Graduate Program Handbook

The Department of English Graduate Handbook is an essential guide to the Department’s graduate program. The handbook is the primary source of information regarding departmental policy and procedures related to the program. It is expected that all students will familiarize themselves with the handbook and take an active role in planning their graduate education. The handbook specifies the standards to which you will be held during your academic program.

Table of Contents

1. The English Faculty

2. Graduate Study in English at UCSB

3. The M.A./Ph.D. Program

3.1. Course Requirements
3.2 Distribution Requirement
3.3 Normal Progress for the M.A./Ph.D. Program
3.4 Incomplete Courses
3.5 Normative Time
3.6 Ph.D. Classification

4. The Ph.D. Program

4.1. Course Requirements
4.2 Distribution Requirement
4.3 Normal Progress for the Ph.D. Program
4.4. Incomplete Courses
4.5 Normative Time
4.6 Ph.D. Classification

5. Independent Studies, Colloquia, Special Courses

5.1 English 297—Graduate Tutorial with Required Attendance at an Undergraduate Course
5.2 English 500—Directed Teaching
5.3 English 591—Doctoral Colloquium
5.3.1 English 592—LCM Colloquium
5.3.2 English 593—Graduate Technology Colloquium
5.3.3 English 594—ACGCC Colloquium
5.3.4 English 595—EMC Colloquium
5.4 English 596—Directed Reading and Research
5.5 English 597—Individual Study for Examination
5.6 English 599—Dissertation Research and Preparation

6. Coursework in Other Departments

7. Foreign Language Requirement

7.1 Method 1: Translation Examination
7.1.1 Preparing of the Language Exam
7.2 Method 2: Coursework

8. The First Qualifying Examination

8.1 Concept of the Exam
8.2 Scheduling of the Exam
8.3 Format of the Exam
8.4 Preparing for the Exam
8.5 Evaluation of the Exam
8.6 Invitation to Continue to the Ph.D.

9. The Second Qualifying Examination

9.1 Examination, Prospectus, Reading List, and Chapter Conference
9.2 Steps Leading Up to the Exam

10. Advancement to Candidacy

10.1 Doctoral Candidacy Fee Offset (DCFO)

11. The Dissertation

11.1 Filing the Dissertation

12. Registration

12.1 Schedule Adjustment

13. Leaves of Absence

14. Deadlines

15. The Job Search and Job Placement Committee

15.1 Counseling and Career Services

16. Financial Support

16.1 Out of State Tuition
16.2 Departmental Fellowships
16.3 UCSB Fellowships for Continuing Students
16.4 Other UCSB Fellowships
16.5 Tutorships
16.6.1 Teaching Assistantship Duties and Workload
16.6.2 Terms of Employment and Length of Service
16.6.3 Selection of Teaching Assistantships
16.6.4 Teaching Assistantships in Other Departments
16.7 Summer Associateships
16.8 Employment on Faculty Grants

17. Administration of the Graduate Program

17.1 The Graduate Council
17.2 The Graduate Division
17.3 The Graduate Advisor
17.4 The Graduate Committee
17.5 Individual Faculty Advisers
17.6 Problems and Dispute Resolution

18. Departmental Staff

19. Reading Lists for the First Qualifying Examination

Section 1. English Faculty

Please visit the English Department Faculty Directory for the most up-to-date information:

Section 2. Graduate Study in English at UCSB

The Department of English offers two closely related graduate programs: an MA/PhD program for students who have completed the BA and a PhD program for those who come to UCSB with a MA in English. Both programs include extensive coursework in literature, a language examination, two qualifying examinations, and a doctoral dissertation.  Both the MA/PhD and the PhD are designed as five-year programs.  Fellowship support is available for particularly strong candidates in their first and/or last years of graduate study.  Additional support comes from teaching assistantships.  Most students become teaching assistants, whether as section leaders in advanced literature courses or as instructors in the Writing Program, by their third year in the program, if not earlier.

Students entering either the MA/PhD or the PhD program should be aware that they are undertaking not only to deepen their enjoyment and understanding of literary texts, modes, and movements but also to explore their potential as interpreters, scholars, and, in most cases, teachers of literature and language.  They are embarking on a systematic course of study designed to ensure an understanding of literary history in both its canonical and non-canonical aspects and to make them fully participating members of a community of scholars and critics.

Section 3. The MA/PhD Program


3.1.      Course Requirements

The MA/PhD program requires 48 units of graduate coursework (12 courses at 4 units per course), all of which must be taken for a letter grade. 36 units, including 20 chosen to fulfill the distribution requirement, must be completed in the student’s first two years before taking the first qualifying exam, which also serves as the Master’s examination for students in this program. The remaining 12 units must be completed before submission of the dissertation prospectus. It is university policy that graduate students enroll for at least 12 units per quarter. Since students in the MA/PhD program normally take only two courses per quarter to fulfill program requirements, additional units of Engl. 597, or 599, which require no formal work, must be added to bring units to 12 (see Sections 5.5 and 5.6). Students should enroll in Engl. 597 until they have passed the second qualifying exam. Once advanced to candidacy, students should enroll in Engl. 599. Students are, of course, welcome and encouraged to take more than the required twelve courses, whether for a letter grade or pass/no pass.


3.2.      Distribution Requirement

Students in the MA/PhD program are required to take one course in each of Areas I through V in their first two years (courses must be taken for a letter grade and may be chosen from either of the fields in each Area). 




1.  Medieval Literature
2.  Renaissance Literature


3.  Restoration and Eighteenth-Century
4.  Romantic and Victorian Literature


5.  American Literature to 1865
6.  American Literature from 1865


7.  Twentieth-Century Anglophone
8.  American Race and Ethnic Studies


9.  General Theory
10. Theories of Genders and Sexualities
11. Literature and Theory of
12. Theories of Literature and the Environment
13. Literature and the Mind



3.3.      Normal Progress for the MA/PhD Program

The MA/PhD normally takes five years. Students in this program must take the first qualifying examination no later than their sixth quarter of residence and the second qualifying examination no later than their tenth quarter. University policy mandates that all graduate students advance to candidacy by the close of their fourth year (see Section 3.5 for more information). However, normal progress in the English program requires advancement at the beginning of the fourth year. In addition, students must satisfy the foreign language requirement as set forth in Section 7. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they continue making normal progress in the program – i.e., to complete courses, satisfy language requirements, and pass the first and second qualifying exams in timely fashion. Students should realize that satisfactory progress toward the degree is usually a precondition of assignment to teaching assistantships. The following scheme shows how the requirements of the MA/PhD Program might be arranged in the five-year schedule: 







2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam


2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam

1 Graduate Seminar

First Qualifying (MA) Exam


1 Graduate Seminar
Doctoral Colloquium


1 Graduate Seminar Doctoral Colloquium

1 Graduate Seminar Doctoral Colloquium

Submit Dissertation


Second Qualifying Exam

Dissertation Begun

Dissertation Work


Dissertation Work

Dissertation Work

Dissertation Filed


3.4.      Incomplete Courses

Filing for an incomplete requires the signature of the course instructor on an Incomplete Petition, the return of the petition to the Registrar, and the deposit of a copy of the form with the Staff Graduate Advisor. Students can carry no more than eight units of “Incomplete” courses at a time. In keeping with the policy of Graduate Division to block further TA assignments when this number is exceeded, students carrying more than eight units of incompletes will lose their TAship until the quarter after they catch up. For reasons of fairness, students with more than eight units of incompletes who are on fellowship rather than TAship should expect to lose a commensurate amount of TAship in the future. In addition, Incompletes taken prior to the first qualifying exam must be completed by the end of the quarter following passing the first qualifying examination. Failure to meet this condition will incur the same loss of TA assignment noted above. Beyond these absolute rules governing incompletes, it should be pointed out that students who technically stay within the bounds of the eight-unit-incomplete rule but let their incompletes lag on more than a year or who regularly carry the maximum number of incompletes will in times of funding exigency – as an unavoidable circumstance of practice rather than of policy – have a lower priority for uninterrupted TAship support than students making normal progress (see statement on “normal progress in the program” in Section 3.3 above). Students in such straits may thus want to avail themselves of the strategy of asking their instructor to change the grade-status of an incomplete course from letter-grade to “S/U” (assuming that work performed in the course prior to the final paper was “satisfactory”). The advantage of such a strategy is that courses could be “completed” based on work already done; the disadvantage is that such courses would not count for credit toward the degree (see Section 3.1). In addition, of course, students with legitimate academic, personal, or medical reasons may petition the Graduate Committee for an exception to the rules.

Note: in general, the program has two reasons for linking incompletes to funding – neither of which is punitive. First, the program’s primary responsibility is to students as students rather than as teaching assistants; where it is evident that a student is unable to complete a significant number of courses, the program is compelled to relieve the student of extra teaching work until coursework is back on track. Second, while the program tries to make its funding go as far as possible to as many students as possible, in a scarce-resources universe there must be some criteria for prioritizing funding; and the most ethical and rational criterion – as well as the one that gives students the most self-determination – is “normal progress.” The timely completion of coursework is a crucial factor in making normal progress in the program.

3.5       Time to Degree

Time to degree is the number of quarters considered to be reasonable by the faculty of an individual department for completion of a doctorate by a full-time student in that program. Time to degree (set by Graduate Division) should not be confused with Normal Progress (set by the English Department). The Graduate Division has set our time to degree as 21 quarters to degree completion. Furthermore, students are required to advance to candidacy within 12 quarters of entering the program. Only Fall, Winter & Spring count toward your quarter total; Summer does not. Students beyond normative time lose priority for central and departmental funding, and can be denied funding and/or student employment (TAships) at the university.

When students must deal with emergencies that prevent them from pursuing their graduate studies for an extended period of time, they may usually extend their time to degree by petitioning for a leave of absence. When students take an approved leave of absence for medical, family emergency, military service, or pregnancy/parenting reasons, Graduate Division will extend the student's time to degree by one quarter at a time up to a maximum of three quarters of leave. More leaves or periods of withdrawal from classes will not stop the time to degree clock; the deadline stands. Quarters of In Absentia Registration and the Filing Fee Quarter of Leave count toward expiration of a student's time to degree clock.

3.6       PhD Classification

Graduate students are classified by the registrar’s office in three categories based on their level of advancement and/or time in the program. This classification is independent of departmental or university time to degree. Most students are either P1-graduate student (not ABD) or P2-graduate student advanced to candidacy.  Once you advance to candidacy, you have three years (9 quarters) to complete your degree. If you do not file your dissertation at the end of the 9th quarter, you are converted to P3 status. Students in P3 status are not eligible to apply for central funding, and students who will enter P3 in the middle of an academic year are not eligible to apply for yearlong central funding. 

PhD Classification:

  • P1 Status (Not advanced):
    • Assigned by Registrar
    • Eligible to apply for central funding
    • Eligible to apply for extramural funding
    • Eligible to apply for employment (e.g. TAship)
  • P2 Status (Advanced):
    • Assigned by Registrar
    • Begins the quarter after advancement to candidacy
    • Eligible to apply for central funding
    • Eligible to apply for extramural funding
    • Eligible to apply for employment (e.g., TAship)
  • P3 Status:
    • Assigned by Registrar
    • Begins 10 registered quarters after advancement to candidacy
    • Not eligible to apply for central funding
    • Eligible to apply for extramural funding
    • Eligible to apply for employment (e.g., TAship)

Section 4. The Ph.D. Program

4.1      Course Requirements

The PhD program, which is only for students who enter UCSB with an MA in English or a closely related field from another institution, requires 36 units of graduate coursework (9 courses at 4 units per course), all of which must be taken for a letter grade. No credit for graduate courses can be transferred from other institutions (though courses taken elsewhere may count toward the distribution requirement [see below]). Students in the PhD program will take their first-qualifying exam at the end of their sixth quarter in the program (the end of year two), and must have completed the 36 required units of graduate coursework before the exam. It is university policy that graduate students enroll for at least 12 units per quarter. Additional units of Engl. 597 or 599, which require no formal work, may be added to bring total units up to 12 (see Sections 5.5 and 5.6). Students are, of course, welcome to take more than the required six courses, whether for a letter grade or pass/no pass.

4.2.      Distribution Requirement
Students in the PhD program have two years to fulfill an individually tailored version of the MA/PhD distribution requirement described in Section 3.2. Courses taken for a grade at the student’s MA institution count toward the distribution requirement (but not toward the 36 units needed to complete the program) if the following arrangement is made: in an individual meeting with the Graduate Advisor during orientation week, students in the PhD program use their MA transcript to negotiate a “contract” for fulfilling the distribution requirement. For example, a student who earned grades in graduate-level “Shakespeare” and “Wordsworth” courses at their MA institution could be excused from having to take courses in Areas I and II. Such a student would then need to elect only three courses to complete the distribution requirement, one each in Areas III, IV, and V. (However, all students must take a course from our faculty in Area V, even if they have taken theory previously. It is advisable to take at least one such course as early as possible). 

4.3.      Normal Progress for the PhD Program

The PhD program is designed to take 5 years, though it may only take 4 years for some students. Students in this program will take the first qualifying examination at the end of their sixth of residence. The second qualifying examination must then be taken no later than their tenth quarter. University policy mandates that all PhD students advance to candidacy by the close of their fourth year (see Section 3.5 for more information). However, normal progress in the English program requires advancement at the beginning of the fourth year for students entering with the MA. In addition, students must satisfy the foreign language requirement as set forth in Section 7. It is the responsibility of students to ensure that they continue making normal progress in the program – i.e. to complete courses, fulfill language requirements, and pass the first and second qualifying exams in timely fashion. Students should realize that satisfactory progress toward the degree is usually a precondition of assignment to teaching assistantships, and that research stipends and summer teaching priority may be offered to students who have remained on schedule.






2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars

2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam


2 Graduate Seminars
Language Exam

1 Graduate Seminar

First Qualifying (MA) Exam


Doctoral Colloquium

Doctoral Colloquium

Doctoral Colloquium

Submit Dissertation


Second Qualifying Exam

Dissertation Begun

Dissertation Work


Dissertation Work

Dissertation Work

Dissertation Filed


4.4.      Incomplete Courses

(See Section 3.4 above.)

4.5.      Normative Time

(See Section 3.5 above.)

4.6.      PhD Classification

(See Section 3.6 above.)

Section 5. Independent Studies, Colloquia, Special Courses

Independent studies courses are designed to give students greater flexibility in planning their programs of study.  At the beginning of each quarter, petitions for these courses may be obtained from the Staff Graduate Advisor.  After the instructor’s approval has been obtained for the proposed course and a written description of the project has been approved by the student’s advisor, students may enroll in the class by following the prescribed registration procedures.

5.1       297 -- Graduate Tutorial with Required Attendance at an Undergraduate Course (4 units)

Undergraduate courses taken for degree credit by graduate students must be taken under the number 297 and will include such modifications as thought suitable by the instructor to satisfy graduate requirements.  Students in the MA/PhD program may take no more than 4 units of English 297, usually before the first qualifying examination.  English 297 is not available to students in the PhD program.  All students may audit undergraduate courses with the instructor’s permission.
5.2       500 -- Directed Teaching (4 units)

Continuing instruction in the teaching of literature courses. Teaching Assistants must register for this course and will receive an S/U grade. The instructor is the TA Supervisor. Units earned in English 500 do not count toward degree requirements.

5.3       591 -- Doctoral Colloquium (1 unit per quarter)

A year-long course taught every other week, the Doctoral Colloquium provides support for graduate students in the crucial period after they have completed the first qualifying exam and are developing their dissertation ideas.  The colloquium focuses step-by-step on familiarizing students with the nature and structure of dissertations, the dissertation prospectus, the second qualifying exam (“PhD orals”), and the dissertation-writing process—all within a broad framework of professionalization that also considers the relation between the dissertation and the book, publication, the nature of an academic career, etc.  At the end of the year, students will have in hand a draft of a dissertation prospectus and reading list that has been discussed with the colloquium instructor and other colloquium members (together with students’ individual faculty advisors).  The colloquium is taken following the first qualifying exam. Units earned do not count toward degree requirements.

5.3.1    English 592 -- LCM Colloquium (1 unit)

The Literature and Culture of Media Colloquium gives students 1) an overview of central issues, questions, and debates in the fields of media studies and the digital humanities; 2) an introduction to the hardware and software used in advanced Web-building projects; 3) assistance with colloquia and conference organization.  Content and structure varies by term.  Units earned do not count toward degree requirements.

5.3.2    English 593 – Graduate Technology Colloquium (1 unit)

Course provides guidance, training, a forum, and a common center for the various technical research endeavors engaged in by student assistants.

5.3.3    English 594 – ACGC Colloquium (1 unit)

Course explores connections between theorizations of the nature and history of globalization and recent reconceptualizations of American literary and cultural studies with an eye to exploring issues for future research into potentially productive intersections.

5.3.4    English 595 – EMC Colloquium (1 unit)

The EMC Colloquium is an ongoing resource for graduate students and faculty with early modern interests, where they present work in progress, such as dissertation chapters and conference papers, as well as workshop field lists, prospectuses, job letters and talks, and so forth.

5.4       596 -- Directed Reading and Research (4 units)

Students wishing to work on an independent studies project under the supervision of a faculty member should meet with the instructor and work out a reading list for the quarter. A written proposal must be approved by the Graduate Advisor prior to enrollment. Courses must be taken for a letter grade and are usually restricted to the interval between the first and second qualifying exams.  596 courses should be directed toward helping to define the dissertation area.  Students may take no more than 8 units of 596.

5.5       597 -- Individual Study for Examination (1-12 units)

Students may take up to 12 units per quarter of 597.    A 597 course must be taken S/U and does not count toward a degree.  The instructor should be the student’s advisor.

