“There will be details of explanation, especially with poems written in another age than ours, matters of fact, historical allusions, the meaning of certain words at a certain date, which can be established and the teacher can see that his [or her] pupils get these right. But as for the meaning of the poem as a whole, it is not exhausted by explanation for the meaning is what the poem means to different sensitive readers.”
– T.S. Eliot (1920s)
… if you demand on the one hand,
the raw material of poetry in
all its rawness and
that which is on the other hand
genuine, then you are interested in poetry.
– Marianne Moore, “Poetry”
If you enjoy reading and discussing literature, you will find a group of like-minded students and teachers in the Literature Profile. Our students have a passion for the written word; they are enthusiastic readers, and they are often aspiring writers.
While literary study will offer you a chance to improve critical thinking and writing skills, it is also a discipline in its own right. The profile is designed for students who enjoy reading and analyzing novels, poems, plays, essays, and other works of literature.
Although the Literature Profile is not a creative writing or journalism profile, we do offer courses devoted to these disciplines, as well as a number of courses that encourage creative options. For example, you will take one or two creative writing courses, and you will also have the option of taking up to four journalism courses, even earning a journalism minor if you take all four.
Along with your four General Education classes in English (Introduction to College English, Literary Genres, Literary Themes, and Applied Themes in English), in the Literature Profile you will take many other literature courses, each of which focuses on developing your writing and analytic skills through reading and discussing works of literature from a variety of times and places. The six classes listed below are required Literature Profile classes:
- Literary Movements: This first-term course is a historical survey of different periods in literature and the arts.
- Poetry and Prosody: In this course you will study a variety of poetic genres and forms, learning the basics of poetic language, including metre and versification.
- The Novel: You will read at least three major novels in this class.
- Literary Theory and Criticism: You will be introduced to literary theory and different methods of analyzing literature in this class. You will also take the co-requisite course in The Novel at the same time.
- Creative Writing Workshop: This is a course in the creation of imaginative literary texts in a variety of genres, including poetry, fiction, playwriting and creative non-fiction.
- Integrating Activity: In this final-term course, among other assignments, you will write a major research paper or creative project and participate in a student-led academic conference.
Besides the six required courses, you will also take eight additional courses which you will choose from the “Choice” and “Option” course lists available to all students in the ALC program. While at least two courses must be chosen from out-of-profile options, you may take up to six additional Literature courses from among the following:
- World Literature
- Literary Currents
- Literature and Creative Practice
- Creative Writing
- Literature and Borders
- Special Topics in Literature
Having developed critical thinking skills, and the ability to write well and edit meticulously, graduates find themselves well prepared for university studies. Graduates of our pre-university program have pursued further studies in English, history, philosophy, communications, law, education, and other fields.
More information on the Literature profile can be found on the new Arts, Literature and Communication profile page.