Our Faculty: Dr. Benjamin Railton, English

Posted by Kimberly McCoy-Blauser on October 26, 2021 at 11:38 AM

Are you interested in Fitchburg State's MA in English program? As part of the GCE blog's "Our Faculty" series, we introduce Dr. Benjamin Railton, Professor in the English Studies department and the Graduate English chair.

HeadshotEducational background:

I got my B.A. (magna cum laude) in History & Literature from Harvard University in 2000, and my PhD in English from Temple University in 2005.

Teaching at FSU:

I started teaching at Fitchburg State in the fall of 2005, and so am now in my 17th year here. I was drawn to the small classes and student-focused ethos, as well as an impressive and collegial faculty community and the institution’s educational and regional history and identity.

I taught my first graduate class the summer after that first year (Summer 2006), and have taught at least one grad course every year since. To me the English Graduate Program embodies all those strengths of Fitchburg State, and weds them to a population of students who are deeply invested in education, literary and cultural analysis, writing and critical thinking, and all that we do in English Studies and the Humanities. Now that the program has evolved to offer hybrid classes and options, including an online path for students all around the country, I’m so excited to connect this program to even more students, educators, and colleagues!

BoysFavorite moment:

At the first meeting of that first grad class in Summer 2006, our baby-sitter had cancelled at the last minute so I had to bring my 6-month old son Aidan (now about to turn 16 and with a 14 year old brother Kyle to boot!). Getting to talk about American Historical Fiction while rocking him in his baby seat was just about the perfect combination of my passions, and this job has continued to prove a perfect fit for the rest of my life and identity.

Program description:

The English Graduate Program focuses in equal measure on literary and cultural analysis and the art and practice of teaching. From canonical courses on Shakespeare and Modernism to innovative ones on Hybrid Genres and Analyzing 21st Century America, complemented by writing and pedagogy courses, this program is both traditional and cutting-edge. Students complete this program better teachers, readers, writers, and global citizens.

Our re-launched hybrid program now offers pathways for students looking to complete our courses and program in-person, all-online, or with a combination of both modes. We’re really excited to connect with students, educators, and colleagues both locally and around the country, and for them to add their voices and ideas to our classes and program.

Career opportunities:

Our graduate program is perfect both for those who are looking to move forward in their current profession (whether as teachers, writers and editors, librarians, or otherwise) or those who are hoping to move into any of those worlds within the discipline of English Studies. Our culminating thesis and exit exam options also provide ideal preparation for further graduate training at the PhD level for those interested in taking that next educational step.


First, talk to Fitchburg State faculty and current graduate students to learn more! Please feel free to reach out to me (brailton@fitchburgstate.edu) for contact info and with any initial questions and interests. Second, apply and join us—you will learn and grow a great deal, add your voice and perspective to the mix, and become a stronger reader, writer, thinker, and person.

If you want to talk to Dr. Railton virtually at our November 3 Open House sign up now to learn more about his program or one of our many others. 


Topics: Our Faculty