Bachelor of Science in English Literature

The Department of English is increasingly viewed as one of the pre-eminent departments. For example, professors in the department swept the Faculty Excellence Awards, the first time a single department won all four awards in teaching, research, advising, and community service. Not surprisingly, the number of students majoring in English has grown so much over the past few years that we are approaching the department’s all-time record for majors. English faculty members have developed national and even international reputations for their creative and scholarly achievements, and our seniors are going on to some of the best graduate schools in the country.

Overview of Courses

In addition to a core set of foundational courses, you’ll choose literature courses to tailor the program to your interests. Here’s a sample of what you can expect to learn and do:
  • Reading Poetry This course is an introduction to the basic tools needed to read and write about English and American poetry, including the concepts of genre, form, meter, figurative representation, and history.
  • Reading Historically I This course provides a foundation in English literary history from the medieval period through the 17th century. Students explore their significance in historical, formal, and aesthetic contexts, and we consider how contemporary critical approaches enhance our understanding of this material.
  • Studies in Renaissance Literature This seminar explores the development of a specific theme or genre in a transnational early modern context. Topics include Renaissance women writers, Renaissance epic, the literature of empire, or gender and sexuality in Renaissance literature.
  • Postcolonial Literatures This course is a survey of postcolonial literatures from Africa, India, Latin America, and the Caribbean, focusing on both the counter-narratives of history, memory, and identity that were central literary concerns after independence and more recent literary trends.
  • Contemporary Critical Issues This special topics course focuses on contemporary issues in literary criticism, such as environmental theory, new media, food studies, and post-humanism.