Carnegie Mellon University

The Department of English is both inspired by the richness of the humanist tradition and dedicated to innovation. Our graduates enter careers in academia and other professions well-prepared to meet the changing needs of society with creativity, historical perspective, global awareness, and outstanding communication skills.


Department of English News

David Shumway Helps Bring Humanities Festival to Pittsburgh 

David Shumway, professor of English and director of the Humanities Center at Carnegie Mellon University, wants people in Pittsburgh to engage in "smart talk about stuff that matters." That is, after all, the motto of the Pittsburgh Humanities Festival, which Shumway helped found in 2015. 

PhD Students Honored with Award for Teaching Excellence

Jamie Smith, a PhD candidate in Literary and Cultural Studies, and William Penman, a PhD candidate in Rhetoric, earned Graduate Teaching Awards for their exceptional teaching record and creative pedagogy.

Kevin González Granted NEA Creative Writing Fellowship

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) named 36 writers as members of its 2017-2018 class of Creative Writing Fellows — a highly prestigious honor that comes with a $25,000 grant. One of them was Kevin González, assistant professor of English.

New Interdisciplinary Minor Puts the Human in Digital Humanities

Where’s a student of Shakespeare to go when they want to make an interactive video game exploring “Hamlet?” Or what about the computer programmer that wants to code some foundational moral philosophy into their driverless car? Starting now, humanists and technologists alike can turn to a new interdisciplinary minor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of English.

PhDs Calvin Pollak and Natalie Suzelis Earn Mellon Fellowships

Carnegie Mellon University’s Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences has selected five Andrew W. Mellon Fellows. Department of English PhD candidates Calvin Pollak and Natalie Suzelis are among the recipients for their proposals for innovative digital humanities projects.

In 16th Poetry Collection, Jim Daniels Returns to Old Turf With New Eyes

In "Street Calligraphy," Jim Daniels's newest collection of poetry, kids scrawl expletives on broken brick, a nurse gets mugged on her way home from the rehab clinic, fathers drink longnecks of PBR while navigating the Ohio Turnpike and stoned, would-be lovers share cigarettes outside dingy music clubs.

In New Book, Professor Doug Coulson Dissects Shifting Law of Racial Classification

Throughout much of modern American history, to make determinations about the naturalization of immigrants, courts made legal decisions about who was considered “white.” In a new book out this month, Department of English assistant professor Doug Coulson examines this complex dynamics of immigration law and racial rhetoric.

NFL Football: CMU’s Jason England Says, “It’s Not Just a Game”

When President Trump’s comments at a political rally earlier this month ignited a series of NFL players to kneel during the National Anthem, Carnegie Mellon University’s Jason England was paying close attention. For England, a visiting assistant professor of creative writing, sports are far more than just games on a field.

Professor Kathy M. Newman Wants You To Read Banned Books

As part of Banned Books Week, a national celebration of works that have been challenged or banned in various communities for various reasons, the Pittsburgh chapter of the ACLU hosted a panel featuring Associate Professor of English Kathy M. Newman earlier this month to discuss freedom of expression and why books get banned.

Students Channel Emotions, Experiences with Discrimination Through Writing Contest

Since 1999, thousands of western Pennsylvania high school and college students have chosen to react to discrimination by writing about it for Carnegie Mellon University’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Writing Awards.

Book Offers 18 Years of Student Perspectives on “Challenges to the Dream"

A new anthology, Challenges to the Dream: The Best of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Writing Awards at Carnegie Mellon University, includes a powerful selection of the poetry and prose pieces from the writing contest’s history.

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