The JMU Master of Arts in English-Speaking Cultures is devoted to the systematic study of Anglophone literatures, language phenomena, and cultures across the globe. While participants can specialize in American Studies, English Studies, or Linguistics, courses and collaborations within English-Speaking Cultures aim to cross the boundaries between the three subdisciplines. How, for example, might a Shakespearean sonnet have sounded when pronounced by an Early Modern speaker? What is at stake when British pop stars affect American accents? Can one speak of a single globalized English-speaking culture or has globalization rather fostered a range of distinct cultural formations, literatures, and Englishes? Our approach thus combines interest in the notably different cultures of the British Isles as well as the rich variety of US-American cultures with the decentralizing pull of English as a ‘world language’ that unfolds in tremendously significant linguistic and cultural variations in Africa, Asia, the Pacific and indeed almost every world locality.
By embracing interdisciplinarity and transnationality, combining theoretical acumen and practical awareness, and providing a productive environment for study, debate and research, English-Speaking Cultures prepares participants for productive engagement with the challenges of our globalizing world. Graduates have gone on to careers in higher education, cultural management, publishing, journalism and international communication among other fields.
English-Speaking Cultures is designed for a study period of two years (four semesters). It can be studied either as a single subject Master (120 credit points) or a double subject Master (45 credit points each + 30 credit points for master thesis).
Applications are accepted twice yearly. The deadlines are January 15 (to begin studies in the summer term) and July 15 (to begin studies in the winter term).
Teaching and studying in the MA program English-Speaking Cultures is pursued in close alignment with the research activities at JMU's Department of English and American Studies. Areas of particular focus within the department include: cultural, aesthetic and linguistic theory; Englishes around the world; globalization studies; regional studies; environmental humanities; urban studies & research on megacities; spatial humanities; sound studies & popular music studies.