Literary Studies Website


Chair, Associate Professor HELGA DRUXES

Professors: GOLDSTEIN**, NEWMAN, STAMELMAN**. Associate Professor: DRUXES. Assistant Professors: CARTER-SANBORN, CASSIDAY, ROUHI, SILBER. Visiting Assistant Professor: K. BEILIN.

Literary Studies provides students with the opportunity to study the history and theory of literature in an international context. The program offers both a regular nine-course major and a selection of courses for all students.


The Literary Studies major combines a focused study of a single national-language literature with a wide ranging exploration of literary forms across national, linguistic, and historical boundaries. Each student who declares the major must select a single foreign language as his or her specialty. The languages currently available are: French, German, Ancient Greek, Latin, Russian, and Spanish. Each student will also be paired with a faculty advisor (usually the chair), with whom he or she shall meet at least once a semester in order to discuss how best to fulfill the requirements for the major.

Nine courses are required for the major:

Three of the following five:

English 105-121

Literary Studies 111 Introduction to Cultural Studies: Traveling Fictions-Encountering the Other Through Tourism, Time Travel, Exile

Literary Studies 202 Literary Genres: The Nature of Narrative

Literary Studies 203 Literary Movements: European Modernism: Modernity and Its Discontents

Literary Studies 205 Literature and Theory: Literature and Psychoanalysis

Literary Studies 402 Issues in Literary Theory

Three literature courses in the student's specialty language, in which texts are read in the original. At least one of the three must be above the 200 level.

Two literature courses in which most of the course work concerns literatures other than that of the student's specialty language. These courses may be selected from Literary Studies offerings or from other literature departments and must be approved by the student's major advisor. Only one may be in English or American literature. Among the offerings of other departments that are possible, the following employ readings in English translation and are especially appropriate to the major:

Chinese 243 Gender Issues in Traditional Chinese Literature

Chinese 244 Writer and Society in Twentieth-Century China

Classics 101 Greek and Roman Epic

Classics 103/Theatre 311 Greek and Roman Drama

Religion 201 The Hebrew Bible as Literature

Religion 211 Paul and the Beginnings of Christianity

Spanish 306T Latino Writing: Literature by U.S. Hispanics

Russian 203 Nineteenth-Century Russian Literature in Translation

Students who are considering a major in Literary Studies should aim to acquire intermediate-level proficiency in their specialty language by the end of the sophomore year. They should also complete the 100- and 200-level core course requirements by the end of their junior year. They are expected to take the version of 402 offered in their senior year, even if they have previously taken 402.


To achieve honors in Literary Studies a student must prepare a thesis, usually 50-75 pages long, during the senior year (LIT 493-W031-494). The topic must be comparative and/or theoretical in approach and must include a significant amount of material in the literature of the student's specialty language.

Students must apply to the advisory committee of the program for permission to pursue an honors project. The application must be submitted before the beginning of the student's senior year.


Literary Studies 111, Traveling Fictions, 202, The Nature of Narrative, 203, European Modernism, and 205, Literature and Psychoanalysis, are the core courses of the program. They provide a foundation for the study of comparative literature and literary theory. Literary Studies 111 and 205 are open to all students without prerequisite. Literary Studies 202 and 203 are open to all students who have completed English 101 (or the equivalent) or Literary Studies 111 or 205.

Other Literary Studies courses are also generally open to all students. Any prerequisites are given in the individual course descriptions.