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Concentration in Literature
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The Literature Concentration can prepare you for a variety of careers, including editing and publishing, grant and proposal writing, graduate school or law school, or even business and management. The earlier you decide on a specific path, the better you can manage your course choices to prepare yourself for life after graduation. However, the faculty of the English Department wants you above all to remember your love of literature and language, and your willingness to learn from creative writers and critics. No matter your career goals, the concentration of literature should be an exercise in wonder, in personal and spiritual fulfillment, as well as professional preparation and skill-building.

The course selection for the Concentration in Literature is:

1 Interdisciplinary course 3
2 genre courses (an additional period/figure course may substitute for one genre course) 6
Four 300-level Periods and Figures courses including
One course in American Literature 3
Two courses in British or European Literature before the 19th century 6
One course in British or European Literature after the 18th century 3
1 English elective 3
EL 400 Senior Project in Literature 3


These courses are to complement the general requirements for all majors, which are:

EL 200 Literary Criticism I 3
EL 201 Literary Criticism II 3
EL 202 Intermediate Writing 3
EL 310 Junior Seminar 3
EL 400 Senior Project 3
One minority/multi-cultural literature course 3

There are extra Concentration requirements for the Literature Concentration (18)

3 Humanities courses in addition to Core Requirements (at least two courses must be in History or Philosophy) 9
2 Art History Courses in addition to Core Requirements 6
One Modern/Classical Language course beyond 203/204 3
Free electives 11

Beyond the course sequence, your intellectual, personal and professional interests will be directly addressed in the Junior Seminar and the Senior Project. In the Junior Seminar, you will complete a proposal for a senior project. In this Concentration, this project is to be a Critical Essay of 20-25 pages that pursues a fresh analysis of one or several related primary texts. These primary texts should be print literary texts, but exceptions may be considered. This paper will follow a stated and well defined critical perspective, review relevant secondary source criticism, and analyze the primary texts from the established critical perspective. If the paper pursues a historicist or cultural studies perspective, relevant non-literary texts may be included. This paper should be documented in the most recently updated MLA style.

Guidelines for Proposal
State Problem
What is the problem, conflict, or issue? What exact discrepancy do you see?
Is this an old or new problem?
If old, how has it been addressed in the past?
How significant is this problem?
How can this problem be broken down into its parts?
What are the causes of this problem?
What are its effects?

State Purpose in light of this problem
What is your proposed thesis?
How does this address the problem as stated?

State the Plan
What is the structure of your argument?
What is the logic of this structure?

Review Sources: include a brief bibliographic essay that reviews the state of secondary source scholarship.

Proposal Approval Process

During the course of the Junior Seminar, you should secure a First Reader from the faculty who has taught a course that covers the topic or writer you are choosing. That faculty member should be consulted regarding your topic choice and must ultimately place his or her signature on your ungraded proposal, indicating that this is a viable topic. That faculty member, though he or she may not grade your proposal, will be involved in the assessment of the final project.


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