Structured Emphasis Option

The Structured Emphasis Option allows faculty members in a shared field to create a special curriculum for their students in order to assure that they receive appropriate and in-depth training. The Structured Emphasis options for each of the seven fields vary, but all involve interdisciplinary course work and doctoral study with participating faculty members.



The graduate specialization in Politics, Culture and Identity (PCI) is a collaboration of the Departments of English and Political Science. The specialization builds on a series of existing courses, faculty research and teaching expertise, and student interest in the interdisciplinary study of politics through theories and methods that attend to interpretation, identity, and discourse. For more information, including forms and requirements, please click here.

The program is defined by three core commitments:

  1. Interdisciplinarity: The incorporation of research methods, theories and forms of evidence from multiple disciplines within the humanities and social sciences
  2. Identity and difference: Examining race, gender, sexuality, disability, indigeneity, colonialism and other forms of difference as foundational and constitutive themes
  3. Power, domination and social justice: An emphasis on forms of exploitation, domination, and resistance

The PCI specialization trains PhD students through cross-disciplinary seminars, dissertation advising, dissertation workshops and colloquia to develop methodological and theoretical tools to analyze political phenomena through culture, narrative and identity.

Participating faculty maintain interests in the convergence of culture, identity and politics–interdisciplinary work that locates cultural production in its political contexts; pays close attention to narrative; discourse, and identity; engages race, gender, disability, sexuality, indigeneity and nationhood; and uses the methods of cultural studies to interpret political events.


English Faculty in the Cultural Studies field of focus.



The English Department has three faculty members in film studies and several other participating faculty members who also teach and write about film and media. The department offers courses on film history, theory, screen writing, and aesthetics. Additionally, the university abounds with film courses, taught by faculty in specialized areas of media study, fine arts, social sciences, foreign languages and area studies, journalism, and law.

The English Department offers a film studies focus for both masters and doctoral students: the M.A. in English with an Emphasis in Film Studies and the Ph.D. Structured Emphasis in Film Studies.


All regular Ph.D. program requirements apply.

The Structured Emphasis in Film Studies is designed for students interested in developing research and teaching skills in the areas of film and cultural studies. Students pursuing this emphasis design a course of study that enables them to develop specialized knowledge of film theory, criticism, and history in addition to a strong foundation in literary studies. This background equips them for advanced interdisciplinary research on a broad range of cultural texts, as well as teaching careers in departments seeking versatile scholars qualified to teach literature, writing, film studies, and popular culture.


Course Work and Exams

The structured emphasis consists of:

  • Two 600-level ENG film studies seminars
  • Three courses, preferably 600-level, outside of ENG in film studies or related areas
  • Three 500-level ENG film studies courses
  • Two 600-level ENG twentieth-century studies courses
  • One 600-level seminar in theory
  • One 600-level seminar in race or gender studies

Students in the Structured Emphasis option also complete one area of the Qualifying Examination in the field of film studies, based on a reading list prepared by film studies faculty.

The reading list for the Film Studies structured emphasis is below.


Libraries and Resources

The University of Oregon and surrounding community offer many resources for graduate students interested in film and related fields. The Knight Library has excellent holdings in film studies scholarship and subscribes to the major journals within the field. In addition, the library participates in a large regional university collection, Summit, that allows campus members access to over twelve million volumes in a matter of a few days. In its Media Services department, within the past seven years, the Knight Library has increased its holdings of filmed material regularly taught in film classes, with the goal of building a core collection of classic films on videotape, laser disc and DVD. Film studies students also make use of the strong university program and archival holdings in folklore.

Furthermore, the film studies community at the university is enriched by a campus-wide undergraduate certificate in Film Studies, administered through the English Department. Among other benefits, this certificate’s being housed in the English Department provides opportunities for graduate students to teach courses in film studies. In particular, four GTFs receive .4 appointments each year in the two-term Film History sequence. Teaching introductory courses as GTFs allows graduate students to refine their own intellectual perspectives on the media and to learn teaching and communication skills to convey those perspectives effectively to others. Those English Ph.D.s who develop a strong secondary field in film studies become conversant with the parameters of the discipline, learn how to write scholarly articles in the field, and gain teaching experience in film, and thus they greatly enhance their prospects as job candidates within English departments. In addition, as part of their course work toward the Ph.D., students pursuing a Structured Emphasis in Film Studies can take both screen writing and video production courses, so that they can gain a technical facility with film and video if they choose to do so.

There are many community resources for people interested in film and the creative arts in Eugene. The city and local community college are home to many groups, formally and informally organized, who are working in theater, improv acting, or fiction and dramatic writing; in these groups writers and artists meet in workshops and also frequently present their work to the public. An undergraduate organization, House of Film, was founded by UO students in 1997 to assist those seeking careers in media industries. This small but dedicated student group maintains a website, provides opportunities to work together on production projects, and fosters connections among film faculty, students and state media groups, including the Oregon Film and Video Office and the Oregon Media Production Association. In Portland, the Northwest Film and Video Center programs special screenings of international and art cinema, has conferences with creative media artists, and offers short courses in all areas of film and video making.


Courses and Seminars

Courses taught on film in the English Department in recent years include the following: The Action Film, Advanced Screenwriting, Autobiography in Film, Avant-Garde Film, Comedy and the Grotesque, Continental Chinese Cinema, Dramatic Screenwriting, Feminist Film Criticism, Film and Folklore, Film Criticism, Film Noir, Film Theory and Cultural Studies, Folklore Film Production, History of the Motion Picture I and II, Hollywood Film Comedy, Indigenous People and Film, Media Aesthetics, The Musical, Narrative Theory and Film, Native Americans in Film, Queer Cinema, Race and Representation, Race and the Musical, Realism in Film, Romanticism in Film, Stars, Studies in Melodrama, Teen Girls and Popular Culture, Transnational Chinese Cinema, The Western, Women Directors, Women in Film.


Structured Emphasis in Film Studies Reading List

(Note: This list contains readings in critical theory but does not stipulate primary texts, that is, titles of films.  Mass media texts are ephemeral, and the goal of graduate education in film studies is not to study “film classics” but rather to understand how the mass media use narrative and genre in the light of ongoing historical, technological, and institutional change. This reading list establishes a firm methodological base which will allow students to evaluate a film’s style and narration from a variety of theoretical perspectives.  Students are expected to use this list as the basis for the Special Field exam and to modify it as needed in consultation with their advisors.)


