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Office: Building 460, Room 201
Mail Code: 94305-2087
Phone: (650) 723-2635
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Courses offered by the Department of English are listed under the subject code ENGLISH on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses web site.

Mission of the Department of English

To study English at Stanford is to explore, deeply and rewardingly, the rich legacy of literature written in English, past and present. The department offers a wealth of courses on individual authors, the history of literary genres, literary theory, new media, and creative writing. Given the emphasis on critical thinking and interpretation, the English major is in turn an excellent preparation for many professional fields, including teaching, journalism, law, publishing, medicine, and business. The graduate program features rigorous training in the research and analysis of British, American, and global literary histories and theories, preparing students to produce scholarship of originality and importance, and to teach literature at the highest levels.

Bachelor of Arts in English

In the undergraduate program, students explore the traditions of literature in English. Courses emphasize interpretive thinking and creative writing, examining the dynamics of literary and cultural history, the structures of literary form and genre, and the practices of reading, writing, and critical analysis.

Master of Arts in English

The coterminal Master of Arts in English is only open to current Stanford undergraduate students who are majoring in English or related fields, Modern Thought and Literature, American Studies, Comparative Literature, and any language and literature within the DLCL and Classics. This program is ideal for students who are contemplating a career in teaching, or who are contemplating further study of English at the graduate level.

Doctor of Philosophy in English

The graduate program features rigorous training in the research and analysis of British, American and Anglophone literary histories and texts, preparing students to produce scholarship of originality and importance, and to teach literature at advanced levels.

Other Programs in English

Ph.D. in Modern Thought and Literature

Stanford also offers a Ph.D. degree in Modern Thought and Literature. Under this program, students devote approximately half of their time to modern literature from the Enlightenment to the present, and the other half to interdisciplinary studies. Interested students should see the "Modern Thought and Literature" section of this bulletin and consult the director of the program.

Creative Writing Fellowships

The Creative Writing Program each year offers five two-year fellowships in poetry and five two-year fellowships in fiction. These are not degree-granting fellowships. Information is available at


Emeriti: (Professors) John B. Bender (English, Comparative Literature), Terry Castle, W. S. Di Piero, Albert J. Gelpi, Barbara C. Gelpi,  Shirley Heath, Andrea A. Lunsford, Franco Moretti, Stephen Orgel, Nancy H. Packer, Marjorie G. Perloff, Robert M. Polhemus, Arnold Rampersad, David R. Riggs, Elizabeth C. Traugott, Tobias Wolff; (Associate Professor) Sandra Drake; (Professor, Teaching) Larry Friedlander; (Senior Lecturer) Helen B. Brooks; (Lecturer) David MacDonald

Chair: Ato Quayson

Director of Graduate Studies: Michaela Bronstein

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Alex Woloch

Co-Directors of Creative Writing Program:  Nicholas Jenkins and A. Van Jordan

Professors: Margaret Cohen,  Michele Elam, Shelley Fisher Fishkin (on leave Autumn and Winter), Denise Gigante, Aracelis Girmay, Roland Greene (English, Comparative Literature), Blair Hoxby, Adam Johnson, Amaud Jamaul Johnson (on leave Spring), Gavin Jones, A. Van Jordan, Chang-rae Lee, Mark McGurl, Paula Moya, Patricia A. Parker (English, Comparative Literature) (on leave Winter), Peggy Phelan (English, Theater and Performance Studies), Patrick Phillips (on leave winter and spring), Ato Quayson (English, African & African American Studies), Nancy Ruttenburg, Ramón Saldívar (English, Comparative Literature), Elizabeth Tallent, Elaine Treharne, Blakey Vermeule, Alex Woloch

Associate Professors: Mark Algee-Hewitt, Michaela Bronstein, Mark Greif, Nicholas Jenkins, Kirstin Valdez Quade, Vaughn Rasberry 

Assistant Professors: Molly Antopol, Roanne Kantor (on leave), Esther Yu

Senior Lecturer: Judith Richardson, Alice Staveley

Courtesy Professors: Joshua Landy, Bernadette Meyler, David Palumbo-Liu, Kathryn Starkey

Lecturers:  Max Ashton, Georgina Beaty, William Brewer, Kai Carlson-Wee, Keith Ekiss, John Evans, Sarah Frisch, Walter Gordon, Jackson Holbert, Sterling HolyWhiteMountain, Scott Hutchins, Tom Kealey, Mark Labowskie, Sara Michas-Martin, Hieu Minh Nguyen, Brittany Perham, Ryan Perry, Edward Porter, Shannon Pufahl, Nina Schloesser Tárano, Michael Shewmaker, Austin Smith, Shimon Tanaka, Ruchika Tomar, Jennifer Alandy Trahan, Zachary Williams

Visiting Professors: R.O. Kwon, Arthur Sze