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Meet our 2021 Honors Students and Annual Writing Competition Winners!

We’re thrilled to announce the outcomes of the 2020-2021 English Department Annual Writing Competition, as well as the students who received departmental Honors and the winners of the Best Thesis Award and Best Seniors/ Juniors.  Please join us in celebrating our students’ work and sending them congratulations.

We encourage you to visit the Honors and Prize Winners' website to learn about our Honors students' projects and see excerpts from prize winners' works.

Reginald Gibbons has been selected as the tenth recipient of the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame's Fuller Award, was conferred in October of 2021 for his lifetime achievements as an author, scholar, teacher, and institution builder.  
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Recent doctoral recipient Bonnie Etherington was selected as the winner of the 2021 Tracey Banivanua Mar PhD Prize by the Australian Association for Pacific Studies.  Bonnie’s dissertation, “One Salt Water: Writing the Pacific Ocean in Contemporary Indigenous Protest Literatures,” was completed in 2020.

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Ivy Wilson and Laura Brueck (Department of Asian Languages and Cultures) have received a large grant from the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs to support a two-year initiative on “Race, Caste, and Colorism,” which will look comparatively at India, the Caribbean, and the US and engage faculty from several units. This grant continues Ivy’s long-term work catalyzing new research collaborations across units in ethnic studies and the humanities, a role that also defines his current work as Director of the Black Arts Consortium. 

Evan Mwangi has been named the new Melville J. Herskovits Professor of African Studies. This chair recognizes Evan’s international reputation as one of the leading scholars of Anglophone African literature. Details on his investiture will be released at a later date, when we can gather in person to honor his accomplishments.  

Natasha Trethewey

Natasha Trethewey was announced as one of the winners of The Cleveland Foundation’s  86th annual Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards for her book, Memorial Drive.  The awards recognize books that have made important contributions to the understanding of racism and human diversity.  Cleveland poet and philanthropist Edith Anisfield Wolf established the book awards in 1935, in honor of her father, John Anisfield, and husband, Eugene Wolf, to reflect her family’s passion for social justice.

Our Programs





Litowitz MFA+MA in English and Creative Writing

This program offers intimate classes, the opportunity to pursue both creative and critical writing, and close mentorship by renowned faculty in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction. Our three-year curriculum gives students time to deepen both their creative writing and their study of literature. Students complete two degrees concurrently --an MFA in Creative Writing and an MA in English.

Apply to the MFA+MA Program

MA in English Literature

Designed to be completed in one year and flexible in its requirements, our Master's in Literature allows students considerable freedom in choosing courses in English and in related disciplines. Most are planning to move on to Doctoral study elsewhere, improve their credentials as teachers in secondary schools and community colleges, or to take their experience into the business and publishing sectors.

Apply to the Master's Program

PhD in English Literature

Our PhD program offers advanced study and research in literary history, criticism, and theory, with excellent opportunities for study between both disciplines and departments. Courses within the department cover major genres, periods, authors, and a broad range of methodological and theoretical approaches. Significant support in professional development and on the job market are cornerstones of the program.

Apply to the Doctoral Program

News and Upcoming Events


Featured Department Events



Medieval Colloquium: Karl Steel

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Evanston

Join the Medieval Colloquim for a talk by Karl Steel (Department of English, Brooklyn College and CUNY Graduate Center), author of How ...

Medieval Colloquium: Carol Symes

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM, Evanston

Join the Medieval Colloquim for a talk by Carol Symes (Department of History, Theatre, and Classics, University of Illinois at Urbana-C...

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Biss and Trethewey both represented in Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2020
Trethewey, Biss, Webster, and Dybek named to NewCity's 2020 Lit 50
Two essays by Lauren Jackson published in The New Yorker

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