Selections from Oxford Guide to Film Studies, eds. John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson (New York:  Oxford University Press, 1998): “Film Acting,” Paul McDonald; “Impressionism, Surrealism, and Film Theory,” Robert B. Ray; “Film and Psychoanalysis,” Barbara Creed; “Feminism and Film,” Patricia White; “Gay and Lesbian Criticism,” Anneke Smelik; “Queer Theory,” Alexander Doty; “Race, Ethnicity, and Film,” Robyn Wiegman; “Early American Film,” Tom Gunning; “Concepts of National Cinema” Stephen Crofts; “Modernism and the Avant-Gardes,” Murray Smith

Selections from The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1985), David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, and Kristin Thompson: “The Classical Hollywood Style, 1917-60,” “The Continuity System,” “Historical Implications of the Classical Hollywood Cinema”

Stars, Richard Dyer (London: British Film Institute, 1979): “Stars as a Social Phenomenon,” “Stars as Images”

Mythologies, Roland Barthes, trans. Annette Lavers (New York: Hill and Wang, 1957; 2nd ed 1972).

Hollywood Genres: Formulas, Filmmakers, and the Studio System, Thomas Schatz (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1981).

Selections from Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious, Sigmund Freud, trans. A.A. Brill (New York:  Moffat, Yard and Co., 1916; also found in Collected Works; sometimes entitled “Jokes and the Unconscious”): “The Technique of Wit,” “The Tendencies of Wit,” “Wit and the Various Forms of the Comic”

“The Uncanny,” Sigmund Freud, The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, edited and translated by James Strachey et al. 24 vols. 17: 217-256. (London: Hogarth Press, 1966-74)

“The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Walter Benjamin, Illuminations, ed. Hannah Arendt, trans. Harry Zohn (New York: Schocken Books, 1969)

“On Interpretation,” Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Art (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1981)

“Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema,” Laura Mulvey, Screen 163 (1975), 6-18 (widely anthologized)

“Afterthoughts on ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’,” Laura Mulvey, Visual and Other Pleasures (New York: Macmillan, 1989)

Selections from Imitations of Life: A Reader on Film and Television Melodrama, ed. Marcia Landy (Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1991): “Russian Formalist Theories of Melodrama,”  Daniel Gerould; “Notes on Melodrama and the Family under Capitalism,” Chuck Kleinhans;  “The Anatomy of a Proletarian Film: Warner’s Marked Woman,”  Charles Eckert; “The Search for Tomorrow in Today’s Soap Operas,” Tania Modleski; “A Reader-Oriented Poetics of Melodrama,” Robert Allen

Selections from Home Is Where the Heart Is: Studies in Melodrama and the Woman’s Film, ed. Christine Gledhill (London: British Film Institute, 1987): “The Melodramatic Field: An Investigation,” Christine Gledhill; “Producing and Consuming the Woman’s Film: Discursive Struggle in Now, Voyager,” Maria LaPlace; “The ‘Woman’s Film’: Possession and Address,” Mary Ann Doane

Unthinking Eurocentrism: Multiculturalism and the Media, Ella Shohat and Robert Stam (New York: Routledge, 1994): “From Eurocentrism to Polycentrism,” “Tropes of Empire”

“De Margin and De Center,” Isaac Julien and Kobena Mercer, Screen 294 (1988), 2-10

White, Richard Dyer (New York: Routledge, 1997)

Selections from The Cultural Studies Reader, ed. Simon During (New York: Routledge, 1993): “Encoding, Decoding,” Stuart Hall; “On Collecting Art and Culture,” James Clifford; “Entertainment and Utopia,” Richard Dyer; “Axiomatic,” Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick

“The Poetic Strain of the Avant-Garde,” James Peterson, Dreams of Chaos, Visions of Order: Understanding the American Avant-Garde Cinema, (Detroit: Wayne State University Press,1994)

“Mapping the Postmodern,” Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, and Postmodernism (New York: Macmillan, 1984)

“Costume and Narrative: How Costume Tells the Woman’s Story,” Jane Gaines, Fabrications: Costume and the Female Body, eds. Jane Gaines and Charlotte Herzog (New York: Routledge, 1990)

Selections from Film Theory and Criticism, fifth edition, ed. Leo Braudy and Marshall Cohen (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999): “On Editing,” by Vsevelod Pudovkin, “The Dramaturgy of Film Form,” Sergei Eisenstein; “The Evolution of the Language of Cinema,” Andre Bazin; “On Suture,” Kaja Silverman; “Basic Concepts,” Sigfried Kracauer; “Broadcast TV as Sound and Image,” John Ellis; “Notes on the Auteur Theory,” Andrew Sarris; “From The Imaginary Signifier,” Christian Metz; “Aesthetics of Astonishment: Early Film and the (In)Credulous Spectator,” Tom Gunning

Representing Reality: Issues and Concepts in Documentary, Bill Nichols (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991): “Documentary Modes of  Representation,” “Telling Stories with Evidence and Arguments,” “The Fact of Realism and the Fiction of Objectivity”

“SZ and Rules of the Game,” Julia Lesage, Movies and Methods II, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: University  of California Press, 1985)

“Some Visual Motifs of Film Noir,” J. A. Place and L. S. Peterson, Movies and Methods, ed. Bill Nichols (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1976).

“Roseanne: Unruly Woman as Domestic Goddess.” Kathleen (Karlyn) Rowe, Screen 31.4 (1990): 408-19. 

The Hollywood Musical, Jane Feuer (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1993): “Mass Art as Folk Art,” “PostScript for the 90s”

“Her Body, Himself: Gender in the Slasher Film,” Carol J. Clover, Fantasy and Cinema, ed. J. Donald (London: BFI Institute, 1989).

“Film Bodies: Gender, Genre and Excess,” Linda Williams, Film Quarterly 44.4 (1991)

Cinema and the Invention of Modern Life, Charney, Leo and Vanessa R. Schwartz, eds. (Berkeley: UCP, 1995)

The Digital Dialectic, Peter Lunenfeld (Boston:  MIT Press, 2000)

The Language of New Media, Lev Manovich (Boston:  MIT Press, 2002)

Migrating to the Movies:  Cinema and Black Urban Modernity, Jacqueline Stewart (Berkeley:  UCP, 2005)

Make Room for TV:  Television and the Family Ideal in Postwar America, Lynn Spiegel (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992)

Watching Race:  Television and the Struggle for “Blackness,” Herman Gray (Minneapolis:  University of Minnesota Press, 1995)

The Red Rooster Scare:  Making Cinema American, 1900-1910, Richard Abel (Berkeley:  UCP, 1999)

Tube of Plenty:  The Evolution of American Television, Erik Barnouw, 2nd revised ed.  (New York: Oxford University Press, 1990)

The Genius of the System:  Hollywood Filmmaking in the Studio Era, 1st revised ed., Thomas Schatz (New York:  Pantheon Books, 1988)


English Faculty in the Film and Media Studies field of focus.