5.6       599 -- Dissertation Research and Preparation (1-12 units)

Only students who have passed the second qualifying examination and been advanced to candidacy can register for a 599 course.  During the time students are in the Doctoral Candidacy Fee Offset Program (see 10.1 below) they must continue to remain registered for 12 units -- those who are TAs in 500 and 599; students who are not teaching in 12 units of 599.  The grading option is S/U and the instructor is the dissertation chair.


Section 6. Coursework in Other Departments

With the approval of their faculty advisor and the Graduate Committee, students may count some graduate work done in other departments toward their degrees in English.  However, at least 40 units out of the required 48 units for the MA/PhD program (that is, 10 out of the required 12 courses) and at least 28 units out of the required 36 units for the PhD program (7 out of the required 9 courses) must be taken in the English Department.

Work completed outside the department should have a significant relation to the student’s major interests in English.  A student of English Renaissance literature might, for example, take a graduate course in sixteenth-century English history or in sixteenth-century French literature or in Renaissance art history.  Such interdisciplinary work may be done at any time in a student’s graduate career. In connection with coursework in other departments, note that, by petition to the Graduate Committee/Graduate Division and after consultation with the committee chair, a faculty member from another department may serve as the third member on the examining committee for the second qualifying exam and/or the dissertation committee.

Section 7. Foreign Language Requirement

Before taking the first qualifying exam at the end of the second year in the program, all students must demonstrate their working competence in one of the following foreign languages: French, German, Italian, Spanish, or Latin. Students are advised to select from this list a language having particular relevance to their individual areas of concentration. Other languages than these five may be substituted by petition in cases where the language has a clear relevance to the student’s intended program of study and where the department can find an appropriate examiner. Please note that computer coding languages do not count toward this requirement.

The department urges students to give early consideration to the language requirement and to confer with their advisor about the appropriateness of particular languages to their research and teaching interests. Depending on their particular field of study, students are advised that additional language training may be helpful to their scholarly work and may even be expected by colleagues in their field. The language requirement for the PhD in English at UCSB should thus be considered as a bare minimum rather than as an indication of all the foreign language training that any particular student may need.

The requirement may be fulfilled in one of two ways:

  1. by passing a written translation exam, or
  2. by passing with a grade of B+ or better either one graduate literature course or one upper-division literature course taught in the foreign language.

7.1       Method 1: Translation Exam

Language examinations are held twice per year, early in the fall and spring quarters. Students will translate into English foreign-language passages of the kind of material they will encounter in their professional lives. This means the translation of two passages: one of non-fictional prose dealing with a literary topic, the other drawn directly from a literary work (or in the case of Latin, two passages from different authors). The passages together will normally have a combined total of about 600-700 words. Both passages must be translated in full within the two-hour exam time.  A high degree of accuracy will be required. The use of one dictionary is allowed. Candidates wishing to take the examination must notify the Staff Graduate Advisor at least three weeks in advance of the posted date (since arrangements must often be made with faculty in other departments to create and grade exams in particular languages).

7.1.1    Preparing for the Language Exam

For students who wish to begin a language or review former language skills, the university sometimes offers introductory courses as well as accelerated sequences designed for graduate students. French 11A and B and German 1G and 2G are directed toward the acquisition of reading knowledge, and enrollment is restricted to graduate students. No graduate credit is given for these courses, nor do they satisfy the coursework option of the English Department’s foreign language requirement. The following texts have proved useful to students reviewing for examinations on their own:

            French for Reading (Sandberg and Tatham)
            German for Reading Knowledge (Jannach)
            Italian for You (Lennie and Grego)

The Staff Graduate Advisor keeps sample language exams.

7.2       Method 2: Coursework

Candidates must pass, with a grade of B+ or better, either one graduate literature course or one upper-division literature course taught in the foreign language. Students choosing this option are required to submit a course syllabus, in advance of taking the course, to the graduate committee. Foreign literature courses taught at another university and/or taken prior to entry into our program may be accepted at the graduate committee’s discretion, with the reservation that no course taken more than two years prior to entry will be accepted.


Section 8. The First Qualifying Exam

8.1.      Concept of the Exam

The first qualifying exam is designed to test the student’s familiarity with a range of literature at once various enough to encourage breadth of learning and focused enough to allow for the demonstration of intellectual grasp. Students are expected to complement their knowledge of individual works with a sense of broader historical, cultural, and intellectual contexts as well as with the ability to apply the kinds of critical tools used by professional scholars today. For the purposes of the exam, the spectrum of literature written in English is broken up into thirteen fields as specified in Section 3.2. Each field has its own reading list, and is supervised by its own faculty group in consultation with student representatives (chosen from veterans of the exam). Students choose three of these thirteen fields on which to be tested, and prepare for the exam by studying the appropriate reading lists along with supplementary historical, critical, or theoretical materials. It should be emphasized that students will be expected not only to be familiar with the significant details of the works but also to be able to think critically and coherently about them. The presumption of the department is that any student accepted into its graduate program should be able, with necessary preparation, to pass the first qualifying exam satisfactorily and move ahead to advanced stages of graduate study.

8.2.     Scheduling of the Exam

The first qualifying exam is administered once a year during the spring quarter, usually during exam period. Students in both the MA/PhD and the PhD programs must take the exam no later than the end of their sixth quarter after fulfilling course, distribution, and language requirements as specified in Sections 3.1 to 3.3 and 4.1 to 4.3. By the end of the quarter before the exam (winter quarter of the second year), students must register with the Staff Graduate Advisor the three fields on which they wish to be examined. No switches in fields will then be allowed.

8.3.      Format of the Exam

The first qualifying examination is an oral exam two hours in length (followed by post-exam consultation with faculty of 20-30 minutes). Students will be examined in three fields of their choice. Each field will be represented by one faculty member affiliated with that field. Each field is addressed for 40 minutes during the exam. The type of questioning will vary between questions designed to elicit a brief response and those inviting a longer discussion; the proportion is to be left to each committee's discretion, on the understanding that departmental policy mandates a combination of both for each field examiner. Fields will usually be examined sequentially, but the exam order should be decided between the student and the faculty examiner the student has designated as “Chair” of his or her exam.

8.4.      Preparing for the Exam

Candidates should be advised that the first qualifying examination is not simply the culmination of coursework but a separate challenge. Graduate seminars will help to prepare students for the exam by developing their literary sophistication and their detailed knowledge of particular subjects, but seminars alone are unlikely to provide the necessary amplitude of coverage; nor should the student choose seminars simply with coverage in mind. The process of independent reading for the first qualifying exam should be started as early as possible in a candidate’s career.

Exam preparation should include:

  1. Study of the works on the appropriate reading lists.
  1. A systematic survey of literary history and relevant aspects of intellectual, cultural, and social history with focus on the student’s intended exam fields but also with some attention to periods before, between, and after those fields (e.g., a review of the introductory sections of the Norton Anthology of English Literature and the Norton Anthology of American Literature).
  1. Considerable exposure to critical theory and practice of the last decades (e.g., perusal of 20th Century Literary Criticism, ed. David Lodge; Contemporary Literary Criticism: Literary and Cultural Studies, 2nd edition, ed. Robert Con Davis and Ronald Schleifer) as well as to major critical developments within the student’s intended fields (e.g., perusal of Redrawing the Boundaries: The Transformation of English and American Literary Studies, ed. Stephen Greenblatt and Giles Gunn).
  1. Frequent consultation of reference works (e.g., the latest editions of A Glossary of Literary Terms by M.H. Abrams, the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics, and A Handbook of Literature by Holman, Thrall, and Hibbard).
  1. Students electing one or more of the non- or trans-period fields (reading lists) should be sure to pay some attention to the historical development(s) of the field as a whole in relation to other literary, intellectual, and cultural developments.
  1. Questions about particular field-exams or field reading lists may be directed to the examiner of the relevant field group. Appropriate questions, for example, might have to do with finding texts, clarifying ambiguities in the assigned readings, seeking advice on supplementary readings, etc. (Of course, students are always free to consult individual faculty members about more substantive, intellectual matters.) Inappropriate questions would be those that place faculty members in the position of predicting what materials or kinds of questions will be emphasized in that year’s exam.
  1. In addition to the above steps, many students in the past have found it useful to form reading groups among themselves.

8.5.      Evaluation of the Exam

Immediately following the two hours of examination, the examiners will confer together (without the student) and assign a grade for the examination: Clear Pass means passing all three areas; Low Pass requires the examination committee to meet with Graduate Advisor and department Chair to decide whether the student progresses in the program or leaves with or without an M.A.; No pass requires the department Chair and Graduate Advisor to review the academic record to decide, in consultation with Graduate Division, whether or not the student continues in the program. The student will then return and the exam committee will inform the student of the outcome. A paragraph of evaluation commenting on the student’s performance, including comments on specific strengths and weakness of the exam, will be composed by the examination chair and forwarded to the student and to the Graduate Faculty and Staff advisors and will be held in the student’s file.

8.6.      Graduate Committee post-examination

If a student is deemed to have failed the exam, he/she/they will have the opportunity to be re-examined on all or part of the material. This may, but need not, be delayed until the next exam period.  The full examining committee will be convened for the retake.

If the student is deemed to have again performed inadequately on the exam after taking it a second time, the chair of the examining committee will meet with the Department Chair as well as the Graduate Advisor to decide the student's status in the program. Both the oral examination and the seminar record will be considered at this time. If both the Department Chair and Graduate Advisor concur with the examining committee's evaluation, Graduate Division will be notified that the student's record should be reviewed and considered for the purposes of requesting that the student leave the program, with or without an M.A.

Students who have questions about the results of their exam are welcome to consult the examining committee members and/or the Graduate Advisor.


Section 9. The Second Qualifying Exam

9.1.      The Examination, Prospectus, Reading List, and First-Chapter Conference

At the appropriate time in their careers here – that is, no later than the tenth quarter – students will sit down with their dissertation committee for a ninety-minute conference on the dissertation project based on a four-to-five-page prospectus and a bibliography of at least fifty works to be constructed by the candidate in consultation with her/his committee and pre-approved by the Graduate Committee (see 9.2). The prospectus should define the dissertation topic, its initial critical questions, and its relationship to existing scholarship and may also describe likely chapter divisions. The readings lists will include works most immediately germane to the dissertation but will also represent the wider professional area within which the dissertation is likely to be received or in which it seeks to make an intervention. Depending on the nature of the project, this wider area may take the form of a literary period or genre (including, in both cases, secondary criticism), theoretical field, or other construct that reflects an existing or emergent professional field. Whatever field the student chooses for the wider area, it should not simply be a list of works she or he would be reading anyway for the dissertation. Rather, it should be a list of works that constitute a larger and distinct field within which the dissertation might be placed and interpreted. (To facilitate review by both the examination committee and the Graduate Committee, students should identify with separate section headings the various parts of the bibliography – e.g., "primary works related directly to the dissertation," "secondary works related directly to the dissertation," "the wider area.") The bulk of the dissertation conference will consist of a conversation about the dissertation in which faculty help the student to think through the concept of the project, probe problems with its structure or materials, and understand its relation to other issues and methods of current professional interest. The reading lists will be designed to help with this conversation. Rather than pose questions designed to test "coverage" of the bibliography, faculty will use a portion of the conference to ask students to think about their dissertation topic or approach in relation to adjacent or contrasting works in their field.

The dissertation conference will not be primarily an event that a student "passes" or "fails," though its completion will mark official advancement to candidacy. Instead, it will figure most importantly as the beginning of an ongoing process of supervising the development of the dissertation. In some cases, the conversation at the conference will lead to suggestions for a revised prospectus or additional readings that are significant enough to warrant a second dissertation conference sometime later. Whether there is a follow-up conference or not, all students will subsequently be expected to meet for a "first-chapter" conference with their dissertation committee. This is a conference that will occur after a first chapter (any chapter) in the dissertation is written. The purpose of the "first-chapter" conference is to provide a means for the faculty and student to focus on how the project is actually taking shape and any difficulties that have emerged.

9.2.      Steps Leading Up to the Exam

At the student’s request, the committee may include one faculty member from another UCSB department or from another UC campus, though not as chair. The memo should be addressed to the Chair of the Graduate Council and include the Graduate Advisor’s endorsement. Affiliated faculty are considered to be in the department. A faculty person from outside the UC system may be included without petition on the dissertation committee as an extra, fourth member. Arrangements for a non-UCSB faculty member’s attendance at the oral exam are the student’s responsibility.

  1. After the first qualifying exam, students should enroll in Engl. 591, the Doctoral Colloquium (see 5.3), and begin thinking about their dissertation topic and the areas of specialization appropriate to it. Early in the quarter after passing the first qualifying exam the student should meet with his or her advisor to discuss these plans, what courses would facilitate defining more precisely the dissertation topic, and what professors might offer most helpful guidance as chair and committee members of the student’s second qualifying examination. Students might look over the department’s library of representative past prospectuses and bibliographies before preparing their own materials. In consultation with the Graduate Advisor, the student chooses the three members (including chair) of the examining committee, who are selected on the basis of the student’s areas of specialization.  (A fourth member may be added when beneficial). The orals committee usually serves as the subsequent dissertation committee, which requires at least three faculty members, though changes can be made as the dissertation evolves.
  1. The dissertation prospectus and reading list must first be approved by the examining committee, and then be submitted to the Graduate Committee for approval. Under normal circumstances, prospectuses will not be read during very late spring or summer. The prospectus and bibliography must be accompanied by an approval form bearing the signatures of the examining committee. These materials should be transmitted to the Graduate Committee via the Staff Graduate Advisor, and they should be submitted by the end of ninth quarter (third year) in the program.
  1. Consideration of the prospectus and bibliography by the Graduate Committee is coordinated quarterly. Students should be aware of the posted prospectus submission and advancement deadlines. The primary function of the Graduate Committee in this circumstance is to ensure that a student’s prospectus and list fall within certain, flexible norms making them at once intellectually sound and generally comparable to those of other students. Besides asking for any required revisions, the Committee may also suggest other elaborations in a non-binding way. The Graduate Advisor will communicate the Committee’s decision and suggestions to the student as soon as possible and the student may request a meeting with the Advisor for further discussion.
  1. It is the responsibility of the student to schedule the second qualifying exam in consultation with the examining committee. Students should also provide the necessary advancement paperwork: Doctoral Forms I and II, as well as the UCSB Graduate Student Conflict of Interest Form, to be signed by the examining committee following the exam. The forms are available on the Graduate Division’s website. Students are advised to consult in advance with the members of their examining committee to gain a feel for the nature and structure of a PhD oral exam.

Section 10. Advancement to Candidacy

After the student has passed the second qualifying examination, the signed Doctoral Forms I and II, as well as the UCSB Graduate Student Conflict of Interest Form, should be submitted to the Staff Graduate Advisor for approval by the Graduate Advisor and Department Chair. Following which the forms will be returned to the student who will submit them to the Cashier’s Office and pay the advancement to candidacy fee. The receipt, when recorded at the Graduate Division, entitles the student to faculty privileges at the library for the following quarter.  

Forms can be found at Graduate Division.

Section 11. The Dissertation

The dissertation should be an original contribution to criticism or scholarship.  Dissertations in English are usually between 200 and 300 pages long. Copies of all dissertations written at UCSB may be seen in The Special Collections Department of the library. Students may also wish to check Dissertation Abstracts in the Reference Department.

11.1.    Filing the Dissertation

For filing and the precise format for the dissertation (paper, margins, pagination, footnotes, etc.) see the information at the Graduate Division website. Students should submit a Doctoral Degree Form III-a: Waiver of Final Examinations for the Degree for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy approved by the student’s dissertation committee and the Department Chair to the Graduate Division. When filing the dissertation, students must also submit two approval pages (or signature sheets) and include original faculty signatures on both in permanent black or blue ink. The signatures must correspond to the names of committee members listed on the title page. The Committee Chair and the Department Chair sign on the bottom line.

Section 12. Registration

Every graduate student must enroll each quarter in a minimum of 12.0 units, according to deadlines published in the Schedule of Classes. The enrollment process happens online (via GOLD), which includes registration for courses, payment of fees and all other outstanding financial obligations. Each step must be completed at a specific time or a $50 to $100 late fee will be assessed. Complete details of registration procedures are included in the registration packet. Before registering each quarter, continuing students should fill out progress reports, including their schedules for the next quarter, and meet with their advisors to discuss progress to date and future plans, and to obtain their advisor’s approval. These reports go to the Staff Graduate Advisor.

12.1.    Schedule Adjustment

After enrollment, students may adjust class schedules, up to certain deadlines, by adding and/or dropping classes and changing grading options. Changes are made through Gaucho On-Line Data (GOLD). During the first week of classes, students are allowed to adjust their schedule without paying a fee.  After this week, $3 is charged for each change.

Section 13. Leaves of Absence

Continuous registration is expected of all graduate students.  Under special circumstances, leaves of absence may be requested from the Dean of the Graduate Division.  Petitions for leaves of absence may be obtained from the Graduate Division or the Staff Graduate Advisor and must be signed by the Faculty Graduate Advisor and the Graduate Division.  A $20 fee is charged for leave petitions.

Section 14. Deadlines

The Schedule of Classes includes the official calendar for each quarter.  Consult it for the exact dates of all quarterly deadlines. Consult the Calendar of Graduate Program Events prepared by the Staff Graduate Advisor for other departmental events and important deadlines such as exam sign-up dates.

