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8 Campus Makerspaces Where Terps Turn Out the Next Big Thing

BookLab featured in Maryland Today's 8 Campus Makerspaces

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Booksellers and Community Activism

The next Antiracism features Ramunda Lark Young (Mahogany Books) and Angela Maria Spring (Duende District Bookstore).

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Early American Literature Program Ranks Among Best in Nation

Faculty, student achievement highlighted by U.S. News & World Report's 2022 'Best Graduate Schools' rankings.

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English weds critical inquiry and creative expression to unleash the power of words.

The department’s award-winning faculty whose research programs reflect the vitality of the Washington, D.C.-Maryland research, art and politics corridor, prepares students for leadership roles in a range of 21st-century careers. Trained in digital and media studies, a wide variety of literary and cultural traditions, and critical race and other interdisciplinary studies, students learn how critical thinking and persuasive writing can change the world. 

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Why choose the University of Maryland for English?

Our department champions innovation, diversity and flexibility in pursuit of higher education. Our 50-plus  tenure-track faculty are first in their fields, with a wide-ranging and award-winning body of work in digital media, scholarly essays and books, novels, short stories and poetry.

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The Failed Promise: Reconstruction, Frederick Douglass, and the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

The absorbing narrative of Frederick Douglass’s heated struggle with President Andrew Johnson reveals a new perspective on Reconstruction’s demise.


Author/Lead: Robert S. Levine
A Failed Promise Robert Levine cover

When Andrew Johnson rose to the presidency after Abraham Lincoln’s assassination, African Americans were optimistic that Johnson would pursue aggressive federal policies for Black equality. Just a year earlier, Johnson had cast himself as a “Moses” for the Black community. Frederick Douglass, the country’s most influential Black leader, increasingly doubted the president was sincere in supporting Black citizenship. In a dramatic meeting between Johnson and a Black delegation at the White House, the president and Douglass came to verbal blows over the fate of Reconstruction. Their animosity only grew as Johnson sought to undermine Reconstruction and conciliate leaders of the former Confederate states.

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Black Queer Freedom: Spaces of Injury and Paths of Desire

Mapping a geography of black queer life through art


Author/Lead: GerShun Avilez
Avilez book cover

Whether engaged in same-sex desire or gender nonconformity, black queer individuals live with being perceived as a threat while simultaneously being subjected to the threat of physical, psychological, and socioeconomic injury. Attending to and challenging threats has become a defining element in queer black artists’ work throughout the black diaspora. GerShun Avilez analyzes the work of diasporic artists who, denied government protections, have used art to create spaces for justice. He first focuses on how the state seeks to inhibit the movement of black queer bodies through public spaces, whether on the street or across borders. From there, he pivots to institutional spaces--specifically prisons and hospitals--and the ways such places seek to expose queer bodies in order to control them. Throughout, he reveals how desire and art open routes to black queer freedom when policy, the law, racism, and homophobia threaten physical safety, civil rights, and social mobility.

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“Postcolonially Speaking?"

A trenchant critique of Post Critique Methodologies. Special Issue on “What Is and Isn’t Changing” From MLQ (Modern Language Quarterly).


Author/Lead: Sangeeta Ray
MLQ Sangeeta Ray

Has postcolonial literary criticism been affected by the postcritical antihistoricist turn? The short answer is no. It is hard to imagine what an antihistoricist postcolonial literary criticism might look like, since any investment in the term postcolonial assumes a simultaneous commitment to history and politics. While the term from its inception has been subject to criticism, it continues to hold its own despite more recent terms like global and world. While they may signal a post-postcolonial turn, a term initially used by Erin O’Connor (2003) to critique postcolonial analyses of Victorian novels, the use of and engagement with the postcolonial still provide a methodological challenge to modes of criticism advanced under the global and the world. Postcolonial literary criticism remains attuned to questions of aesthetics and ethics.

Find the Volume 81 Issue 4 here