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 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 204B Comparative Literature II: 1600-1800
  • LIT 250 English Literature I
  • LIT 251 English Literature II
  • LIT 257 American Literature I
  • LIT 260 American Literature IV

Introduction Course Samples

  • LIT 103 Introduction to Literary Studies

100/200-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 129 Moby Dick Lives
  • LIT 131 Women and Leadership
  • LIT 206 Sympathy for the Devil: Goethe's Faust
  • LIT 215 Heroes, Saints & Villains
  • LIT 220 Madness
  • LIT 235 Introduction to Media
  • LIT 236 The Ark of Memory:  Russian Documentary Prose
  • LIT 237 Modern Comedy
  • LIT 261 Laughter and Vision: Explorations in the Novel of Ideas
  • LIT 2064 Other Romanticisms
  • LIT 2191 Media & Metropolis in Modern Japan
  • LIT 2218 Children's Fantasy Literature
  • LIT 2509 Telling Stories About Rights

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 305 African American & Caribbean Neo Slave Narratives
  • LIT 306 Black Feminist Theory & Practice: New Interdisciplinary Approach
  • LIT 331 Translation Workshop
  • LIT 344 Calderwood Seminar in Literature: Literature Live
  • LIT 345 Difficulty
  • LIT 351 Journalism Between Fact and Fiction
  • LIT 389 Different Voices, Different Views
  • LIT 3041 Poetics of the City: The New York School of Poetry & Criticism
  • LIT 3048 Extraordinary Bodies: Disability in American Fiction and Culture
  • LIT 3143 Women on the Edge
  • LIT 3316 Renaissance Rebels
  • 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 & Sexuality in the Ancient World
  • LIT 253 Isaac Babel & the Aesthetics of Revolution
  • LIT 2060 The Arabic Novel
  • LIT 354 Global Cultural Cold War

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 347 The Late Novels of Henry James
  • LIT 354 Global Cultural Cold War
  • LIT 3139 Geographies of Unease: Literature and the Dynamics of Cultural and Social Reproduction