The Literature Program


Course Offerings

The Literature Program at Bard offers courses in the following categories:
  • Sequence Courses
  • Introduction Course
  • 200-Level Course
  • 300- and 400-Level Course
  • World Literature
  • Junior Seminar
Bard College Course List
Historical studies in the Comparative, English and American literature traditions are organized into sequences. Click the course titles below to see the descriptions.

Sequence Courses

  • LIT 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 204B Comparative Literature II
  • LIT 204C Comparative Literature III
  • LIT 250 English Literature I
  • LIT 251 English Literature II
  • LIT 252 English Literature III
  • LIT 257 American Literature I
  • LIT 258 American Literature II
  • LIT 259 American Literature III

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies
  • LIT 2026 Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • LIT 2207 Reading as Writing as Reading: Exploring the Contemporary
  • LIT 2607 Introduction to Literary Theory

200-Level Course Samples

  • CHI 211 Echoes of the Past: Chinese Cinema and Traditional Chinese Literature
  • LIT 2041 Making Verse and Making Love: An Introduction to Renaissance Poetry
  • LIT 2051 Douglass & Du Bois
  • LIT 2086 Modern Tragedy
  • LIT 209 Major American Poets
  • LIT 214 Cairo Through Its Novels
  • LIT 2156 Romantic Literature
  • LIT 2246 Great Hatred, Little Room: Contested Ireland
  • LIT 2254 The Elements of Style
  • LIT 2306 William Faulkner: Race, Text and Southern History
  • LIT 235 Introduction to Media
  • LIT 2404 Fantastic Journeys and the Modern World
  • LIT 2481 Theater and Politics: The Power of Imagination
  • LIT 2485 James Joyce's Fiction
  • LIT 2501 Shakespeare
  • LIT 264 Memorable 19th Century Continental Novels
  • LIT 280 The Heroic Age
  • LIT 2413 Jewish Writers: From Franz Kafka to Philip Roth
  • LIT/CLAS 125 The Odyssey of Homer
  • LIT/GER 270 Rebels With(out) a Cause: Great Works of German Literature
  • LIT/HR 2509 Telling Stories about Rights
  • SPAN 245 Is the Author Dead? Haunted by The Ghost of Cervantes

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3042 Nobel Laureates in Literature
  • LIT 3046 Woman as Cyborg
  • LIT 3047 From Centaurs to Superheroes
  • LIT 3150 Fiction from the Indian Subcontinent
  • LIT 3232 Palestinian Literature in Translation
  • LIT 328 Ideology and Politics in Modern Literature
  • LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction
  • LIT 358 Exile & Estrangement Fiction
  • LIT 431 Post-Fantasy, Fabulism, and The New Gothic

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 110 Introduction to World Literature
  • LIT 2234 The Ancient Comic Theater
  • LIT 2238 Nature, Disaster & Environment in Japanese Literature
  • LIT 2670 Women Writing the Caribbean
  • LIT 3253 Critical Orientalisms: Writing Aesthetics & Theory East and West
  • LIT 3522 The Empire Writes Back

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 3243 "Before Dear Abby": Writing Women in Early Literature
  • LIT 3253 Critical Orientalisms: Writing Aesthetics & Theory East and West