With 30+ faculty, a dozen research centers and projects, and a culture of collaboration, we continue to invent new ways to do humanities research, creative-critical work, and public-facing projects on a beautiful campus between the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ynez mountains.
The UCSB English Department believes it is important to make our commitments explicit. Our core values of fostering dialogue, civic engagement, and social justice compel us to speak out against racist, antisemitic, Islamophobic, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, sexist and all other modes of hate speech. How we use words matters — as language, as literature, as culture. How we use words makes our world. Words are all too often used to segregate and isolate, disparage and demean, threaten and attack. We will continue to study language in ways that acknowledge not only its potential to cause harm and incite social violence, but also its capacity to recognize historical differences and to work toward redressing the injustices that arise from them. With our students, we commit to using words to make worlds creatively and to imagine just and sustainable futures.
Undergraduate students in English courses build communication and analytical skills across a variety of media. Majors balance foundational courses in literary studies with individual-research options: our Arnhold Undergraduate Research Fellows Program and Honors Thesis sequence attract committed and creative students. Majors can also complete one or more Specializations, in fields that cross disciplines, like literature and the environment, critical race and ethnic studies, literature and the mind, and literature and information cultures; or fields that offer new approaches to history and culture, exploring modern culture and materialism, American culture in global contexts, Hemispheric South studies, or medieval literature. Our Creative Writing Specialization features courses on graphic novel design, poetry, and memoir, among other forms and genres.
Graduate students benefit from both formal seminars and informal mentorship through projects, labs, and centers. They explore intellectual terrains in depth; develop publishing, curatorial, and program-building skills; experiment with innovative pedagogy; and create and lead collaborative-research teams. Beyond the department, grads may pursue emphasis areas such as Black Studies, Cognitive Science, Environment & Society, Feminist Studies, Information Technology and Society, and Translation Studies (see the full list here). UCSB also offers a graduate Certificate in College and University Teaching.
We invite you to learn more about our faculty and the UCSB English Department by exploring this website. For more information about UCSB English, please contact our department chair, graduate committee chair, and/or our staff graduate advisor.