Literary and Cultural Studies
Have you ever been so inspired by a novel that you made a change in your life? Have you ever been so immersed in a poem or a work of fiction that time has stood still? Do you love the smell of old books? Has literature helped you feel less alone?
Our Literary and Cultural Studies sequence enriches the natural love of reading great stories by giving you the advanced tools you need to understand the cultural contexts of their production.
Whether you are interested in the investigative search for the voices of marginalized authors lost in the archives or analysis of the impact of digital culture and audio books on storytelling, literary study today is a thriving professional field that teaches you how to read complex writing closely, understand the genres and traditions of many cultures, recognize patterns, theorize the impact of works on their contemporary and future communities, and master a range of research methods.
Point of Pride
The Literary and Cultural Studies faculty at ISU are leading scholar-teachers in historical literatures from the medieval period to the present, working globally and with interdisciplinary interests in materialism, pop culture, Children's and Young Adult Literature, African American literature, Native American literature, colonization and de-colonization, gender and sexuality, race and identity, and book history. Faculty have particular strengths in archival research and a range of literary theories (notably materialism, feminist theory, trauma studies, queer theory and culture, disability theory, and postcolonial and de-colonial theories). Our faculty represent the new generation of literary critic; we value both the historical and the theoretical, the past and the present, and the varied material and immaterial forms that texts and artifacts can embody.
Why study Literary and Cultural Studies?
Studying Literary and Cultural Studies is more important now than ever before. Artificial intelligence lacks the ability to recognize fiction or analyze narratives beyond a basic level.
Graduates who can recognize genres, tropes, historical contexts and patterns, and write authentic, accurate analyses –that are properly cited –will be in greater demand. Further, our Literary and Cultural Studies sequence is housed within an English Studies department. This means that students at Illinois State can and will work across a larger range of disciplines than majors in other universities. They will also learn about rhetoric, writing studies, linguistics, TESOL, creative writing, publishing, and teaching.
Come see campus and meet with campus representatives either in person or virtually. Optional chances to meet with academic department, honors, and financial aid.
Applying to Illinois State
First-year students can declare the Literary and Cultural Studies sequence and begin taking exciting courses in the field.