What are the Areas of Emphasis, and how do they work?

An Area of Emphasis is a group of four or more related courses within a major or coherent field of study. The English department introduced Areas of Emphasis to the Major in the Spring of 2009. We advise you to use the areas as suggestions for concentration in a particular genre or field of English Studies.

Do you really love Medieval Literature or Creative Writing? By declaring an Area of Emphasis within your English Major, you can now map out the best way to satisfy all your Major Requirements while still focusing closely on the fields you find most interesting. The Areas of Emphasis are yet another way for our majors to tailor their degrees to their particular wishes and needs.

We have twelve different Areas of Emphasis that you may elect to pursue.

Advanced Studies in English: has been dubbed the "Grad School Track" by our majors. This concentration will prepare you for continuing your Studies at the Graduate and Professional levels, whether in Law, Business, Medical school or other programs. The track helps specifically with preparation for the GRE subject test in English, emphasizing literary theory, advanced writing, and historical coverage. Contact: Dr. Sujata Iyengar

American Literature: Extensive study of American literature from its colonial origins to the present, including writers of all races, religions, and nationalities. Contact: Dr. Cody Marrs

Creative Writing: intensely focuses on Creative Writing classes and also includes discussion of classic and contemporary examples of creative literature. Contact: Christine Lasek-White

Digital Humanities: considers the technical aspects of the application of computer technology to the humanities and also the appreciation and assessment of its products. Mark up and humanities techniques like “Writing for the Web” are featured in DH. Students begin their training with Introduction to Humanities Computing, and then follow their interests. Contact: Jim Kallerman

Eighteenth-Century LiteratureAn area of emphasis in eighteenth-century British literature provides students a grounding in literary studies that can be applied to versatile fields, including law, literary studies, and business. The age witnessed the creation of the novel as a literary genre, the honing of ethics as a philosophical practice, the emergence of feminist discourse, and the rise of commercial culture and capitalism. The courses in this area will introduce you to the modern age (the age in which we still live) at its inception. Contact: Dr. Elizabeth Kraft

English Language Studies: is a sister-concentration to Linguistics. In this track, you will examine how English as a language functions and the interplay between language and literature. Contact: Dr. William Kretzschmar

Interdisciplinary Renaissance Studies: will bring out your latent English nerd. If you love all things Renaissance -- history or the languages or even the fashions -- this cross-departmental concentration provides the ultimate foundation in Renaissance (or Early Modern) Studies. Contact: Dr. Sujata Iyengar

Medieval Literature: focuses on early literatures and languages from the British Isles , including work in Old English and Middle Welsh. Contact: Dr. William Kretzschmar

Multicultural American Literature: combines work in a variety of disciplines and examines the literary and artistic productions of peoples historically under-represented in English curricula. Contact: Dr. Carmen Comeaux 

Poetics: poetry in theory and in practice from its ancient roots to the present day. Contact: Dr. Susan Rosenbaum

Rhetoric and Composition: looks at what writing is and means. In this concentration you will examine how the way a thing is stated or formed affects/reflects meaning within the composition itself and the cultural circumstances that produced it as well. Contact: Dr. Michelle Ballif

Studies in the Novel: examines what makes "the novel" unique within English Studies, studying examples of the novel from the inception of the genre through contemporary explorations of what the medium can do. Contact: Dr. Richard Menke

Areas of Emphasis are primarily intended as a student's self-advisement tools, ways of planning and tracking progress of study within the English Major as a whole. As such, please note that because of budgetary and staffing constraints, we cannot guarantee that students who have declared an area of emphasis will be able to complete it in any given year. 

Any student wishing to pursue an Area of Emphasis must come see either the Undergraduate Coordinator or Administrative Coordinator for advisement at the start of his or her Junior Year.

Please note: courses outside the English major may have lower division prerequisites. Check the University Bulletin to find out what prerequisites you may need in order to enroll in courses outside of the English Major.

Also note: while many Graduate Level Courses are accepted for various Areas of Emphasis, only 3 Graduate Level courses in total may be applied toward an Undergraduate Degree at the University of Georgia.

For all Areas of Emphasis, if students feel that a course they have taken for the English Major should apply towards an Area of Emphasis, they may petition the Undergraduate Committee and appropriate Area Faculty for the course's inclusion within their Area of Emphasis work.

Contact Information

If any of these areas of emphasis of these look interesting to you, you will need to come by the Undergraduate Office, Park Hall 111, and speak with the Administrative Coordinator, Jim Kallerman (jkallerm@uga.edu), about what you need to do to get your new Area(s) of Emphasis on record.