The structured emphasis in Folklore offers an interdisciplinary approach and perspectives on ethnic, regional, occupational, age, gender and other traditional identities of individuals in specific societies. Students study the extent to which tradition continues to enrich and express the dynamics of human behavior throughout the world. Folklore courses examine the historical, cultural, social, and psychological dimensions of such expressive forms as myth, speech, legend, music, dance, art, and architecture. Course content delves into cultures and makes cross-cultural comparisons. Theoretical analysis, research methods, and fieldwork techniques are integral parts of the program’s offerings in folklore.



  • Distribution Courses: Six distribution courses as outlined in the regular PhD program in the English Department

Individual Plan of Study:

  • Folklore 681, History and Theory of Folklore Research
  • Folklore 607, Folklore Fieldwork or Video Fieldwork Production
  • Three 500- or 600-level Folklore courses, or Folklore-related courses as approved by the Folklore advisor
  • Two courses in other departments in areas related to Folklore (e.g. Literature, Music, Anthropology, Art Administration, or Journalism) as approved by the Folklore advisor.

Complete and successfully defend a folklore-oriented dissertation with at least one of the folklore faculty on the committee.

After course work, students will proceed to the oral exam and the dissertation under the same guidelines as other English department graduate students.


Structured Emphasis in Folklore Reading List


STANDARD REFERENCES-GENERAL:  To help with orientation to the readings.

Bendix, Regina F., and Galit Hasan-Rokem. 2014.  A Companion to Folklore.  Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell.

Brown, Mary Ellen and Bruce Rosenberg, eds.  1998.  Encyclopedia of Folklore and Literature.  Santa Barbara, California, Denver, Colorado, and Oxford, England.

Brunvand, Jan, ed.  American Folkore:  An Encyclopedia.  New York:  Garland Publishing, 1996.

Green, Thomas, ed.  1997.  Folklore:  An Encyclopedia of Beliefs, Customs, Tales, Music, and Art.  2 Vols.  Santa Barbara, California, Denver, Colorado, and Oxford, England.

Locke, Liz, Theresa A Vaughan, and Pauline Greenhill, eds. 2009. Encyclopedia of Women’s Folklore and Folklife. Westport, CN: Greenwood Press.


STANDARD REFERENCES-VARIETIES OF NARRATIVE (ballad and folktale):  Have familiarity with these catalogues and collections:

Aarne, Annti.  The Types of the Folk‑tale: a Classification and Bibliography.  2d revision. [Verzeichnis der Märchentypen.]  (FF communications no.3), trans and enl. by Stith Thompson.  Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1961.

Child, Francis James. The English and Scottish Popular Ballads.  Boston and New York: Houghton, Mifflin, 1838-98.  With attention to:  “Lady Isabel and the Elf Knight” (4), “The Twa Sisters” (10), “Barbara Allen” (84), “James Harris, or the Daemon Lover (The House Carpenter)” (243).

Coffin, Tristram Potter.  The British Traditional Ballad in North America.  Rev. ed. with a supplement by Roger deV. Renwick.  Austin : University of Texas Press, 1977.

Grimm, Jacob and Wilhelm.  1812.   Kinder und Hausmärchen.   Any edition.  With attention to texts and Aarne-Thompson types for:  “AschenputtelCinderella”, “The Juniper (Almond) Tree”, “Snow White”,  “The Frog-King, or Iron Henry”, “Sleeping Beauty”, “The Singing Bone”, “The White Snake”.

Laws, Jr., G. Malcolm.   Native American Balladry: A Descriptive Study and a Bibliographical Syllabus.  Rev.ed.  Philadelphia:  American Folklore Society, 1964.  With attention to:  “The Jealous Lover” (F1) and “Frankie and Albert (Frankie and Johnny)” (I3).  American Ballads from British Broadsides: A Guide for Students and Collectors of Traditional Song.  Philadelphia:  American Folklore Society, 1957.  With attention to:  “The Banks of the Nile” (N9), “Jack Monroe” (N7), “The Wexford Girl” (P35)

Thompson, Stith.  Motif-Index of Folk-Literature.  Rev. ed.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1955-1958. 


STUDIES ON ASPECTS OF FOLKLORE:  Be able to discuss these works.

Origins and Forms:

Dundes, Alan ed.  Sacred Narratives: Readings in the Theory of Myth.  Berkeley and Los Angeles:  University of California Press, 1984.   Selections:  William Bascom, “The Forms of Folklore,” pp. 5-29; Bronislaw Malinowski, “The Role of Myth in Life,” pp. 193-206; Claude Levi-Strauss, “The Myth of Asdiwal,” pp. 295-314.  

Propp, Vladimir.  Morphology of the Folktale.  Trans. Laurence Scott.  Rev.ed.  Austin: University of Texas Press, 1968.  Selection:  pp. 3-118.  


Orality and Print Media:

Brunvand, Jan.  The Vanishing Hitchhiker:  American Urban Legends and their Meanings.  New York:  Norton, 1981.  Selection:  pp.2-148. 

Dugaw, Dianne.  Warrior Women and Popular Balladry.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1989; pbk, Chicago:  University of Chicago Press, 1996.  Selection:  pp.1-117.

Finnegan, Ruth H.  Oral Traditions and the Verbal Arts: A Guide to Research Practices.  New York: Routledge, 1992.

Stahl, Sandra.  Literary Folkloristics and the Personal Narrative. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.


Performance, Ritual, and Creativity:

Bakhtin, Mikhail M.  Rabelais and his World, trans. Hélène Iswolsky. Bloomington: Indiana University  Press, 1984.  Selections:  pp.1-144 and 196-277.

Jones, Michael Owen.  “Why Make (Folk) Art?” Western Folklore, 54 (1995): 253-76.

Lord, Albert Bates. The Singer of Tales. Second ed. Stephen Mitchell and Gregory Nagy, eds.   Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press, 2000.  Selections:  pp.vii-xxiv and 3-138.

Margry, Peter Jan, and Cristina Sánchez-Carretero, eds. 2011. Grassroots Memorials: The Politics of Memorializing Traumatic Death. New York: Berghahn. 

Turner, Victor.  The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure.  Chicago, Aldine Pub. Co., 1969.


Fieldwork and Collecting:

Glassie, Henry H.  Passing the Time in Ballymenone: Culture and History of an Ulster Community. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982. 

Hufford, David.  The Terror That Comes in the Night: An Experience-Centered Study of Supernatural Assault Traditions. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.

