Course Description




English as an academic discipline is the practice of writing English and the study of the written word through the lens of English language, culture, and history. Its aim is to understand, appreciate, and create works of poetry, drama, fiction, creative nonfiction, film, and theory. As such, it involves the study of important works from important authors and traditions, as well as the study and practice of literary theory and techniques.

Core Curriculum

The core topics introduce the field of English and give students the skills and understanding to choose and pursue their interests in the specialized topics. On completing the core, students will be able to independently read the historical and academic commentary and original texts. The core topics are:

  • Approaches to Literature and Literary Themes
  • Medieval and Renaissance Literature
  • Literatures of Modernity
  • Literature, Race, and Gender
  • Literary Genres and Styles
  • Introduction to Literary Theory
  • Study of a Canon Work
  • Study of a Non-Canon Work


Specializations should be discussed with the Director of Studies. On completing specializations, students will be able to independently read advanced literature and conduct a final project in that topic. Some suggested specializations are:

  • Realism
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Contemporary Poetry
  • Contemporary Novels
  • Urban Novels
  • LGBT Literature
  • Postcolonial Literature
  • American Fiction and Mass Culture
  • African American Literature
  • American Literature and the Civil War
  • Post-War British Fiction
  • Modern African Literature
  • Literature of US Inequality
  • Activism and Literature
  • Literature and Politics
  • Literary Theory and Cultural Critique
  • Study of Chosen Individual Author
  • Study of a Chosen Literary Epoch
  • Study of a Chosen Literary Genre or Style

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