Loyola University Chicago

Department of English

Modern Literature and Culture

MSA Modernist Studies Association 7th Annual Conference

(Image: MSA 7 featuring Ramon Shiva, Chicago MCMXXI Oil on Canvas, 53' x 50', 1924 Collection of Clifford Law Offices, Chicago)


The PhD in Modern Literature and Culture at Loyola University is designed for graduate students who desire to study Modernism, Postmodern, and Contemporary literature.  Loyola University Chicago features faculty working with a variety of literature and poetry including 20th-Century American and British, African-American, and Postcolonial literature.  The faculty includes specialists in the fields of Psychoanalytic theory, Feminist theory, Poetry, Drama, and Film Studies.


Field-Specific Requirements

  • English 400: Introduction to Graduate Study
  • English 402: Teaching College Composition
  • Five courses in modern literature
  • Two courses in critical theory
  • One course in Medieval or Renaissance literature
  • One course in nineteenth-century literature
  • English 502: Independent Study for Doctoral Qualification
  • Electives to fulfill the 60-hour requirement

Modern Literature and Culture Faculty


Feature Faculty Books

Which Sin to Bear?

Authenticity & Compromise in Langston Hughes 

by David Chinitz‌‌

Which Sin To Bear? explores Langston Hughes’s efforts to negotiate the problems of identity and ethics he faced as an African American professional writer and intellectual. The book traces his early efforts to fashion himself as an “authentic” black poet of the Harlem Renaissance and his later imagining of a new and more inclusive understanding of authentic blackness. It examines his lasting yet self-critical commitment to progressive politics in the mid-century years. And it shows how, despite deep misgivings, Hughes was forced to engage in ethical compromises to achieve his personal and social goals.

Encarnación: Illness and Body Politics in 

Chicana Feminist Literature

by Suzanne Bost

Encarnación takes a new look at identity, following the contemporary movement away from the fixed categories of identity politics toward a more fluid conception of the intersections between identities and communities. The works of Gloria Anzaldúa, Cherríe Moraga, and Ana Castillo enable us to examine how identities shift and intersect with others through processes of "incarnation." Encarnación accounts, as does no other critical work, for these writers' increasing emphasis on bodies that are sick, disabled, permeable, and, oftentimes, mystical. Concerned equally with the medical-surgical interventions available in our postmodern age and with the ways of understanding bodies in the Native American and Catholic traditions these writers invoke, Encarnación develops a model for identity that expands beyond the boundaries of individual bodies.  Winner of the National Women's Studies Association's Gloria E. Anzaldúa book prize for 2010.

Disciplining Modernism

Edited by Pamela L. Caughie

This collection tells a story of disciplinary disorder; Disciplining Modernism brings together a group of leading scholars from various disciplines to confront the terminological confusion in the use of modernism and modernity across disciplines, including anthropology, history, the visual arts, literary studies, comparative literature, film studies, Caribbean studies, sociology, and economics. These fourteen essays use artifacts as different as a Catholic pilgrimage shrine, a Caribbean sculpture, a Chinese poet, and the internal combustion engine to explore the uses and the limits of modernism and modernity, ‘undisciplining’ modernist studies in the process.

Freud Upside Down: African American Literature

and Psychoanalytic Culture

by Badia Sahar Ahad

Freud Upside Down: African American Literature and Psychoanalytic Culture explores the relationship between 20th-century African-American writers and the psychoanalytic movement. As early as 1916 black writers held more than a curious fascination with the growing “science,” yet conceived it as a way to fundamentally undermine discourses of race and racism.  Through an analyses of Floyd Calvin’s editorial series, “Studies in Colored Psychoanalysis,” Jean Toomer’s unpublished novel, “Transatlantic,”  Ralph Ellison’s and Richard Wright’s correspondences with prominent psychoanalysts, among other essential texts, Freud Upside Down argue that black writers and intellectuals did not simply appropriate the model and language of psychoanalysis to destabilize conventional, and often inferior, notions of blackness--they relied upon it.