Jackson, Bruce.  Fieldwork.  Urbana:  University of Illinois Press, 1987.  Selection:  pp.1-104.

Lawless, Elaine J. 1992. "I was afraid someone like you. . . an outsider . . . would misunderstand": Negotiating Interpretive Differences between Ethnographers and Subjects. Journal of American Folklore 105: 302-314. 

Sherman, Sharon.  Documenting Ourselves: Film, Video, and Culture.  Lexington: University of  Kentucky Press, 1998.  Selection:  pp.257-75.

Toelken, J. Barre.  “The ‘Pretty Language’ of Yellowman: Genre, Mode, and Texture in Navaho Coyote Narrative.  Genre, 2 (1969): 211-235.

Toelken, J. Barre.  1998.  "The Yellowman Tapes, 1966-1997."  Journal of American Folklore 111  (442): 381-91. 


Presentation and Representation of Culture:

Baron, Robert, and Nicholas R. Spitzer, eds.  Public Folklore.  Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. 

Clifford, James, and George Marcus, eds.  Writing Culture: The Poetics and Politics of Ethnography.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986.  Selection:  James Clifford, “Introduction:  Partial  Truths,” pp.1-26.   

Evans-Pritchard, Deirdre.  “The Portal Case: Authenticity, Tourism, Traditions, and the Law,”  Journal of American Folklore, 100 (1987):287-296.

Geertz, Clifford.  The Interpretation of Culture.  New York, Basic Books, 1993.  Selections:  “Thick Description:  Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture”, pp.3-30 and “Deep Play:  Notes on the Balinese Cockfight,” pp.412-53.

Hafstein, Valdimar Tr.  2007.  Claiming Culture: Intangible Heritage Inc., Folklore©, Traditional Knowledge™, in Prädikat “Heritage”--Perspektiven auf Wertschöpfungen aus Kultur, ed.  Dorothee Hemme, Markus Tauschek and Regina Bendix, pp. 75-100.  Münster: Lit Verlag. 

Kirschenblatt-Gimblett, Barbara.  “A Parable in Context: A Social Interactional Analysis of Storytelling Performance.”   In Folklore, Performance, and Communication, ed. Dan Ben-Amos and Kenneth S. Goldstein.  The Hague: Mouton, 1975.

Wells, Patricia Atkinson. 2006. “Public Folklore in the Twenty-first Century: New Challenges for the Discipline.”  Journal of American Folklore 119 (471): 5-18.


History and Philosophical Issues:

Bendix, Regina. 1997. In Search of Authenticity: The Formation of Folklore Studies. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.

Bronner, Simon J.  American Folklore Studies: An Intellectual History.  Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 1986.

Dorson, Richard.  America in Legend: Folklore from the Colonial Period to the Present.  New York: Pantheon Books, 1973.

Feintuch,Burt, ed.  Common Ground: Keywords for the Study of Expressive Culture. Special Issue,  Journal of American Folklore, 108 (1995).

Georges, Robert A., and Michael O. Jones.  Folkloristics: An Introduction.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.

Mills, Margaret.  1993.  "Feminist Theory and the Study of Folklore: A Twenty-Year Trajectory Toward Theory."  Western Folklore 52:173-192.  

Radner, Joan, ed.  Feminist Messages:  Coding in Women’s Folk Culture.  Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1993. 


English Faculty in the Folklore field of focus.



Environmental studies of many kinds flourish at the University of Oregon. The Department of English supports a strong Literature and Environment emphasis within this university-wide interdisciplinary context. With eight faculty members actively engaged in various approaches to this vital new area, the department offers one of the two or three strongest programs in environmental literary study, or ecocriticism, in the United States. Students can range among rhetorical, ecofeminist, and cultural studies approaches to writing about the natural world; they can focus on colonial English, American, and postcolonial writings about natural history and landscape or on nature writing; and they can study environmental philosophy and critical theory; or literature of the American West, to mention only a few possibilities. Ph.D. students may choose the Structured Emphasis in Literature and Environment, a formal specialization that provides a coherent yet flexible structure to coursework, while M.A. students may focus on literature and environment more informally in consultation with an advisor.


Course Work and Exams

All regular Ph.D. program requirements apply.

The Structured Emphasis in Literature and Environment introduces students to the overall shape of this emerging field. The Emphasis includes a seminar in the evolving theoretical grounding of ecocriticism in classical and environmental philosophy, two other seminars in the English Department with a literature and environment focus, and one environmentally focused graduate course in another department. As a capstone, an independent study project allows the student to define interrelationships among these required courses as well as providing a preliminary outline for the Ph.D. Oral Examination.

While only one course at the graduate level in Literature and Environment is listed in the University of Oregon Catalog (English 569, Literature and Environment), many courses on special topics are offered each year, including a graduate seminar on ecocritical theory at least every other year. Because faculty and student interests are rapidly evolving with the growth of the field, course topics change from year to year, with four to six courses taught most years. Students in Literature and Environment also approach more traditional literary subjects from environmental perspectives as they fulfill other graduate course requirements.


Environmental Scholarship at the University

Scholars in many traditional fields and interdisciplinary institutes at the U of O are active in environmental scholarship. In addition to the departments of History, Philosophy, Landscape Architecture, Geography, Geology, Political Science, Sociology,Anthropology, Biology, and Psychology, faculty associated with the Institute for a Sustainable Environment, the Institute of Cognitive and Decision Science, and the School of Law regularly offer courses, as does the university’s Environmental Studies Program. The range of environmental study at the University of Oregon, and the English Department’s participation in it, are virtually visible on the Environmental Studies website.

Each Spring term, the Law School hosts an international conference on Environmental Justice, and a strong, independent Environmental Law Clinic is associated with the university. In 1999 the Center for the Study of Women and Society won a three-year Rockefeller Grant for “Ecological Conversations: Science, Gender, and the Sacred,” which brought visiting scholars, U of O faculty, and graduate students together for special seminars and colloquia. Other notable past and future events include an interdisciplinary conference, “Crossing Borders: The Challenge of Ecological Thinking,” which hosted such speakers as Carolyn Merchant, YiFu Tuan, Susan Griffin, and Ann Spirn; the Environmental Philosophy Association held its annual meeting here during 1999; and an international conference, “Taking Nature Seriously: Citizens, Science, and the Environment,” took place February 25-27, 2001. This conference brought together scientists, community activists, and science studies scholars to explore ways of moving beyond the barriers that have inhibited interaction among scholars in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and between academics and activists. Keynote speakers included Donna Haraway, Richard Lewontin, Andrew Pickering, and others.

