Applied Linguistics Student Association

Contact: Maggie Feng


Graduate student run organization in the Master's AEL and Ph.D ELL programs.

Center for the Humanities


The Center for the Humanities is the primary vehicle on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus for interdisciplinary programming in the humanities. The Center’s mission includes engaging faculty, staff, students, and the public in defining the humanities; fostering interdisciplinary and collaborative study and teaching; promoting the humanities; and nurturing connections between the community and the campus.

The Composition and Rhetoric Colloquium

Contact: Meg Marquardt

The CRC, as a forum for the intellectual and professional development of graduate students and faculty, fosters an ongoing programmatic dialogue about the direction and shape of this growing field. The Colloquium organizes two panels per semester on research, teaching, and issues of professionalization, which are complemented by a lecture series featuring two prominent scholars per academic year. We hope to increase the visibility of rhetoric studies at the university, facilitate collaborative, cross-disciplinary relationships among faculty and graduate students, and generate awareness of rhetoric-related research and humanistic inquiry in general.

Contemporary Theory Reading Group

Contact: Rachel Carroll and Amy Gaeta

Organized in the Department of English, the Contemporary Theory Reading Group invites graduate students and faculty to read and discuss recently published works of theoretical criticism. This group celebrates the plurality of theoretical approaches to literary study and emphasizes no single school of thought. Each semester the group focuses on a different emerging or traditional brand of theory and meets biweekly to discuss its agreed-upon publications. In its first semester, the Theories Reading Group has delved into Affect Theory, reading books by Sianne Ngai, Lauren Berlant, Kathleen Stewart, and Ann Cvetkovich.

EMERGE: Early Modern English Reading Group

Contact: Keith Gabler

EMERGE is an on-campus book group organized by the graduate students in the Department of English. Each semester we focus on a particular author, theme, or genre and hold biweekly meetings to discuss the texts. In past semesters we have focused on Shakespeare's romances, Montaigne's Essais, and the evolution of the sonnet form.

The Felix Series of New Writing

Contact: Amy Gaeta and Sara Thomas


The Felix Series of New Writing is dedicated to championing new and independent innovative writing. Its name honors Felix Pollak, the librarian and small press curator who developed the renowned collection of so-called little magazines at UW-Madison. Founded in 2003 by graduate students in the School for Library and Information Science, the series brought new attention to these holdings in Special Collections and the rich intellectual and aesthetic resources of the non-commercial, avant-garde writing tradition. The Felix Series continues to promote the work of small presses and the writers they publish by coordinating readings, sometimes accompanied by talks or informal brown-bag discussions with the authors. Recent guests include Douglas Kearney, Catherine Taylor, Rob Halpern, Srikanth Reddy, Cathy Park Hong, and Juliana Spahr. Previously supported through the generosity of the Friends of the UW-Madison Library, the Felix Series is now sponsored by the Department of English and the Anonymous Fund of UW-Madison. Current co-curators are Rebecca Steffy, Anna Vitale, Lewis Freedman, and Erica Zhang, with faculty advising from Lynn Keller and Timothy Yu.

Graduate Student Association (GSA)

Contact: Robert Collins and Ivan Babanovski


The Graduate Student Association (GSA) is a body of student volunteers drawn from all four areas of the UW-Madison English department: Literary Studies, Composition and Rhetoric, English Language and Linguistics, and Creative Writing. GSA is an extracurricular group committed to improving the social, academic, and professional well-being of the departmental graduate population through through mentorship, programming, and partnerships with faculty members within the English Department and across the University as a whole.

Each semester, we sponsor weekly informal get-togethers, opportunities for professionalization, volunteer or service-learning days, and seasonal departmental celebrations. Our work culminates each spring with the convocation of the Madison Graduate Conference in Language and Literature (MadLit), a prestigious graduate conference that draws participants from across the U.S. and abroad.

Middle Modernity Group

Contact: Aaron Vieth and Jared Seymour


In the long arc of modernity that extends from the Renaissance into the present, the literature and culture of what we have chosen to call “middle modernity”--from 1760-1910--encompasses many of the turning points that collectively articulate the challenges of modernity. Those turning points include new claims about scientific practices, the onset of revolutions, the rise of what one scholar has characterized as “the middling classes,” the expansion of print culture and reading audiences and the explosion of an affordable visual and theatrical culture, the onset of imperialism and the consequent introduction of other territories where the work of modernity continues and counter-imperial culture and cultural theory. Working against, within and beside these events are the arenas of literary and artistic culture that constitute our field of collective inquiry: the late eighteenth century, Romanticism, the Victorian and Edwardian eras. Our goal in forming this group is to provide a forum for intellectual inquiry and debate across the disciplines, with particular but not exclusive focus on literary studies (British and Continental), visual culture, history, philosophy, feminism, cultural theory and colonial studies.

Open to graduate students and faculty, both at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and nearby universities, this group will meet monthly to discuss work by an invited speaker or speakers and respond to presentations.

Modernisms/Modernities Colloquium (MMC)

Contact: Phil Bandy, Anna Muenchrath, and Laura Perry
MMC Website

The Modernisms/Modernities Colloquium (MMC) is committed to the study of literary modernism from a variety of aesthetic, social, and historical perspectives, with a specific focus on transnational modernisms, comparative modernisms, and new modernist studies. In consultation with department faculty, the MMC brings to campus one guest speaker every semester to give a public lecture and participate in a graduate roundtable. In addition to hosting speakers, the MMC sponsors other events such as writing workshops, film screenings, and reading groups, which have recently included Joyce's Finnegans Wake and Proust's In Search of Lost Time.

