The Department of English, offers two graduate degrees. The MA in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice is a 36-hour degree and is a compact version of the combined MA/MFA is Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice. It is designed for students who are only interested in completing the MA. Students may opt to switch from the MA to the combined MA/MFA degree before completing 18 semester hours of coursework.
The combined MA-MFA in Literature, Creative Writing, and Social Justice at Our Lady of the Lake University prepares students to become critically engaged and socially aware scholars, writers, educators, and professionals. The degree plan is designed to attract and to foster the growth of individuals who wish to combine creativity with practical skills and critical knowledge while keeping in mind the pursuit of social justice in their own work, their communities, and their professional practice.
The English master’s program is designed primarily for part-time students, with most classes scheduled at night. However, enough courses are offered each semester that students may attend the program full time.
Program Goals and Program Learning Outcomes
Goal 1: Can utilize effectively the methods and the products of literary scholarship and research.
Outcome 1: Can analyze the purpose, methodology, and potential pitfalls of textual and historical literary criticism.
Outcome 2: Can identify and use the bibliographical aids, reference tools, and style manuals appropriate to a given task in literary scholarship.
Goal 2: Can utilize effectively contemporary literary theories and critical approaches.
Outcome 1: Can describe and evaluate the basic principles and practices of American New Criticism and apply New Criticism’s formalist methodology to the explication of specific texts of poetry.
Outcome 2: Can describe and evaluate the basic theory, principles, and practices of at least three contemporary critical approaches (such as new historicism, culture studies, feminism, gender studies, Marxism, structuralism, poststructuralism [including deconstruction], reader-oriented criticism, psychoanalytical criticism, ethnic and minority studies, and postcolonial studies).
Goal 3: Can demonstrate how diverse curricular approaches can illuminate the achievements of a variety of literary figures.
Outcome 1: Can describe, compare, and evaluate the different approaches to literary study as represented in the OLLU graduate literature curriculum.
Outcome 2: Can use diverse approaches to develop interpretive insights about individual works of literature from writers of different backgrounds and genres.
Goal 4: (MFA) only): Can produce literary work of professional quality in poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, screenwriting, or a hybrid form.
Outcome 1: Can demonstrate technical competence.
Outcome 2: Can demonstrate skilled inquiry into literary form.
Outcome 3: Can demonstrate well-developed individual voice and aesthetic.
Goal 5: Can demonstrate knowledge of social justice theories including but not limited to those concerning race and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, class, ability, and religion.
Outcome 1: Can evaluate literature based on social justice theories.
Outcome 2: Can produce creative work exemplifying social justice theories.
Outcome 3: (MFA only): Can actively work towards social justice through their experiences in the classroom or community (in the field study).