Changing grading option:  Last day of instruction
Dropping a course:  Last day of instruction
Fee payment: $50 fee assessed if fees are not paid on time
Incomplete petitions (or extensions of incompletes):  Last day of exams
Leaves of Absence:  Petition must be filed before the quarter begins
Registration: Must be completed during online appointment times on or before the deadline published in the Schedule of Classes or a $50 late fee will be assessed. At the end of the first week of classes, a student who hasn’t registered lapses status.

Section 15. The Job Search and Job Placement Committee

Each year, faculty members appointed to the department’s Job Placement Committee assist students with the current academic job search. Each student seeking a job is assigned to an individual placement supervisor from the committee who will oversee the student’s search.

Early in the fall quarter of each year, before the Modern Language Association job list is published with its announcement of academic openings for the following year, and again in the spring quarter, the Placement Committee will call a meeting of all interested students, those completing the PhD as well as those looking ahead to the time when they will be entering the scholarly marketplace. Subjects for discussion will include the drafting of a curriculum vitae and cover letter (what to include? what to stress?), the preparation of a dossier (when to begin? from whom to seek letters of recommendation?), strategies for job interviews (what questions to expect? common pitfalls?), how to determine what samples of work to send upon request (dissertation chapter? published offprint?), and how to make use of possible faculty contacts at other universities.  Advice about the preparation and circulation of manuscripts will be shared at these meetings as well as advice about the submission of papers to be read at scholarly conferences.

In the spring quarter, students expecting to be on the job market in the following year should begin soliciting letters of recommendation from faculty in the English Department and the Writing Program.  Also, a class visit by the student’s thesis supervisor (or another person in their field) should be arranged, so that the supervisor can write a detailed account about the student’s ability to teach material as close to his/her area of specialization as possible. The dossier should include three or more letters from specialists in their academic discipline and one or more letters discussing the applicant’s pedagogy and teaching experience.  

Several meetings are held in the fall quarter to cover application materials and interview techniques; students also have the opportunity to participate in a mock interview with faculty prior to the MLA convention.

15.1.    Counseling and Career Services

Enrolled graduate students at UCSB are eligible for a wide variety of personal and career-related services at the Counseling and Career Services Center (Bldg. 599).  Personal appointments may be scheduled with counselors at the Center to discuss topics such as vita writing, interviewing, job search strategies, and alternative careers for PhD’s. Graduate students may also establish an “educational reference file” or placement file at the Center or stop by to review the job vacancy listings, employer directories and career literature available in the Resources Room.

Section 16. Financial Support

As suggested below, financial support comes in many forms.  In whatever form, support is linked to a student’s progress toward the completion of the program in which he or she is enrolled.  Normally, departmental support will not be continued beyond the fifth year for students in both the MA/PhD program and the PhD program.

For up-to-date, extra-departmental financial support information, consult the Graduate Division’s website for financial support,  Here you can find links to national fellowship competition announcements, campus competitions and deadlines, links to funding sources and databases, access to the IRIS database, including search capability.

16.1.    Out of State Tuition

Some campus fellowships pay out-of-state tuition during a student’s entering year, and the English department can also occasionally fund a very limited number of partial tuition fellowships for first-year students.  Incoming students are expected to take immediate steps to establish residency so that they will not be required to pay tuition after the first year.  New residency laws stipulate not only continuous residence in California for a period of one year, but also financial independence from parents.  Students wishing to establish residency are urged to see the Campus Residency Deputy in the Registrar’s Office as soon as possible.

16.2.    Departmental Fellowships

Because departmental funds for fellowships are extremely limited, awards tend to be offered to incoming students of unusual promise. Applications for fellowships are reviewed by the Graduate Committee, whose recommendations are then sent to the Department Chair for final acceptance. Fellowship applications are evaluated on the basis of the student’s past academic record, Graduate Record Examination results, the writing sample, letters of support, and professional promise. In addition to fellowships awarded by the department, a number of other fellowships administered centrally by Graduate Division are available to incoming students on a competitive basis and on the nomination of the department. These include the Chancellor’s Fellowship; Humanities Special Fellowship, the Regents Special Fellowship, Doctoral Scholars Fellowship, Eugene Cota-Robles Fellowship, and Graduate Opportunity Fellowships. The last three named are merit-diversity fellowships. All applicants for admission are automatically reviewed as possible candidates for these awards; no special application is required.

Graduate Student Fee Fellowship
This fellowship is awarded to continuing students based on both merit and financial need, and provides up to three quarters of fee payment in an academic year for eligible students. International students may also apply for this fellowship (for in-state fees only). A special financial need determination form is required of international students who apply for this fellowship. Apply in spring of the previous year for a three-quarter fellowship. The English Department administers these fellowships.

English Department Travel Grants
Applications are considered based on a number of factors including number of prior travel grant awards (limit of 2 awards in 3 consecutive years) and availability of funds within the specified time-frame. Priority will be awarded to applicants that will be presenting at a conference. Competition is open to PhD English students who entered with an MA or have completed the MA requirements. Awards are limited to one per student. Students must be in registered status at the time of the application. Allowable expenses are the actual cost of the airline ticket or equivalent ground transportation to and from the conference, conference fees, lodging and other travel expenses. Applications will be accepted for each pool until the funds are expended. Award will be in the form of a stipend of $350 California or $500 other U.S. locations. See the Staff Graduate Advisor for application details.

16.3     UCSB Graduate Division Fellowships for Continuing Students

Graduate Division fellowships are only available to those within what the Graduate Division defines as time to degree—7 years. These fellowships are awarded to new and continuing doctoral students following departmental nomination of candidates to the Graduate Division. Details and application forms for most of the following fellowships are made available by the department late winter quarter and due back to the department in late March or early April. Please also regularly monitor the Graduate Division website at for additional funding opportunities.

Graduate Opportunity Fellowships (GOF) / Graduate Research Mentorship Program (GRMP)
These fellowships are awarded to continuing underrepresented doctoral students following departmental nomination of candidates to Graduate Division. Students may receive this award, an annual stipend, and payment of fees and health insurance, twice during their graduate careers.

Dean’s Fellowship
This fellowship is also awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division. Students may receive this award twice during their graduate career. Annual stipend, plus payment of fees and health insurance for all awardees. The call for applications is issued in the winter of the previous year.

President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship
This one-year merit-diversity fellowship pays a $24,000 stipend as well as in-state fees and health insurance for students in their dissertation year. In addition, the fellowship provides research support funds in the amount of $500. President’s Fellows must also present their research at another campus of the University of California. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Graduate Humanities Research Fellowship
This fellowship provides one-year research grants for domestic doctoral students in the humanities. Students may receive this award twice during their graduate career. The award provides an annual stipend plus in-state fees and health insurance for one year. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Graduate Division Dissertation Fellowship
Awarded to advanced graduate students in final stages of writing the dissertation, this quarter-long fellowship pays in-state fees plus $7,500. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

Humanities/Social Science Research Grant Program
This grant provides funds of up to $2,000 for research-related expenses, and may be used in conjunction with other graduate student support. MA and PhD students in the humanities and social sciences are eligible, as are international students. To apply, students propose an original research project and list direct expenses that will require funding. This fellowship is awarded to continuing doctoral students following department nomination of candidates to Graduate Division.

General Affiliates Dissertation Fellowships
These $3,000 awards are given to doctoral candidates to support final stages of dissertation preparation, and defray travel, printing, photocopying or living expenses. Merit will be assessed in terms of quality of the proposed topic and the candidate’s academic credentials. Fees and insurance are not covered by this award.

Kline Fund for International Studies Award
This award is granted for a project or program of study which promotes international understanding and world peace. This UC-wide competition provides an award between $500 and $3,000. Matching funds are provided by Graduate Division.

Academic Senate Doctoral Student Travel Grants
The Doctoral Student Travel Grant awards travel funds to graduate students who have been invited or selected to present a paper, present research, perform or exhibit at a major professional conference or meeting. Applicants must be doctoral students who are advanced to candidacy, or master of fine arts (M.F.A.) students who are in their second year of study and in candidacy prior to travel. Students are eligible to receive one Doctoral Student Travel Grant during their graduate career at UCSB. More information at:

Brython Davis Endowment Graduate Fellowship
The Brython Davis Endowment Graduate Fellowship is designated for children of regular members of the U.S. Navy or Marine Corps. It provides one-quarter of fellowship support for a continuing graduate student.

16.4     Other UCSB Fellowships

College of Letters and Science Pre-ABD Research Grant
This grant provides support for travel, archival work and other research needs that lead to the formulation of a dissertation topic. Students must be at the prospectus stage and have excellent records. Applications will consist of a three-page research plan and separate budget, with letter from the academic advisor attesting to the applicant’s general academic potential, the appropriateness of the specific research proposed, the quality of the proposed dissertation topic. Dates of application will be announced each year.

The Dean’s Prize Teaching Fellowship
This fellowship is designed to reward excellence in teaching and to encourage curricular design. Award recipients develop and teach a one-quarter seminar as a Teaching Associate and are paid a $2,000 stipend and a $500 research account in addition to their usual TA salary.

The Consortium in Literature, Theory and Culture Dissertation Stipends
These awards, between $5,000 and $15,000, are intended to help doctoral students in the humanities make substantial progress toward completing their dissertations. Nominees for the Dissertation Stipend should be advanced to candidacy, and working on a dissertation topic compatible with the Consortium's goal of advancing collaborative research in literary studies and encouraging interdisciplinary and theoretical reflections on literature and culture. The stipends are intended to provide support for advanced graduate students working on their dissertations, and may also be used for purposes such as travel and research expenses.

Interdisciplinary Humanities Center Pre-Doctoral Fellowship
This is a single-quarter, $4,500 award plus payment of fees and health insurance, to promote research projects with an interdisciplinary focus. For students advanced to candidacy for the doctorate in an arts or humanities field or advanced MFA students. The call for applications comes in early fall and spring quarters.

Pacific Rim Research Program
Pacific Rim Research Program promotes the study of the Pacific Rim as a distinctive region. For the purposes of this Program, the term: “Pacific Rim" encompasses all states and nations that border the Pacific Ocean, including all of Southeast Asia. Recognizing that the interaction of peoples and states in the region has generated new issues of common concern, the Program places priority on research that is new, specific to the region, and collaborative-reaching across national boundaries and bridging academic disciplines. For more information:

16.5.    Tutorships

The Campus Learning Assistance Services (CLAS) offers positions as tutors of writing and other skills whenever possible.  The position of tutor requires a commitment of 4 to 10 hours per week to assist composition instructors in writing workshops and provide one-to-one tutorial assistance for students needing supplementary instruction.  Unless stated otherwise, tutorships are awarded with the expectation that the appointment will continue for the entire academic year, but appointees may be dismissed with appropriate notice at any time for poor tutorial performance or unsatisfactory academic progress.  Students wishing to apply for a tutorship should submit an application to CLAS.

16.6.    Teaching Assistantships

A Teaching Assistantship is the most common form of financial aid for graduate students. TA appointments may involve teaching literature courses or courses in the Writing Program and include a required program of training in the teaching of composition and literature.  The position of Teaching Assistant is crucial to the English Department, representing the place where graduate training, the undergraduate curriculum, and faculty teaching responsibilities intersect.

16.6.1  Teaching Assistant Duties and Workload

A TAship at the University of California is usually a half-time position (50%). The University’s contract with the ASE/UAW defines this as meaning a workload of up to 220 hours per quarter. The contract further specifies: “Workload is not measured strictly by actual hours worked. Rather, it is measured by how many hours the University could reasonably expect it to take a TA to satisfactorily complete the work assigned.” Actual tasks may vary among courses, depending on whether they are upper- or lower-division and on the pedagogical decisions of the individual supervising faculty, but in no case may the number of hours and the distribution of those hours exceed the limits laid out in the contract, which can be found online.  TAs in the English Department are assigned to large lecture courses. Duties include preparing for and attending all lectures for the course, leading two discussion sections per week of twenty-five students each, doing the required grading for the students in those sections, holding weekly office hours, and meeting regularly with the faculty instructor and other TAs. TAs may also be asked to participate in formulating exam and paper topics, give plenary lectures or contribute in other ways to lectures, conduct review sections, or support the course in other ways.  If questions arise that can’t be resolved by consultation with the supervising faculty member, TAs should consult the departmental TA Advisor.

Specific duties of TAs appointed by the Writing Program are determined by that program.

16.6.2. Terms of Employment and Length of Service

Teaching Assistantships may be made for one, two, or three quarters per academic year.  The total length of service will usually not exceed five years.  In order to hold a TAship, a student must be in good academic standing: regularly enrolled and maintain a 3.0 GPA, and have no more than 8 units of Incomplete coursework.  The University of California sets a limit of 50% time on graduate student employment.  TAs will not ordinarily be exempted from this limit.  In some cases, however, it may be acceptable for a TA, in addition to the teaching assignment, to take on a relatively minor secondary assignment as a research assistant or grader or to perform some other limited function. In such cases, the Graduate Advisor may, in consultation with members of the Graduate Committee, recommend to the Department Chair that an exception to the 50% rule be granted.  Such exceptions will only be recommended when it is evident that the additional work will not jeopardize the student’s timely progress toward the degree.  Exemptions will not be granted for students to undertake teaching duties in addition to their English Department TAships.  A student who wishes to accept such an additional teaching assignment will have to resign the English Department TAship in order to do so.

16.6.3. Selection of Teaching Assistantships

Potential openings for Teaching Assistant positions for the subsequent academic year will be posted in late winter or spring.

Initial TA appointments are based on the applicant’s academic record and letters of recommendation.  Added consideration is given to students with previous teaching and graduate school experience. Reappointment depends on satisfactory progress toward the degree (see Sections 3 and 4) and evaluations by the graduate faculty, teaching supervisors, and students.  Graduate students with incomplete grades may be disadvantaged in the competition for TAships (see 3.4). Students interested in a TAship should file an application with the Staff Graduate Advisor.  In all cases, after considering applications, the Graduate Committee sends recommendations to the Department Chair, who makes the appointments. If a vacancy occurs during the academic year, the files of all eligible students will be considered in filling the position.

16.6.4  Teaching Assistantships in Other Departments on Campus

There are teaching assistant opportunities in other departments on campus.  They can be found in departments or programs that don’t have a graduate program or graduate students such as Asian-American Studies, Black Studies, Chicano Studies, the Law and Society Program, and the Global Studies Program.  These departments and programs usually put out a call each quarter for teaching assistants to teach in their large lecture courses and more information can be found on the departmental websites or through a call to the departmental Staff Graduate Advisor.

16.7.    Summer Associateships

Applications are filed during winter quarter of the previous year; deadlines will be posted each year.

For students who have received the MA and passed the first qualifying exam, a limited number of summer Associateships are sometimes available. Appointments are recommended to the Summer Sessions administration by the Department Chair, in consultation with the Graduate Committee. Writing Program assignments are made by that department. The following factors will be considered in the selection process: quality of the candidate’s teaching record, area of programmatic need, progress toward the degree, seniority, and fairness.

16.8     Employment on Faculty or Project Grants

Faculty members or the department’s various centers and projects who have grants may employ students as research or clerical assistants. Students who are interested should give their names to the department’s Financial Assistant and the Staff Graduate Advisor.

Section 17. Administration of the Graduate Program

17.1.    The Graduate Council

The Graduate Council is an Academic Senate committee with jurisdiction over graduate education.  It is composed of ten faculty members, the Graduate Dean (ex officio), and two members of the Graduate Student Association.  Among other duties, the Graduate Council has responsibility for setting admissions criteria, approving and administering interdisciplinary degrees, reviewing requests for new graduate programs, approving graduate courses, and setting standards for graduate students who wish to be TAs, Teaching Fellows, or recipients of university fellowships. Petitions requesting waivers of requirements, leaves of absence, and extensions of time for degrees must be reviewed by the Council.

17.2.    The Graduate Division

Supervised by the Graduate Dean, the Graduate Division carries out the directives of the Graduate Council.  The Graduate Division is divided into three sections that serve graduate students:

    • Graduate Outreach, Admission and Retention answers inquiries from prospective students, assists departments in screening applicants, evaluates foreign transcripts, and maintains statistics.
    • Graduate Financial Support administers fellowships, grants, and fee waivers; handles on-campus employment forms for graduate students; and counsels students on preparation of grant applications and sources of extramural funds.
    • Academic Services maintains active student files, processes petitions, conducts degree checks, and interprets academic requirements and policies.

17.3.    The Graduate Advisor

The Faculty Graduate Advisor is an official deputy of the Graduate Dean in matters affecting graduate students or graduate programs in the department.  The Graduate Advisor’s signature is the only departmental signature, other than that of the Chair, recognized as official on Graduate Division petitions presented by graduate students.  

17.4.    The Graduate Committee

The Graduate Advisor chairs a committee composed of faculty members appointed by the Department Chair, plus two elected graduate student representatives who participate in policy discussions not related to personnel cases.  The committee meets regularly to review all matters concerned with the admission, financial support, teaching assignments, and academic progress of graduate students, as well as to consider any policy issues of concern to the department faculty, the student body, or the Graduate Division.  The Graduate Committee is advisory to the Department Chair and to the English faculty as a whole on curricular matters.  The committee reviews student reading lists and petitions concerning language requirements, course credits, examinations, and other such matters. 

