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Literary Studies

What You’ll Study

Do you love to travel to another place or perspective while reading? Interested in connecting with other students and professors who are just as interested in expanding their perspectives as you are? Join the literary studies major and discover how powerful stories and texts both reflect and change communities and societies. Learn how stories unsettle and reinforce systems of power and privilege.

Two students reading books in quad

Experience literature’s impact on individual readers (including yourself) and society as a whole, and by doing so, gain cross-cultural awareness and empathy highly valued and highly needed by the world today.

This program attracts the most ardent readers and writers on campus who have a passion for engaging with stories and voices in an ethical context. As a student in the ENGage (see what we did there?) community, attend readings and scholarly lectures by notable visiting creative writers such as Isabel Wilkerson and XXX. Publish your work in Signet, Queens’ literary magazine. Connect with students and faculty studying across the arts at Queens through the interdisciplinary arts community. By sharpening your thinking and communication skills, you graduate ready to shape the narratives and communities of tomorrow. 

How Can You Use This Degree?

A degree in literary studies develops your ability to think critically and to find patterns and themes in what people are saying. Queens graduates from this program find themselves working in areas such as:  

  • Publishing 
  • Editing 
  • Newspaper and Television Journalism 
  • Content Creation and Copywriting 
  • Entertainment  
  • Teaching  
  • Public Relations  
  • Marketing 
  • Human Resources  
  • Library Sciences  

Highlighted Courses

  • Practices in Critical Reading (ENG 100) 
  • Survey of British Literature II (ENG 220) 
  • The Nineteenth-Century Novel (ENG 327) 
  • Topics in Popular Culture (ENG 351) 

Student Highlights

Pursuing Literary Studies at Queens is active. Guided by faculty mentors, recent literary studies research includes:

  • “Gender, Sexuality, & Madness in Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre”  
  • “Female Sexuality and Repression: The Ton from the Lens of Bridgerton”  
  • “Intersecting Queerness in Doom Patrol”  
  • “What about the Binary? A Nuanced Look at Twelfth Night’s Presentation of Gender”  
  • “Gender, Trauma, & Mental Health in the Victorian Sensation Novel”  
  • “The History & Cultural Construction of the Housewife”  
  • “From Outcast to Queen: The Gothic Female Power of the Queendom in Charlotte Brontë and Shirley Jackson”  

“I experienced immensely passionate professors who encouraged open discussion and provided safe and supportive classrooms and who inspired me to broaden my views and knowledge. I was given full support both in my undergraduate work and in my journey to beginning my graduate applications, and I felt uplifted at all times.” Jenna Plaisted ’23

“The English Department will always be my favorite part of Queens. Each professor has a heart of gold, and they continuously supported me in my endeavors in and outside the classroom. My professors helped reignite my love of learning by encouraging me to follow my sense of curiosity and wonder.” Sophia Russano ’23

Program Contact

Craig Renfroe, M.F.A.

English Department Chair
Associate Professor, Creative Writing

Meet Your Professors

More Program Opportunities

QLIT: Queens Literary Studies Undergraduate Research Program

The QLIT Program offers Queens Literary Studies majors a unique opportunity to engage in research beyond the classroom. Through a series of immersive summer and fall seminars & workshops that culminate in a conference presentation, you identify an area of inquiry, develop and expand your original research, and present your research to an academic audience at SAMLA’s Undergraduate Research Forum.   

QLIT is housed in the Jim Rogers Summer Institute for Research and Creative Work, located at Queens University of Charlotte.  The Rogers Summer Institute provides vital support for the work of faculty and students in the QLIT program, including additional enrichment activities and financial support.  As Rogers Summer Institute Fellows, QLIT students receive a stipend for their work.