Core Required Courses
In the courses English majors take to fulfill their core requirements, they develop their appreciation of literary history, their skills in interpretation and critical writing, and their facility with foundational concepts in the analysis of literature and culture. Whereas the Concentration provides an opportunity to cultivate expertise in a particular field, the core requirements offer a chance to read widely, to discover new approaches, to connect texts and concepts from different times and places, and to develop confidence and critical awareness about the activity of literary interpretation—in the moment of reading, in the classroom, and on the page.
Literary History I courses cover medieval and Renaissance literature, roughly up to the year 1650. Literary History II courses focus on the next two hundred years or so, from the Restoration and eighteenth century in Britain and the colonial period in the U.S. up to Romanticism and the middle of the nineteenth century. Literatures of Difference courses examine how literary texts treat questions of identity and culture, often focusing on categories of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, national origin, and/or disability. Theory courses investigate a wide range of texts and ideas, from linguistics to philosophy to artistic manifestos to social, cultural, and literary theory, and they often involve sustained attention to matters of methodology.