17.5.    Individual Faculty Advisors

  1. The selection of advisors.  Incoming students will be assigned advisors whose interests appear to match theirs.  Both students and advisors may request a change of assignment at any time.  This advisor remains in place as a source of advice until the student has found a chair for the second qualifying exam and the dissertation committee.  No faculty member should be expected to serve as an advisor to more than five students (including those whose dissertations he or she directs).  Advisors on leave for more than one quarter should make arrangements for a temporary substitute.
  1. The functions of advisors.  Advisors must approve their advisees’ course schedules each quarter and must also approve any later modifications (drop/add or grading option change).  Advisors should also be consulted about plans for satisfying the language requirements, for selecting a dissertation area and possible committee members, and for scheduling first and second qualifying exams.  At the beginning of the fall and spring quarters, students will submit a progress report signed by their individual advisors.  This report will be based on a review of the student’s file, on a conference with him or her, and, should both the student and the advisor wish, on a statement of progress written by the student.  In any event, the advisor’s report will be made available to the student along with additional comments (if any) by the Graduate Committee.  Whether authored by one or more than one person, the report should not exceed one page (a single paragraph will normally be sufficient).

17.6     Problems and Dispute Resolution

Some problems students face can be addressed outside of the English Department. There are numerous campus organizations that can be of help. These are listed in the Graduate Division's Resources web page:

Sometimes students experience real problems in their academic work or in academic appointments. Resolutions to these problems should first be sought within the department by using the resources of the Faculty Graduate Advisor, Staff Graduate Advisor and the Department Chair.

The Graduate Division also stands willing to help mediate disputes that cannot be resolved at the departmental level. Call (805) 893-2277 for assistance. There is an established Student Grievance Procedure that can be followed in cases where resolutions are otherwise not possible. These procedures can be found at the UCSB General Catalog.

Disputes with the Dissertation Committee
From time to time disagreements about decisions, deadlines, policies, procedures, and issues of academic judgment may arise between a student and members of their dissertation committee. As in all such disputes, involved parties should, in the spirit of collegiality, attempt to resolve these issues internally.  

A student should, therefore, first meet with the chair of the committee (usually her or his advisor) in an effort to resolve the dispute. If the student feels that she or he is unable to do this or if areas of disagreement still remain after this meeting, a written appeal describing the situation and requesting involvement should be addressed within 14 days to the Department Chair. If the Chair is a member of the committee, appeal should be made to the Graduate Advisor, or, if a conflict of interest is also present there, to the department's Graduate Committee as a whole.

The department will act to resolve the issue, or declare it irresolvable, and inform the student in writing within 30 days.  If the dispute cannot be resolved within the department, or if the student finds the department’s resolution unacceptable, the student may appeal to the Graduate Dean, who will attempt further resolution. This appeal must be made in writing within 14 days of the department’s decision.

If the Graduate Dean is unable to resolve the dispute to the parties’ satisfaction within 30 days, the graduate student has 14 days to submit a written appeal to the Graduate Council. The Graduate Council must inform the student of its decision within 30 days. In this area, decisions of the Graduate Council are final.



Section 18. Departmental Office Staff

Please visit the English Department Staff Directory for the most up-to-date information:

Section 19. Reading Lists for the First Qualifying Exam

The reading lists for the first qualifying examination will change in minor ways from year to year in response to changes in what is being taught and discussed in the profession at large. Each student is encouraged to pursue his or her own further reading program. Material not specified on the reading list can be used, where appropriate, in responding to examination questions.

Please contact the Staff Graduate Advisor for access to the full reading lists and available materials.

Reading List 1: Medieval Literatures

Faculty Committee:  Heather Blurton, Daniel Reeve

All works in English, whether Old or Middle, must be read in the original, unless an exception is granted by permission. If you wish to read the French and/or Latin texts in the original, speak to Heather Blurton.

Many of the shorter texts below are available in Elaine Treharne, ed. Old and Middle English, c. 890 – 1400 (Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2004)

A very helpful resource (but which unfortunately excludes the Old English period) is The Cambridge History of Medieval English Literature, ed. David Wallace (Cambridge: CUP, 1999)  Selections marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.

Reading List

Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy+

Bede, Ecclesiastical History of the English People +

 Anglo-Saxon Chronicle:

In The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: a Collaborative Edition, eds. Dumville and Keynes, read aroung in vols. 3 and 4 for a general sense of the Chronicle. Pay special attentions to the annals for 755-871, 911-924, and 933-946. In vol. 4 compare the years 911-19 (the Mercian Chronicle)+

Old English Short Poems: Wulf and Eadwacer, The Wanderer, The Seafarer, The Dream of the Rood, The Wife’s Lament+



Aelfric, Lives of Saints

Aelfric’s Lives were edited by Skeat for the Early English Text Society (EETS) nos. 76, 82, 94, 114. Read the lives of Eugenia, Aetheldryd, Swythun, Oswald, Edmund, and Eufrasia+

The Life of Christina of Markyate+

Thomas of Britain, Tristan+

Geoffrey of Monmouth, History of the Kings of Britain+

Chrétien de Troyes, Erec and Enide and Lancelot, or The Knight of the Cart+

The Song of Roland+

Gerald of Wales, The Journey Through Wales+

Marie de France, Lais

The Owl and the Nightingale+

The Mabinogion+

The Katherine Group: Seinte Katerine; Seinte Margaret; Hali Meidenhad+

Middle English Lyrics and short poems:+

Consult Robert D. Stevick, ed. One Hundred Middle English Lyrics; the Norton edition of Middle English lyrics; R. H. Robbins, ed. Historical Poems of the XIVth and XVth centuries and Secular Lyrics of the XIVth and XVth Centuries; The Harley Lyrics, in ed. Treharne.

Middle English Romance: Horn, Havelok, Athelstan, Orfeo, Launfal, The Wedding of Sir

Gawain and Dame Ragnell+

Julian of Norwich, Book of Showings

Book of Margery Kempe,

Guillaume de Lorris & Jean de Meun, The Romance of the Rose+

Christine de Pisan, The Book of the City of Ladies+

John Gower, Vox Clamantis+

Geoffrey Chaucer, The Canterbury Tales+

Troilus and Criseyde+
Dream Visions (The Legend of Good Women; The Parlement of Fowles; The Book of the Duchess)+

The Pearl-poet, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight+

St Erkenwald+

William Langland, Piers Plowman (B Text)+

John Lydgate, Troy Book+

William Dunbar, ed. Kinsley or Bawcutt: “Hale sterne superne”; “Quhen Merche wes with variand windis past” (“The Thrissill and the Rois”); “Blyth Aberdeane”; “The Goldyn Targe”; “Lang heff I maed of ladyes quhytt” (“Ane Blak Moir”); “The Tretis of the tua mariit Wemen and the Wedo”; “Off Februar the fyiftene nycht” (“The Dance of the sevin deidly synnis”); “I that in heill wes and gladnes” (“Lament for the Makaris”); “Quhy will ye marchantis of renoun”; “The Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedie”; “Sir Jhon Sinclair begowthe to dance” (“Of a Dance in the Quenis Chalmer”); “Schir, ye have mony servitouris”; “We that ar heir in hevins glory” (“Dirige to the king”)+

Robert Henryson, Testament of Cresseid+

Sir Thomas Malory, La Morte Darthur+

Vinaver edition: The Tale of King Arthur, Sankgreal, Sir Launcelot and Queen Guinevere, The Most Piteous Tale of the Morte Arthur saunz Guerdon.

The Travels of Sir John Mandeville+

Medieval Drama: Mankind; York Mystery Plays; “The Second Shepherds’ Play” from the Wakefield aka Towneley Cycle+

English Wycliffite Writings+

Selections from English Wycliffite Writings, ed. Anne Hudson (Cambridge: CUP, 1978)


We’ve organized the readings on the exam list into topic groups to help you think about how to approach these works. You will want to think about your own ways of approaching them; but the topics we list or describe below will suggest some ways you could begin to organize your thinking. If you have questions about secondary bibliography, please consult with the examiner.


These issues are relevant to each work on the list. We’d like you to think about the significance, cultural and otherwise, of medieval shapings of the English language. This would include: verse forms (for example, alliterative verse and its use in political poetry; aureate verse and the function of splendor in Dunbar’s poetry and the lyrics to the Virgin); the use of continental forms (Chaucer’s “imports,” for example); vernacular patriotism and nationalism; prose styles (e.g. Malory); lyric and other “voices” (for example, in connection with questions of subjectivity); rhetorics of affect (for example, the discourses of passion and contentment in mystical writing).


Bede. Ecclesiastical History of the English People
Geoffrey of Monmouth
Gerald of Wales
The Life of Christina of Markyate
Lydgate, Troy Book
Wakefield Cycle
Aelfric. Lives of Saints+
Christine de Pisan. Book of the City of Ladies
Chaucer. Legend of Good Women


Wanderer, Seafarer, Dream of the Rood, Andreas
Aelfric. Lives of Saints
Bede. Ecclesiastical History
The Life of Christina of Markyate
Gerald of Wales
Song of Roland
Owl and the Nightengale
Wycliffite writings (English)
Book of Margery Kempe
Julian of Norwich. Book of Showings
Katherine, Margaret, Holy Maidenhood, selections from South English Legendary
Piers Plowman
Wakefield Cycle
Religious lyrics



Bede. Ecclesiastical History
Henryson. Testament of Cresseid
Romance of the Rose
Lais, Marie de France.
City of Ladies.
Chrétien de Troyes
Song of Roland
Gerald of Wales

B. COURT CULTURE. Richard II and Henry IV.

Chaucer selections
Piers Plowman
Gower. Vox Clamantis
Lydgate, Troy Book
Wycliffite (English)

BORDERS. [Political, material, formal, psychological/ spiritual]

Anglo-Saxon Chronicles
Dream of the Rood
Sir Orfeo
The Book of Margery Kempe
Mandeville. Travels
Gerald of Wales
ME romances


Wulf and Eadwacer, Wife’s Lament
Romance of the Rose
Chrétien de Troyes
Christina of Markyate
Christine de Pisan. Book of the City of Ladies.
Julian of Norwich. Showings
The Book of Margery Kempe
Saints’ Lives (Anglo Saxon and Middle English)
Marie de France
ME Lyrics
ME Romances

Revised 4/09

Reading List 2: Renaissance Literature

Faculty Committee: Bernadette Andrea, Patricia Fumerton, Andrew Griffin, Ken Hiltner, James Kearney

It is assumed that students taking the first qualifying examination in the Renaissance will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the principal critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period at large. Students are thus encouraged to read widely in the relevant secondary literature. Selections marked by an asterisk (*) can be found in the seventh edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature (Volume 1). Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.  Questions concerning this list may be directed to any of the faculty members who work in the area.

Sir Thomas More, Utopia

Other writers of the early sixteenth century
John Skelton*
Sir Thomas Wyatt the Elder*
Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey*

George Gascoigne
The Adventures of Master F.J. +
Selected poems*

Other early Elizabethan writing
A Mirror for Magistrates , 1559 prefaces and tragedies of Tresilian, Mortimer, Gloucester, Mowbray, and Richard II+
Arthur Golding, Preface to Ovid's Metamophoses+
Isabella Whitney, "Will and Testament"+
Queen Elizabeth I*

Sir Philip Sidney
The Old Arcadia
An Apology for Poetry

Selected poems*

Edmund Spenser

The Shepheardes Calender, all prefatory material and January, April, and October eclogues
The Faerie Queene, Books I, II, and III, Book VI, cantos 9-12, the "Mutabilitie Cantos," and the letter to Raleigh
Selections from Amoretti*

Thomas Nashe
The Unfortunate Traveler

Other Elizabethan poets
Robert Southwell*
Mary ( Sidney) Herbert*
Samuel Daniel*
Michael Drayton*
Thomas Campion*

Christopher Marlowe
The Jew of Malta
Doctor Faustus

"Hero and Leander"* and "The Passionate Shepherd to his Love"*

William Shakespeare
At least eight plays, including A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, 1 Henry IV, Hamlet, King Lear, Antony and Cleopatra, and The Tempest

Selected poems*

Ben Jonson
Bartholomew Fair

Selected poems*
Masques: Masque of Blackness*, Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue+, and Oberon+

Other Renaissance drama

Nicholas Udall, Ralph Roister Doister+

Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, Gorboduc+
Thomas Kyd, The Spanish Tragedy
Anonymous, Arden of Faversham
Thomas Dekker, The Shoemaker’s Holiday
John Webster, The Duchess of Malfi
Elizabeth Cary, The Tragedy of Miriam

Thomas Middleton and Thomas Dekker, The Roaring Girl+

Philip Massinger, The Renedago

John Donne*

George Herbert*

Henry Vaughan*

Richard Crashaw*

Robert Herrick*

Andrew Marvell*

John Milton
Paradise Lost
Selected poetry and prose*

Other seventeenth-century poets
Thomas Carew*

Richard Lovelace*
Katharine Philips*

Mary Wroth
Pamphilia to Amphilanthus *
Book 1 of Urania

Aemilia Lanyer

Salve Deus Rex Judaeorum (including the dedicatory poems and "The Description of Cooke-ham")

Francis Bacon

New Atlantis

Selected prose works*

Other seventeenth-century writers
King James I, "To My Dearest Sonne and Natural Successor," "To the Reader Reader," and Book I of Basilikon Doran+

Joseph Swetnam*
Rachel Speght*
Margaret Cavendish*
Lucy Hutchinson*
Thomas Hobbes*

Renaissance Literature Reading List Supplementary Readings

Nicholas Udall, Ralph Roister Doister (written c. 1553)

A Mirror for Magistrates, 1559 and subsequent prefaces and tragedies of Tresilian, Mortimer, Gloucester, Mowbray, and Richard II

Thomas Norton and Thomas Sackville, Gorboduc  (1561)

George Gascoigne, the Adventures of Master F.J. (1573)

Arthur Golding, Preface to Ovid's Metamorphoses (1567)

Isabella Whitney, "Will and Testament" (1573)

King James, "To My Dearest Sonne and Natural Successor," "To the Reader Reader," and Book I of Basilikon Doran (1599)

Ben Jonson, Masque of Blackness (1605)

Ben Jonson, Oberon (1616)

Ben Jonson, Pleasure Reconciled to Virtue (1618)


Revised 6/12

Reading List 3: Restoration and Eighteenth-Century Literature

Faculty Committee: Bernadette Andrea, Elizabeth Heckendorn Cook, Rachael King

It is assumed that students taking the first qualifying exam in the Restoration and Eighteenth Century will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period at large.

Required selections may be found as indicated:

BL = British Literature 1640-1789, An Anthology. 2d Edition. Ed. Robert DeMaria, Jr. Blackwell, 2001.

ECP = Eighteenth-Century Poetry, An Annotated Anthology. Eds. David Fairer and Christine Gerrard. Blackwell, 1999

AB = Oroonoko, The Rover, and Other Works. Ed. Janet Todd. Penguin, 1992.

RED = Broadview Anthology of Restoration & Early Eighteenth-Century Drama. Ed. J. Douglas Canfield. Broadview, 2001.

PC = photocopy available in the office of the Staff Graduate Advisor


Students are encouraged to read widely in the relevant secondary literature. 


Drama (in RED unless noted)

Joseph Addison. Cato, A Tragedy (1712)

Aphra Behn. The Rover or The Lucky Chance

William Congreve. The Way of the World (1700)

John Dryden. Marriage à la Mode or All for Love      

          PC: “Preface” to An Evening’s Love

John Gay. The Beggar's Opera

Oliver Goldsmith. She Stoops to Conquer

          PC: “An Essay on the Theater”   

George Lillo. The London Merchant (1731)

Richard Brinsley Sheridan. The School for Scandal

William Wycherley. The Country Wife



Jane Austen. Mansfield Park (1814)

Aphra Behn. Oroonoko (1688)

John Bunyan. Pilgrim's Progress, Part One

Frances Burney.  Evelina

Maria Edgeworth. Belinda (1801) or Castle Rackrent

Henry Fielding. Tom Jones

Eliza Haywood. BL: Fantomina

Charlotte Lennox. The Female Quixote

Ann Radcliffe. The Italian or Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)

Samuel Richardson. Pamela (1740) and Clarissa (Broadview abridge edition permissible) (1748-9)

Sarah Scott. Millenium Hall (1762)

Laurence Sterne. Tristram Shandy

Horace Walpole. Castle of Otranto (1764)


Poetry (BL unless noted)

Aphra Behn. AB: “Love Armed”; “The Disappointment”; “To the fair Clarinda …”

Mary Collier. “The Woman’s Labor”

William Collins. “Ode to Fear”; “Ode on the Poetical Character”; “Ode to Evening”    

William Cowper. “The Negro’s Complaint”; “On a Spaniel Called Beau”; “Beau’s Reply”; “The Castaway”; The Task Book I 

Stephen Duck. From “The Thresher’s Labor”

Anne Finch. “The Introduction”; “Adam Posed”; “The Petition for an Absolute Retreat”; “To the Nightingale”; “The Unequal Fetters”; “The Spleen: A Pindaric Poem.”