In 2005, the University of Oregon English Department hosted the biennial international conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment.  Scholars, writers, and scientists from 15 countries were among the 650 participants.  Keynote speakers included Ursula K. LeGuin, Karl Kroeber, Gary Snyder, Ana Castillo, Robin Kimmerer, and Alan Weisman.

Community among graduate students is fostered by MesaVerde, a student-faculty interest group in the English Department, that includes colleagues from other fields as well. MesaVerde maintains a lively listserve, hosts regular meetings, and once or twice a term organizes a colloquium in which papers are presented. Recent colloquia have featured faculty and students from Biology, Geology, Environmental Studies, Law,and History, as well as from the English Department. Students and faculty are active in the Western Literature Association, the Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment, and the North American Interdisciplinary Conference on Environment and Community.


Fellowships and Awards

The Jane Campbell Krohn Fellowship provides tuition, a $10,000 stipend, and a $2,500 academic support fund for a first-year graduate student working in literature and environment. The Jane Campbell Krohn Essay Prize awards $300 to the best essay in the field by a second-year graduate student. The department’s Ecocritical Fund provides small sums of money for travel and research in this area.


Structured Emphasis in Literature and Environment Reading List

The Examination

Typically students take the exam as a breadth field.  The breadth reading list draws primarily on the below texts; individual student emphases are encouraged.

Primary Works

*The Epic of Gilgamesh.  (Nancy K Sanders, ed..  New York: Viking Penguin, 1960).

Shakespeare: King Lear and As You Like It.

Bartram, William.  Travels. (1791) [Read Intro, Part I, II, chapters 5, 6,7, and Part IV] New   York:   Penguin, 1988.  (The Penguin edition is out of print, but still generally available.  Alternate: A hardcover text with more information in the back: New York: Library of  America, 1996.)

*Darwin, Charles.  Origin of Species  [Read chapters 1-4 and 14];  Descent of Man  [Read chapters 1, 2, and 21].  (Norton Critical Edition, 3rd ed.  New York: Norton, 2001). 

Thoreau, Henry D. Walden (Walden and Resistance to Civil Government. Ed. William Rossi.  2nd ed. New York: Norton, 1992.)

Muir, John.  My First Summer in the Sierra (San Francisco:  Sierra Club, 1990).

Jewett, Sarah Orne.  The Country of the Pointed Firs and  “A White Heron” (The Country of the Pointed Firs and Other Stories (New York:  Norton, 1994).

Hardy, Thomas.  The Woodlanders (Ed. Dale Kramer.  New York:  Oxford UP, 2001).

Austin, Mary.  The Land of Little Rain (Albuquerque: U of New Mexico P, 1974).

Faulkner, William.  Go Down, Moses (New York: Vintage International, 1990).

Carson, Rachel.  Silent Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2002).

*Leopold, Aldo.  A Sand County Almanac: And Sketches Here and There.  (New York: Oxford UP, 1989).

Abbey, Edward.  Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness  (New York: Ballantine, 1985).


Twentieth-century American poetry:

Frost :  “Design,” “A Brook in the City,” “Ovenbird,” “Once by the Pacific,” “Nothing Gold Can Stay,” “Mending Wall”

Stevens:  “Snow Man,” “Anecdote of the Jar,” “Idea of Order at Key West”

Hughes:  “The Negro Speaks of Rivers” Jeffers:  “Carmel Point,” “Birds and Fishes,”  “Mulatto”

Bishop:  “The Fish,” “The Moose”

Ammons:  “Corson’s Inlet,” “Singing and Doubling Together”

Oliver:  “Landscape,” “Hawk,” “Wild Geese”

Harjo:  “Eagle Poem”

Merwin:  “For a Coming Extinction,” “Rain at Night”

Snyder:  “Piute Creek,” “Milton by Firelight,” “What Happened Here Before,” “For All”

Levertov:  “O Taste and See,” “Come into Animal Presence”

Rogers:  “The Hummingbird: A Seduction”

Olds:  “The Underlife”

Lopez, Barry.  Arctic Dreams: Imagination and Desire in a Northern Landscape.  (New York:  Vintage, 2001).

Robinson, Marilynne.  Housekeeping (New York:  Farrar Straus Giroux, 1997).

Williams, Terry Tempest.  Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place.  (New York: Vintage, 1992).

Silko, Leslie Marmon.  Almanac of the Dead. (New York:  Penguin, 1992).

* In order to have a complete and accurate understanding of this work, it is critical that you consult the specific publication and edition listed.  Editions listed above for works without an asterisk are recommended only.



Buell, Lawrence.  The Future of Environmental Criticism: Environmental Crisis and the Literary Imagination (Blackwell, 2005).

Garrard, Greg.  Ecocriticism (Routledge, 2004).


Gender and Ecofeminism

Plumwood, Val. “Nature, Self, and Gender: Feminism, Environmental Philosophy, and the Critique of Rationalism” in Karen Warren, ed. Ecological Feminist Philosophies.

Bloomington: Indiana U Press, 1996. 155-180.


Philosophical Perspectives (2 essays & a book OR 4 essays):

Kant, Immanuel.  “Analytic of the Sublime.”  The Critique of Judgment. (1790)  Ed. Paul Guyer.  Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000.

Heidegger, Martin.  “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” “The Thing.”  Poetry, Language,  Thought.  Trans. Albert Hofstader.  New York:  Harper, 1975.

Heidegger, Martin.  “The Question Concerning Technology.”  The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.  Trans. William Lovitt.  New York:  Harper, 1982.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice.  Phenomenology of Perception.  Trans. Colin Smith.  London: Routledge, 1981.  [Read 3-12, 67-89, mid 142-147, 174-199, 203-217]. 

Kristeva.  “The Semiotic and the Symbolic.”  The Kristeva Reader.  Ed. Toril Moi. Trans. Margaret Waller.  New York:  Columbia UP, 1986.

Soja, Edward W.  “History: Geography: Modernity.”  Postmodern Geographies: The Reassertion of Space in Critical Social Theory.  New York: Verso, 1989.


Wilderness and Its Discontents:

Cronon, William.  “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature.”  Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature.  New York: Norton, 1996.

Nash, Roderick.  Wilderness and the American Mind.  4th ed.  New Haven: Yale UP, 2001.

Plumwood, Val.  “Wilderness Skepticism and Wilderness Dualism” in The Great  Wilderness Debate.  Ed. J. Baird Callicott and Michael P. Nelson.  Athens: U Georgia P, 1998.  652-90.

Snyder, Gary.  “Ettiquette of Freedom” in The Practice of the Wild.  New York: North Point P, 1990.


GlobalizationPost-Colonial Perspectives

Bhabha, Homi K.  “DissemiNation.”  The Location of Culture.  New York:  Routledge, 1994.

