Graduate Studies

The Department of English at AUB offers two graduate degree programs: MA in English Language and MA in English Literature. These graduate programs aim to ground students in language and literature studies. They provide students with opportunities to pursue advanced study in multiple linguistic, literary, and cultural traditions through engagement with texts in English, in translation, between languages, and across media. The programs provide a solid academic basis for those who wish to continue for a PhD in language or literature studies, as well as for those who wish to pursue a career in writing, publishing, editing, teaching, and related areas. Through an ongoing process of critical self-reflection, students will attain experience and abilities in linguistic and textual analysis, critical thought, writing, and aesthetic appreciation that will contribute to their personal, academic, and professional lives.

The requirements for an MA degree in English consist of 21 credit hours in courses numbered 300 or above, successful completion of a comprehensive examination, and a thesis along with any additional prerequisite courses determined by the department to make up for deficiencies in undergraduate preparation.

Students working for an MA degree in English Language must take English 301, 327, 341 or 342, and 345.  Two additional elective English Language graduate courses from among those offered in the department must be taken. Students must take a further graduate course, which may be from outside the English language course offerings, subject to departmental approval. 

Students working for the degree of MA in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) should refer to the Department of Education catalogue section. Students working for the degree of MA in the Teaching of English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) should refer to the Department of Education catalogue section.

Students working for an MA degree in English Literature must complete English 301. In addition, they must take one course from each of the following three categories: Literary History, Comparative Literature, and Literary and Cultural Studies. Of the remaining three courses, two may be taken outside the Literature program, subject to departmental approval. 

For more information about graduate studies at AUB, check out the the AUB graduate catalogue and the following links: Online Graduate Application​; Graduate Council​.


For more information about the MA program in English Language and Literature, click here​. Also check out the MA Graduate flyer​.

Draft description of the graduate courses for Spring 2018 - 2019

ENGL305Q :Poetic Resistance: American Texts and Contexts   
Professor Sirène Harb

Drawing on analytical frameworks from ethnic, postcolonial, and transnational studies, this course explores poems by Arab-American writers to formulate models of critical inquiry for the exploration of the multilayered connections between poetry and resistance. In this course, we will examine how haunting as a literary strategy articulates a politics of resistance by deconstructing the opposition pitting past against present and the material/corporeal against the spiritual/ephemeral. We will also probe questions of resistance in relation to translations of the trauma of 9/11 by comparing depictions of this trauma in poems produced directly or shortly after 9/11 and those published later. Next, we will examine resistance to monoculturalism and monolingualism in relation to the weaving of different languages, forms, scripts, and “foreign” cultural references in Arab-American poetry. Finally, we will discuss how such energies underlying resistance in Arab-American poetry are also powerfully influenced by articulations of resistance and liberation in the literature of other ethnic groups (African-American literature, Mexican-American literature, etc.). Some of the Arab-American poets we will be discussing include Sinan Antoon, Hayan Charara, Suheir Hammad, Nathalie Handal, Dima Hilal, Marwa Helal, Mohja Kahf, Lisa Suhair Majaj, Khaled Mattawa, Philip Metres, Haas Mroue, Naomi Shihab Nye, and David Williams.  

ENGL306Z: Brutal Melodrama—Genre and the Politics of Impossibility 
Professor Joshua D. Gonsalves

The melodrama (a mode, meta- or super-genre) has been crucial to representing and intervening in political and generic struggles for representation and power since the French Revolution, if not from its mid-eighteenth-century emergence as the “bourgeois tragedy,” or yet another generic vehicle in the middle-class quest for sovereignty. Yet revolutions tend, as Blanchot says of Romanticism, to end badly. The melo feeds, however, on this negativity, making subsequent revolutions (im)possible while also making the brutality of their failure all the more oppressive: bad infinity. 
How, we will want to ask, did this self-reinforcing cycle or vicious circle emerge historically? We will pursue this question by tracing the genealogy of the corrosive idealism at the burning heart of the “melodramatic imagination” (in Peter Brook’s phrase) back to the Romantic-era Melodrama in Pixérécourt’s plays so as to see this idealization of the impossible at work in cinematic interventions into the decades leading up to, and including, our current cynical geopolitical surround. 
This course will attempt, in sum, to account for the suffering that a melodramatic Romanticism demands in order to envision a politics of social transformation. Bertolt Brecht’s theory of the Estranged Drama (in which we are horrified by what is happening but even more horrified by our awareness that we are being manipulated) will be a crucial basis for this class in that this paralyzed movement in place is, as we will literally see, central to the Brutal Melodrama. 


ENGL 312B :Disability, Illness, and the Body
Professor Adam Waterman
(course description will follow)

ENGL346N: App.Ling.:Lang.& Identity 
Professor Kassim Shaaban

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the study of the role of language in the construction of individual and social identity.   Each of a person’s multiple identities is shaped by his/her membership in a specific group on the basis of ethnicity, religion, profession, gender, history, political orientation, hobbies, interests and the like.  Identity is closely associated with the language or variety of language that is usually adopted by the group as a primary identification marker.  The course will also deal with the expression and manifestation of the identity in oral and written discourse in politics, literature, language use, ethnolinguistic allegiance, national identification, and communication.  In addition to becoming familiar with the major concepts and theoretical frameworks in the study of language and identity, students are expected to study the relevant literature on the subject. Finally, the course will allow students to develop their own research projects that relate to their interests and their social context.

ENGL 346Q: Topics  in Rhet.:Theo & Interv.
Professor David Landes

In response to the growing sense of attention crisis, the humanities are being rethought as “the arts of attention.”  This class provides a literacy for attention itself—its genres, grammars, components, strategies—so that students become equipped to read situations’ influence on what people attend to and, more importantly, how people attend.  Readings, experiential activities, and analysis assessments will apply attention concepts broadly to create adaptable skills for critical analyses across the disciplines, artistic guidance, and practical action.  Focusing this general attentional skillset is a distinctly rhetorical/communicative approach that traces out ways in which human attention dynamics occur through social processes, media technologies, and individuals’ agencies.  Readings span the disciplines and will be adapted based on student interests.