Traditional Strengths and New Approaches
The Cornell English Department retains the pluralistic ideals of the university’s founders and continues to respond to and embody a constantly evolving discipline. Within the department, ongoing debates about the role of critical theory or cultural studies, the status of popular culture, the relevance of film studies and hip hop, or the definition of the words “English” and “literature” themselves have led to new understandings of the discipline, as well as a range of textual productivity, from producing critical editions to writing poetry.
Outside the department, the growth of interdisciplinary work has led to a range of connections across the humanities at Cornell, from comparative literature to medieval studies, from Asian-American Studies to feminist, gender and sexuality studies, with English faculty maintaining affiliations in all of these disciplines. Along with teaching more than a third of the Freshman Writing Seminars offered by Cornell’s Knight Institute of Writing in the Disciplines, the English Department’s nourishing of this wide range of scholarly and creative writing has maintained the department’s central importance in the humanities at Cornell and world-wide.
"If you read quickly to get through a poem to what it means, you have missed the body of the poem."
— M.H. Abrams, Class of 1916 Professor Emeritus
SEP 24Reading by Michael Prior Poet, professor, and alumnus Michael Prior (MFA '17) reads from his magnificent new collection, Burning Province. This reading is the first virtual event in the Fall 2020 Barbara & David...
OCT 11FGSS alumni share career paths after Cornell Alumni will talk about how feminist and queer studies have shaped their lives since graduation. They’ll offer specific career advice as well as general “life lessons.” Based on...
OCT 18The Future is Feminist: A Feminist Theory Book Club The coronavirus epidemic has made the vulnerability of the human body all too palpable. Anyone can get sick. Yet some populations are more vulnerable than others. The virus has cast these...View all events