20th and 21st Century Literary Studies
Students interested in modern or postmodern literatures and cultures will find a variety of ways to pursue their interests within the Purdue English Department.
Officially, students choose from among the following areas of concentration:
British Literature from 1880 to the Present
American Literature 1865 to 1940
American Literature 1940 to the Present
Alternatively, students can concentrate in Theory and Cultural Studies, while taking courses and writing theses in modern and postmodern literature.
Unofficially, students can study a wide range of modern and postmodern literatures and cultures, choosing from among period and genre courses (500-level) and more specialized courses (600-level).
The Purdue English department houses one of the foremost journals of modern literature: MFS enhances the graduate experience of our students by a) hiring two advanced graduate students each year as editorial assistants; b) providing opportunities for advanced students to publish reviews of scholarly books; and c) housing the department's unofficial library where students can stop by and browse current issues of various literary and scholarly journals and borrow books relating to modern fiction.
The department also sponsors a literary awards competition, for which students are invited to submit both scholarly and creative work. Prizes are awarded at an annual banquet, where an eminent writer speaks about the creative process. After the banquet, the writer reads from her or his work at a public lecture. This set of events is one of the most exciting of the Purdue year.
Other resources that may be of interest to students of modern and contemporary literature are Purdue's strong Creative Writing Program, whose faculty, active writers themselves, occasionally teach classes in contemporary literature, and our many fine interdisciplinary programs within the College of Liberal Arts, such as Comparative Literature, Women's Studies, African-American Studies, American Studies, Film Studies, and Jewish Studies.