COLLEGE OF LETTERS
Professors: Ethan Kleinberg, History; Laurie Nussdorfer, History; Paul Schwaber; Khachig Tölölyan
Associate Professor: Typhaine Leservot, Romance Languages and Literatures
Assistant Professors: Javier Castro-Ibaseta, History; Ludmila Guenova, Philosophy; Tushar Irani, Philosophy
University Professor: Kari Weil, Chair
Departmental Advising Experts 2011-2012: Tushar Irani, Typhaine Leservot, Howard Needler, Laurie Nussdorfer, Paul Schwaber, Khachig Tölölyan, Kari Weil
The College of Letters is a three-year interdisciplinary major for the study of European literature, history, and philosophy. The program consists of 5 components and leads to 11 course credits:
colloquia designed to acquaint students with works of predominantly
European literature, history, and philosophy in (respectively)
- The ancient world
- The Middle Ages and Renaissance
- The early modern period (16th-18th centuries)
- The 19th century
- The 20th century
- Four seminars minimum (one in history, one in philosophy, one in literature, one in your target foreign language literature). These specialized seminars allow COL majors to shape their COL major around a particular interest
- One semester abroad most often in Europe, Israel, or in a country where your selected foreign language is spoken, in the spring of your sophomore year
- One comprehensive examination in April / May of your junior year
- One senior thesis or essay, which, along with the specialized seminars, allows COL students to further shape their major along their own interests.
In all these contexts, much emphasis is put on the development of skills in writing and speaking. For this reason, letter grades are not given in courses taken for COL major credit, and COL seminars do not generally have final examinations. Instead, tutors write detailed evaluations of their students work at the end of each semester, and these are kept on record (and discussed with each student upon request). Our general goal is cultivation of “the educated imagination”.
Life in COL. The College of Letters attempts to integrate the social and intellectual lives of its members by inviting guest lecturers and by providing opportunities for students and faculty to meet such guests (and one another) informally. There are also informal social gatherings in the College of Letters library on a regular basis. The structure of the College of Letters and the smallness of its classes bring about a close rapport between tutors and students and a lively and continuing dialogue among students of different classes.
After graduation. The academic standards of the College of Letters are reflected in the fact that its graduates have consistently entered the best graduate and professional schools, including schools of law, medicine, and business administration, as well as communications and the liberal arts. They also have won national fellowships and scholarships.