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Modern British Literature Studies (19th-21st Century)

The UGA graduate program in English offers a wide range of courses in British and Irish literature of the nineteenth through the twenty-first centuries. We teach courses on historical periods and genres together with seminars on individual authors (Austen, Blake, Dickens, Hardy, Joyce, Woolf) and literary movements (romanticism, the gothic, impressionism, the avant garde). We also offer seminars on a variety of special topics arising from faculty research, including (to name some of the most recent) "The Kafkaesque," "Urban Modernity," "Impressionism in England," "Modernism and the Aristocracy," "Britain Between the Wars," "Victorian Femininity, Nationhood, and the Black Atlantic," "Patriotism and Victorian Poetry," "Contemporary Irish Poetry," and "Literature, Media, and Information in the Nineteenth Century." Our approaches to these topics are similarly diverse. Faculty strengths include archival research; formal and textual analysis; textual editing; feminist criticism and theory; and cultural and interdisciplinary studies.

This area of literary study also generates a significant amount of creative and intellectual activity outside the seminar room. Thanks to various sources of support in the department and the university, we regularly host distinguished lecturers from other institutions. The UGA Willson Center for Humanities and Arts has funded lectures by Paula Feldman, James Longenbach, Michael North, and Michael Wood. Recent visitors in the Lanier Speakers Series, sponsored by Helen S. Lanier Distinguished Professor Jed Rasula, include Daniel Albright, Fredric Jameson, Louis Menand, Marjorie Perloff, and Rei Tarada. The department has hosted readings by three prominent Irish poets: Ciaran Carson, Michael Longley, and Paul Muldoon.  The British Women’s Writers Conference, featuring keynote speeches by Susan Gubar, Yopie Prins, and Susan Wolfson, was held at UGA in 2004.  The Georgia Colloquium in Eighteenth- and Nineteenth-Century Literature is a new speakers program that promotes intellectual inquiry across the disciplines and offers graduate students the opportunity to present a dissertation chapter or job talk to the department. Each semester the colloquium brings several speakers, both regional and national, to campus.

Our graduate students have the benefit of a first-rate library, in which ample permanent holdings are bolstered by an excellent interlibrary loan department and access to such electronic resources as Literature Online, Women Writers Online, and Project Muse. Students have also been successful in obtaining funds--from both internal and external sources--for archival research at various locations including the British Film Institute, the New York Public Library, and the Harry Ransom Research Center in Austin, Texas. A new addition to these resources is the Hugh Kenner Professorship Fund, which was established in 2006. UGA's Oxford Program offers opportunities for study and research in Oxford.


Director of the Willson Center
Associate Professor, Retired
Associate Professor
Professor emerita
Senior Lecturer
Principal Lecturer
Associate Professor; Director, British & Irish Studies at UGA

Research Spotlight

This area of interest examines theories of form and genre, considering the complex histories of literary forms such as the essay, novel, and lyric, as well as the equally complex histories of theorizing those forms. This area considers forms and genres, not as fixed categories, but as ever…

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