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The study of literature as embodied in the English major has a number of goals: to familiarize the student with the work of important writers; to introduce her to the individual and cultural values, ideas, debates, and insights woven into literature; and to sharpen her understanding of the English language. Repeated practice in thinking, writing, and speaking about literary texts is a way of helping the student discover her own voice, develop her skills of critical analysis, and gain confidence in herself as an independent thinker.

Faculty Spotlight

Poet and Playwright Afaa Michael Weaver
June 3, 2013

In the spring of 2013, my twelfth collection of poetry, The Government of Nature, was published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. It is my fourth book with U Pitt, as my third collection of poetry, My Father's Geography, was my first Pitt publication. The Government of Nature is the second book in a trilogy that began with The Plum Flower Dance (U Pitt 2007). The trilogy represents the culmination of a lifetime of engagement with Chinese culture in the pursuit of my project as a poet. As a poet my project has been the exploration and extension of the interior lives of working class people, particularly but not exclusively the African American working class. The interiority which is central to this project is my own. The Government of Nature is also my most confessional book, and by virtue of the personal content of the book it is singular in that I am both black and working class.
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