Oliver Goldsmith. “The Deserted Village”

Thomas Gray. “Sonnet [on the death of Richard West]”; “Ode on the Death of a Favourite Cat”; “An Elegy Wrote in a Country Church Yard”; “The Progress of Poesy”

          ECP: “Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College”

John Milton. Paradise Lost Books I, IV, IX, XII lines 574-end

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. “The Reasons that Induced Dr. S- …”; “To the Memory of Mr. Congreve”

          ECP: “Epistle from Arthur Gray the Footman”; “Verses Address’d to the Imitator of Horace” (with Lord Hervey)

James Thomson. “Winter.” PC: “Rule, Britannia”

John Wilmot, Second Earl of Rochester. “The Imperfect Enjoyment”; “A Satyr Against Reason and Mankind”; “Signior Dildo”


Prose writers (BL unless noted)

Addison and Steele. Spectators 1, 2, 10, 11 (BL), 62, 112, 122, 287, 411-414 (PC) (1711-14)

Mary Astell. From A Serious Proposal to the Ladies

James Boswell. From The Life of Johnson (BL) (1791); from the Journal (PC)  

Edmund Burke. A Philosophical Inquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful, Part 2, Sections 1-5, 13-16 (1757)

Olaudah Equiano. From The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano

Thomas Hobbes. Leviathan, Ch XIII: “Of the Natural Condition of Mankind …”

David Hume. “Of the Liberty of the Press”; “My Own Life”

John Locke. An Essay concerning … Civil Government, excerpts from Chs. 1, 2, 4, 5

Bernard Mandeville. From A Modest Defence of Public Stews

Lady Mary Wortley Montagu. LETTERS Of the Right Honourable Lady M-y W—y M—u

Clara Reeve. FC: The Progress of Romance Preface, Evening I, II, VII (1785)

Adam Smith. Theory of Moral Sentiments, Section I Chs. 1-5 (1759)


Daniel Defoe

Robinson Crusoe (1719) and Moll Flanders or Roxana

A Journal of the Plague Year

“The True-Born Englishman” (1701)

The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters (1703)


John Dryden (BL unless noted)

Absalom and Achitophel

"Song for St. Cecilia's Day"

"Mac Flecknoe" 

PC: "Essay of Dramatic Poesy"


Jonathan Swift (BL unless noted)

 A Tale of a Tub        

Gulliver's Travels (1726)        

"A Modest Proposal"

"The Lady's Dressing Room"; "A Beautiful Young Nymph Going to Bed," “A Description of a City Shower”

ECP: "Verses on the Death of Dr. Swift"; "Stella's Birthday 1727"

PC: "To Stella Visiting Me in My Sickness"; "An Argument Against the Abolishing of Christianity in England"


Alexander Pope (ECP unless noted)

The Dunciad, Bks. I and II (1743); “Eloisa to Abelard”; "Windsor-Forest”; “An Epistle to a Lady. Of the Characters of Women”; “To Richard Boyle, Earl of Burlington. Of the Use of Riches”; “Epistle to Dr. Arbuthnot”

BL: The Rape of the Lock (1712)

PC: An Essay on Criticism; An Essay on Man (1734) Book I and “The Design”


Samuel Johnson (BL unless noted)

Rasselas (1759)

From the Preface to The Plays of William Shakespeare  

From the Preface to The Dictionary of the English Language

"The Vanity of Human Wishes" 

PC: Rambler, No. 4, No. 60 (1750); from Lives of the Poets: “Milton”; “Dryden”; “Pope,” “Savage”



Revised 01/16

Reading List 4: Romantic and Victorian Literature

Faculty Committee: Janis Caldwell, Julie Carlson, Alan Liu, Kay Young

It is assumed that students taking the first qualifying examination in the Romantics and Victorian field will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the principal critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period at large.  Students are thus encouraged to read widely in the relevant secondary literature.  Selections marked by an asterisk (*) must be read in the sixth edition of the Norton Anthology of English Literature.  Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.



William Blake
Songs of Innocence and of Experience
America, a Prophecy or Europe, a Prophecy
Note: While it is appropriate to concentrate on the texts of Blake’s poems, some familiarity with the “illuminated” or illustrated versions is necessary

Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“Eolian Harp,” “Fears in Solitude,” “France: An Ode,” “Frost at Midnight,” “This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison,” “Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” “Kubla Khan,” “Christabel,” “Dejection: An Ode,” “Ne Plus Ultra,” Biographia Literaria, chaps. 1-4; 13-19

William Wordsworth
from Lyrical Ballads: “Simon Lee,” “We Are Seven,” “The Thorn,” “The Last of the Flock,” “The Idiot Boy,” “Expostulation and Reply,” “The Tables Turned,” “Tintern Abbey,” “The Brothers,” the “Lucy” poems (“Strange Fits of Passion Have I Known,” “A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal,” “Song: She Dwelt Among the Untrodden Ways,” “Three Years She Dwelt in Sun and Shower”), “Lucy Gray,” “Poor Susan” “The Two April Mornings,” “Nutting,” “The Old Cumberland Beggar,” “Michael”; Preface to Lyrical Ballads (1802 version); “Resolution and Independence,” “Composed Upon Westminster Bridge,” “Immortality Ode,” “The Solitary Reaper,” “Ode to Duty” “Elegiac Stanzas,” “Surprized By Joy”; The Prelude (1805 version)

Dorothy Wordsworth
From The Grasmere Journal +

Percy Bysshe Shelley
“Mont Blanc,” “Hymn to Intellectual Beauty”
“Stanzas written in Dejection--December 1818, Near Naples,”
“Ode to the West Wind”
“Lift Not the Painted Veil”
“The Triumph of Life”
A Defence of Poetry
The Cenci

John Keats
“On First Looking Into Chapman’s Homer,” “Sleep and Poetry,” “Eve of St. Agnes,” “La Belle Dame sans Merci,” “Ode to Psyche,” “Ode to a Nightingale,” “Ode on a Grecian Urn,” “Ode on Melancholy,” “Ode on Indolence,” “Lamia,” “To Autumn,” The Fall of Hyperion, Selected letters in Norton Anthology (*)

George Gordon, Lord Byron
“She Walks in Beauty”
“Oh! Snatch’d Away in Beauty’s Bloom”
Don Juan

Felicia Hemans
“The Lady of the Castle,” “The Graves of a Household,” “To the Poet Wordsworth,” “The Homes of England,” “Stanzas to the Memory of the Late King” +

Joanna Baillie
De Montfort

Charlotte Turner Smith
Sonnet I (“The partial Muse has from my earliest hours”), Sonnet XLIV (“Written in the churchyard at Middleton in Susses”), Sonnet XLVII (“To fancy”), Sonnet LVII (“To dependence”), Sonnet LIX (“Written September 1791, during a remarkable thunder storm, in which the moon was perfectly clear, while the tempest gathered in various directions near the earth”) +

Letitia Elizabeth Landon
“Sappho’s Song,” “The Proud Ladye, “Love’s Last Lesson,” “The Lost Pleiad” +
John Clare
Poems in Norton Anthology(*) (“Mouse’s Nest,” “I Am,” “Clock a Clay,” “Song [I Peeled Bits of Straw],” “Song [Secret Love],” “An Invite to Eternity,” “A Vision”); plus “To the Snipe,” “Remembrances,” “Autumn,” “The Peasant Poet” +


Mary Shelley

Jane Austen

Sir Walter Scott


Mary Wollstonecraft
Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Introduction and Chaps. 1-4, 9, 12-13

William Hazlitt
“Character of Mr. Burke,” “Self-Love and Benevolence,” “My First Acquaintance with Poets,” “On Gusto,” “On Poetry in General,” “Characters of Shakespeare’s Plays,” “Macbeth,” “Othello,” “Coriolanus

Edmund Burke
Reflections on the Revolution in France +



William Makepeace Thackeray, Vanity Fair
Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights
Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre
Charles Dickens, Bleak House
Elizabeth Gaskell, Mary Barton
George Eliot, Middlemarch
Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Thomas Hardy, Jude the Obscure
Joseph Conrad, “Preface” to The Nigger of the ‘Narcissus’, Heart of Darkness
Robert Louis Stevenson, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Olive Schreiner, Story of an African Farm


Alfred Tennyson
In Memoriam A.H.H.
“The Lady of Shalott”
“The Lotus-Eaters”                                                      
“The Passing of Arthur” from Idylls of the King
“Locksley Hall”
“The Charge of the Light Brigade”

Robert Browning
“My Last Duchess”
“The Bishop Orders His Tomb at Saint Praxed’s Church”
“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”
“Fra Lippo Lippi”
“Porphyria’s Lover”
“Youth and Art”
“Caliban upon Setebos”

Matthew Arnold
“In Harmony with Nature”
“The Forsaken Merman”
“The Buried Life”
“The Scholar Gypsy”
“Dover Beach”
“Stanzas from the Grand Chartreuse”

George Meredith
Modern Love

Emily Brontë
“I’m happiest When Most Away”
“The Night Wind”
“The Prisoner. A Fragment”
“No Coward Soul is Mine”

Dante Gabriel Rossetti
“The Blessed Damozel”
“The Sonnet,” “Lovesight,” and “The One Hope” from The House of Life

Christina Rossetti
“After Death”
“A Triad”
“In an Artist’s Studio”
“Goblin Market”
“Winter: My Secret”
“Cardinal Newman”
“Sleeping at Last”

Elisabeth Barrett Browning
Aurora Leigh, selections (*)

William Morris
“The Defense of Guenevere”

Algernon Charles Swinburne
“I Will Go Back to the Great Sweet Mother”
“Hymn to Proserpine”

Gerard Manley Hopkins
“God’s Grandeur”
“The Windhover”
“Pied Beauty”
“Spring and Fall”
“Felix Randal”
“Carrion Comfort”
“Thou Art Indeed Just, Lord”
Wreck of the Deutschland


Harriet Martineau, Autobiography
George Eliot, “Margaret Fuller and Mary Wollstonecraft”
Thomas Carlyle, “Characteristics”(*); from Past and Present: “Democracy”(*) and “Captains of Industry”(*)
John Henry Cardinal Newman, The Idea of a University (*) and Apologia Pro Vita Sua (*)
John Stuart Mill, “What is Poetry?”, On Liberty (from Chap. 3)(*), The Subjection of Women (from Chap. 1)(*), Autobiography (from Chap. 5)(*)
John Ruskin, “The Storm-Cloud of the Nineteenth Century”
Eliza Lynn Linton, “The Girl of the Period”+
Francis Power Cobbe, “What Shall We Do with Our Old Maids” +
Matthew Arnold, from “The Function of Criticism at the Present Time” (*), Culture and Anarchy (from Chaps. 1, 2, 5) (*), from “The Study of Poetry” (*)
Walter Pater, from The Renaissance (*): Preface, “La Giocanda,” Conclusion
Charles Darwin, Selections from The Descent of Man and On the Origin of Species+

Revised 8/03

Reading List 5: American Literature to 1865

Faculty Committee:  Jeannine DeLombard, Mark Maslan, Christopher Newfield

It is assumed that students taking the first qualifying examination in American Literature to 1865 will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the principal critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period as a whole.  Students are thus encouraged to read widely in the relevant secondary literature.  Figures and selections marked with an asterisk (*) indicate that the relevant material can be found in The Norton Anthology of American Literature, 9th edition, Volumes A & B. 

Christopher Columbus*
Bartolome de las Casas*
Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca* 

Colonial Period
John Smith*
Thomas Morton*
John Winthrop*
William Bradford*
Anne Bradstreet*
Michael Wigglesworth*
Edward Taylor*
Mary Rowlandson, Sovereignty and Goodness of God (1st or 2nd Bedford edition)
Cotton Mather*
William Byrd*
Jonathan Edwards, “Personal Narrative”*; “A Divine and Supernatural Light”*; “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”* 
Sarah Kemble Knight, Journal of Madam Knight (Early Americas Digital Archive)
Samson Occom, “A Short Narrative of My Life”*

Early Republic
Benjamin Franklin, The Autobiography
Hector St. John de Crèvecoeur, Letters from an American Farmer
John and Abigail Adams*
Thomas Paine*
Thomas Jefferson* 
The Federalist Papers* 
Olaudah Equiano, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African.  Written by Himself  (Penguin edition, Vincent Carretta, ed., 2003)
Philip Freneau*
Phyllis Wheatley*
Royall Tyler, The Contrast*
Hannah Foster, The Coquette*
Charles Brockden Brown, Wieland

Antebellum Period through Civil War 
Washington Irving* 
James Fenimore Cooper, The Pioneers
Ralph Waldo Emerson*
Edgar Allan Poe*
William Apess, “An Indian’s Looking Glass for the White Man”* & A Son of the Forest
(University of Pittsburgh through Internet Archive)
Elias Boudinot* 
Margaret Fuller*
Nathaniel Hawthorne*
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin
Henry David Thoreau, Walden*
Frederick Douglass*
Walt Whitman*
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick
Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
Emily Dickinson*
Abraham Lincoln*
Rebecca Harding Davis, Life in the Iron Mills*


Reading List 6: American Literature From 1865

Faculty Committee: Stephanie Batiste, Yunte Huang, Mark Maslan, Christopher Newfield, Candace Waid

It is assumed that students taking the qualifying examination in American Literature from 1865 will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the principle critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period as a whole. Students are thus encouraged to read widely in the relevant secondary literature.

Choose 35 items from the list below in consultation with your examiner. The Poetry Selections are required. Students should choose at least three texts from each section (1865 – WWI; WWI – 1965; 1965 – present). You must submit your choices to the field examiner by the first Friday of the Spring Term.

Figures and selections marked with an asterisk (*) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.

1865 – World War I

1. Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

2. Henry James, Portrait of a Lady

3. Kate Chopin, The Awakening

4. Stephen Crane, The Red Badge of Courage

5. W.E.B. Dubois and Booker T. Washington (Selections in Drop Box)*

6. Sarah Orne Jewett, The Country of the Pointed Firs (not Cather’s ed.); Dunnet Landing stories: “A Dunnet Shepherdess,” “The Queen’s Twin,” “The Foreigner,” “William’s Wedding” (in Drop Box*)

7. Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman and Other Conjure Tales and/or The House behind the Cedars

8. Willa Cather, My Antonia

9. Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie

10. Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth and/or The Age of Innocence

World War I – 1965

11. Modern Poetry, Poetics, & Poetic Prose (selections): H. Crane, Cullen, H.D., Eliot, Frost, Hughes, Moore, Pound, Stein, Stevens, Williams (Box)*

12. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

13. Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises and/or, In Our Time

14. William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury and/or, Absalom Absalom!

15. Jean Toomer, Cane

16. Richard Wright, Native Son

17. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God

18. John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

19. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

1965 – present

20. Saul Bellow, Mr. Sammler’s Planet and/or, Herzog

21. Norman Mailer, Armies of the Night

22. James Baldwin, Go Tell it to the Mountain and/or Giovanni’s Room

23. Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

24: Post-War Poetry Selections: John Ashbery, Elizabeth Bishop, Gwendolyn Brooks, Robert Creeley, Rita Dove, Allen Ginsberg, Jorie Graham, Robert Hayden, Joy Harjo, Audre Lorde, Robert Lowell, Frank O’Hara, Charles Olson, George Oppen, Simon Ortiz, Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich (Box)*

25. Philip Roth, American Pastoral and/or Goodbye Columbus

26. Toni Morrison, Beloved and/or Sula

27. Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior

28. Louise Erdrich, Tracks and/or The Round House

29. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita

30. Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony and/or Almanac of the Dead

31. Truman Capote, In Cold Blood

32. Joan Didion, Slouching Towards Bethlehem

33. Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian

34. Sandra Cisneros, Woman Hollering Creek and/or The House on Mango Street

35. Flannery O’Conner, Everything That Rises Must Converge; selected stories (Box*)

36. David Foster Wallace, Consider the Lobster and/or Infinite Jest

37. Theresa Cha, DICTEE

38. John Rechy, The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez and/or City of Night

39. Alejandro Morales, The Rag Doll Plagues

40. Americo Paredes, George Washington Gomez

41. Don DeLillo, White Noise

42. Deborah Miranda, Bad Indians

Reading List 7: Twentieth-Century Anglophone Literature

Faculty Committee: Maurizia Boscagli, Enda Duffy, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Sowon Park, Rita Raley, Glyn Salton-Cox, Russell Samolsky, Teresa Shewry

It is assumed that students taking the first qualifying examination in the 20th-Century Anglophone field will be familiar not only with the following primary texts but also with the principal critical and interpretive issues concerning these texts and the period at large.

Because of the exponential global increase in Anglophone literature, particularly in the latter part of the century, students may limit themselves to three areas in the post–1939 period.

