The Literature Program


Course Offerings

The Literature Program at Bard offers courses in the following categories:
  • Sequence Courses
  • Introduction 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.

Sequence Courses

  • LIT 204C Comparative Literature III
  • LIT 252 English Literature III
  • LIT 258 American Literature II
  • LIT 259 American Literature III

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies

100/200-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 142 The Canterbury Tales
  • LIT 2026 Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • LIT 2117 Russian Laughter
  • LIT 218 Free Speech
  • LIT 2241 Life in the Medieval Church
  • LIT 231 Art, Aesthetics, and Modernism in the Arab World
  • LIT 2318 Toward the Condition of Music: Poetry & Aesthetics in Victorian England
  • LIT 2404 Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World
  • LIT 238 Revolutionary Thought & Poetry
  • LIT 241 Sex, Lies and the Renaissance
  • SPAN 241 20th Century Spanish American Short Story
  • LIT 245 Race, Class, and Gender in Modern Japan
  • LIT 245 Palestinian Literature in Translation
  • LIT 2501 Shakespeare
  • LIT 2607 Introduction to Literary Theory
  • LIT 270 Asian American Literature
  • LIT 274 Representing Ambition: Social (Im)mobility in the 19th Century French Novel

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3157 T.S. Eliot & The Poetics of Modernity
  • LIT 3205 Love and Death in Dante
  • LIT 341 The Book Before Print
  • LIT 359 Calderwood Seminar in Public Writing: Squaring the Circle, the Literature of Investigation
  • LIT 367 "Bring the Pain": Black Satire and Critical Humor
  • LIT 380 Poetry and Attentiveness
  • 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 221 Arabic Literature, World Literature, and the Untranslatble
  • LIT 2404 Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World
  • LIT 393 Ten Plays that Shook the World
  • SPAN 238 Reading the Beat: Bestiaries & Beast Fables in Modern Literature

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 3028 Soundscape of American Literature 
  • LIT 323 Beyond Lolita: Nabakov and the Language of Desire
  • LIT 377 Renaissance Encounters