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Program Objectives

Production and Reception: The program teaches how historical, social, and cultural contexts shape literary works—including those works produced by cultures whose humanity and identity have been devalued, denied, or dismissed;

Language and Poetics: The program introduces students to the major genres of literature, rhetorical and literary strategies, and the ways in which literary works relate intertextually.

Criticism and Theory: The program introduces students to historical contexts and critical theories that shape literary analysis and inform scholarly debates in the field of literary studies.

Reading and Writing: The program teaches careful reading, the use of literary vocabulary, an orderly critical approach, and the use of writing for a range of purposes.

Student Learning Outcomes

Literature Option: Students who have completed the English major option in literature will be able to demonstrate:

  • the correct and suitable use of literary vocabulary
  • the formulation of a substantial thesis and the orderly development of a sustained argument
  • an understanding of some of the ways in which historical, social, and / or cultural contexts shape literary works
  • an awareness of literary history
  • some ways in which literary works refer, allude to, or otherwise engage each other.
  • an awareness of critical and theoretical methodologies in English studies
  • the ability to engage with questions of literary form and genre
  • a general knowledge of the important works and periods of literature from multiple and diverse traditions

Writing Option: Students who have completed the English major option in writing will be able to demonstrate:

  • mastery of at least two genres of writing, including one creative genre
  • an awareness of contemporary trends in writing
  • a grasp of the historical development of at least two genres of writing
  • a useful range of cultural reference
  • some ways in which literary works refer, allude to, or otherwise engage each other
  • the ability to speak in informed and effective ways about literature