News from the Graduate Program


Prize Winners in Gender and Sexuality Studies: English Department PhD students won top honors in this spring’s Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program competitions.

  • Usha Iyer won the dissertation prize in the humanities for her dissertation “Film Dance, Female Stardom, and the Production of Gender in Popular Hindi Cinema.”  Her dissertation director was Neepa Majumdar, her committee members Lucy Fischer, Marcia Landy, and Ranjani Majumdar of Jawaharlal Nehru University.  Usha is now Assistant Professor of Screen Studies at Clark University.
  • Marlee Fuhrmann (1st-year PhD student) won the Tamara Horowitz Graduate Paper Prize for her essay “Celibacy and the Novel: Critiquing Heteronormativity,” written for Nancy Glazener’s seminar “The Novel: Advanced Texts and Theories” in spring 2015.
  • Sagnika Chanda (2nd-year PhD student) earned an Honorable Mention in the Horowitz competition for her essay “'Indian Army, Rape Us': Kristeva’s Herethics and the Semiotic Bodies of Mothers of Manorama,” written for Lisa Parker’s GSWS course “Gender, Ethics, and the Body” in spring 2015. 




Dan Chyutin, a PhD student in English and Film Studies, was recently interviewed in The Pioneer online magazine while screening his films and offering a master class in India.  Dan is completing a dissertation entitled “The Challenge of Judaism: Screening Israel's Religious Turn.”

To find out more about Dan’s past and recent work, please visit “THE SOCIAL NETWORK.



Newsflash: English Department winners at 3MT: At the first Dietrich School Three Minute Thesis (3MT) competition on Feb. 25, 2014, Peter Moe and Liam O’Loughlin won 2nd and 3rd place, respectively, in the Humanities Division. They were the only English Department competitors. Participants were required to present their dissertation work in 3 minutes or less, using if they wished one projected visual.  



Nancy Garcia (MFA student, Fiction) has recently completed a term-long appointment with NASA Johnson Space Center, where she worked on promotions for the recent EFT-1 launch in December, an experimental and unmanned spaceflight geared towards the future explorations of and potential travels to Mars. She also helped communicate a portion of the human narrative by packing the Orion test flight with historic artifacts that included the bones of a T-Rex, selected poetry and music, items from the iconic show Sesame Street — whose characters were also present at the launch itself — and a microchip carrying the names of over a million vicarious space travelers.

For more on Nancy’s NASA internship, see Orion Flight Test to Carry Mementos and Inspirational Items.



Wenying Xu (Pitt PhD 1994) is Jacksonville University’s new Provost/Chief Academic Officer. Jacksonville University has announced that Dr. Wenying Xu is its new Provost/Chief Academic Officer. JU’s announcement praises Xu as a "consensus builder renowned for her innovation and inclusion." Dr. Xu has recently served as Vice President of Academic Affairs at Chatham University and was previously Professor of English and Interim Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Florida Atlantic University. She is the author of many articles and three books: Historical Dictionary of Asian American Literature and Theatre (Scarecrow Press, 2012), Eating Identities: Reading Food in Asian American Literature (University of Hawaii Press, 2008) and Ethics of Aesthetics of Freedom in American and Chinese Realism (Mellon, 2003). She served as president of MELUS from 2008 to 2012.


About the Graduate Program

These pages offer admission and policy information about graduate study in English at the University of Pittsburgh.

To browse program-specific information, visit the graduate sections of the program sites: Literature, Composition, Film Studies, and Writing.

The English Department has four distinguished graduate degree programs, described briefly below.

Doctoral Program: Cultural and Critical Studies (PhD): As one of the first to emphasize cultural and critical studies in the nation, our PhD program has been hailed as a leader of innovation in English studies. Our faculty includes distinguished scholars in cultural theory and criticism, British and American literary history, composition and pedagogy, and film and television studies.

Doctoral Program: Film Studies with English as the Associated Department (PhD): The PhD in Film Studies with English as the associated department is an interdisciplinary and interdepartmental degree that stresses the history, theory, and aesthetics of international cinema, video, television, and new media. In addition to working with English faculty, students work with faculty from French, German, Hispanic Language and Literatures, History of Art and Architecture, or Slavic Languages and Literatures.

Master of Fine Arts Program in Writing (MFA): Our MFA program is one of the oldest in the country. With internationally distinguished writers among its faculty, the MFA offers intensive workshops in poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, along with readings courses in a range of contemporary writing.

Master of Arts in English Program (MA): The MA in English program offers students the opportunity to undertake graduate work across a variety of historical periods and representational practices. We seek to examine the relationships across diverse writing practices by close and theoretically informed readings. Students can concentrate their elective work broadly across English studies, or they can focus in the programmatic areas of the department (literature, film studies, composition, and children's literature).


Graduate applications are available online through the School of Arts and Sciences. See how to apply.

Students who wish to apply to the PhD in Film Studies with English as the associated program should visit that program’s description page for application details.

Contact Information

Graduate Office
Department of English
CL 526, University of Pittsburgh
4200 Fifth Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15260 

Nancy Glazener is the English Department's Director of Graduate Studies and can advise students about their applications to any of the English Department's graduate degree programs. Neepa Majumdar is the Graduate Coordinator for the Film Studies PhD Program and can advise students about their applications to the Film PhD Program.

The English department graduate administrator, Jesse Daugherty, can be reached at 412-624-6549, and his office is CL 529-C.

Jennifer Florian is the graduate administrator for doctoral students pursuing the PhD in Film Studies with English as the associated department. Contact her at 412-624-6564.