1.0 = equivalent of one full-length novel
L =  in UCSB Library
N = in Norton Anthology of English Literature, seventh edition

1900 to 1939

One of the following: Rudyard Kipling, Kim or H. G. Wells, Tono Bungay, or Baron Corvo, Hadrian the Seventh, or Ford Maddox Ford, The Good Soldier (all L) (1.0)

Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness and one of Nostromo, The Secret Agent, or Under Western Eyes (all L) (1.5)

D. H. Lawrence, Sons and Lovers or Women in Love (both L) (1.0)

Katherine Mansfield, "Bliss," "The Daughters of the Late Colonel," “The Stranger”,
This Flower,” “The Fly”, and "The Garden Party" in Collected Stories (L) (0.25)

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, "Mr. Bennett and Mr. Brown" (1924 version in Collected Essays) + and one of Mrs. Dalloway, To The Lighthouse, or The Waves (all L) (1.0)

James Joyce, Ulysses (L) (1.5)

E. M. Forster, A Passage to India (L) (1.0)

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (L) (1.0)

Djuna Barnes, Nightwood (L) (1.0)

First World War poets (Rupert Brooke, Edward Thomas, Siegfried Sassoon, Ivor Gurney,
Isaac Rosenberg, Winfred Owen, May Wedderburn Cannan, David Jones) + (N) and Thomas Hardy, "Channel Firing," “Drummer Hodge,” “The Man he Killed,” “And There was a Great Calm” in Complete Poems (L) (0.5)

Yeats, selected poems, (N) (0.5)

Eliot, "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," "The Waste Land," "Four Quartets" in Collected Poems: 1909-1962, "Tradition and the Individual Talent," "Hamlet," + "Metaphysical Poets" in Essays on Poetry and Poets (all L) (1.0)

W. H. Auden, selected poems (N) (1.0)

George Bernard Shaw, Heartbreak House (L) (0.5)

J. M. Synge, Playboy of the Western World or Sean O'Casey, Juno and the Paycock (both L) (0.5)

One of the following: Evelyn Waugh, A Handful of Dust, Elizabeth Bowen, The Last September, Christopher Isherwood, Berlin Stories, Radclyffe Hall, The Well of Loneliness (all L) (0.5)   

1939-Present: Choose at least three areas

Graham Greene, The Honorary Consul or Brighton Rock (both L) (1.0)

Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange (L) (1.0)

Iris Murdoch, A Fairly Honorable Defeat (L) (1.0)

Selected poems by Dylan Thomas, Philip Larkin, Thom Gunn and Ted Hughes (N) (0.5)

Selected poems by Stevie Smith (N), Fleur Adcock, Elizabeth Jennings, Ann Stevenson, and Carol Ann Duffy in Linda France, ed., Sixty Women Poets (L) (0.5)

Harold Pinter, The Caretaker, or Tom Stoppard, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (both L) (0.5)

Caryl Churchill, Top Girls or Sarah Daniels, Ripen our Darkness (both L) (0.5)

Two of the following: Margaret Drabble, The Realms of Gold, J.G. Ballard, Crash, Pat Barker, Regeneration, Ian McEwan, Atonement, Angela Carter, Nights at the Circus, Jeanette Winterson, Sexing the Cherry, Alan Hollinghurst, The Swimming Pool Library, James Kelman, How Late it Was, How Late (all L) (2.0)

Flann O'Brien, At Swim-Two-Birds (L) (1.0)

Samuel Beckett, Molloy and Endgame (both L) (1.0)

Brian Moore, The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne or Lies of Silence (both L) (1.0)

Edna O'Brien, The Country Girls or The House of Splendid Isolation (both L) (1.0)

William Trevor, The News from Ireland or Felicia’s Journey (both L) (1.0)

Patrick Kavanagh, candidate’s choice of poems from Collected or Complete Poems (both L) (0.25)

Seamus Heaney, candidate’s choice of poems from Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996 (L) (0.25)

Candidate’s choice of Selected poems by Eavan Boland, Derek Mahon, Michael Longley, Eileen ni Chuilleanain, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon from Peggy O’Brian, ed., Wake Forest Book of Irish Women’s Poetry: 1967-2000 and volume 3 of Seamus Deane, ed., The Field Day Anthology of Irish Writing (both L) (0.5)

Brian Friel, Translations or Tom Murphy, The Gigli Concert  (both L) (0.5)

Two of the following: John McGahern, Amongst Women, John Banville, The Book of Evidence, Roddy Doyle, Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha, Jennifer Johnston, Shadows on Our Skin, Patrick McCabe, The Butcher Boy (all L) (1.5)

Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea (L) (1.0)

George Lamming, In the Castle of My Skin (L) (1.0)

V. S. Naipaul, The Mimic Men (L) (1.0)

Sam Selvon, Moses Ascending (L) (0.5)

Jamaica Kincaid, The Autobiography of my Mother  and A Small Place (L) (1.0)

Derek Walcott, Omeros (L) (1.0)

Poems by John Agard, Louise Bennett, Kamau Braithwaite, Dionne Brand, Jean Binta Breeze, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Mutabaruka, Grace Nichols in Voice Print: An Anthology of Oral and Related Poetry from the Caribbean (0.5)

Two of the following: Earl Lovelace, Wine of Astonishment, Caryl Phillips, Cambridge, Michelle Cliff, No Telephone to Heaven, Wilson Harris, Carnival, Garth St. Omer, A Room  on the Hill (all L) (1.5)

Amos Tutuola, The Palm Wine Drinkard (L) (0.5)

Chinua Achebe, Things Fall Apart and "The African Writer and the English Language" in Hopes and Impediments: Selected Essays (both L) (1.0)

Wole Soyinka, Death and The King's Horseman (L) (0.5)

Ngugi wa Thiongo, Petals of Blood (L) (1.0)

Doris Lessing, The Grass is Singing (L) (1.0)

Nadine Gordimer, The Conservationist (L) (1.0)

 J. M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians (L) (1.0)

Candidate’s selection of poems in Adewale Maja-Pearce, ed., The Heinemann Book of African Poetry in English (L) (0.5)

Two of the following: Bessie Head, A Question of Power, Buchi Emecheta, The Joys of Motherhood, Nuruddin Farah, Maps, Ben Okri, Stars of the New Curfew, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Sozaboy: A Novel in Rotten English, Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy (L) (1.5)

South Asian
R.K. Narayan, Swami and Friends (L) (0.5)

Anita Desai, Clear Light of Day (L) (0.5)

Salmon Rushdie, Shame or Midnight’s Children (both L) (1.0)

Nayantara Sahgal, Rich Like Us or Mistry, Such a Long Journey (L only for Rich Like Us) (1.0)

Vikram Seth, A Suitable Boy (L) (2.0)

Michael Ondaatje, Running in the Family (L) (1.0)

Bapsi Sidhwa, Cracking India (1.0)

Mahasweta Devi, Imaginary Maps (L) or  Sujata Bhatt, Brunizem (L) (0.5)

Candidate’s selections from Kaiser Haq, ed., Contemporary Indian Poetry (L) (0.5)

One of the Following:  Zulficar Ghose, The Incredible Brazilian, Amitav Ghosh, The Circle of Reason or The Shadow Lines Hanif Khureshi, The Buddha of Suburbia, Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (all L) (1.0)

Robertson Davies, The Fifth Business (L) (1.0)

Modichai Richler, St. Urbain's Horseman (L) (1.0)

Hugh MacLennan, The Watch that Ends the Night  or Sheila Watson, The Double Hook (L) (1.0)

Margaret Atwood, Surfacing (L) (1.0)

Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel (L) (1.0)

Alice Munro, Lives of Girls and Women (L) (1.0)

Timothy Findley, The Wars or Not Wanted on the Voyage (both L) (1.0)

Selected poems by Earle Birney, Irving Layton, M. Ondaatje, P.K. Page, Margaret Avison, Al Purdy, Margaret Atwood in Gary Geddes, ed., 15 Canadian Poets X 3 (L) (0.25)

Two of Sharon Pollock, Blood Relations, George Ryga, The Ecstasy of Rita Joe (all L) (0.5)

Antipodean (Australia, New Zealand, and the Pacific Islands)
Patrick White, Voss (L) (1.0)

Christina Stead, The Man Who Loved Children (L) (1.0)

Janet Frame, An Angel at My Table (L) (1.0)

Witi Tame Ihimaera, Dear Miss Mansfield (L) (1.0)

Colin Johnson, Dr. Wooreddy's Prescription for Enduring the Ending of the World (1.0)

Albert Wendt, Pouliuli (L) (1.0)

Patricia Grace, Potiki, Keri Hulme, The Bone People, or Sally Morgan, My Place (all L) (1.0)

Richard Flanagan, Gould’s Book of Fish (L) (1.0)

 Selected poems by Les Murray, Gwen Harwood, Lionel Fogarty, John Kinsella, and A.D. Hope in John Tranter and Philip Mead, eds., The Penguin [or Bloodaxe] Book of Modern Australian Poetry (L) (0.5)

Revised 2003

Reading List 8: U.S. Race and Ethnic Literatures

Faculty Committee:

Stephanie Batiste,  Felice Blake, Ben Olguín, Swati Rana, and Candace Waid


Examinees will select two of the areas listed below (Sections I through V). Examinees are expected to be familiar with the critical and theoretical contexts of all items selected for their exams.  Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser. 



Slave Narratives

(Choose 2 authors)

1) Frederick Douglass, Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass

2) Harriet Jacobs, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl (1861)

3) Phyllis Wheatley, Poems on Various Subjects

4) Harriet Wilson, Our Nig


Post Reconstruction Era/Turn-of-the-Century

(Choose 3 authors)

1) W. E. B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk

2) Charles Chesnutt, The Conjure Woman; The Marrow of Tradition; House Behind the Cedars

3) Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Lyrics of Lowly Life, Sport of the Gods

4) Frances Harper, Iola Leroy (1892)

5) Pauline Hopkins, Contending Forces

6) Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery


Harlem Renaissance / Early

(Choose 3 authors)

1) Jessie Fauset, Plum Bun

2) Georgia Douglass Johnson, selected poems +

3) James Weldon Johnson,  Autobiography of and Ex-Colored Man

4) Alain Locke, The New Negro

5) Claude McKay, Home to Harlem; selected poems +

6) George Schuyler, Black No More

7) Jean Toomer, Cane (1923)


Harlem Renaissance / Late

(Choose 2 authors)

1) Langston Hughes, Weary Blues; selected poems +

2) Nella Larsen, Passing; Quicksand

3) Fire!! A Quarterly Devoted to Younger Negro Artists (1926)

4) Ralph Ellison, Shadow and Act


Post Renaissance

(Choose 3 authors)

1) William Attaway, Blood on the Forge

2) Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

3) Chester Himes, If He Hollers Let Him Go

4) Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; Dust Tracks on a Road; Mules and Men                                                                                                                     

5) Anne Petry, The Street

6) Melvin Tolson, “Dark Symphony”, “Psi” +

7) Richard Wright, Native Son


Civil Rights Era / Black Arts Movement

(Choose 4 authors)

1) James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, Go Tell It on the Mountain

2) Gwendolyn Brooks, Maud Martha

3) Lorraine Hansberry, A Raisin in the Sun

4) Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope

5) Paula Marshall, Brown Girl, Brownstones

6) Amiri Baraka, The Dutchman

7) Ntozake Shange, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow is Enuf



(Choose 4 authors)

1) Octavia Butler, Wildseed; Kindred

2) Gayl Jones, Corrigadora

3) Jamaica Kincaid, Annie JohnIn a Small Place

4) Audre Lourde, Zami, A New Spelling of My Name

5) Toni Morrison, Beloved; The Bluest Eye; Song of Solomon; “Recitatif” +

6) Sherley Anne Williams, Dessa Rose

7) August Wilson, The Piano Lesson; Joe Turner's Come and Gone; Fences

8) John Edgar Wideman, Brothers and Keepers


Examinee’s Choice

Five additional texts not already included in the African American Literature list




1) Carlos Bulosan, America is in the Heart

2) Theresa Hak-kyung Cha, Dictee 

3) Maxine Hong Kingston, The Woman Warrior and/or China Men

4) Abraham Verghese, My Own Country



1) Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey

2) Joy Kogawa, Obasan

3) Chang-rae Lee, Native Speaker

4) Milton Muruyama, All I Asking For is MY Body

5) John Okada, No-No Boy

6) Lois-Anne Yamanaka, Blu’s Hanging

7) Karen Tei Yamashita, Through the Arc of the Rainbow


Short Fiction

1) Sui Sin Far (Edith Eaton). Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings

2) Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies

3) Lan Samantha Lan Chang, Hunger

4) Bharati Mukherjee, The Middleman and Other Stories

5) Hisaye Yamamoto, Seventeen Syllables



1) Philip Kan Gotanda, Yankee Dawg, You Die!
2) David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly



1) Li-Young Lee, selections +

2) Walter Lew, ed,  Premonitions

3) Cathy Song, selections +


1) Frank Chin. AIIIEEEEE!

2) Sylvia Watanabe and Carol Bruchac, eds., Home to Stay Asian American Women's Fiction


Examinee’s Choice

Five additional texts not already included in the Asian American Literature list



1) Oscar Z. Acosta, The Revolt of the Cockroach People

2) Rudolfo Anaya, Bless Me, Ultima

3) Norma Cantú, Canícula

4-5) Ana Castillo, Mixquiahuala Letters and The Guardians

6-7) Sandra Cisneros, House on Mango Street and Woman Hollering Creek or Caramelo

8) Arturo Islas, The Rain God

9) Rolando Hinojosa, Estampas del valle or Klail City

10) Cherrie Moraga, Giving Up the Ghost

11) Alejandro Morales, Brick People or Rag Doll Plagues

12) Américo Paredes, George Washington Gomez

13) John Rechy, The Miraculous Day of Amalia Gomez

14) Tomás Rivera, Y no se lo tragó la tierra… and the earth did not part

15) Maria Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Squatter and the Don

16) Luis Valdez, Zoot Suit

17) José Antonio Villareal, Pocho

18-19) Helena Maria Viramontes, The Moths  and Their Dogs Came with Them

20) Poetry selections from the Norton Anthology of Latino Literature: Lucha Corpi; Jimmy Santiago Baca: Judith Cofer Ortiz; Gary Soto; Lorna Dee Cervantes

21-25) An additional five works not on the list and chosen by the examinee




1) Yellow Bird (John Rollin Ridge), Joaquin Murieta

2) Alice Callahan, Wynema,

3) Simon Pokagon, The Queen of the Woods

4) Zitkala-Sa, American Indian Stories

5) Mourning Dove, Cogewea, the Half Breed

6 - 7) D' Arcy McNickle, The Surrounded; Wind from an Enemy Sky

8 – 9) N. Scott Momaday, House Made of Dawn; The Ancient Child

10 – 11) Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony; The Almanac of the Dead   

12 – 13) James Welch, Winter in the Blood; Fools Crow

14 – 15) Ray A. Young Bear, Jr: Black Eagle Child: The Facepaint ChroniclesRemnants of the First Earth   

16 – 17) Gerald Vizenor, The Heirs of Columbus; The Trickster of Liberty: Tribal Heirs to A Wild Tribal Baronage

18 – 19) Louise Erdrich, Love Medicine; Tracks

20 – 21) Sherman Alexie, Reservation Blues; Indian Killer

22 –23) Louis Owens, Bone Game; Sharpest Sight

24 – 25) Linda Hogan, Mean Spirit; Solar Storms

26 – 27) LeAnn Howe, Shell Shaker; Miko Kings: An Indian Baseball Story

28 – 29) Thomas King, Green Grass, Running Water; Truth and Bright Water

30) Elizabeth Cook-Lynn, From the River’s Edge

31) Paula Gunn Allen, The Woman Who Owned the Shadows



32) Nora Marks Davenhauer, Life Woven with Song

33) Leslie Marmon Silko, Storyteller

34) Alison Hedge Coke, Blood Run



35) selections by Ray A. Young Bear; Joy Harjo; Linda Hogan; LeAnn Howe; Simon Ortiz; Gerald Vizenor; Luci Tapahonso; Adrian Louis; Sherwin Bitsui +


Poetry Anthology:

36) Robert Dale Parker, ed., Changing is not Vanishing: American Indian Poetry to 1930



(Select 25 of the following items)

1) Paula Gunn Allen, The Sacred Hoop: Recovering the Feminine in Native American Traditions

2) Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands/La Frontera

3) MM Bakhtin, The Dialogic Imagination

4) Homie Bhabha, The Location of Culture

5) Kimberly Blaeser, “Gerald Vizenor: Writing and the Oral Tradition" +

6) Lisa Tanya Brooks, The Common Pot: The Recovery of Native Space in the Northeast

7) Columbia Guide to the American Indian Literatures of the United States since 1945

8) James Cox, Muting White Noise

9) Randolph Bourne, "Trans-national America" +

10) Mary Pat Brady, Extinct Lands, Temporal Geographies +

11) Ana Castillo, Massacre of the Dreamers

12) Anne Anlin Cheng, Melancholy of Race

13) Phil Deloria, Playing Indian +

14) W.E.B. Dubois, Souls of Black Folk

15) Edith Eaton, "Leaves from the Mental Portfolio of an Eurasian." +

16) Rosa Linda Fregoso, Mexicana Encounters

17) Stuart Hall, "New Ethnicities" +

18) Mae Gwendolyn Henderson, "Speaking in Tongues" +

19) Abdul JanMohamed, The Death-Bound Subject +

20) Daniel Heath Justice, Our Fire Survives the Storm: A Cherokee Literary History +

21) Penelope Myrtle Kelsey, Tribal Theory in Native American Literature: Dakota and Haudensaunee Writing and Worldviews +

22) Robert King, The Truth about Stories: A Native Narrative +

23) Arnold Krupat, Red Matters: Native American Studies +

24) George Lipsitz, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness +

25) Jose Marti, "Nuestra America" +

26) Kobena Mercer, "De Margin & De Center" +

27) Toni Morrison, Playing in the Dark,

28) Winston Napier, ed,  African American Literary Theory: A Reader

29) Native Critics Collective, Reasoning Together: The Native Critics Collective +

30) Michael Omi and Howard Winant, Racial Formations +

31) Louis Owens, Other Destines: Understanding the Native American Novel +; Mixed Blood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place; Mixed Blood Messages: Literature, Film, Family, Place +

32) People,  Part I (1999) [Maori]

33) Elvira Pulitano, Toward a Native American Critical Theory

34) Edward Said, Orientalism

35) Ramon Saldivar, Chicano Narrative

36) Jose David Saldivar, Border Matters; The Dialectics of Our America

37) Sonia Saldivar-Hull, Feminism on the Border

38) Gregg Sarris, Keeping Slug Woman Alive: A Holistic Approach to Native American Literature

39) Leslie Marmon Silko, Yellow Woman and the Beauty of the Spirit

40) Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous +

41) Gayatri Spivak, "Can the Subaltern Speak" +

42) Brian Swann and Arnold Krupat, Recovering the World: Essays on Native American Literature

43) Yi-fu Tuan, Topophilia

44) David Treuer, Native American Fiction: A User’s Manual

45) Raul Villa, Barrio-Logos

46) Gerald Vizenor, Manifest Manners: Postindian Warriors and Survivance; Shadow Distance: A Gerald Vizenor Reader; Fugitive poses: Native American Scenes of Presence and Absence

47) Warrior, Weaver, Womack, American Indian Literary Nationalism

48) Jace Weaver, That the People Might Live: Native American Literatures and Native American Community

49) Robyn Wiegman, American Anatomies

50) Craig S. Womack, Red on Red

Revised 10/2013


Reading List 9: General Theory

Faculty Committee: Bernadette Andrea, Alan Liu, Mark Maslan, Christopher Newfield, Rita Raley, Glyn Salton-Cox, Russell Samolsky

All works from the following list (except the full-length books specified at the end and those marked with an *) are from David H. Richter, The Critical Tradition:  Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends, 3rd ed. (Bedford, 2006).  for help in creating a "cognitive map" of the history of theory, students should also consult such texts as M. H. Abrams's A Glossary of Literary Terms, Raymond Wiliams's Keywords, Rene Wellek's A History of Modern Criticism, and other anthologies of theory such as Hazard Adams, Critical Theory Since Plato  (2d ed).  Those marked with a cross (+) are digitized and available online, consult with the Staff Graduate Adviser.

