The Literature Program


Course Offerings

The Literature Program at Bard offers courses in the following categories:
  • Sequence Courses
  • 100/200-Level Courses
  • 300- and 400-Level Courses
  • World Literature
  • Junior Seminar

Current Course List

Current Course List
Historical studies in the Comparative, English and American literature traditions are organized into sequences. Click the course titles below to see their descriptions.

LIT 201 Pre-moderation Required Course

Important note, LIT 201 replaces the former LIT 103 moderation requirement for Literature & Written Arts. Students who have already taken LIT 103 should not enroll in this course.
  • LIT 201A  Narrative / Poetics / Representation
  • LIT 201B  Narrative / Poetics / Representation

Sequence Courses

  • LIT 204 Comparative Literature: Ancient Quarrels
  • LIT 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 250 English Literature I
  • LIT 257 American Literature I
  • LIT 260 American Literature IV

100- and 200- Level Course Samples

  • LIT 131 Women and Leadership
  • LIT 134 The Joke as Literature
  • LIT 141 The Perils of Plot: Don Quixote, Madame Bovary, Northanger Abbey
  • LIT 2005 Middlemarch: The Making of a Masterpiece
  • LIT 2153 Infernal Paradises:  Literature of Russian Modernism
  • LIT 2319 The Art of Translation
  • LIT 2324 Freud For Our TImes
  • LIT 240 Literary Journalism
  • LIT 2509 Telling Stories About Rights
  • LIT 2515 After Nature: Victorian Literature and the Environment
  • LIT 2704 German Literature in 7 Dates
  • LIT 276 What We Know and How We Know It: Epiphanies and Brick Walls
  • IDEA 125 Getting Schooled in America
  • IDEA 220 Performing Race and Gender: Uncle Tom's Cabin on Page and Stage

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3046 Woman as Cyborg
  • LIT 315 Proust: In Search of Lost Time
  • LIT 333 Innovative Contemporary Fiction
  • PHI/LIT 337 Life of the Mind: Hannah Arendt
  • LIT 355 American Realisms
  • LIT 366 "To Remake Italy": Italian Cinema from Fellini and Rosselini to the Present
  • LIT 405 Senior Colloquium: Literature

World Literature Courses

World Literature courses explore the interrelations among literary cultures throughout the world. They pay special attention to such topics as translation, cultural difference, the emergence of diverse literary systems, and the relations between global sociopolitical issues and literary form.

Current World Literature Courses

  • LIT 207 Introduction to World Literature
  • LIT 227 Labor and Migration in Arabic Literature
  • LIT 247 Japanese Popular Culture
  • LIT 2670 Women Writing the Caribbean
  • LIT 350 Civilization, Modernity, and the Arabic Novel
  • LIT 362 Global Modernism
  • LIT 370 Prismatic Encounters: The Literary Afterlife of Russian Classics
  • LIT 389 Different Voices, Different Views

Junior Seminar in Literature

A junior seminar is specifically designed for moderated juniors preparing for senior project work in literature. Maximum enrollment is l5. Common expectations for all junior seminars are the following:

1) A 20-25 pp. paper will be written in the course of the semester, representing the student’s independent work.

2) The seminar will entail the students’ substantial exposure to a methodology other than close reading, that is, historical research, theory, or criticism and scholarship specific to the topic. By this means students grounded in close reading during their first two years will come to discover how to contextualize their ideas in significant ways. 

They will fine-tune their understanding of poetic techniques, or the forms of narrative of drama.   They will ask themselves how texts are vehicles for aesthetic and cultural values, as well as produce them. This is to study, in short, how literature participates in culture rather than simply serving as its reflection. They will also discover what literary analysis can tell us about the strengths and limitations of emerging textual practices (web-based research, distinguishing between primary sources and Wikipedia).

Students are expected to acquire competence in the methodology and to write the long paper within its framework.

3) The seminar will include short assignments and other work (such as discussion and writing practices that encourage exploratory and experimental ventures in the new area) that will help the students make progress toward the long paper, and secondarily encourage habits of collaborative work that may serve also as a support for the chapters of senior project.

Current Junior Seminar Courses

  • LIT 3013 Beyond the Work Ethic: The Uses and Misuses of Idleness
  • LIT 353 Shakespeare's Tragedies