A student who majors in the Literature Program begins by choosing a Literature I course from a range of such courses offered each semester.
To moderate in Literature a student must have taken at least six courses in the Division including any language and creative writing courses. At least one course must be in the English, United States, or comparative literature sequence. After Moderation, students choose seminars at the 300 level, and often tutorials in special topics as well. Students are encouraged to study a language other than English, and study-abroad programs are easily combined with a literature major.
Any course at the 100 level and many courses at the 200 level are open to first-year students.
|Course no.||Literature I A|
|Schedule||Tue Th 1:20 pm-2:40 pm Olin 308|
Formal and informal satire from ancient to contemporary times. In addition to analytical and historical investigations, students will be given the opportunity to experiment with different forms of satire.
|Course no.||Literature I B|
|Title||Five by Shakespeare|
|Schedule||Mon 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 310
Wed 9:00 am-10:20 am Olin 310
An intensive study of five plays by Shakespeare, with some attention to theatrical, critical and historical context but primarily focused on the plays themselves: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Hamlet, Twelfth Night, and The Tempest. Frequent papers.
|Course no.||Literature I C|
|Title||Four Poets: Shakespeare, Donne, Shelley and Yeats|
|Schedule||Tue Th 11:00 am-12:30 pm Preston 127|
Close readings of some poems by significant poets, attentive to period ("Renaissance," "Romantic," "Modern") and to influence (Shelley/Yeats), but the focus will be on the characteristic qualities and excellences of each poet's work. Frequent short papers. Class size limited to 12-15 students.
|Course no.||Literature I D|
|Schedule||Wed 1:20 pm-3:20pm Olin 303|
Cross-listed: Russian and Eurasian Studies
Through a semester devoted to the "close reading" of the novel, students will be introduced to the study of fiction. Discussion will include the concepts of genre, convention, and style, "the rhetoric of fiction" and problems of narration. The topic of "realism" in Western literature will go hand in hand with specific questions about the novel's relationship to nineteenth-century Russian, French and English fiction and will address such questions as the conflict between morality and empathy, and differences between novels of psychological analysis and novels of social criticism.
|Course no.||Literature I E|
|Title||The Russian Fantastic: Gogol and Bulgakov|
|Schedule||Mon Wed 10:40 am-12:10 pm Lang Ctr 120|
Cross-listed: Russian and Eurasian Studies
Nikolai Gogol (1809-1852) and Mikhail Bulgakov (1891-1940) are two Russian masters of the fantastic and the absurd. This course is based on close readings of Gogol's Petersburg Tales ("The Portrait," "Nevsky Prospect," "The Nose," "The Overcoat" and "Diary of a Madman"), and Bulgakov's novellas Heart of a Dog, Diabolad, and his epic Master and Margarita. Among the issues to be addressed are the peculiar narrative logic of the Gogolian absurd, the phantasmagoric city of St. Petersburg, and the interrelationship of the demonic, divine and ethical in the satiric context. We will consider how these authors respond to prevailing sociopolitical conditions and trends (in Gogol's case the elaborately hierarchical Imperial Russian bureaucracy and in Bulgakov's case literature as an act of resistance to an increasingly totalitarian Soviet regime). Frequent papers and presentations. Enrollment limited to 15, with preference given the first- and second-year students and Russian Studies concentrators. In translation.
|Course no.||Literature I F|
|Schedule||Tue Th 10:30 am-11:50 am Olin 308|
One of the most prolific of African-American writers, James Baldwin used elegant and vibrant language that has secured his place as an astute critic of American cultural life. With novels like Go Tell It on the Mountain and Giovanni's Room; collections of essays that include Notes of a Native Son, Nobody Knows My Name, and The Fire Next Time; short stories and other writings, Baldwin's art played a central role in shaping post-World War II African American literature. Throughout the semester, we will use frequent critical essays and seminar discussions to explore the range of Baldwin's work and, equally important, to develop our analytical reading and writing practices.
|Course no.||LIT 123|
|Title||First Poetry Workshop|
|Schedule||Fri 1:30 pm-3:30 pm Olin 309|
This workshop is for new students who strongly desire to experiment with making their own writing a means of learning, both about literature and poetry, and about the discipline of making works of art. Stress is on growth: in the student's own work, and in the individuals's awareness of what sorts of activities, rhythms, and tellings are possible in poetry, and how poets go about learning from their own work. The central work of the course is the student's own writing, along with the articulation, both private and shared, of response to it. Readings will be undertaken in contemporary and traditional poets, according to the needs of the group, toward the development of familiarity with poetic form, poetic movement, and poetic energy. (Attendance at various evening poetry readings and lectures is required.) Admission by permission of the instructor; samples of work in verse or prose must be submitted to the instructor one week prior to the fall registration.