Master of Arts

Master of Arts

The Master of Arts in English is a two-year program featuring three major components: coursework encompassing study in American British, and World Literatures; a reading examination over a set list of literary, critical, and theoretical texts; and a thesis.  Students design their plan of study in their first semester, form a thesis committee by the close of their first year, and complete the examination in their second year.  The degree culminates in the completion and defense of their thesis, usually in the fourth semester.

          MA students are encouraged to take advantage of the varied range of faculty expertise and the unique experience of living in interior Alaska as they select their thesis topic.  Rasmuson Library houses a solid collection of primary and secondary British and American texts; it also boasts an extensive Alaska and Polar Region Collections and Archives.  Recent thesis topics in literary studies, teaching composition, and ESL matters attest to the wealth of possibility for advanced study in English at UAF.

  • Master of Arts in English—Program Requirements 


  • Guidelines-for-Graduate-Students


    Comprehensive Exams Reading List for MA

    Spring 2017 and Spring 2018

    British, Irish, and American Literature

    Beowulf (Heaney translation)


    Geoffrey Chaucer. General prologue to The Canterbury Tales, “The Wife of Bath’s Tale,” “The Clerk’s Tale,” “The Franklin's Tale”

    William Shakespeare. King Lear, Richard III

    John Donne. “Batter My Heart, Three-Personed God,” “The Canonization,” “A Valediction Forbidding Mourning”

    John Milton. Samson Agonistes

    Aphra Behn.  Oroonoko

    Anne Bradstreet. “The Author to Her Book,” “To My Dear and Loving Husband,” “A Letter to Her Husband, Absent Upon Public Employment,” “Upon the Burning of Our House July 10th, 1666”

    Alexander Pope. The Rape of the Lock

    Jane Austen. Persuasion

    William Wordsworth. “Ode: Intimations of Immortality,” “Tintern Abbey”

    Charles Dickens. Hard Times

    Robert Browning. “Porhyria’s Lover,” “Andrea del Sarto,” “An Epistle…of Karshish, the Arab Physician”

    George Eliot. Mill on the Floss

    Gerard Manley Hopkins. “The Windhover,” “God’s Grandeur,” “Binsey Poplars.”

    Sarah Orne Jewatt. The Country of the Pointed Firs

    Nathaniel Hawthorne. The House of the Seven Gables

    Herman Melville. Billy Budd

    Harriet Jacobs. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.

    Christina Rossetti. Goblin Market

    Ralph Waldo Emerson. "Self-Reliance," "The American Scholar"

    Walt Whitman. “Song of Myself”

    Emily Dickinson. Poems 258 (“There's a certain Slant of light”), 435 (“Much Madness is Divinest Sense”), 449 (“I died for beauty, but was scarce”), 754 (“My Life had stood—a Loaded Gun”), 1732 (“My life closed twice before its close”)

    Stephen Crane. “The Blue Hotel,” “The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky”

    Willa Cather. O Pioneers!

    James Joyce. “The Dead,” “Araby”

    Virginia Woolf. Mrs. Dalloway, “A Room of One’s Own”

    William Faulkner. “The Bear”

    William Butler Yeats. “Sailing to Byzantium,” “The Second Coming,” “Byzantium,” “The Circus Animals’ Desertion”

    Wallace Stevens. "The Snow Man," "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird," "Not Ideas about the Thing but the Thing Itself," "Sunday Morning."

    Langston Hughes. “I, Too,” “The Negro Speaks of Rivers,” “Harlem (A Dream Deferred)”

    Flannery O’Connor. “Good Country People,” “The Artificial Nigger”

    Adrienne Rich. “Diving into the Wreck,” “Aunt Jennifer’s Tigers”

    Iris Murdoch. A Severed Head

    Eugene O’Neill. Long Day’s Journey into Night

    Leslie Marmon Silko. Ceremony

    Toni Morrison. Sula

    Brian Friel. Dancing at Lughnasa

    World Literature

    Job, Song of Songs (King James Bible)

    Aristophanes. Lysistrata

    Michel de Montaigne. "Of Cannibals", "Of Vanity," "Of Experience"

    Christine de Pizan. The Book of the City of Ladies

    Anton Chekhov. The Cherry Orchard

    Thomas Mann. Death in Venice

    Henrik Ibsen.  Ghosts

    Gabriel García Márquez. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings,” “The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World”

    Wole Soyinka. Death and the King’s Horseman

    Milan Kundera. The Farewell Waltz

    Janet Frame. Living in the Maniototo


    Roland Barthes. “The Death of the Author” and "From Work to Text"

    Miklail Bakhtin. “Heteroglossia in the Novel from Discourse in the Novel

    Michel Foucault, "What is an Author?"; "Panopticism," from Discipline and Punish

    Helene Civous, "The Laugh of the Madusa"

    Judith Butler, Preface and Chapter 1, "Subjects of Sex/Gender/Desire," from Gender Trouble

    Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, "Introduction: Axiomatic," from Espistemology of the Closet

    Gerald Vizenor, "Penenative Rumors" from Fugitive Poses

    Edward Said, selections from Orientalism

    Paul Gilroy, selections from "The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness

    S. Eliot. The Waste Land
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