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Professional Opportunities

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Graduate students in UB’s Department of English have a number of professional development opportunities open to them thanks to the department’s participation in a number of organizations. Here are a few examples:

The Dickens Universe

The Dickens Universe is a scholarly consortium, headquartered at the University of California at Santa Cruz, devoted to the study of the life, times, and works of Charles Dickens and of nineteenth-century literature and culture more broadly.  In addition to the University at Buffalo, SUNY, and the Universities of California (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, Merced, Riverside, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz), consortium member institutions include: Birkbeck College (University of London); CUNY; Columbia; Cornell; Harvard; Hebrew University; Indiana University; Louisiana State; MIT; NYU; Penn State; Princeton; Rice; Rutgers; Stanford; University of Exeter; University of Iowa; University of Melbourne; University of Oregon; University of Puget Sound; University of South Carolina; University of Southern California; University of Texas at Austin; Vanderbilt; and Yale.

The Dickens Project is a week-long summer gathering on the Santa Cruz campus that brings together scholars, school teachers, and members of the general public. Each summer, the Universe focuses on a single Dickens novel. The program includes formal lectures by distinguished scholars, seminars, small discussion groups, films, performances, and a variety of informal social activities. Graduate students who attend the Universe participate in a week-long graduate seminar with two faculty members from consortium institutions.  Students also participate in the formal activities as instructors of courses for non-graduate student participants or by enrolling in a selection of professional workshops. The Universe concludes each year with a scholarly conference on a topic related to issues raised by the novel under discussion through the week.

As a member institution, Buffalo may send up to two graduate students and one faculty member to the Dickens Universe each year.

Following the Universe, participating graduate students are invited to submit paper proposals for the Dickens Project Spring Conference.  Assigned to a mentor from the Dickens Project faculty, each student works with her or his mentor by email in the months before the conference to strengthen the paper and to discuss presentation techniques. For more information about the Dickens Project or the Dickens Universe, go to:

The Folger Consortium

Early Modern research at UB is supported by our fifteen-year membership of the Folger Consortium. The Consortium, which includes over thirty Universities, allows our graduate students and faculty to extend their knowledge and scholarly networks amid the incomparable resources of the Folger Shakespeare Library, Washington DC. With over a quarter of a million volumes of British and European literary, cultural, political, religious, and social history from the fifteenth through eighteenth centuries, the Library also includes the finest collection of Shakespeareana – editions, theatrical materials, visual and musical supplements – in the world. Consortium members are eligible for Folger grants-in-aid, financial stipends that enable students to take Folger Institute seminars and research in its collections. Every year, UB students take advantage of this excellent opportunity.

The Harvard English Institute

The English Institute has for many years been a major resource for recent developments in criticism, theory, and scholarship, without neglecting traditional fields of interest and modes of literary analysis. As an institutional sponsor of the English Institute, members of UB’s English department are eligible for a reduced conference registration fee, as well as a travel subsidy up to $200 for a junior faculty member or graduate student to encourage attendance at the conference. For more information about the Institute, its annual conference and other programs, go to: