The Department of English provides a rich environment for teaching, research, creative work, and service to the profession and the broader community. We address key questions of English Studies in diverse cultural, theoretical, and aesthetic contexts: How do texts, writers, and readers make meaning? What is at stake in the ways we produce and study literary, visual, and digital texts? Our faculty are affiliated with one or more of four programs within the Department: Composition, Literature, Film, and Writing; we work across programs as well as within single disciplines. We extend the reach of our departmental expertise by engaging in local, national, and global projects and collaborations. This provides a productive set of frameworks for faculty scholarship and teaching, for the professional preparation of graduate students, and for undergraduate learning.
Employing a wide range of approaches to construct diverse forms of knowledge, the Department of English strives to enhance and extend inclusion in our curriculum, community, and activities. Our programs of study in language, literature, film, and writing promote a diversity of perspectives and encourage inquiry into a range of textual, cultural, and theoretical traditions. We are also committed to having a diverse faculty and student body, recognizing our investment in the variety of viewpoints that diversity makes possible.
The Department of English is the largest department in the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh. It employs about 55 tenured and tenure-stream faculty members. The department currently serves approximately 650 majors, minors, and certificate students and 110 graduate students, as well as the thousands of other students who take courses in the department. In addition to lecture series, reading series, conferences, and other events, the department supports four academic and literary journals, two book series, and five student-run publications.
This Web site provides a useful overview of our programs as well as current department events and faculty members' areas of research and teaching. All programs offer undergraduate and graduate courses.
The Department of English is committed to equality of opportunity and is nondiscriminatory relative to race, religion, color, national origin, social class, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, age, disability, or status as a protected veteran.
Help us to provide a positive work and learning environment where everyone is treated fairly and with respect. If you have any suggestions, questions, or concerns, we encourage you to let the English Department know. Please contact Don Bialostosky, Department Chair, or William Scott, Diversity Committee Chair. If you need accommodations because of a disability, please contact the Office of Disability Resources and Services: 140 William Pitt Union, Monday–Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (412-648-7890).
In spite of the difficult job market, over the past two years Pitt PhDs secured tenure-track positions at Brooklyn College, the College of the Pacific, East Carolina University, New Mexico Highlands William Jewell College, and Wichita State University, as well as a range of postdoctoral appointments.
Our Home on Campus
The English Department is located in the signature building of the University of Pittsburgh, a 42-story Gothic skyscraper called the Cathedral of Learning, built between 1926 and 1937. The building was partially funded by 97,000 area school children who contributed a dime each to buy a brick for the Cathedral. Pittsburgh communities have since funded and designed 27 Nationality Rooms in the Cathedral, with several more being planned. Many English department classes are offered in these unique classrooms.
A&S includes 31 academic departments and 12 interdisciplinary programs (including Cultural Studies and Gender, Sexuality, and Women's Studies, programs in which many English Department faculty and students are active). There are also a number of academic centers, including a new Humanities Center and a World History Center. The school's history and philosophy departments are especially distinguished.
The University of Pittsburgh
Founded in 1787 as the Pittsburgh Academy, Pitt is one of the oldest educational institutions in the United States. It was a private university until 1966, when it became a state-related institution, receiving some funding from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania but remaining independently administered. (Penn State, Temple, and Lincoln are Pennsylvania's other state-related universities.) Currently, Pitt ranks among the top seven public research universities and the top 26 research universities in the United States. In addition to the Pittsburgh campus in the city's Oakland neighborhood, Pitt maintains regional campuses in Bradford, Greensburg, Johnstown, and Titusville.
The University is composed of 17 schools and colleges, including a law school, schools of education and information sciences, and the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs. Six Pitt health sciences schools are affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), one of the nation's leading nonprofit health care systems and Western Pennsylvania's largest employer. Pitt's University Honors College makes an especially important contribution to undergraduate education, offering 70-80 courses each year as well as Living Learning Communities in student residences for about 350 students. The Honors College also publishes the Pittsburgh Undergraduate Review, a refereed undergraduate academic journal.
Pitt's University Library System, which serves all five Pitt campuses, includes a number of specialized libraries and an archival research center. The main library for humanities and social sciences on the Pittsburgh campus, Hillman Library, houses about 1.5 million volumes. It's located just across Forbes Avenue from the Cathedral of Learning, but Pitt's Libraries-to-Go service also delivers books directly to English Department faculty members.
The University's Web site offers news and a wealth of information about Pitt.