Message from the Director of Graduate Studies
Professor Pamela Hammons
Director of Graduate Studies
Welcome to the Web pages of the English Department’s PhD Program. Our program is a select, dynamic one. Our small size allows us to give our doctoral students instruction and professional mentoring tailored to their individual needs and interests, and our location on the beautiful Coral Gables campus gives us easy access to the diverse, vibrant, and unique cultural and intellectual offerings of the greater Miami area of South Florida.
Our program provides strong student support. We offer a generous stipend of $20,000 per year to each PhD student as part of the Teaching Assistantship. Also available are competitive University Fellowships; dissertation fellowships from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Center for the Humanities, and the Center for Latin American Studies; and summer fellowships from the College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School. Furthermore, there are departmental funds for travel to present papers at conferences and to conduct archival research for the dissertation. In recent years, our PhDs have accepted tenure-earning positions at institutions such as St. Mary’s College, Virginia Wesleyan College, the University of Missouri-Columbia, the Citadel, the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, the University of Indiana-South Bend, and Allegheny College. Graduates of the program hold tenured or tenure-earning positions at Depauw, Colgate, Kent State, Georgia Gwinnett College, and the University of Alaska. Recent PhDs have published books with Palgrave Macmillan, Routledge, Fairleigh Dickinson, and the University of Delaware Press.
Our active, accomplished faculty teach graduate courses in an extensive range of American, British, and other world literatures in English (especially Caribbean and African), from late medieval and early modern through contemporary, and we offer introductory and advanced, specialized seminars in theory. As a department, we have particular expertise in Transatlantic and Ethnic (including Irish), Renaissance and Early Modern, Gender and Sexuality, and Caribbean Studies. This fall, we are thrilled to welcome a new faculty member in Caribbean Studies: Donette Francis, author of the important study, Fictions of Feminine Citizenship: Sexuality and the Nation in Contemporary Caribbean Literature. This academic year, we are pleased to be seeking an assistant professor in creative writing (poetry) and an assistant professor in American literature since 1900, with a specialty in African American literature.
Our literature faculty—who have collectively authored, edited, or translated over 50 books—have in recent years won prestigious grants and fellowships from national institutions such as Fulbright, the Mellon Foundation, the Folger Shakespeare Library, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ford Foundation, and the American Philosophical Society. Recent faculty publications include Patricia Saunders’ Alien-Nation and Repatriation: Translating Identity in Anglophone Caribbean Literature (Lexington); Music, Memory, Resistance: Calypso and the Caribbean Literary Imagination (Ian Randle), co-edited by Saunders; Tim Watson’s Caribbean Culture and British Fiction in the Atlantic World, 1780-1870 (Cambridge); Hamel, the Obeah-Man by Cynric R. Williams (Broadview), co-edited by Watson; The Jewish Graphic Novel (Rutgers), co-edited by Ranen Omer-Sherman; Robert Casillo and John Paul Russo’s The Italian in Modernity (Toronto); Italian Passages: Making and Thinking History, co-edited by Russo; the four-volume collection Women’s Political Writings 1610-1715 (Pickering and Chatto) co-edited by Mihoko Suzuki; The History of British Women’s Writing, 1610-1690 (Palgrave), edited by Suzuki; my own Gender, Sexuality, and Material Objects in English Renaissance Verse (Ashgate); Joel Nickels’ The Poetry of the Possible: Spontaneity, Modernism, and the Multitude (Minnesota); and Brenna Munro’s South Africa and the Dream of Love to Come: Queer Sexuality and the Struggle for Freedom (Minnesota). Many of our faculty serve on national editorial and advisory boards, and closer to home, we foster the ideals of intellectual interdisciplinarity and community within the College of Arts and Sciences by teaching for or directing such programs as American Studies, Africana Studies, Women’s and Gender Studies, and Judaic Studies. Our faculty also participate actively in the Center for the Humanities; its current director is our colleague, Mihoko Suzuki.
The University of Miami is home to a thriving, diverse intellectual and artistic community, and every academic year brings with it a series of compelling events in the arts, humanities, and related disciplines that are especially enriching for our graduate students. Last year, for example, the Center for the Humanities hosted a major interdisciplinary conference, “Florida at the Crossroads: Five Hundred Years of Encounters, Conflicts, and Exchanges,” and playwright Nilo Cruz presented on the topic, “Theatre Accompanied by Light: Searching for Poetry in the Theatre.” In Spring 2012, we were privileged to hear William Sherman’s lecture, “Of Anagrammatology: Decoding the Renaissance Text” and Wai Chee Dimock’s talk, “Gilgamesh on Three Continents.” In academic year 2012-13, we look forward to three major conferences in the humanities being held on the University of Miami campus; these events should be of especially great interest to graduate students in our department:
- the 31st Annual Meeting of the West Indian Literature Conference, “Imagined Nations, 50 Years Later: Reflections on Independence and Federation in the Caribbean,” (October 11-13, 2012);
- the 18th Irregular Miami J'yce Birthday Conference: “Joyce and England,” (January 31-February 2, 2013); and
- the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures’ Annual Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque Symposium, “Early Modern Women: New Perspectives,” a conference celebrating the first issue of Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal published at the UM Center for the Humanities (February 21-24, 2013).
In addition to these exciting conferences, there will be many, many other engaging talks, workshops, and events that will be held throughout the year.
The English Graduate Organization hosts a graduate symposium every year. Students also have opportunities to work on Anthurium, the on-line Caribbean Literary Studies journal; the James Joyce Literary Supplement; and Early Modern Women: An Interdisciplinary Journal. We have an active dissertation discussion group, and at least once a year, we hold a panel for the presentation of dissertation prospectuses that have been approved. Advanced graduate students are invited to participate, alongside faculty, in interdisciplinary research groups in Transatlantic, Early Modern, Hemispheric, Queer, and Animal Studies. After taking a practicum on the teaching of literature, all of our students teach at least one literature class before they defend their dissertations.
If you are interested in advanced literary and cultural studies, have taken the equivalent of an undergraduate major in literature, and would like to pursue a course of study that combines traditional fields of inquiry with work in newer methodologies and areas, we most cordially welcome your application to our program. Please feel free to contact us at the email address below.
Professor of English
Director of Graduate Studies