Literature and Criticism, PhD

  • Nick Katsiadas

    INSIGHT INTO PUBLISHING :  Working as a graduate assistant for Professor David Downing on the journal Works and Days has given Nick Katsiadas, PhD in Literature and Criticism Class of 2020, insight into publishing. An article proposal he worked on with some professors has been accepted by Studies in Comics.

  • The Literature and Criticism program at IUP enables scholarly engagement and research in British, US, and world literatures; film studies; and emerging fields such as popular literature, video game studies, and digital literature and culture.

    Led by an accomplished community of teacher-scholars, our mission is the integration of research and pedagogy, and our classes are informed by the theory and practice of effective teaching. We not only train college and university faculty, but also prepare you for a broad range of professional possibilities and career paths beyond the academy to purse innovative work in your field of specialization.

    You are welcome to apply to either a full-time doctoral program or our summers-only program accommodating the working professionals and educators.

    Five Reasons to Join Our Community

    1. A curriculum that mixes tradition and innovation
    2. Faculty who are dedicated, innovative teacher-scholars
    3. A curriculum designed to fit you, whatever you want to be
    4. A diverse community of graduate students from across the United States and around the world
    5. A good place to be—and a good place to explore
  • Academic Year Program

    • Take courses in the fall and spring semesters, from the end of August through mid-May, for two years

    • Take three courses each semester as full-time student

    • Residency requirement fulfilled after two years

    • Can take courses in the summer sessions to complete requirements

    • Eligible for highly competitive graduate assistantship.

    • Live on campus or off campus. It’s your choice!

  • Snapshot of Your Academic Year Sessions

  • Summers-Only Program

    • Take courses from late May through early August over two to three summers

    • Take two courses in at least two summer sessions each year as full-time student

    • Residency requirement fulfilled after completing two summers as full-time student

    • Can take two Independent Seminars during course of study while not in residence

    • Graduate assistantships not available. Many employers will provide tuition assistance or reimbursement.

    • Live on campus or off campus. It’s your choice! Flexible leases available during the summer to meet your needs.

  • Snapshot of Your Summer-Only Sessions

  • Intellectual Community

    Student Organizations

    You will have many opportunities to contribute to the intellectual community and to engage in preprofessional experiences to prepare for life after graduate school. Many of those opportunities are made available through the English Graduate Organization.

    The Literature and Criticism Newsletter

    Catch up on the news in the literature and criticism graduate programs at IUP. Read our most recent issue.

    Scholarly Journals

    Members of our program are active in scholarly publishing in the areas of interdisciplinary humanistic studies, applied critical theory, and special literatures, the chief emphases in our program. Our faculty members also serve as editors for journals in their fields. Literature and Criticism graduate assistants may have the opportunity to work on these journals.

    • Studies in the Humanities, edited by Michael T. Williamson
    • Scriblerian, edited by Melanie Holm

    Centers and Institutes

    A number of research centers and institutes at IUP are led by faculty members. Graduate students in Literature may become involved in work on these journals as graduate assistants.

    Career Prep Workshop Series

    The Career Prep Workshop Series helps doctoral English students prepare for academic and non-academic job searches. The Career Prep series focuses on:

    • Increasing your marketability to a variety of professional academic positions.
    • Familiarizing you with professional documents, procedures, and activities involved in the academic job market.
    • Assisting in drafting professional employment documents.
    • Mentoring you in interview and presentation techniques.
    • Aiding in the development of your scholarly identity and a marketable brand.
    • Enhances your professionalization at all levels of the program.
  • Contact Us

    Peggy Kane
    Graduate Program Secretary

    News Highlights

    Toni Morrison’s Bluest Eye: The Black Family and the Demonization of Blackness in American Culture

    In honor of Black History Month, Indiana NAACP will host a series of virtual events in the month of February. Guest speaker Veronica Watson, IUP literature professor, author and inclusion professional, discusses this Morrison novel, the Black family, and the essence of African American literature as a force in tackling racial and social injustice.

    The Bluest Eye

    Veronica Watson and the Short Stories of Frank Yerby

    On February 23, 2021, IUP Libraries and Indiana Free Library hosted
    a virtual conversation. Watson discussed the groundbreaking
    author and her book "The Short Stories of Frank Yerby."

    Alumni Host Career Conversations Program

    The Literature & Criticism program welcomed back graduates from the program, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Strait on February 15, 2021. The two alumni joined virtually for a conversation on careers in academic administration. 

    Literature and Criticism PhD Graduate Chosen as Speaker for December 2020 and January 2021 Virtual Commencement 

    Marvin HobsonMarvin Hobson received his PhD in English/Literature and Criticism in December 2020. Hobson was nominated and chosen to give the graduate student address for the Winter 2020 Commencement ceremony. “I searched all over the world to find this program, and I’m grateful I did,” Hobson said. The virtual Commencement ceremonies, which were held on December 12, recognized about 650 graduates finishing their undergraduate and graduate degrees. Read more about Hobson’s journey to Literature and Criticism, and listen to his Commencement Address!

    A Discussion of White Savior: Racism and the American Church with IUP Religious Studies professor Dr. Dorcas Dennis

    Monday, October 26, at 5:30 p.m. on Zoom

    The texts for this month’s IUP Forum for Building Social Understanding are White Savior: Racism and the American Church, available on Amazon Prime, and the YouTube video “Christianity and Softcore Racism.”

    These conversations are open to all students, faculty, staff, and administrators on any campus. Please contact Peggy Kane at for meeting and participant ID numbers.

    An Exploration of the Hip Hop of Jasiri X

    This event with Kyesha Jennings on Monday, September 28 at 4 PM in Zoom continues the discussion to Build Social Unity.  

    Watson Interviewed by Chicago News Station About Frank Yerby Collection

    Professor Veronica Watson virtually joined the hosts of Eye 94 on Chicago radio station Lumpen Radio to discuss her new edited collection of Frank Yerby’s writings, The Short Stories of Frank Yerby.

    Virtual Discussion of Dear White People and Conversations With short documentaries

    English Department students and faculty will host a Zoom discussion of Dear White People (episodes 2 and 3) and the short videos A Conversation With Latinos on Race (7 min.), A Conversation With Asian-Americans on Race (7 min.), and A Conversation With Native Americans on Race (6 min.) at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 11. This event continues the discussion to Build Social Unity.