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 204B Comparative Literature II
  • LIT 204C Comparative Literature III
  • LIT 250 English Literature I
  • LIT 252 English Literature III
  • LIT 257 American Literature I
  • LIT 260 American Literature IV 1945-2001: "Where Do We Find Ourselves?"

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies

100/200-Level Course Samples

  • LIT/CMSC 120 Technologies of Reading: Human and Machine Approaches to Literature
  • LIT 2002 Americans Abroad
  • LIT 2062 Old Arabic Books
  • LIT 2134 Traditions of African American Literature
  • LIT 2227 Dostoevsky Presently: Poetics, Philosophy, Politics, & Psychology
  • LIT 225 Strange Books and the Human Condition
  • LIT 2319 The Art of Translation
  • LIT 235 Introduction to Media
  • LIT 236 The Ark of Memory:  Russian Documentary Prose
  • LIT 2401 The Canterbury Tales
  • LIT 2404 Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World
  • LIT 2509 Telling Stories About Rights
  • LIT 263 What is a Character?
  • LIT 267 The Neuro-Novel
  • LIT 268 Life and Death of Contemporary European Novel
  • LIT 269 Ethics and Aesthetics in British Modernism
  • LIT 273 Humor and the Rise of the Novel
  • LIT/GER 287 The Ring of the Nibelung

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3100 Writing Darkness: Narratives of Captivity
  • LIT 318 Hannah Arendt: Political Thinking and the Plurality of Languages
  • LIT 321 Unruly Bodies: From Frankenstein to X-Men
  • LIT 327 Reconstructing Ruin
  • LIT 329 Literature of Dissent
  • LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction
  • LIT 334 Post-Fantasy, Fabulism, and The New Gothic
  • LIT 389 Different Voices, Different Views from the Non-Western World
  • 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

  • CLAS 211 Gender and Secuality in the Ancient World
  • LIT 2238 Nature, Disaster & Environment in Japanese Literature
  • LIT 3105 Readings of the Global South
  • LIT 393 Ten Plays that Shook the World
  • LIT 2670 Women Writing the Caribbean

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 3043 Melville 
  • LIT 326 Banned Books and the Other Literary Scandals
  • LIT 337 Radical Romanticism: The Work of Percy Bysshe Shelley
  • LIT 364 Shakespeare Seminar: Hamlet & Lear