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
Course Offerings
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

  • LIT / GER 199 Kafka: Prague, Politics and the Fin-de Siecle
  • LIT 202 Metrical Verse
  • LIT 202-0 Literature, Language & Lies
  • LIT 2025 The Culture of Humanitarianism
  • LIT 2061 Arab-American Literature
  • LIT 2102 Literature of the Harlem Renaissance
  • LIT 2137 African-American Tradition
  • LIT 2140 Domesticity and Power
  • LIT 215 Victorian Essays and Detectives
  • LIT 2160 Powers of Horror
  • LIT 2176 The Revenge Tragedy

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3015 After Nature: Imagining the World without Us
  • LIT 3023 Poetry and Society
  • LIT 3027 Poetics of Pragmatism
  • LIT 3036 Poetic Lineages
  • LIT 3134 Thomas Pynchon & Don DeLillo
  • LIT 3143 Women on the Edge
  • LIT 315 Proust: In Search of Lost Time
  • LIT 3215 Power, Violence and Make Believe: Revealing Politics in Fiction
  • LIT 323 Economies of Modern European Literature
  • LIT 331 Translation Workshop
  • LIT 3324 Freudian Psychoanalysis and Language
  • LIT 333 New Directions in Contemporary Fiction
  • LIT 3401 Poetry and Politics in Ireland
  • LIT 3500 A Advanced Fiction: The Novella
  • LIT 389 Different Voices, Different Views from the Non-Western World
  • LIT 390 Contemporary Critical Theory
  • LIT 420 Kafka and his Neighbors
  • LIT 427 Contemporary Masters: Pamuk and Tabucchi
  • LIT 431 Post Fantasy, Fabulism, and the New Gothic
  • LIT 433 Serial Fiction

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 2203 Balkan Voices: Writing from Southeastern Europe
  • LIT 2198 Ancient Fiction: The Greek and Roman Novel
  • LIT 2208 Literary and Cinematic Reflections of War in the Modern Middle East
  • LIT 2882 Different Voices, Different Views from the Non-Western World
  • LIT 3045 Irish Writing and the Nationality of Literature
  • LIT 3304 Arabic and African 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 3741 Virginia Woolf