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. They 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.

For Classes of '21 and '22

  • 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.

For current listing of courses fulfilling core requirements click here.

For Class of '23 and Beyond:

Beginning with the Class of 2023, the core requirements of the English major are expanding to incorporate the previous Concentrations and to identify contemporary literature (Literary History 3) as well as more diverse cultures of English language literatures (World Literature)

ENGL201: Ways of Reading--English Major Gateway Course (see previous page “ENGL201—Gateway”)

Literary History: 3 courses
--Literary History 1: courses cover medieval and Renaissance literature, roughly up to the year 1660.
--Literary History 2: 1660-1870: 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.
--Literary History 3: 1870—present: courses focus on contemporary literature

Literary Geography: 3 courses
--World Literature: courses focus on literatures outside of the United States and Great Britain.

--British Literature: courses examine British literature and culture from its beginnings to the present day.
--American Literature:
courses focus on the history of the literature written in colonial America and the United States and is particularly concerned with the relation between literary expression and nationality.

Theory: 1 course These 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.

Creative Writing: 1 course These courses support a rigorous study of contemporary writing practices and their roots, influences, and precursors.

For current listing of courses fulfilling new major core requirements click here.