From Part One of the Richter anthology:

Plato, Republic, Book X +
Aristotle, Poetics +
Horace, The Art of Poetry +
Longinus, On the Sublime +
Sir Philip Sidney, An Apology for Poetry +
Aphra Behn, Preface to The Lucky Chance +
Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism +
Samuel Johnson, from “Preface to Shakespeare” +
David Hume, Of the Standard of Taste +
Immanuel Kant, from Critique of Judgement +
William Wordsworth, Preface to Lyrical Ballads +
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, from Biographia Literaria +
John Keats, from Letter to George and Thomas Keats +
Percy Bysshe Shelley, A Defence of Poetry +
G. W. F. Hegel, Introduction to the Philosophy of Art +
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Poet +
Matthew Arnold, The Function of Criticism at the Present Time +
Friedrich Nietzsche, from The Birth of Tragedy from the Spirit of Music and Part I, On the Genealogy of Morals (*) +
Henry James, The Art of Fiction +
T.S. Eliot, Tradition and the Individual Talent +
W.E.B. Du Bois, from The Souls of Black Folk +
Mikhail Bakhtin, from Discourse in the Novel (“Heteroglossia”) +
Virginia Woolf, Shakespeare’s Sister from A Room of One’s Own +
Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology (*) +
Kenneth Burke, Literature as Equipment for Living +
J.L. Austin, from How to Do Things with Words +
Simone de Beauvoir, Myths: Of Women in Five Authors +
Northrop Frye, The Archetypes of Literature +
Erich Auerbach, Odysseus’ Scar +

From Part Two of the Richter anthology:

1. Formalisms
Victor Shklovsky, “Art as Technique” +
W.K. Wimsatt and Monroe C. Beardsley, “The Intentional Fallacy” +
Cleanth Brooks, “Irony as a Principle of Structure” +

2. Structuralism, Semiotics, and Deconstruction
Ferdinand de Saussure, “Nature of the Linguistic Sign” +
Claude Lévi-Strauss, “The Structural Study of Myth” +
Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author” +
Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?”
Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences” +
Paul de Man, from Blindness and Insight (chapter 1) and “The Resistance to Theory” (*)

3. Reader-Response Criticism
Wolfgang Iser, “The Reading Process: A Phenomenological Approach” +
Hans Robert Jauss, “The Three Stages of Interpretation” +

4. Psychoanalytic Theory
Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny” (*) and “Mourning and Melancholia” (*) +
Jacques Lacan, “The Mirror Stage and “The Agency of the Letter in the Unconscious or Reason since Freud” +
Harold Bloom, “A Meditation upon Priority” +
Laura Mulvey, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema” +

5. Marxist Criticism
Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” +
Louis Althusser, from Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses +
Raymond Williams, from Marxism and Literature +
Fredric Jameson, from The Political Unconscious +

6. New Historicism and Cultural Studies
Clifford Geertz, “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” (*) +
Pierre Bourdieu, from Distinction +
Stephen Greenblatt, “Invisible Bullets” (*) +
John Guillory, from Cultural Capital: The Problem of Literary Canon Formation +

7. & 8. Feminist Literary Criticism/Gender Studies and Queer Theory
Julia Kristeva, “Women’s Time”
Hélène Cixous, “The Laugh of the Medusa” +
Luce Irigaray, “This Sex Which Is Not One” (*) +
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, from Epistemology of the Closet +

9. Postcolonialism and Ethnic Studies
Edward W. Said, from the Introduction to Orientalism +
Gayatri Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (*) +
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., “Writing, ‘Race,’ and the Difference It Makes” +

10. Theorizing Postmodernism
Jean Baudrillard, from The Precession of Simulacra +
Jürgen Habermas, “Modernity versus Postmodernity” +
Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society”
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” +

Separate books:

Karl Marx, Capital (Part I of Vol. I) +
Sigmund Freud, Interpretation of Dreams (Chapters II-IV, VI, VII)
Jacques Derrida, Of Grammatology (pp. 1-165) and The Gift of Death (Chapter 3)
Roland Barthes, S/Z (pp. 3-33, 221-54)
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, Vol. I
Jean-Francois Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition (concluding essay: “Answering the Question: What is Postmodernism?”) +
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus (chapters 1-2, 14) +
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble and Precarious Life: The Power of Mourning and Violence (Chapters 1-2) +
Giorgio Agamben,  Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life (Introduction, Part 3) +


Revised 6/07

Reading List 10: Theories of Genders and Sexualities

Faculty Committee: Bernadette Andrea, Maurizia Boscagli, Julie Carlson, Bishnupriya Ghosh, Glyn Salton-Cox, Daniel Reeve

Sigmund Freud, Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality,Female Sexuality”, “Femininity”, “On Narcissism” (1905)

Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex, vol. 1: Facts and Myths (1949)

Valerie Solanas, SCUM Manifesto (1967)

Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Manifesto for Maintenance Art (1969)

Luce Irigaray, “Any Theory of the Subject Has Always Been Appropriated by the Masculine” from Speculum of the Other Woman (1974)

Jacques Lacan, Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, The Mirror Stage” (1975)

Gayle Rubin, “The Traffic in Women” (1975)

Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1 (1976)

Luce Irigaray, “Women on the Market” and “This Sex Which is Not One” from This Sex Which is Not One (1977)

Julia Kristeva, “Stabat Mater” (1977)

Monique Wittig, “The Straight Mind” (1978)

Julia Kristeva, “Women's Time” (1979)

Julia Kristeva, “Approaching Abjection” from Powers of Horror (1980)

Michele Barrett, Women's Oppression Today (1980), chapters 1 and 2

Angela Davis, “The Legacy of Slavery: Standards for a New Womanhood” (1981)

Hazel Carby, “White Women Listen! Black Feminism and the Boundaries of Sisterhood” (1982)

Maria Lugones and Eilzabeth Spelman, “Have We Got a Theory for You! Feminist Theory, Cultural Imperialism and the Demand for a ‘Woman's Voice’” (1983)

Cherríe Moraga, “From a Long Line of Vendidas” from Loving in the War Years (1983)

Chandra Mohanty, “Under Western Eyes: Feminist Scholarship and Colonial Discourse” (1984)

Gayle Rubin, “Thinking Sex” (1984)

Donna Haraway, “The Cyborg Manifesto” (1985)

Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak, “Three Women's Texts and a Critique of Imperialism” (1985)

Gloria Anzaldua, Borderlands (1987), part 1

Leo Bersani, Is the Rectum a Grave?” (1987)

Douglas Crimp, “AIDS: Cultural Analysis/Cultural Activism” (1987)

Teresa de Lauretis, “The Technology of Gender” (1987)

Julia Kristeva, “Psychoanalysis —A Counterdepressant”, from Black Sun (1987)

Hortense Spillers, “Momma's Baby, Papa's Maybe” (1987)

Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” (1988)

Kimberlé Crenshaw, “Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex” (1989)

Trihn T. Minh-ha, Woman, Native, Other (1989), introduction

Judith Butler, Gender Trouble (1990)

Patricia Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (1991), chapter 12

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, The Epistemology of the Closet (1990), introduction

Chela Sandoval, “US Third World Feminism” (1991)

Linda Singer, Erotic Welfare (1992), chapter 2

 Eve Kosofsky Sedwick, “Jane Austen and the Masturbating Girl” from Tendencies (1993)

 Rosemary Hennessy, Materialist Feminism and the Politics of Discourse (1993), chapter 1

Gayatri Chakavorty Spivak, Outside in the Teaching Machine (1993), chapters 4 and 7

Michael Warner, Fear of a Queer Planet (1993), introduction

Judith Butler, “Against Proper Objects” (1994)

Lee Edelman, “Homographesis” and “Tearooms and Sympathy” from Homographesis (1994)

Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (1994)

Leo Bersani, Homos (1996), prologue, chapters 1 and 2

Judith Butler, The Psychic Life of Power (1997), chapters 5 and 6

Lauren Berlant and Michael Warner, “Sex in Public” (1998)

Judith Halberstam, Female Masculinity (1998), chapters 4 and 5

Jose Esteban Muñoz, “Performing Disidentifications” from Disidentifications (1999)

Paula Treichler, “AIDS: Homophobia and Biomedical Discourse” (1999)

Joseph Massad, “Reorienting Desire: The Gay International and the Arab World” (2002)

Sylvia Wynter, “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom” (2003)

Lee Edelman, No Future: Queer Theory and the Death Drive (2004), introduction

Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch (2004), introduction and chapter 2

Roderick Ferguson, Aberrations in Black: Toward a Queer of Color Critique (2004)

Heather Love, “Emotional Rescue: The Demands of Queer History” from Feeling Backward (2004)

Bracha Ettinger, The Matrixial Borderspace (2005), chapter 1

Sara Ahmed, Queer Phenomenology, chapter 1 (2006)

Robert McRuer, Crip Theory (2006), introduction

David Halperin, What do Gay Men Want? (2007)

Jasbir Puar, Terrorist Assemblages (2007), chapter 1

Julia Serano, Whipping Girl (2007), chapters 7, 8, and 20

Paul Preciado, Testo Junkie (2008), chapters 2, 4 & 6

Kevin Floyd, The Reification of Desire (2009), introduction

Jose Esteban Muñoz, “Cruising Utopia (2009), introduction and chapters 1 and 6

Elizabeth Freeman, Time Binds (2010), introduction

Mel Y. Chen, “Language and Mattering Humans” from Animacies (2012)

Carolyn Dinshaw, How Soon is Now? (2012), introduction

Alexander Weheliye, Habeas Viscus (2014), introduction and chapter 1

Jacqueline Rose, Women in Dark Times (2014), part 1

Dana Luciano and Mel Y. Chen, “Has the Queer Ever Been Human?” (2015)

Lisa Baraitser, Enduring Time (2017), introduction, chapters 2 and 3

Andrea Long Chu, “On Liking Women” (2018)

Françoise Vergès, “Capitalocene: Waste, Race, and Gender” (2019)


Last updated 2/2/2020





Reading List 11: Literature and Theory of Technology

Faculty Committee: Alan Liu, Jeremy Douglass, Rita Raley

All works on this list marked with an * can be found in The New Media Reader, eds. Nick Monfort and Noah Wardrip-Fruin (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2003).

Please find PDFs of select works through our password protected website: Please ask our Staff Graduate Advisors for password. 

A. Foundational Concepts


Martin Heidegger, “The Age of the World Picture” and “The Question Concerning Technology,” The Question Concerning Technology, and Other Essays by Martin Heidegger, trans. William Lovitt (Harper, 1982) [PDF Available]

David Rothenberg, “Unexpected Guile,” in Hand’s End: Technology and the Limits of Nature (University of California Press, 1993) [pp. 1-27]

Walter Benjamin, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn (Schocken Books, 1968)

Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto” *

Bruno Latour, “Third Source of Uncertainty: Objects too Have Agency” and “First Move: Localizing the Global,” in Reassembling the Social: An Introduction to Actor-Network-Theory (Oxford UP, 2005) [pp. 63-86, 173-190] [PDF Available]

Félix Guattari, “Machinic Heterogenesis,” in Rethinking Technologies, ed. Verena Andermatt Conley (University of Minnesota Press, 1993) [pp. 13-27] [PDF Available]


Marshall McLuhan, Selections from Understanding Media and The Gutenberg Galaxy *

Jean Baudrillard, “Precession of Simulacra,” Simulacra and Simulation, trans. Sheila Faria Glaser (University of Michigan Press, 1994) [PDF Available]

Jay David Bolter and Richard Grusin, Remediation: Understanding New Media (MIT Press, 1999) [pp. 3-50]

N. Katherine Hayles, “Media Specific Analysis,” Writing Machines (MIT Press, 2002) [pp. 29-33]  [PDF Available]

Brian Massumi, Parables for the Virtual: Movement, Affect, Sensation (Duke UP, 2002) [Introduction]  [PDF Available]

John Guillory, “Genesis of the Media Concept,” Critical Inquiry, 36.2 (2010): 321-62  [PDF Available]


Albert Borgmann, Holding On to Reality: The Nature of Information at the Turn of the Millennium (University of Chicago Press, 1999) [pp. 9-37]

Alan Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence” *

Claude E. Shannon, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (University of Illinois Press, 1969) [excerpt online]  [PDF Available]

Warren Weaver, “Some Recent Contributions to the Mathematical Theory of Communication,” in Claude E. Shannon and Warren Weaver, The Mathematical Theory of Communication (University of Illinois Press, 1949)

Norbert Wiener, “Men, Machines, and the World About” *

Vannevar Bush, “As We May Think,” Atlantic Monthly (July 1945) *

N. Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics, (University of Chicago Press, 1999) [“Prologue,” “Toward Embodied Virtuality,” “Virtual Bodies and Flickering Signifiers”]  [PDF Available]

Orality, History of the Book, and Media Archaeology

Eric A. Havelock, Preface to Plato (Harvard UP, 1963) [pp. 61-86, 134-44, 145-64, 165-93, 197-214, 215-33]

M. T. Clanchy, From Memory to Written Record: England, 1066-1307, 2nd ed. (Blackwell, 1993) [pp. 1-21, 25-43, 81-113, 114-44, 185-96, 253-93, 328-34]

Elizabeth L. Eisenstein, The Printing Revolution in Early Modern Europe (Cambridge UP, 1983) [pp. 3-107]

Adrian Johns, The Nature of the Book: Print and Knowledge in the Making (University of Chicago Press, 1998) [pp. 1-40]

Roger Chartier, “Representations of the Written Word,” in Forms and Meanings: Texts, Performances, and Audiences from Codex to Computer (1995) [pp. 6-24]  [PDF Available]

Peter Stallybrass, “Books and Scrolls: Navigating the Bible,” in Books and Readers in Early Modern England: Material Studies, ed. Jennifer Andersen and Elizabeth Sauer (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2002) [pp. 42-79]  [PDF Available]

D. F. McKenzie, “The Book as an Expressive Form” (1984), in Bibliography and the Sociology of Texts(Cambridge UP, 1999) [pp. 9-29]

Johanna Drucker, “The Virtual Codex from Page Space to E-space,” A Companion to Digital Literary Studies, ed. Ray Siemens and Susan Schreibman (Blackwell, 2007) [pp. 216-32]  [PDF Available]

Friedrich A. Kittler, “Gramophone, Film, Typewriter,” “There Is No Software,” and “Protected Mode,”Literature, Media, Information Systems: Essays by Friedrich A. Kittler,, ed. John Johnston (G&B Arts International, 1997)

---. Discourse Networks, 1800/1900, trans. Michael Metteer (Stanford UP, 1990) [pp. xii-xviii, 206-229]

Lisa Gitelman, Always Already New: Media, History, and the Data of Culture (MIT Press, 2006) [Introduction]

Cornelia Vismann, Files: Law and Media Technology (Stanford UP, 2008) [pp. 71-101, 123-164]

New Media

Theodor H. Nelson, Selections from Literary Machines *

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media (MIT Press, 2001)

Victoria Vesna, ed., Database Aesthetics (University of Minnesota Press, 2007)

Matthew Kirschenbaum, Mechanisms: New Media and the Forensic Imagination (MIT Press, 2008) [Introduction, Chapters 1-2]  [PDF Available]

Espen Aarseth, Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature (Johns Hopkins UP, 1997)

Florian Cramer, Word Made Flesh: Code, Culture, Imagination  [PDF Available]

John Cayley, “The Code is Not the Text,” Electronic Book Review (May 2002)  [PDF Available]

Matthew Fuller, ed., Software Studies: A Lexicon (MIT Press, 2008) [Introduction; browse contents]  [PDF Available]

Alex Galloway, Gaming: Essays on Algorithmic Culture (University of Minnesota Press, 2006)

Eric S. Raymond, “The Cathedral and the Bazaar,” first monday (1998)  [PDF Available]

Jaron Lanier, “Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism,” Edge (May 2006)  [PDF Available]

Colin Milburn, “Atoms and Avatars: Virtual Worlds as Massively-Multiplayer Laboratories,” Spontaneous Generations (2008)  [PDF Available]

Noah Wardrip-Fruin, Expressive Processing: Digital Fictions, Computer Games, and Software Studies (MIT Press, 2009) [Chapters 1, 2, 5 & 8]

Digital Humanities

Allen Renear, Elli Mylonas, and David Durand, “Refining our Notion of What Text Really Is: The Problem of Overlapping Hierarchies,” Scholarly Technology Group, Brown University (January 6, 1993) [Abstract •Introduction • OHCO-1 • Conclusion ]  [PDF Available]

Willard McCarty, Humanities Computing (Palgrave MacMillan, 2005) [pp. 20-72]

Lisa Samuels and Jerome J. McGann, “Deformance and Interpretation,” New Literary History 30.1 (Winter 1999): 25-56  [PDF Available]

Geoffrey Rockwell, “What is Text Analysis, Really?,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 18.2 (2003): 209-220  [PDF Available]

