Carnegie Mellon University

Department of English Research Areas

The educational and research work of the English Department spans ten academic areas.

Creative Writing

Carnegie Mellon University houses one of a small number of English departments in the country offering a major in Creative Writing. The Creative Writing program's work includes fiction, poetry, screenwriting, and creative nonfiction.

Film & Visual Media

CMU's Department of English is an ideal home for the university's Film and Visual Media program. The program offers a combination of writers, film and media studies scholars, filmmakers, digital humanities researchers, and visual communication experts.

First-Year Writing

All CMU students, regardless of discipline, are required to take First-Year Writing. In addition to original courses designed to help students develop writing and communication knowledge, our First-Year Writing faculty also produce award-winning research and tools in this area, across diverse academic and professional contexts.

Gender Studies

Gender Studies is an interdisciplinary field that investigates how gender is embedded in social, cultural, and political relationships. It understands gender as a category of power that intersects with other power relations, including race, class, and sexuality.

Global Communication & Applied Translation

A partnership between the Department of English and the Department of Modern Languages, the GCAT program's work focuses on principles and practices of professional translation, localization, and global communication. These areas include: theories and approaches to translation, cross-linguistic and cross-cultural analysis, computer-assisted technologies, field-specific domains, and comparative stylistics.

Humanities Analytics

Humanities Analytics (HumAn) is the discipline in the Department of English dedicated to analyzing, digitizing, questioning, quantifying, and visualizing different types of humanities and cultural phenomena including printed books, fan fiction, manuscripts, historical records, art, music, and film.

Literature & Culture

This area explores and produces research on the importance of understanding imaginative works within their cultural and historical contexts. Research is done in the fields of performance studies, the history of books and reading, Shakespeare and early modern media, contemporary literatures - both American and global, modern media studies, black studies, and more.

Professional Writing

The professional writing field explores best practices in communication across sectors, document design, and conveying information between multiple stakeholders in a shifting, globalized economy.


This academic area explores current theory, history, and field-leading pedagogical practices of rhetoric, as well as produces unique work from specialized analytic methods, both qualitative and quantitative. The Department of English's' program approaches the above through three areas of rhetoric: (1) Civic, Political, and Public Engagement; (2) Corpus-based Writing Pedagogy Across the Disciplines; and (3) Digital Tools & New Media. 

Technical Writing & Communication

The Technical Writing and Communication Program, offering English's only Bachelor of Science degree, blends writing, document design, and user experience methods with additional work in computer science, mathematics, and statistics.