The Literature Program
Florida State University
405 Williams Building
Phone: 850 644 4230
Fax: 850 644 0811
Candace Ward, Director
According to the 2010 National Research Council, FSU's English Department is among the top-ranked, Phd-granting English Departments in the country. Our faculty have earned their doctoral degrees at some of the best research universities in America and Europe, and we pride ourselves on offering innovative undergraduate and graduate courses that reflect the historical, cultural, and theoretical aspects of interpretation and criticism. Graduates leave our doctoral program as accomplished scholars, thoroughly prepared for the rigors of the current job market, and have often gone on to have their dissertations published by major publishing houses and academic presses.
Our literature faculty is notable for the diversity of its approaches to literary study, our expertise crossing literary criticism innovatively with a spectrum of extra-literary fields: from animal studies in the Renaissance to piracy, rock n' roll, ethnographies of the American south, and the science of reading. Our faculty is setting agendas in a number of fields, including Shakespeare and Early Modern studies, where we have a concentration of some of the most exciting scholars in the country, as well as in Beckett studies and Modernism. Our nationally-recognized History of Text Technologies Program (HoTT) extends from the History of the Book to Digital Humanities as a means of exploring how the history of the forms of texts is also a history of human culture in its largest sense, a history that speaks to how we use texts to establish ways of thinking, means of knowing, and practices of living. Other programs and areas of exploration, such as Medieval Studies, Renaissance Studies, African American Studies, Caribbean Studies, Performance Studies, and American Studies include interdisciplinary components that weave together fields as diverse as Archaeology, Art and Architectural History, Language and Literature, Popular Culture, Manuscript Studies, Music, and Musicology. Our faculty are leaders in interdisciplinary certificate programs in Critical Theory as well as in Publishing and Editing. The Critical Theory Certificate combines studies in literature and culture with a broad range of philosophical approaches that draw from other fields such as Art History, Film, Religion, and Modern Languages. This program is designed to ensure that our students have access to the most recent and cutting-edge scholarship in a number of fields. We also offer classes in university-wide inter-disciplinary graduate and undergraduate programs, including Middle Eastern Studies, Human Rights, Women's Studies, and Humanities and Science. Our faculty edit several scholarly journals, including Disputatio and The Journal for Early Modern Cultural Studies.
Events: our program is dedicated to providing student and faculty-led events that facilitate discussion of both professional and research-oriented aspects of the field.
A Teach-In Led By Dr. Celia Daileader, Prof. Erin Belieu, and Dr. Linda Saladin-Adams
In honor of the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth, FSU will be reading aloud Bleak House, his most highly acclaimed novel. Over two days and in approximately 30 hours (from 10am on October 2nd to 4pm on October 3) more than 100 FSU students, faculty, and staff will read aloud for 15 minutes from this classic English text.
Wear your birthday party hat if you like, but invite your friends and come along to read with us. No previous knowledge of Dickens required!
Dr. John Marx's research focuses on contemporary fiction and the global adventures of Modernist fiction. His most recent book, Geopolitics and the Anglophone Novel, 1890-2011, is forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. In this project, Marx investigates a broad range of Modernist, colonial, and Post-Colonial works to show how literature can make an important contribution to political and social sciences by creating a space to imagine and experiment with social organization. Marx is also associate editor of Contemporary Literature.
Dr. Mark Cooper's research explores what it means that corporate institutions make movies, and, simultaneously, how movies have helped to define corporate institutions. His most recent book, Universal Women: A Case of Institutional Change, examines the rise and fall of women directors at the Universal Film Manufacturing Company between 1912 and 1919. He is also interim director of Moving Image Research Collections, a position in which he engages multiple initiatives to generate alternative histories from archival motion pictures.
A unique portrait of Jacques Derrida, one of the most polemical and influential theorists of the end of the 20th century. The film is composed of interviews shot by the filmmakers, Derrida's lectures and speaking engagements, and footage of Derrida's personal life. The filmmakers appropriately explore and push the limits of the documentary genre as they "deconstruct" the French thinker's private and professional life in an attempt to capture the processes of an inquisitive and iconoclastic mind whose theories have completely altered the way we look at history, language, art, and film.
This film investigates Bertolt Brecht's motives and politics through a Public Theater production of Mother Courage and Her Children. This performance of Tony Kushner's post-9/11 adaptation of Brecht's classic play was produced in downtown New York, just blocks from Ground Zero. The film cuts Brecht's experience of war and exile in the turbulent Europe of the 1930's, when the play was written, with its re-interpretation in the context of America's political and cultural trauma. The film also offers an exclusive look into the craft of actress Meryl Streep, whose performance of Mother Courage was widely acclaimed. Ultimately, the film provides unique critical insight into Brecht, 21st century America, and the craft of theater.