Stephen Ramsay, “Toward an Algorithmic Criticism,” Literary and Linguistic Computing 18.2 (2003): 167-174  [PDF Available]

Franco Moretti, Graphs, Maps, Trees (Verso, 2005) [pp. 1-64, 91-92]

Society and Culture of Technology, Media, Information

Frederick Winslow Taylor, The Principles of Scientific Management (Harper & Brothers, 1911) [Introduction; Chapter 1; and pp. 30-77 from Chapter 2]

Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno, “The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception,” The Dialectic of Enlightenment,, trans John Cuming (Continuum, 1997)  [PDF Available]

Joseph A. Schumpeter, “Creative Destruction,” Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy (Harper, 1975) [pp. 82 85]

Manuel Castells, The Information Age: Economy, Society and Culture (Blackwell, 1996-97) [Vol. 1: The Rise of the Network Society, pp. 1-25, 195-200; Vol. II: The Power of Identity, pp. 1-67]

Richard Barbrook and Andy Cameron, “The Californian Ideology” (August 1995)

Lawrence Lessig, Code and Other Laws of Cyberspace, Version 2.0 (Basic Books, 2006) [Preface and Parts I & III]

Alan Liu, The Laws of Cool: Knowledge Work and the Culture of Information (University of Chicago Press, 2004) [Parts I-II; Part III.8; Part IV.9; Part IV.11]

Henry Jenkins, “Interactive Audiences? The ‘Collective Intelligence’ of Media Fans,” Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age (NYU Press, 2006)

Wendy Chun, Control and Freedom: Power and Paranoia in the Age of Fiber Optics (MIT Press, 2008) [Introduction, Chapter 1]

Critical Art Ensemble, “Nomadic Power and Cultural Resistance” *

Lisa Nakamura, Cybertypes: Race, Ethnicity, and Identity on the Internet (Routledge, 2002) [Chapters 1-2]

---. Digitizing Race: Visual Cultures of the Internet (University of Minnesota Press, 2007) [Introduction, Chapters 4-5]  [PDF Available]

Tiziana Terranova, Network Culture: Politics for the Information Age (Pluto Press, 2004)

B. Literature of Technology / Media / Information (selected early or “canonical” works)

Oulipo Movement (selections in The New Media Reader) *

Thomas Pynchon, The Crying of Lot 49

William Gibson, Agrippa (A Book of the Dead) (Kevin Begos, 1992) and The Agrippa Files

---. Neuromancer (Ace Books, 1984)

Electronic Literature Collection: Volume 1 and Electronic Literature Collection: Volume 2 
-Browse ELC1 but the following are required: Talan Memmott, Lexia to Perplexia; John Cayley, translation; Geniwate, Generative Poetry; Michael Joyce, Twelve Blue; Brian Kim Stefans, The Dreamlife of Letters
-Browse ELC2 but the following are required: Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, Façade; Mez, extracts; Nick Montfort, ppg256; Noah Wardrip-Fruin et al, Screen .

Shelley Jackson, Patchwork Girl by Mary/Shelley and herself (Eastgate Systems, 1995) [Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is also recommended] [Available in Transcriptions Research Center]

Michael Joyce, afternoon, a story (Eastgate Systems, 1990) 

Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries (especially “Dakota,” “Lotus Blossom,” “Beckett’s Bounce,” and “Rain on the Sea”)

C. Optional

Choose up to five works, primary or secondary, representing some contemporary extension of the above topics in such areas as science fiction, contemporary fiction, film or video, graphic novel, social networking, race/ethnicity or gender and technology, mobile or locative media. Please communicate your works to the examiner at least one month prior to the exam date. After your choices have been approved, please submit Section C to the Staff Graduate Adviser and do so at least two weeks prior to the exam date.


// Revised May 2010

Reading List 12: Theories of Literature and the Environment

Literature & Environment: Prelim Exam Reading List
Updated November 2019


Faculty Examiners: Melody Jue, Tess Shewry, Bishnupriya Ghosh


Optional supplement: Keywords in Environmental Studies (2019)
Copies available with the L&E Center director


I. Time: events, periods, crises

  1. Amitav Ghosh, The Great Derangement (2015)
  2. Paul Crutzen, “Geology of Mankind” (2002)
  3. Kathryn Yusoff, “Geology, Race, Matter” from A Billion Black Anthropocenes (2018)
  4. Dipesh Chakrabarty, “The Climate of History: Four Theses” (2009)
  5. Kyle Powys Whyte “Is it Colonial Deja Vu? Indigenous Peoples and Climate Injustice” (2016)
  6. Donna Haraway, “Situated Knowledges: the Science Question in Feminism and the Privilege of Partial Perspective” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature (1991); “Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene” (2016)
  7. Eduardo Batalha Viveiros de Castro, “Exchanging Perspectives: The Transformation of Objects into Subjects in Amerindian Ontologies” (2004)
  8. Bruno Latour, “Circulating Reference: Sampling the Soil in the Amazon Forest” in Pandora’s Hope: Essays on the Reality of Science Studies (1999); “Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene” (2014)
  9. Manuel DeLanda, “Emergence” from Philosophy and Simulation (2015)
  10. Arne Naess, “The Deep Ecological Movement,” from Philosophical Inquiry (1986)
  11. Ulrich Beck, “Living on the Volcano of Civilization” from Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity (1986)


             II. Planet: strata, geographies, spaces

  1. Ursula Heise, “Introduction” and “From the Blue Planet to Google Earth,” from Sense of Place and Sense of Planet: The Environmental Imagination of the Global (2008); “From Arks to Database, Epic, and Biodiversity” in Imagining Extinction (2016)
  2. Elizabeth Povinelli, “Can Rocks Die?” in Geontologies (2016)
  3. Tobias Menely, “Anthropocene Air” (2014)
  4. Édouard Glissant, “The Open Boat” and “The Black Beach” from Poetics of Relation (1990/1997)
  5. Stephanie LeMenager, “Petro-Melancholia” in Living Oil (2013)
  6. Imre Szeman & Dominic Boyer, Introduction to Energy Humanities (2017)
  7. Karl Marx, “Estranged Labour” from 1844 Manuscripts (1844)
  8. John Bellamy Foster, Introduction from Marx’s Ecology: Materialism and Nature (1999)  
  9. Garret Hardin, “Tragedy of the Commons” (1968)
  10. Silvia Federici and George Caffentzis, "Commons Against and Beyond Capitalism" (2014)
  11. Michel Foucault, Chapter 3, from Security, Territory, Population (1978)
  12. Leo Marx, “Sleepy Hollow, 1844,” from The Machine in the Garden: Technology and the Pastoral Ideal in America (1964)
  13. William Cronon, “The Trouble with Wilderness; or, Getting Back to the Wrong Nature,” from Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature (1995)
  14. Immanuel Kant, “Sublime” (§23-§28) in Critique of Judgement (1790)


             III. Agency: Lifeforms & technologies

  1. Charles Darwin, “Natural Selection,” “Laws of Variation,” “Recapitulation and Conclusion,” from The Origin of Species (1859)
  2. Ursula K. LeGuin, “The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction” (1986), from The Ecocriticism Reader (1996)
  3. Lynn Margulis, Symbiotic Planet (1998)
  4. Kim Tallbear, “Genomic Articulations of Indigeneity” (2013) and “Why Interspecies Thinking Needs Indigenous Standpoints” (2011)
  5. Vandana Shiva, "Piracy Through Patents: The Second Coming of Columbus" from Biopiracy (1999)
  6. Stefan Helmreich & Eben Kirksey, “The Emergence of Multispecies Ethnography” (2010)
  7. Anna Tsing, “Matsutake Crusaders” in The Mushroom at the End of the World (2015)
  8. Eduardo Kohn, Introduction from How Forests Think (2011)
  9. Temple Grandin, “Animal Feelings,” from Animals in Translation (2004)
  10. Carey Wolfe, “Learning from Temple Grandin: Animal Studies, Disability Studies, and Who Comes after the Subject,” from What is Posthumanism? (2009)
  11. N. Katherine Hayles, Prologue & Chapter 1, from How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics (1999), Chapter 1 from Unthought: The Cognitive Non-Conscious (2017)
  12. Martin Heidegger, “The Question Concerning Technology,” from The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays (1949, trans. William Lovitt, 1977), and “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” from Poetry, Language, Thought (trans. Albert Hofstadter, 1971)
  13. Georges Canguilhem, “The Living in its Milieu” (2001)
  14. John Durham Peters, Introduction & Chapter 2, “Of Cetaceans and Ships; or, the Moorings of our Being” in The Marvelous Clouds (2015)


            IV. Environmentalisms: justice, differences, enclosures

  1. Rachel Carson, Silent Spring (1962) and “Marginal World” in The Edge of the Sea (1955)
  2. Michiko Ishimure, excerpt, Paradise in the Sea of Sorrow (1969)
  3. Leslie Marmon Silko, “Landscape, History, and the Pueblo Imagination,” from The Ecocriticism Reader (1996)
  4. David Pellow, “Critical Environmental Justice Studies” in What is Critical Environmental Justice? (2018)
  5. Joan Martinez-Alier, “Currents of Environmentalism,” from The Environmentalism of the Poor (2002)
  6. Rob Nixon, Introduction from Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor (2011)
  7. Ken Saro-Wiwa, “The Shell-BP Role” from Genocide in Nigeria: The Ogoni Tragedy (2000)
  8. Njabulo S. Ndebele, “Game Lodges and Leisure Colonialists” (1999)
  9. Arundhati Roy, “The Greater Common Good” (1999)
  10. Elizabeth DeLoughrey, “The Myth of Isolates: Ecosystem Ecologies in the Nuclear Pacific” (2013)
  11. Jennifer James, “Ecomelancholia: Slavery, War, and Black Ecological Imaginings” in Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century (2011)
  12. Stacy Alaimo, “States of Suspension: Transcorporeality at Sea” (2012), “Eluding Capture: The Science, Culture, & Pleasure of ‘queer’ animals” in Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (2016)
  13. Carolyn Merchant, “Nature as Female,” from The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution (1980)
  14. Mel Chen, “Queer Animation” from Animacies (2012)

Reading List 13: Literature and the Mind

Faculty Committee: Julie Carlson, Sowon Park, Kay Young


1st Qualifying Exam Reading List

(Revised edition 2018)

l . William James—The Principles of Psychology (1890)

(Especially Ch 9: "The Stream of Thought"; Ch 10: "The Consciousness of Self"; Ch 19: "The Perception of things; Ch 25: "The Emotions")


  1. Sigmund Freud—The New Introductory Lectures (1933)

(Especially "Revision of the Theory of Dreams; "Anxiety and Instinctual Life",

"Femininity"); Civilization and Its Discontents (1930); "Mourning and Melancholia" (1915)


  1. Charles Darwin—On the Origin of Species (1859)

(Especially "Introduction"; Ch 3: "The Struggle for Existence"; Ch 4: "The Nature of Selection"; Ch 6: "Difficulties of the Theory"

The Expressions of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1886)

(Especially "General Principles" Ch 1 — 3)


(William James, Sigmund Freud, Charles Darwin define the origins of the western traditions of psychology, psychoanalysis, and evolutionary affective neuroscience. Our understanding of current mind-brain research and its relation to literature depends on having a strong grip on their landmark texts.)


  1. 'The Brain' (1998): A special issue of Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1998)

(Especially Vernon B. Mountcastle's 'Brain Science at the Century's Ebb', Gerald M Edelman's 'Building a Picture of the Brain' and Andy Clark's 'Where Brain, Body, and the World Collide')


  1. 'What is the Brain Good For?' (2015): A special issue of Daedalus: Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

(Especially Tom Albright's 'Perceiving', Joseph E LeDoux's 'Feelings: What Are They

& How Does the Brain Make Them?' and Larry R Squire and John T Wixted's 'Remembering')


(Essays by leading authorities of the brain/mind collected in the two special issues introduce with lucidity and scope the general principles that govern each area of neuroscience as well as situate them in the history of western intellectual thought.)


  1. Antonio Damasio—Descartes' Error (1994)


  1. Jaak Panksepp—Affective Neuroscience (1998)

(Especially Ch 1: "Affective Neuroscience"; Part Ill: "The Social Emotions": Ch 12 — 16)


  1. Stanislas Dehaene, Reading in the Brain: The New Science of How We Read (2009)


  1. Daniel Schachter—The Seven Sins of Memory: How the Mind Forgets and Remembers (2001)



  1. "The Weirdest People in the World"—Henrich, Heine, Norenzayan


  1. Michael Pollan—How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us about Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depresssion, and

Transcendence (Especially Prologue "A New Door"; Ch 5 "The Neuroscience: Your Brain on Psychedelics"; Ch 6 "The Trip Treatment: Psychedelics in Psychotherapy"; Epilogue "In Praise of Neural Diversity"


(Field-defining writers and research on Affective Neuroscience, Behavioral Neurology and its practices, Memory, and Reading, New Directions in the Brain and Mental Health)


  1. Maurice Merleau-Ponty—The Phenomenology of Perception (1945)

(Especially "Introduction"; Part Il: "The World as Perceived)

            From The Visible and the Invisible (1968): "The Intertwining—The Chiasm"


  1. Francisco Varela, Evan Thompson, Eleanor Rosch—The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience (1991) (revised edition 2016)


14. Stanley Cavell— from Must We Mean What We Say? (1968): "Knowing and Acknowledging"


  1. Thomas Nagel – “What is it Like to be a Bat?" (1974)


  1. George Lakoff and Mark Johnson—Metaphors We Live By (1980)



  1. Giovanna Colombetti—The Feeling Body (2013) (Especially Ch 1 "Primordial Affectivity"; Ch 2 "The Emotions: Existing Accounts and Their Problems"; Ch 6 "Ideas for an Affective 'Neuro-physio-phenomenology'"; Ch 7 "Feeling Others"


(Seminal works by psychologists, philosophers and linguists on Phenomenology and Skepticism and their evolution—Enactivism and the Embodied Mind and Feeling Body)


  1. Suzanne Langer—Feeling and Form (1953) (Especially Part I; Part Il Chapters 13 — 19)


  1. Martha Nussbaum—Love's Knowledge (1990): Introduction: "Form and Content"



  1. Elaine Scary—The Body in Pain (1986)

(Especially "Pain and Imagining; "The Structure of Torture")

Dreaming By the Book (2008)

(Especially "On Vivacity"; "On Solidity")


(Foundational philosophic writers and works on Aesthetics, Embodiment, and their relation to Affect)


  1. Jacques Lacan—Écrits (1966, first English edition 2006)

(Especially "The Mirror Stage"; "Aggressivity in Psychoanalysis"; "The Function and

Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis")

The Ethics of Psychoanalysis (1959-1960)

(Especially Section 2: "The Problem of Sublimation"; Section 5: "The Tragic Dimension of Analytical Experience"


  1. D. W. Winnicott—"Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena—A Study of the

First Not-Me Possession" (1953)

Playing and Reality (1971)


  1. Frantz Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (1952)


  1. John Bowlby: "Grief and Mourning in Infancy and Early Childhood" (1960)

Attachment (1969): "Preface"; Ch 11 "The Child's Tie to His Mother"; Ch 12 "Nature and Function of Attachment Behavior"; Separation (1973): "Forward"; Ch 1:

"Prototypes of Human Sorrow"; Loss (1980): "Forward"; Ch I "The Trauma of Loss"; Ch 25 "Young Children's Responses in the Light of Early Cognitive Development"; "Epilogue"


  1. Daniel N. Stern—The Interpersonal World of the Infant (1986)

(Especially "Forward"; "Introduction"; Part One: "The Questions and Their Background"; and from Part Two: Ch 7 "The Sense of a Subjective Self: Il. Affect

Attunement" and Ch 8: "The Sense of a Verbal Self)

Stern et al "Non-Interpretive Mechanisms in Psychoanalytic Therapy: The 'Something More' Than Interpretation" (1998)


  1. Christopher Bollas—"The Aesthetic Moment and the Search for Transformation" (1978)


  1. Julia Kristeva—Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection (1982) (Especially Ch 1: "Approaching Abjection")



  1. George Bermudez—"The Vulnerable Self and the Vulnerable Community: A Challenge/Problem for Psychoanalysis?" (Online Journal Other/Wise)

  1. Bracha Ettinger—The Matrixial Borderspace (2006) (Especially Ch 1 : "The Matrixial Gaze"; Ch 3: "Wit(h)nessing Trauma and the Matrixial Gaze")


  1. Jessica Benjamin—from Like Subjects, Love Objects (1995): "Recognition and Destruction: An Outline of Intersubjectivity"

Beyond Doer and Done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third (2018) (Especially "Introduction"; Ch 1: "Beyond Doer and Done to: an intersubjective view of thirdness")


  1. Veronica Abney—"African-American Psychoanalysts in the United States: Their Stories and Presence in the Field" (Unpublished dissertation, selections)


(Here's a spectrum of the range and evolution of contemporary psychoanalytic research, practice, and approaches by some of its great innovators. It's important to have an understanding of modern psychoanalytic thought to deepen and integrate embodied mind approaches to literature and life!)


  1. Rita Charon—Narrative Medicine (2008) (Especially Ch 5 "The Patient, the Body and the Self"; Ch 10 "The Bioethics of Narrative Medicine")


  1. Kay Redfield Jamison—Touched with Fire: Manic Depressive Illness and the Artistic Temperament (1993) (Especially chapters 1 — 4)



  1. Steve Silberman—NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity (2015) (Especially Ch 1 1, 12)


(A sample of the significant work currently being done in the medical humanities prompting evolution and change in the practice of medicine and in our understanding of mental health and neurodiversity through the interactive engagements and accounts of medical research and practice with narrative, memoir, and the verbal arts.)