that, far from being anxious, they take pleasure (intellectual, imaginative, and erotic) in so doing.
Analyzing these alternative ideas about sexual pleasure, Filo adds, can give modern readers ways to rethink how "natural" their sexual practices and ideologies are:
This period [1485-1685] is posed just before the consolidation of both modern identity-based models of sexuality and the ideal of companionate heteroerotic marriage, both of which are so naturalized as to be coercive in the way we understand sex today. As such, the exploration of alternate, unstable forms of pleasure and eroticism in the period gives a sense of the what-might-have-been, one that is quite different than the what-is.
UO's Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS) awards Celeste Reeb the 2019-2020 Jane Grant Dissertation Fellowship
Reeb's "Captions: Reading between the Lines" is a provocative dissertation that explores the intersections of gender and closed captioning in American film and television. The project extends Reeb's research in sound studies, audience reception, and film and new media.
Stephanie Mastrostefano and Carmel Ohman land CSWS Research Grants
Mastrostefano has won a CSWS Graduate Research Grant for “Manufacturing Race at 24 Frames per Second: Creative Voice at the Intersection of Disney Animation and Audience." Mastrostefano's research interests include contemporary American popular culture, film and media studies, children's studies, women's and gender studies, and feminist studies.
Ohman has also won a CSWS Research Grant for “Beyond Binary Consent: Sex, Power, and Embodied Performance in U.S. Black Feminist Novels and T.V., 1975-2018." Currently a Doctoral Fellow for the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (Canada), Ohman works in twentieth- and twenty-first-century American literatures; race and ethnic studies; women’s, gender, and sexuality studies; visual culture; literature and the environment; and rhetoric and composition.