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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Department of English



Widely recognized as one of the leading departments in the nation, English at UCLA long has been known for its innovative research and excellence in teaching. Today, the English Department maintains its strong commitment to traditional areas of study, while also supporting groundbreaking research and teaching in new and interdisciplinary approaches to literary studies. Each year, our stellar faculty of nationally and internationally renowned scholars offer a rich array of undergraduate and graduate courses which reflect the great breadth of literatures in English. Our undergraduate program offers students a historically informed and geographically diverse perspective on literature, while also developing writing and analytic skills. Students in our graduate program have the opportunity to engage a wide variety of critical and scholarly approaches to English literatures and cultures.

Department of English

There are 196 publications in this collection, published between 1983 and 2022.
Departmental Honors Theses (59)

All Rivers Run East to the Sea

All Rivers Run East to the Sea is a mixed-genre, poetry and prose collection that stems from my own journey as a female, bilingual, second-language writer, exploring the multidimensional experience of displacement. English came to me as a convenient place to start anew, to be honest and free. Only much later did I realize the cost of exiling oneself into another language. I was so far gone into the pursuit of liberation that when I finally stopped, all I could see was the smoke coming out of the house of who I used to be. However, poetry serves as a space where one does not have to conform to a pre-existing vernacular. This collection attempts to create a poetic place of unity and coherence despite the transience and mutability of life. Language, because of its inevitable errors, often leads to a failure to communicate, but writing is the creation of something beautiful out of the ruins, capturing the infinite proximity to fully knowing someone else or ourselves. The mixed-genre format of my collection mirrors the fragmentation I experience, but also fuses a coherent narrative through this linguistic, formal, and cultural diversity. The inbetweenness, upheaval, and fluidity that this collection explores in form and flesh calls for a reimagination of home and self-identification. In telling our stories through language, we are creating "a room of one's own," to quote Virginia Woolf, and in this room of our own, where no one can take our story away, we can always belong.

Kingly Infirmity and the Remedy: The Importance of Counsel in Thwarting Divinely Ordained Incompetence

This thesis examines the influence of the divine right theory in George Peele’s The Love of King David and Fair Bethsabe , and the way that ineffectual monarchs are protected under this theory. The early modern period was heavily influenced by the divine right theory, as well as the Protestant theology that undergirded much of everyday life. I look at Peele’s play through the lense of Protestant theology, and show that Peele does adhere to the traditional orthodoxy by condemning those who disobey and rebel against their monarch. However, as much as Peele’s work is a product of his time, his play raises the issue of what to do with a weak monarch, who must nonetheless rule due to divine right theory. He puts forth an answer to this theoretical issue by way of the counselor, someone who is able to correct and criticize a weak monarch, without being considered damned for their disobedience or rebellion. I put forth that the disobedience and rebellion that is apparent in Peele’s counselor, although subverting from traditional orthodoxy, are necessary in the success of David’s kingdom.

Arthur Symons and Decadent Lyric: Art in the Age of Urban Modernity

My honors thesis seeks to examine the redemptive potential of the lyric form in urban modernity. I specifically engage critically with the lyrics in the minor Decadent poet Arthur Symons’ second volume of poetry Silhouettes (1892). In my paper, I trace the influence of English art critic Walter Pater's influence upon Symons' poetry and life. The cultural period of Decadence coincides with a burgeoning modernity and the rise of bourgeois values in London. An increasingly capitalistic urban London consequently precipitated an erosion of beauty and romance; fin-de-siècle poets such as Symons were often disillusioned with the alienating circumstances of the modern metropolis. In my honors thesis, I explore the consequences of Symons' actualization of the Paterian aesthetic outlined in Studies in the History of the Renaissance. Symons adapts Paterian impressionism in his verses in order to introduce an aesthetic moment in degraded urban spaces. However, Symons' resuscitation of the romance and beauty befitting Pater's antiquated world of art galleries proves to be problematic in London's urban landscape.

Throughout the honors thesis, I discuss Symons' hopeful belief in the potential of the Paterian aesthetic and his attempts to aestheticize sleazy or quotidian scenes in fin-de-siècle London. I ultimately argue that it is the salvific qualities of the lyric form that allows him to perpetuate and freeze these fleeting aesthetic moments in a necessarily ephemeral modernity. As a result, my thesis primarily focuses on Symons' exploitation of lyric in his career and how the form allowed him to introduce beauty and romance in even the most degraded of urban spaces.

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Recent Work (1)

Allegories of the Anthropocene

In Allegories of the Anthropocene Elizabeth M. DeLoughrey traces how indigenous and postcolonial peoples in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands grapple with the enormity of colonialism and anthropogenic climate change through art, poetry, and literature. In these works, authors and artists use allegory as a means to understand the multiscalar complexities of the Anthropocene and to critique the violence of capitalism, militarism, and the postcolonial state. DeLoughrey examines the work of a wide range of artists and writers—including poets Kamau Brathwaite and Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, Dominican installation artist Tony Capellán, and authors Keri Hulme and Erna Brodber—whose work addresses Caribbean plantations, irradiated Pacific atolls, global flows of waste, and allegorical representations of the ocean and the island. In examining how island writers and artists address the experience of finding themselves at the forefront of the existential threat posed by climate change, DeLoughrey demonstrates how the Anthropocene and empire are mutually constitutive and establishes the vital importance of  allegorical art and literature in understanding our global environmental crisis.

Capstone Projects (8)

Beyond the Other Hand: Self, Social, and Technology in Agnès Varda’s The Gleaners and I

Capstone Project submitted for English 184.2: Early Ecologies (Professor Anahid Nersessian, Spring 2019).

Gentrification and Enclosure: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Capstone Project submitted for English 184.2: Early Ecologies (Professor Anahid Nersessian, Spring 2019).

Changing the Unchangeable: The Transformative Power of Queerness in Magical Realism

Capstone Project submitted for English 184.6: Magical Realism (Professor Jenny Sharpe, Winter 2019).

5 more worksshow all
Open Access Policy Deposits (137)

Somewhat Queer Triangles: Yiyun Li’s “The Princess of Nebraska" and "Gold Boy, Emerald Girl"

This chapter analyzes two love triangles involving not only same-sex love, but also liaisons between two men who are a generation apart, and between two women a generation apart. These stories reveal the invasive social gaze on individuals who do not conform to traditional gender codes; the heteronormative pressure that drives gays and lesbians to seek refuge in sham heterosexual unions; and the contrast between the interdependent Chinese ethos that values lasting commitment and the independent US ethos that prioritizes personal fulfillment.

134 more worksshow all