Jameson, Frederic. “Notes on Globalization as a Philosophical Issue.”  The Cultures of Globalization.  Ed. Frederic Jameson & Masao Miyoshi.  Durham: Duke UP, 1998.

Sayre, Gordon.  “The Beaver as Native and as Colonist.”  Les Sauvages Americains. Chapel Hill: U of North Carolina P, 1997.


The Heritage of the Pastoral

Williams, Raymond.  The Country and the City.  [Read chapters 1-3, 23-25]  New York: Oxford UP, 1975, OR

Marx, Leo.  The Machine in the Garden:  Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America.   [Read Chapters 1,2,5,6]  New York:  Oxford UP, 2000. 


The Animal

Wolfe, Cary, ed.  Zoonotologies: The Question of the Animal. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2003.


Food and Agriculture

Berry, Wendell.  The Unsettling of America, Culture and Agriculture (Sierra Club, 1977), chapters 1 and 4; and “The Pleasures of Eating” in What Are People For? (North  Point, 1990).

Pollan, Michael.  The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.  New York: Random House, 2001.  Chapters 1 and 3.

Shiva, Vandana.  Tomorrow’s Biodiversity (Thames and Hudson, 2000).


Environmental Justice

Buell, Lawrence.  Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the US and Beyond  Harvard U P, 2001.  Chapters 1 and 2. 

Harvey, David.  “What’s Green and Makes the Environment Go Round.” The Cultures of Globalization.  Ed. Frederic Jameson and Masao Miyoshi.  Durham: Duke UP, 1998. 327-55.

Ortiz, Simon J.  “Our Homeland, a National Sacrifice Area.”  Woven Stone.  Tucson: U of Arizona P, 1992.

Solnit, Rebecca.  Savage Dreams:  A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West.  Berkeley:  U of California P, 1999.


Science Studies Connections

Haraway, Donna Jeanne.  “Teddy Bear Patriarchy” in Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science.  New York: Routledge, 1989.

OR  “Situated Knowledges” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: the Reinvention of Nature.  New York: Routledge, 1991.

OR  Latour, Bruno. We Have Never Been Modern.  Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1993.



English faculty in the Literature and the Environment field of focus.



Medieval studies are thriving at the University of Oregon, and students have the opportunity to do work in a variety of fields under some of the best faculty in the nation. Ph.D. students in English may choose the Structured Emphasis in Medieval Studies, a specialization that provides a flexible program and a breadth of study. M.A. students may also choose to specialize in the medieval period. The department is strong in both Old and Middle English, and in cultural and gender studies; medievalists can also make use of the strong university program and holdings in folklore.

The Structured Emphasis offers a well-rounded course of study designed to provide breadth of understanding of the medieval world and medieval culture, as well as depth of knowledge in a student’s chosen field. In addition to courses in Old and Middle English, students will choose a course of study that may involve medieval history, art history,religious studies, or other medieval vernacular languages. Students will also gain proficiency in Latin, and may choose to work toward the Toronto M.A. or Ph.D. Latin certificate. Study in Europe may be also arranged.


Course Work and Exams

The Structured Emphasis consists of a Medieval Proseminar (an introduction to resources, the discipline and the profession), nine quarter-long courses in Old and Middle English, or other medieval courses as approved; a minor in medieval Latin or a term of advanced Classical Latin; another seminar in a medieval language or a neighboring discipline such as history, art history, paleography, etc.; fulfillment of the department’s breadth requirements (five seminars in specified categories); and elective seminars, if needed, to bring the total number to eighteen. Other standard English department requirements for the Ph.D.,.such as the foreign language requirement, also apply. Latin and medieval languages (Old English, Old French, etc.) qualify in filling the language requirements. Introductory Latin courses are available, and a student need have no Latin upon beginning the degree. Another feature of the Medieval Structured Emphasis is that students may concentrate in medieval studies in the Qualifying Exam, narrowing their field of focus at that juncture.

The qualifying examination reading list for the Medieval Studies structured emphasis can be viewed below.


Funding, Support and Awards

The University of Oregon is not wealthy, but we put both resources and effort into finding appropriate funding for our students. Students who have taught undergraduates before or who complete the teacher-training sequence are eligible for Graduate Teaching Fellowships, which come with a tuition waiver and a stipend. Others are eligible for Teaching Assistantships or for work as graders and readers for undergraduate courses.

Both the Department of English and the university sponsor prizes for academic excellence, with cash awards, and medieval students have won a disproportionate number of those awards in recent years. The quality of our students and of their training has also led to a number of awards from external sources, such as the Fulbright. The Office of Research and Sponsored Programs helps students and faculty identify likely sources of funding and reviews and supplies suggestions on applications. The university also offers courses in grant-writing for graduate students.


Libraries and Resources

Library holdings at the university number over 2,300,000 volumes,with a total of over seven million available through the Orbis program, a consortium of fifteen Northwest colleges and universities that share library resources. The university collection includes electronic resources such as Cetedoc (medieval religious texts in a searchable database) and the International Medieval Bibliography CD-ROM. The Rare Books collection also has a small collection of medieval manuscripts, which are available for student study. The medieval community has an additional resource in Mount Angel Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in St. Benedict, Oregon, a little over an hour north of Eugene. The Mount Angel library is strong in medieval holdings (available via interlibrary loan as well as by personal visit), and in addition has a significant collection of medieval manuscripts and early printed books.


Scholarly Life at the University

Scholars at the university are active in the field; conferences are held at the university regularly, and the journal Comparative Literatureand the Medieval Feminist Forum (formerly the Medieval Feminist Newsletter ) come out of the university. Oregon also has a rich program of visiting scholars. Recent visiting speakers include Seth Lerer (Stanford), Carolyn Dinshaw (Berkeley), Karma Lochrie (Indiana University), Gillian Overing (Wake Forest), Sarah Beckwith (Duke), David Benson (University of Connecticut), Simon Gaunt (King’s College, London), Susan Crane (Rutgers) and James Simpson (Cambridge).

Community among medieval students is fostered by OMELS (the Oregon Medieval English Literature Society), a group run by graduate students that meets in the Booth Lounge of the English Department several times per quarter for literary discussion and wine.

Members keep in touch via an online mailing list. For the past few years OMELS has also sponsored a session at the International Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo.


