Department of English, College of LAS, University of Illinois


American Literary Studies

At the University of Illinois, a vibrant group of contemporary scholars and teachers of American literature builds on a distinguished tradition of American literary studies. We are committed to teaching the whole range of the American literary experience.

Scholars at Illinois have played leading roles in the expansion of the American literary canon and have a history of innovative work across the breadth of American literature. Our faculty are actively engaged in African American, Latina/o, Asian American, American Indian, and Jewish American literary studies. We also have a strong tradition of feminist scholarship and teaching, and many of our faculty work with the Gender and Women’s Studies Program and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory as well as the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities. We practice and welcome many interests and approaches, including feminism and queer studies, historicism and formalism, print culture, science studies, race and indigenous studies, and studies in film and visual culture. Along with the focus on fiction typical of many departments, we also have strong traditions of scholarship and teaching in poetry and in cultural studies.

The University of Illinois has one of the great libraries of the world, with vast print and electronic resources for American literary scholarship. Each year, Illinois’ creative writing program brings a stream of contemporary writers to campus. And our department houses the distinguished journal American Literary History, published by Oxford University Press, making Illinois a central location for the international study of American literature as well as providing valuable editorial experience for our graduate students.

This page was last modified 9/14/2012.