Student Groups

Reading Groups

18/19 Reading Group

The 18th- and 19th-century Graduate Student Reading Group (‘18/19’) was founded to serve as a forum for CU Boulder’s growing community of scholars working across (trans)national traditions in the periods traditionally defined as spanning the Restoration through the Victorian Era (approximately 1660 to 1900) and that others call the Baroque to modern periods. Modeled on successful eighteenth-century groups at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago, the 18/19 will host seminar-style discussions of selected readings, works-in-progress, faculty lectures, and visiting scholar talks. We intend for this group to be a space where graduate students and faculty can share their research interests, exhibit findings, and generate new ideas.

Contact: Hannah Blanning

Environmental Literary Studies Reading Group (ELSRG)

The Environmental Literary Studies Reading Group is a collective of graduate students and faculty from across (and even outside) CU that are interested in the Environmental Humanities, broadly conceived. Since 2015 we have met to discuss works of criticism, theory, fiction, and non-fiction that bear on the relationship between literature and the environment. The group meets on a monthly basis, and readings are determined by discussion and consensus.

Contact: Jason Gladstone

Ethnic Studies and American Studies Reading Group

The Ethnic Studies and American Studies Reading Group is a group for faculty and graduate students interested in reading recent important books in ethnic literary and cultural studies. As an interdisciplinary group it draws participants from a variety of  departments. The group meets monthly to discuss 2-3 chapters, usually working through whole books. 

Contact: Dr. Maria A. Windell

“Freedom after Neoliberalism” Reading Group

The reading list is intended to reflect various approaches to neoliberalism, including feminist, left-libertarian, Marxist, and of course, literary approaches. 

In Jacobin magazine in June 2014, Paul Heideman asked "What is going to come after neoliberalism?" It was, he says, the question on many radicals’ lips after the financial crisis hit in 2008. The answer according to Heideman: “More neoliberalism, apparently.” The Freedom After Neoliberalism reading group meets to discuss answers to this question from a variety of theoretical perspectives, including feminist, left-libertarian, Marxist, historical, and of course, literary approaches. In particular, the group discusses what (literary, artistic, economic, social) freedom - a word made fraught by neoliberalism - might look like under different conditions. While the reading group will focus on non-fiction, it also welcomes suggestions for fiction, film, and anything in between. Readings are determined by consensus, in order for the reading group to foster a space for faculty and students from a range of academic departments to share their research and encounter new ideas.

Contact: James Carson

Student Creative Writing Association (sCWA)

Our mission is to create, support, and fund new programming as well as sustain current projects aligned with literary innovation, cultural diversity and educational encounters with focus on creative writing. sCWA is the official MFA student group which receives University funding for sponsoring and co-sponsoring guest speaker events, including the CU-Boulder Creative Writing Reading Series; Reading in the Raw Series; Timber Journal; 2-part Professional panel – academic & commercial jobs; among other endeavors.

Liminal Writng Group contacts: Kate Sedor and Lauren Arnold

Lead Graduate Teachers & CTL Leads

Each year, several graduate students (one or two in Literature and one in Creative Writing) serve as Lead Graduate Teachers for the department. Along with acting as the liaisons between the department and the campus’s Center for Teaching & Learning, the Lead Graduate Teachers conduct pedagogy workshops - one for new teachers in the MA-Literature and PhD program, and one for new teachers in the MFA-Creative Writing program. The Lead Graduate Teachers are available to consult with all graduate students on ways to improve their teaching.

English Graduate Student Council

The English Graduate Student Council (EGSC) exists to serve as the representative body for CU Boulder’s English PhD and MA students. We are committed to improving work and study conditions by maintaining open communications, encouraging professional development, advocating on behalf of the graduate students, and promoting a supportive department culture.

2021-2022 Graduate Board of Representatives

Contact us at

EGSC Activities

Mentor Program

We aim to ease the transition into graduate school for incoming students by pairing experienced student with those new to the program, encouraging both strong graduate teachers and a strong graduate community across the MA, MFA, and PhD programs and the department faculty.

PhD Application Workshops

Each fall we provide workshops for those second year MAs and third year MFAs applying to doctoral programs. We offer support in the form of writing partners, PhD Mentors, and Faculty Panels.

Professional Development Workshops

EGSC wants to help each student in the graduate community as they begin their professional development both in and out of academia. We are currently creating preparation workshops for comprehensive exams, navigating your first year, and preparing for academic and/or alternative academic careers.

Works in Progress (WIP) Colloquium

The Works in Progress Colloquium (“WIP”) is an ongoing series of presentations designed to workshop and showcase English department graduate work. We aim to create a professional space to present our work and receive much-needed feedback. WIP is held in the Dilts Lounge Fridays from 11:30-12:30pm. Lunch is provided. Please consider participating and sharing your work. Check events for more details.

Spring Speaker Series

Each spring semester the EGSC hosts one distinguished speaker events in order to meet some of the great minds in our fields. The EGSC organizes the event, which usually includes a private lunch or seminar before the main lecture as well as a dinner reception with the featured speaker. Requests for theorists, authors, or poets welcome! Please email us at any time at with your nominations!

English Graduate Students & Faculty of Color

Lead by faculty, this group hosts discussions, meetings, and social gatherings for students and faculty of color within the Department of English.

Contact: Marcia Douglas and Cheryl Higashida

PhD Consortium of Literatures and Cultures

The Consortium of PhD Programs in the Literatures and Cultures is an innovative effort to maximize the benefits of intellectual and administrative collaboration while granting participating programs autonomy in their pursuit of excellence. We can offer graduate students funding and mentoring that allows them to complete their degree in five years without sacrificing intellectual depth and methodological diversity.

Community Building & Social Events

One of our main goals is to build a strong, supportive, and exciting community of graduate students. We have many events planned for the upcoming semester, so be on the lookout for emails and posters inviting you to participate!

Find our Facebook groups "CU Boulder Literature" and "CU Boulder MFA'ers" for more information and events!

Feel free to email us with any questions, suggestions or just to say hi! We’re here to support you as you move through your program!