Courses and Seminars

Medieval Courses and Seminars recently offered in the English department:

Medieval Proseminar: Introduction to Research, the Discipline and the Profession
Old English I: Introduction to Old English
Old English II: Old English Poetry
Old English II: Old English Prose (offered alternate years)
Old English III: Beowulf
Old English Ill: Christ II (offered alternate years)
Chaucerian Narrative and Modern Narratology
Contemporary Debates in Medieval Studies
The Body in History: Embodied Cultures and Cultured Bodies
Medieval Cultures: Literature of Conversion
The End of the World: Literature and Apocalypticism from the Bible to the Middle Ages
The Pearl Poet
Medieval Literature: Vision and Form
Medieval Welsh Literary Traditions


Structured Emphasis in Medieval Studies Reading List

Anglo-Saxon period

Christ I and III


The Lives of Oswald, Edmund, and Aethelthryth

 Sermo Lupi ad Anglos

“The Wife’s Lament,” “The Husband’s Message,” “Wulf and Eadwacer”

The Finnsburgh Fragment

Genesis B

“The Battle of Maldon”

Bede: Historia Ecclesiastica

Asser: Life of Alfred

The Benedictine Rule

Waldere and the Waltharius

“Deor,” “Caedmon’s Hymn,” “The Battle of Brunanburh”

Boethius: The Consolation of Philosophy

The Elder Edda

Grettis Saga


Middle English

Pearl OR Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (whichever was not read on the standard list)

Two of the following: “Cleanness,” “Patience,” St. Erkenwald

Two of the following: The Book of the Duchess, The Parliament of Fowls, The House of  Fame

Canterbury Tales: “Pardoner’s,” “Merchant’s,” “Clerk’s,” “Tale of Melibee”

Troilus and Criseyde

The Stanzaic Morte or the Alliterative Morte

Piers Plowman, B-text

Henryson: The Testament of Cresseid and the fable that corresponds to the “Nun’s Priest’s Tale”

The York Crucifixion Play

15 Middle English lyrics

Sir Orfeo

Dante, The Divine Comedy (Inferno and Paradise only)

Chrétien de Troyes, selections


David Wallace, Medieval English Literature

Angelo di Bernardino, Patrology (vol. 4), trans. Placid Solari

L.D. Reynolds, Texts and Transmission

E.R. Curtius, European Literature and the Latin Middle Ages

A.G. Rigg, A History of Anglo-Latin Literature, 1066-1422 OR Michael Lapidge, Anglo-Latin Literature, 600-899 AND Anglo-Latin Literature, 900-1066



English faculty in the Medieval Literary Studies field of focus.



The structured emphasis in Poetry and Poetics offers a theoretically diverse and historically broad study of poetry and poetic theory, which provides students with a rigorous training in the formal, rhetorical, and historical understanding of poetry.  The participating faculty is comprised of an open roster of scholars who embrace a wide range of critical approaches and whose research and teaching interests extend from Early Modern to postmodern poetry in a variety of British, North American, and post-colonial Anglophone traditions.  This structured emphasis will prepare students to write a dissertation on the topic and in the period of their choosing.  It will also train students in the teaching of poetry; and those graduate students pursuing this concentration will be encouraged to teach the department’s introductory course in poetry when scheduling and resources make it possible.  Finally, a structured emphasis in poetry and poetics provides students a faculty alike with an advanced forum for the collective consideration of the problems and possibilities of poetry.



Distribution courses:   Six distribution courses as outlined in the regular PhD program in the English Department.

Six additional courses, preferably at the 600-level, chosen in consultation with a Poetry & Poetics advisor.

Individual plan of study:

  • ENG 608:   Poetics Colloquium
  • Three courses devoted to poetry or poetics, preferably at the 600 level.
  • Two courses devoted to poetry or poetics, preferably at the 600 level, in departments other than English.


Poetry and Poetics Examination:  The Close Reading

During the final term of course work and following the submission of the oral examination reading list, the student will perform a close reading of a poem before the assembled participating faculty. On the morning of the exam, the student will be given three poems; he or she will choose one poem and will have six hours to prepare.  This oral presentation, which will include a recitation of the poem, is designed to reflect the student’s understanding of the relevant portions of the reading list in poetry and poetics as well as his or her interpretation of the poem in question.  The close reading, which will include questions from the assembled faculty following the presentation by the student, will last two hours.  The assembled participating faculty will determine whether the student has passed or failed the examination.  In the event of a failed exam, the student will have one opportunity to retake the exam later in the term.  After the completion of course work and the close reading, students will proceed to the oral exam and the dissertation under the same guidelines as other graduate students. Students will complete and successfully defend a dissertation which devotes significant attention to poetry and/or poetic theory with at least one of the participating faculty serving on the committee.



Structured Emphasis in Poetry and Poetics Reading List

(Revised August 2012)

Students will be expected to own a copy of the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics


Adorno, “Lyric Poetry and Society”

Agamben, “Word and Phantasm

Allen & Tallman, The Poetics of the New American Poetry (selections, which should include Olson, O’Hara, Levertov)

Aristotle, Poetics

Brooks, The Well-Wrought Urn

Burke, Counter-Statement

Cameron, Lyric Time

Cave, The Cornucopian Text, Part I

Coleridge, “Biographia Literaria” Chapters 12, 13, 14

Cunningham, “How Shall the Poem be Written?”

Dante, La Vita Nuova, De Vulgari Eloquentia (trans. Steven Botterill), “Letter to Con Grande”de Man, “Anthropomorphism and Trope in the Lyric,” “The Rhetoric of Temporality”

Derrida, “The White Mythology”

Eliot, “Metaphysical Poets,” “Tradition and the Individual Talent”

Empson, Seven Types of Ambiguity

Fineman, “Introduction,” Shakespeare’s Perjured Eye

Fish, Stanley, “How to Recognize a Poem When You See One”

Freccero, “The Fig Tree and the Laurel”

Frost, “The Figure a Poem Makes,” “Education by Poetry”

Greene, The Light in Troy: Imitation and Discovery in Renaissance Poetry

Heidegger, “Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry”

Horace, “The Art of Poetry”

Hulme, “Romanticism and Classicism”

Jakobson, “Two Types of Language and Two Types of Aphasic Disturbances”

Johnson, Prefaces to first and second editions of American Book of Negro Poetry

S. Johnson, Preface to Shakespeare

Kristeva, Revolution in Poetic Language

Levinas, “Reality and its Shadow”

Loy, “Modern Poetry”

Longinus, On the Sublime

Lowell, A., “Poetry as Spoken Art”

Owen, “Unpublished Preface”

Pigman, “Versions of Imitation in the Renaissance”

Plato, Ion, Republic (excerpts in Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato)

Pope, “An Essay in Criticism”

PoundFenollosa, The Chinese Written Character as a Medium for Poetry

PoundFlint, “A Few Don’t by an Imagiste” & “Imagisme”

