​​In both teaching and research our department combines a strong emphasis on English and American literature and culture with a wider, comparative and interdisciplinary framework. Our approach to literature and culture is diverse, both theoretically and methodologically, and we examine literature and culture from a variety of cognitive, formalist, historical, sociological, and psychological perspectives. We also encourage combinations and interactions with other fields of study in the humanities and social sciences.

Our research strengths include 19th and 20th century American fiction, Native American and African American tudies, cultural Zionism, Holocaust memory, Shakespearean and Renaissance drama, book history, comparative literature, and cognitive poetics.

Courses in the literature stream have multiple foci, ranging from major authors, genres, and periods, to the history of reading, psychoanalytic criticism, modern Jewish studies, cognitive poetics, and critical race studies. Our students acquire tools for literary analysis along with an understanding of developments in cultural and literary history, while honing their skills in both written and oral expression.