Degrees and Programs

Literature Concentration for Students Matriculated After Sept. 1, 2013

Sept. 1, 2013 — AOS Guidelines: Cultural Studies

The literature concentration is designed to develop students' critical thinking, expository writing and analytic abilities through a study of works of literature written primarily in English. Through a study of texts from different periods, genres and national origins, students will develop a breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding of literature, including authors, themes and literary works. Students are expected to learn about formal aspects of writing as well as the broader cultural and historical contexts of literary texts. A concentration in literature offers a valuable foundation for a general liberal arts education and helps to develop the analytic and writing abilities necessary for future graduate study and/or possible careers in teaching, writing, journalism, film and media, publishing, advertising, public relations, law and public policy, among others.

Those concentrating in literature are expected to develop competencies in the areas listed below. They also should reflect a building of knowledge from more general, foundational courses to more specialized, advanced studies. While the student has the freedom to design his or her own program in keeping with particular interests and goals, following the guidelines below in order will develop the competencies expected for a concentration in literature. Students also are encouraged to take an interdisciplinary and individualized approach to the study of literature, incorporating and at times emphasizing studies in areas such as philosophy, the arts, religion, the social sciences, history, languages, science and environmental studies, media studies, law and political philosophy, medicine, women's and gender studies, African-American studies, Native-American studies, Asian-American studies, Latino/Latina-American studies, disability studies and other aspects of cultural studies.

Students will demonstrate:

  • a progression of knowledge, including foundational knowledge gained, for example, from a survey study such as Introduction to Literature, or its equivalent
  • knowledge of different literary genres, including poetry, fiction, and drama; may also include knowledge of creative writing, memoir and more experimental techniques
  • an understanding of literary periods, which may include knowledge of early/late British literature and/or early/late American literature; it also may include comparative literature from different cultural traditions and genres
  • awareness of issues of diversity, including differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and class; this might include knowledge of African-American literature, Native-American literature, Asian-American literature, Latino-American literature, multicultural writers, women writers, women's and gender studies, queer fiction, immigrant literature, social protest fiction and disability studies
  • knowledge of critical approaches to literature and advanced knowledge of literary theory
  • in-depth study of one or more major authors, literary movements, themes, or genres.