Welcome to the English Program

The Department of English and Comparative Literature prides itself on providing the UNC community with a vibrant, intellectually engaging place for the study of language and literature. We offer a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs.


Ethos Journal Issue 1.2 Released

Click here to read the second journal issue of Ethos: A Digital Review of Arts, Humanities, and Public Ethics. In this issue, “The Academy and Its Futures,” contributors consider ways to reform our academic institutions; topics include the use of technology in the classroom, rhetoric's role in the defense of the humanities, the corporatization of the university, and more in the emerging field of criticial university studies.

We're grateful for the continued enthusiasm and support that we've received from the department.  We hope you'll enjoy Ethos and consider contributing, if you haven't already.

Download the issue, read the forums, and see the next call for papers at Ethos: http://www.ethosreview.org.


Professor Jessica Wolfe Reelected as Comparative Literature Delegate for the Renaissance Society of America

UNC Professor Jessica Wolfe has been reelected for a second, three-year term (2015-17) as Comparative Literature delegate for the Renaissance Society of America (RSA). In addition, she will also continue to serve on the editorial board of Renaissance Quarterly, RSA's journal for the interdisciplinary study of the Renaissance. Click here to read the official announcement.

2014 Thomas Wolfe Lecture: Sandra Cisneros

"...not just a literary legend, but a cultural icon as well."

Date: Tuesdsay, October 21 // Time: 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 7:00) // Venue: Genome Sciences Building Auditorium 

Job Listing: Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities

Assistant Professor in Digital Humanities 
The Department of English and Comparative Literature at UNC Chapel Hill (http://englishcomplit.unc.edu/) seeks a digital humanist with experience in digital methods applied to an additional area of literary or rhetorical studies. Successful candidates will demonstrate a record of digital engagement either through project development, significant deployment of digital methods, and/or innovations in digital composing, publishing, or pedagogy. We encourage candidates with interests at the intersections of the digital with poetry, medieval, modernist, and/or rhetorical studies, but depth of digital engagement applied to a subject area is most important. The position begins 1 July 2015 and carries a 2-2 teaching load with significant expectations for research as well as departmental service.

The hire will participate in The Carolina Digital Humanities Initiative (http://digitalhumanities.unc.edu) and collaborate with the University’s Digital Innovation Lab (http://digitalinnovation.unc.edu/). The position carries a $50,000 start-up fund with the expectation that the candidate will arrive on campus prepared to pursue a robust and innovative digital research agenda. (This fund includes moving expenses.)

Candidates are required to hold a PhD from an accredited institution of higher learning (degree in hand by 18 August 2015). Candidates are also expected to present evidence of excellence in teaching at a college or university and of a promising research agenda in their field of specialization.

Applicants must apply online at http://unc.peopleadmin.com/postings/60182 by 5:00 p.m. on December 10, 2014 and submit a cover letter, CV, statement of teaching philosophy, and a writing sample demonstrating the candidate’s digital research. At the time of application candidates will also be required to identify the names, titles, and email addresses of professional references (four are required). The recommenders candidates identify will be contacted via email with instructions for uploading their recommendation letters. Alternatively, applicants may list Interfolio as a reference and the application system will solicit recommendations directly from Interfolio. Please see http://help.interfolio.com/entries/24062742-Uploading-Letters-to-an-Online-Application-System for instructions. 
Review of applications will begin on 10 November 2014 and interviews will be conducted at the MLA convention in January.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity employer that welcomes all to apply, including protected veterans and individuals with disabilities


In Memory of Darryl Gless

Darryl GlessA memorial service for Darryl James Gless, Distinguished Professor of Renaissance Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  
Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.

With great sadness, we meet the loss of our beloved Darryl Gless. Since joining us in 1980, Darryl brought to our department and the University a spirit of generosity and an unmatched ability to lead and create. His scholarship and teaching inspired generations of students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, as recognized by his receiving a University Tanner Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1983 and the Board of Governors’ Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2013. Darryl also provided a vital voice for the humanities, and he translated that voice into action as both Chair of the Department of English and Comparative Literature and Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities. Darryl’s tireless work in defense of the humanities garnered the attention of President Clinton, who appointed him to the National Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1994. Invaluable as a colleague, visionary as a leader, cherished in the classroom, Darryl embodied every aspect of what it means to be a person and professor. We celebrate his life even as we recognize just how dearly he will be missed.

Darryl Gless's family asks that memorial gifts be made to the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund at UNC-Chapel Hill. Please send checks by mail to Arts and Sciences Foundation, Campus Box 6115, Chapel Hill, NC, 27599-6115, with a note in memo line (or attached correspondence) that the gift is for the Darryl Gless Graduate Student Support Fund or follow this link to make a contribution online.

The family also requests that friends consider donating blood and platelets and register as bone marrow donors in his memory. The News and Observer has posted more details about Darryl’s life and achievements.

A memorial service for Darryl will take place 4 p.m. Sunday, August. 24, at the George Watts Hill Alumni Center on campus.  

Parking is available on Stadium Drive, and for a fee, at the Rams Head Deck.





Professor Tyler Curtain Appointed to PMLA Advisory Committee

UNC English Professor Tyler Curtain has been appointed by the MLA Executive Council to the Publication of the Modern Language Association (PMLA) Advisory Committee for a three-year term, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2017.  Members of the committee advise the Editorial Board and the editor on articles submitted to PMLA. Professor Curtain replaces renowned Stanford linguistic anthropologist Shirley Brice Heath.


Undergraduate Research in ENGL 438: Nineteenth-Century Women Writers

"What if Jane Eyre had decided to live in sin with Mr. Rochester? Would Frankenstein’s Creature have been less destructive if his maker had been a woman? What if Sir Thomas Bertram had satisfied Fanny Price’s curiosity about the slave trade by taking her to his sugar plantations in Antigua? These are some of the questions posed by students in English 438, Nineteenth-Century Women Writers. During the Spring 2014 semester, I had the privilege of working with these students as a graduate research consultant for Professor Jeanne Moskal."

-Rachael Isom

Click here to continue reading this blog entry by Rachael Isom, GRC and graduate student in the Department of English and Comparative Literature.

Carolina Scientific Spring 2014 Issue Published

The Carolina Scientific has published its Spring 2014 issue, featuring articles on self-healing materials, narrative medicine, star-shaped neural cells, the effect of happiness on health, and much more. You can read it, and also past issues, at http://issuu.com/uncsci. For more information about the magazine, please visit https://carolinascientific.web.unc.edu/.

Gregg Flaxman Wins Mellon New Directions Fellowship

The Department of English and Comparative Literature congratulates Dr. Gregg Flaxman on winning a very prestigious, highly competitive fellowship that will fund a full research year bookended by two summers.  He was one of only ten individuals nationwide who were selected for Mellon New Directions Fellowships.  His plan is to pursue intensive training in the field of art history, more narrowly the development and deployment of perspective, to ground his study of film’s “off-screen space.”  His immersion in art history will take him to libraries, art collections and art classes in places including Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Rome, and Amsterdam.

Congratulations to David Ross!

The Department of English and Comparative Literature congratulates Dr. David Ross on his election as the 2015 President of the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies (SEC/AAS), an organization analogous to SAMLA. He also is currently the editor of the organization's journal, The Southeast Review of Asian Studies. Dr. Ross is the first member of an English department to hold this position.