The RPE graduate focal area examines how imperialism and its racial politics have shaped modern cultural forms. Developing innovative approaches to the study of literary traditions, race, diaspora, and geopolitics, RPE investigates relationships between aesthetics and power. While the concerns central to RPE extend back to the eighteenth, if not further, twentieth and twenty-first century conditions and productions guide RPE’s attention to earlier periods. RPE supports comparative research in literatures across nations and languages, from the Americas and the Caribbean to continental Africa, South and East Asia, Europe, and the Global South.
Graduate students in the area benefit from:
- Departmental strengths in postcolonial studies.
- Interchange with other modern language and literature departments, the History Department, the History of Art and Architecture Department, the Center for Latin American Studies, and the Caribbean Reading Group.
- Faculty research cluster in African American Literary and Cultural Studies
- Collaboration with the department’s Center for African American Poetry and Poetics.
- Synergy with the Pittsburgh Collaborative for Working Class Studies and the Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies Program.
- The journals boundary 2 and Critical Quarterly.
- Institutional support for beginning languages as well as advancing languages already studied.