Writers, Scholars, Teachers
Our Ph.D. and MFA students publish in leading journals, present their work at major conferences, pursue innovative writing and research projects, teach with exceptional effectiveness, and produce dynamic theses and dissertations. They are thoroughly prepared by their degree programs for jobs both within and beyond the academy, and many go on to publish prominent books. The English Graduate Student Association (EGSA) nourishes connections among students in all our programs, while our MFA students contribute in major ways to the city’s cultural scene through the Underpass Reading Series and the Delta Mouth Literary Festival.
Our PhD students publish in the discipline’s leading journals, present their work at premier conferences such as MLA and ACLA along with a host of smaller field conferences, and pursue original research at major libraries including the Harry Ransom Research Center, Yale’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, and the New York Public Library. Our students are regularly awarded the university’s biggest prizes for scholarship, such as the Graduate School’s Dissertation-Year Fellowship and the university-wide Distinguished Dissertation Prize. Finally, each summer one or two of our graduate students receive full funding to attend the internationally-renowned Dickens Universe in Santa Cruz, California—an exhilarating and irreplaceable professional experience made possible by LSU’s participation in The Dickens Project Consortium.
Our MFA students are talented and prolific writers. Their stories, essays, and poems appear in top-flight journals. Post-degree, our students have had extraordinary success publishing their work; just in the last year, our MFA alumni have had books put out by large presses (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Simon and Schuster) and by smaller indie publishers (Noemi Press, Green Lantern Press). They have gone on to fulfilling careers in editing, arts advocacy and management, and academia. Our MFAs also regularly succeed in landing fellowships at top-tier Creative Writing PhD programs.
Our students teach with passion, responsibility, and care, supported by a thoughtful program of pedagogical training. Their excellence in the classroom is recognized by the College, which regularly awards its top teaching prize for graduate students to an English student. Beyond LSU, our department’s invigorating involvement in the Humanities Amped program, with its workshops for young poets, has helped make Baton Rouge one of the most exciting environments for youth spoken word in America.
Making Things Happen
Our graduate students make things happen. They organize the internationally-renowned EGSA Mardi Gras Conference, an annual event featuring grad-student work from around the country which has attracted keynote speakers including Cathy Davidson and Terry Eagleton. They also turn the city on its head each spring by running the Delta Mouth Literary Festival, which attracts some of today’s most exciting writers for three days of thrilling readings and panels.