The Poetry Reading Group

Contact: Lynn Keller

The Poetry Reading Group welcomes any English Department graduate students interested in reading and discussing new volumes of poetry. Our informal meetings take place about once a month during the academic year, and the readings-- one volume per meeting-- are works published in the last five years, usually available in paperback; the titles are suggested and agreed upon by members of the group.

The Renaissance Colloquium

Contact: Joshua Calhoun

The Renaissance Colloquium, a group of graduate students and faculty in the English Department, hosts regular workshops, speakers, and discussions to pursue salient research interests in the Renaissance and early modern period. In addition to discussions of pre-circulated materials, dissertation and article workshop sessions, an ongoing paleography workshop, and monthly play readings, the Colloquium hosts talks by visiting scholars and researchers working in the era.

Rhetoric Society of America

Contact: Meg Marquardt

The Teaching Forum

Contact: Mike Haen

The Teaching Forum works toward the following goals: to generate recognition for the place of teaching in the department; to foster a culture of respect for teaching as a practice and profession; to initiate constructive conversations about teaching methodology as both practice and theory; to together generate useful strategies, techniques, activities and assignments for the teaching of literature, thereby creating a critical archive of material of use to both present and future Teaching Assistants; and, overall, to create a pedagogical community among Teaching Assistants in the Department of English. Brown bags based on the interests and needs of the group are held on an approximately quarterly basis and occasionally involve faculty respondents and facilitators. Past discussions have included topics such as “Leading Discussion: The Efficacy of Talk,” “Race and Multiculturalism in the Classroom,” and “Alternative Assignments: The Pleasures and Pitfalls of Experimentation.”

Retired: Comics Mellon Workshop 

The A. W. Mellon Comics Workshop takes a transdisciplinary approach to the study of comics and its aim is to yield rich, new understandings of comics. Our meetings center around shared primary and theoretical readings about comics (posted on our website) and around talks given by comics artists, political cartoonists, industry experts, and researchers and scholars who study comics. We welcome all interested members of the UW-Madison and Madison communities to take part in these conversations.

Retired: Contemporary Literature Colloquium

The Contemporary Literature Colloquium in the Department of English is a research group of faculty members and graduate students who work on literature and culture produced after 1945. The Contemporary Literature Colloquium (CLC) has two principal goals: to create an intellectual space for emerging and established scholars whose research on contemporary literature crosses and includes several national and cultural fields; and to develop new analytic paradigms that respond to and describe the conditions of literary and cultural production in the contemporary period.

Retired: Digital Humanities Research Network (DHRN)

The Digital Humanities Research Network will explore the processes involved in digitizing, quantifying, and visualizing different types of humanities objects turned data (including printed books, manuscripts, historical records, art, music, films). In addition to opening up new research questions, our group will provide an opportunity for a sustained conversation across campus about the computational and analytical aspects of the digital humanities. 

Retired: D.I.R.T.: The Environmentalist Reading Circle

In 2007, “D.I.R.T.: the environmentalist reading group” formed in response to Madison’s increasing graduate and faculty interest in environmental criticism. We meet monthly to discuss a range of theoretical and literary questions, often in concert with scheduled speakers and events arranged through the English Department, the Center for Culture, History and Environment, and other affiliated departments and programs. Members range across temporal and geographical fields, though at present postcolonialists and 20th century Americanists are particularly well-represented. We aim to interrogate the traditional boundaries of environmental criticism, exploring potential literary-theoretical contributions to questions of interdisciplinarity, socio-ecology, globalization, film and media studies, etc. Past meetings have included discussions of Marx, Deleuze and Guattari, Ramachandra Guha, Anna Tsing, Edward Burtynsky, as well as the more well ploughed fields of Lawrence Buell and Raymond Williams. (Some of us also like Frost.) (And sometimes we leave the coffee shops to explore Wisconsin’s vast, uncharted, virgin wilderness.)

Retired: Eighteenth-Century Reading Group

The goal of our group is to explore the eighteenth-century novel as an emerging genre. What is the function of the novel? How does it provide insight into the cultural, social, and political contexts of the century? To approach these questions, we read and discuss primarily British novels alongside helpful and important secondary criticism.

Retired: Estuary

Estuary is your English department graduate affiliation for strengthening community-university relations. We offer a number of resources for English graduate students doing service-learning and community-based work.

Retired: Minority Studies Reading Group

The Minority Studies Reading Group works to bring together faculty members and graduate students across disciplines to share readings in minority literatures. At the heart of this inherently collaborative project is the view that the practice of reading enables social transformation.

Retired: Wisconsin Interaction Interest Group

The UW conversation analysis community organizes data sessions as often as possible during the semester and keeps students up-to-date on upcoming CA events on campus. Participation in data sessions assumes training in and commitment to working with conversation analytic methods.

Retired: World Literature/s Research Mellon Workshop

The World Literature/s Research Workshop aims to identify and explore the distinctions, implications, and the tensions underlying the conceptualization of "World Literature/s" - in singularity and plurality. Along with promoting new research in the field through a dialogue across departments of literature, the workshop seeks to facilitate pedagogical innovations in both graduate and undergraduate curricula at UW-Madison.