Puttenham, The Arte of English Poesie

Rich, “Blood, Bread, and Poetry”

Shelley, A Defense of Poetry

Sidney, A Defense of Poesie

Spitzer, “Speech and Language in Inferno XIII,” Representative Essays, ed. Alban Forcione, Herbert Lindenberger, Madeline Sutherland

Stein, “Poetry and Grammar”

Stevens, “The Noble Rider and the Sound of Words”

Trimpi, Muses of One Mind

Tsvetaeva, “Poetics with History and Poets without History”

Vance, “Mervelous Signals: Sign Theory, and the Politics of Metaphor in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde,” Mervelous Signals: Poetics and Sign Theory in the Middle Ages

Wimsatt and Beardsley, “Intentional Fallacy,” “Affective Fallacy”

Winters, “The Audible Reading of Poetry”; Foreword to In Defense of Reason

Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1805)

Yeats, “The Symbolism of Poetry”

Zumthor, “Introduction,” Toward a Medieval Poetics



English faculty in the Poetry and Poetics field of focus.



The field of rhetoric and composition thrives at the University of Oregon. Rhetoric provides historically rich and theoretically diverse resources for the study of discourse over a wide range of issues, from the question of how to teach writing to controversies about philosophical and scientific reasoning. The Structured Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition offers training in the history of rhetoric, in rhetorical theory, and in rhetorical criticism. At the dissertation level, students choose from a wide range of options, including composition theory and practice, community literacy, the philosophy of rhetoric, historical periods, ecological rhetoric, and the rhetorical criticism of literature. A comprehensive training program in the teaching of composition focuses strongly on written reasoning and on argument as inquiry. Graduate students in the field have opportunities to teach a broad spectrum of classes.


Course Work and Exams

All regular PhD program requirements apply.

Students completing the Structured Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition must meet the following requirements (all course work to be completed with a minimum grade of A-):

In the first two years of study, complete, for graded credit:English 513: Theories of Literacy
English 592: History of Rhetoric and Composition
English 593: Modern Rhetorical Criticism
In the first and second years of study, complete:English 611: Composition Graduate Teaching Fellow Seminar I
English 612: Composition Graduate Teaching Fellow Seminar II
English 613: Graduate Teaching Fellow Composition Apprenticeship

They must satisfactorily teach Writing 121: College Composition I and either Writing 122: College Composition II or Writing 123: College Composition III.

Complete one term of English 605: Independent Reading and Conference in a designated internship under faculty supervision. (Internships may be coordinated through the Center for the Teaching of Writing, the Community Literacy Project, the Composition Program, the Oregon Writing Project, or other areas designated by the rhetoric faculty, with the projects to be agreed on by the student and one rhetoric faculty member serving as an internship supervisor.)

Complete one area of the Qualifying Examination in the field of rhetoric and composition, based on a reading list prepared by rhetoric faculty (see list below).

Participate in a colloquium on professional development in rhetoric and composition in the Spring term of the dissertation year, together with the rhetoric faculty and others in the field.

Complete and successfully defend a dissertation in the discipline of rhetoric and composition with at least two of the rhetoric faculty on the committee.


Rhetoric and Composition Programs at the University

Graduate students have numerous opportunities to teach a broad spectrum of courses and participate in a number of program and projects. The Composition Program offers writing courses taught by graduate students, and it employs graduate students as assistant directors of composition. The program has also employed graduate students to conduct research on the program, on the teaching of writing, to administer conferences, and to work with other departments and schools in the teaching of writing. In addition, the program directs the comprehensive training program required of all teachers of writing at Oregon. The Center for the Teaching of Writing is dedicated to training teachers of writing, especially in connection with changing writing technologies. It is also the site of Oregon’s efforts to cultivate more writing instruction and practice in the disciplines. The Center offers graduate students several ways to participate in its projects, including in some cases employment.

Composition Program publications offer opportunities to gain editorial experience and to help shape our world here at Oregon:Harvest , an annual collection of undergraduate student essays chosen from writing completedfor our College Composition courses, and Componere, an annual publication for teachers of Composition at Oregon. The Center for the Teaching of Writing also produces publications such as On Reading, Reading On, a guide to critical reading and thinking distributed to all Oregon High Schools, and more academic monographs, including “The Five Steps to Rhetorical Heaven,” a keynote address delivered by Wayne Booth at an Oregon state conference, and “Ethics and Argumentation,” by James Crosswhite. The Community Literacy Project combines course work in “Theories of Literacy” and/or “Youth Literature” with internships in community nonprofit agencies and schools.


Courses and Seminars

Recent and currently scheduled topics include:

Kenneth Burke
Nineteenth-Century Rhetoric
Women and the Essay
Theories of Literacy
The Rhetoric of Science
Figures of Speech
The Rhetoric of Poetry
Literary Theory and Pedagogy
History of Rhetoric and Composition
Modern Rhetorical Criticism
Composition Theory


Structured Emphasis in Rhetoric and Composition Reading List

Plato, Gorgias, Phaedrus, Protagoras

Aristotle, Rhetoric, Topics

Demetrius, On Style

Rhetorica ad Herennium

Cicero, de Oratore, de Inventione

Quintilian, Institutio Oratoria

Longinus, On the Sublime

Augustine, De Doctrina Christiana

Vinsauf, Poetria Nova

Alcuin, Disputatio de rhetorica...

Bede, De Topicis Differentia

Margery Kempe, The Booke of Margery Kempe

Erasmus, “On Copia of Words and Ideas”

Christine de Pisan, The City of Ladies

Puttenham, Arte of English Poesie

Wilson, The Arte of Rhetorique

Ramus, Brutinae Quaestiones

Vico, Institutiones Oratoriae

Hobbes, Briefe of the Arte of Rhetorique

Bernard Lamy, De l’arte de parle

Mary Wollstonecraft, Vindication of the Rights of Women

Hugh Blair, Lectures on Rhetoric and Belles Lettres

George Campbell, Philosophy of Rhetoric

Edward Channing, Lectures to the Seniors at Harvard

Sojourner Truth, selected speeches

Kenneth Burke, Rhetoric of Motives, Grammar of Motives

Chiam Perelman and L. Olbrechts-Tyteca, The New Rhetoric

Wayne C. Booth, Rhetoric of Fiction, Modern Dogma and the Rhetoric of Assent

Julia Kristeva, “The System and the Speaking Subject”

Adrienne Rich, selected essays

James Crosswhite, Rhetoric of Argumentation

Andrea Lundsford, et al, eds., Reclaiming Rhetorica

Karlyn Kohrs Campbell, Man Cannot Speak for Her



English faculty in the Rhetoric and Composition field of focus.