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 204 Comparative Literature: Ancient Quarrels, Literature and Critique in Classical Antiquity
  • LIT 204A Comparative Literature I
  • LIT 251 English Literature II
  • 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 2026 Introduction to Children's and Young Adult Literature
  • LIT 2041 Making Love: An Introduction to Renaissance Poetry
  • LIT 2117 Russian Laughter
  • LIT 2156 Romantic Literature
  • LIT 218 Free Speech
  • LIT 2306 William Faulkner: Race, Text and Southern History
  • LIT 2324 Freudian Psychoanalysis, Language and Literature
  • LIT 2414 The Book Before Print
  • LIT 2481 Theater and Politics: The Power of Imagination
  • LIT 2501 Shakespeare
  • LIT 2507 Barbarians at the Gate: Degeneration and the Culture Wars of the Fin-De-Siecle
  • LIT 256 The Rise of Fiction in Enlightenment Britain
  • LIT 2607 Introduction to Literary Theory
  • LIT 265 Victorian Poverty in Pain and Print
  • LIT 275 Auto/Biography
  • IDEA 220 Performing Race and Gender: Uncle Tom's Cabin on Page and Stage

300- and 400-Level Course Samples

  • LIT 3046 Woman as Cyborg
  • LIT 316 Chinese Cinema
  • LIT 326 Banned Books and the Other Literary Scandals
  • LIT 330 Innovative Novellas & Short Stories
  • LIT 331 Translation Workshop
  • LIT 336 Extinction
  • LIT 340 American Literature and the Reinvention of the Human
  • LIT 342 Literature and Apocalypse
  • LIT 345 Difficulty
  • LIT 346 European Encounters
  • LIT 379 Emily Dickinson
  • LIT/PHIL 322 Citizens of the World, Ancient, Modern, Contemporary
  • 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 110 Introduction to World Literature
  • LIT 2301 Voices of Modern Ireland
  • LIT 253 Isaac Babel & the Aesthetics of Revolution
  • LIT 278 Contemporary Arabic Writing
  • LIT 375 Cultural Cold War and the Third World
  • CLAS 275 Poetry and Athletics

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 3013 Beyond the Work Ethic: The Uses and Misuses of Idleness
  • LIT 376 Sex, In Theory: Queer/Crip Studies Today
  • LIT 378 Ralph Waldo Ellison